Eclectic 2013

Eclectic selection of films viewed in 2013
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1.
A Christmas Story (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. (94 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
“ 9/10 Superior family comedy ” - ajp-sheppard
 
2.
The Book of Eli (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. (118 mins.)
“ 4.5/10 Over the top and a bit of a bore ” - ajp-sheppard
 
3.
Fracture (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute. (113 mins.)
Director: Gregory Hoblit
“ 5/10 Disapponting use of the talents of Hopkins & Gosling, not as clever as it thinks ” - ajp-sheppard
 
4.
Wolf Children (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After her werewolf lover unexpectedly dies in an accident, a woman must find a way to raise the werewolf son and daughter that she had with him. But their inheritance of their father's traits proved to be a challenge for her. (117 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
“ 9/10 One of the best animations I've seen with an intelligent thoughtful narrative. Captures a fluidity of movement combined with a beautiful score. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
5.
Gravity (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident which leaves them alone in space. (91 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
“ 8/10 visually stunning, superior minimalistic sci-fi with more than a nod to Kubrick's 2001 SO. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
6.
Sweetwater (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
In the late 1800s, a fanatical religious leader, a renegade Sheriff, and a former prostitute collide in a blood triangle on the rugged plains of the New Mexico Territory. (95 mins.)
Director: Logan Miller
“ 6/10 Unusual western but let down by ham-fisted characterization ” - ajp-sheppard
 
7.
Captain Phillips (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. (134 mins.)
Director: Paul Greengrass
“ 9/10 one of the best of 2013. Compelling, gripping, tense with a multi-layered subtext. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
8.
The Beast of War (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A Soviet tank and its warring crew become separated from their patrol and lost in an Afghan valley with a group of vengeance-seeking rebels on their tracks. (111 mins.)
Director: Kevin Reynolds
“ 7/10 Unusual depiction of obsession - shades of Moby Dick & Captain Ahab ” - ajp-sheppard
 
9.
Leviathan (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focused on the commercial fishing industry. (87 mins.)
“ 8/10 A surreal almost abstract depiction of deep sea fishing. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
10.
Out of the Furnace (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn't follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice. (116 mins.)
Director: Scott Cooper
“ 7/10 Male identity is put to the test and explored in this downbeat tale of crime, physical abuse and exploitation. Great performances all round. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
11.
The Awakening (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves. (102 mins.)
Director: Nick Murphy
“ 6/10 Satisfying period drama/ghostly tale - but it pales in comparison to "The Innocents" ” - ajp-sheppard
 
12.
Moon Man (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A bored Man in the Moon hitches a ride to Earth on the tails of a passing comet and starts to explore... (95 mins.)
“ 6/10 Charming old-school animation but a bit one-dimensional and about 20 minutes too long. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
13.
Tony Manero (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A man is obsessed with John Travolta's disco dancing character from Saturday Night Fever. (97 mins.)
Director: Pablo Larraín
“ 9/10 Absolutely fascinating and entertaining study of a sociopath whose obsession with the titular Saturday Night Fever film character is combined with a subtle subtext regarding the 1970's Chilean society. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
14.
Night Moves (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Los Angeles private detective Harry Moseby is hired by a client to find her runaway teenage daughter and he stumbles upon a case of murder and artifact smuggling. (100 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ 6/10 interesting 1970 detective - the narrative is somewhat secondary to the character portrayal dominated by Hackman. The slowish pace may not suit modern tastes. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
15.
American Hustle (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. (138 mins.)
“ 6/10 Entertaining & excellent performances from Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and in particular Jenifer Lawrence, but overall stretches the boundary of credibility. Interesting fact: Robert De Niro is uncredited. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
16.
Black Snake Moan (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A God-fearing bluesman takes to a wild young woman who, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, looks everywhere for love, never quite finding it. (116 mins.)
Director: Craig Brewer
“ 6/10 starts out as an edgy B-style movie (reminding me a bit of a 70's Jacky Brown movie) but ultimately reaches a safe haven and stays there. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
17.
Blackfish (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales. (83 mins.)
“ 9/10 riveting film dealing with Killer Whales caught and held in captivity. Deals in particular with one killer in the literal sense of the word, Tilikum. Educated me and changed my view on the treatment of these magnificent sentient animals. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
18.
The Candy Snatchers (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An abused autistic boy is the sole witness to the kidnapping of a teenage heiress. (94 mins.)
“ 8.5/10 Compelling B-style exploitation 70's crime drama. In terms of slease this one definitely delivers. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
19.
Oblivion (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A veteran assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself. (124 mins.)
Director: Joseph Kosinski
“ 7/10 Intelligent sci-fi adventure with Cruise on form; worth a second viewing. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
20.
Killing Zoe (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Zed has only just arrived in the beautiful Paris and already he's up to no good. Having just slept with a call girl... (96 mins.)
Director: Roger Avary
“ 8.5/10 Witty, clever and unpredictable. A combination of an absolutely intense performance from Jean-Hugues Anglade and a understated, restrained performance from Eric Stolz combine to make a volatile and compelling crime drama. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
21.
Sons of Anarchy (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A man in his early 30s struggles to find a balance in his life between being a new dad and his involvement in a motorcycle club. (45 mins.)
“ 5/10 Could have been great but ultimately disappointing... ” - ajp-sheppard
 
22.
The Killing (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Police detective Sarah Lund investigates difficult cases with personal and political consequences. (57 mins.)
“ 7.5/10 high marks for excellent characterization but one of it's key strengths (those red herrings, plot twists etc) ultimately make it improbable in the extreme. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
23.
Breaking Bad (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family's future. (49 mins.)
“ 10/10 The best by a TV mile since the Sopranos... ” - ajp-sheppard
 
24.
L'enfant (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Bruno and Sonia, a young couple living off her benefit and the thefts committed by his gang, have a new source of money: their newborn son. (95 mins.)
“ 8/10 multiple shades of grey in this tale of a terrible dead which is followed by an ambiguous tale of atonement. Worth a second viewing. ” - ajp-sheppard
 
25.
We Are What We Are (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
The Parkers, a reclusive family who follow ancient customs, find their secret existence threatened as a torrential downpour moves into their area, forcing daughters Iris and Rose to assume responsibilities beyond those of a typical family. (105 mins.)
Director: Jim Mickle
“ 7/10 very effective slow burning creepy horror. ” - ajp-sheppard