A review of the year 2013 (based on original theatrical release) in film, ranked in order from best to worst.
Includes the Top 10 Scenes, Quotes, Scores and the Best Performances of the year.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort
, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. (180 mins.)
“ A movie as audacious as its characters and themes. By showing Jordan Belfort as a man ruled by greed and in turn drugs and sex, with little to no consequences, Scorsese dares to ask the audience who they really side with. Find yourself wishing you were living the movie, caught up in the energy and pure undiluted high of it all (from a 71 year old director no less)? Then that's the American Dream and who are you to judge? Despise the non-existent repercussions, the moral blackness of it all? Then get mad. This really happened, and this is our American system, and our country's dream. By refusing to safely assure the audience that the bad guy(?) gets what he deserves (because he didn't, again this is all true), Scorsese turns the spotlight on us and our value systems and asks how we are all so ok with this. Cause we are, whether we know it or not, otherwise we wouldn't be trying to sell that pencil.
#1 Scene of the Year-Leonardo DiCaprio ups his comedic ante in a scene that has become instantly classic. Drugged out on some really strong quaaludes, Jordan (Leo) loses almost complete control over his body as he attempts to get home to stop Donnie (Jonah Hill, also high as all get out) from talking on the phone. What follows is a scene rife with dramatic tension and also slapstick hilarity, an unusual and unforgettable mix. Seriously, this is physical comedy at its finest.
#2 Quote of the Year- "Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I've been a poor man, and I've been a rich man. And I choose rich every *beep* time."
Jordan sums up the movie, and our times, perfectly. ” - spencergrande6
A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need. (126 mins.)
“ #3 Quote of the Year-These two quotes go so well together, I'm including them as one big quote.
"Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt." - Theodore, explaining his past relationship with his wife (and the reopening of emotion he feels with Samantha).
"The past is just a story we tell ourselves." - Samantha explaining how we have a habit of remembering the best of the past, highlighting the good while neglecting the bad.
#8 Score of the Year- William Butler and Owen Pallett (Arcade Fire) capture the melancholy and the jubilation with a score the perfectly evokes the mood of Spike Jonze's world. ” - spencergrande6
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.)
“ #5 Quote of the Year- "People believe what they wanna believe. Cause the guy who made this was so good that it's real, to everybody. Now who's the master? The painter or the forger?"
The art of conning as summarized by Irving Rosenfeld. ” - spencergrande6
Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident which leaves them alone in space. (91 mins.)
“ A true science fiction spectacle that plays like an amusement park ride. The subtle story about Dr. Ryan's (Sandra Bullock, better than ever) lost child that carries through is a perfect metaphor for the events around her, giving the feats of technical prowess a raison d'etre.
#4 Scene of the Year-The first big action scene. The debris from a blown up satellite starts hitting the Hubble telescope and for the first time the jaw-dropping technicality of it all hits you. No edits, momentum, physics, incredible use of sight (3D) and sound to create a truly visceral space experience.
#5 Score of the Year-Steven Price's score is unobtrusive when it needs to be (subtly enhancing the thrilling action scenes over space's silence) and then joyously free and over-the-top at the end, an exact expression of the movie's emotions. ” - spencergrande6
This Is the End
While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the Biblical Apocalypse. (107 mins.)
“ The most gut-bustingly hilarious send-up of Hollywood celebrity since Tropic Thunder, although in a more subtle way here. This is first and foremost a raunch-com, about actors (playing clever, twisted versions of themselves) surviving the end of the world. There isn't anything resembling a flat joke to be found (in fact, this isn't just smile and grin funny, this is literally roll around on the ground I can't believe how funny this is...funny), and the underlying message about celebrities being so self-important they wouldn't get into heaven, well it's smart and humourous in a self-deprecating way and works without being a message.
Choice Supporting Actor-Michael Cera, sending up his image in a big way, baby (and surprisingly adept at it too...).
#2 Scene of the Year- The extended dialogue exchange between James Franco and Danny McBride about cum in the only porno left in the house is over-the-top, and carried so far into the extreme, that what starts as basic funny raunch becomes some kind of raunch work of art.
#7 Quote of the Year- "Does this coke smell funny?"
Michael Cera blowing said drug into Christopher Mintz-Plasse's face (and mustache!) ” - spencergrande6
When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? (153 mins.)
“ The moral grayness of vigilantism is given a powerful exploration. The film's greatest feat is how it leaves Kellen's (Hugh Jackman, who's riveting, as is Jake Gyllenhaal as the detective) actions in the same gray area the whole film. Even when the air tight plot is revealed (and everything is), his actions are still left to the audience to judge, the final reveal somehow grays his actions even further. A truly phenomenal accomplishment that pushes what could have been a good plot driven mystery into a great thematic character piece.
#7 Scene of the Year-Seeing the suspected kidnapper (Paul Dano) for the first time after being dealt week's worth of punishment's by Keller, is traumatic. The peek we get of his one good eye, surrounded by mutilated flesh, is enough to make us immediately rethink Keller's actions (if we weren't already). ” - spencergrande6
We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna. (109 mins.)
“ A brilliantly realized look at adult relationships and love after love. Falling in love is easy, losing it just as easy (and then finding it again and riding into the sunset? Beautiful), but what about losing it and not understanding why? Burying just to dig it up again? Someone once said that maybe sometimes love must die in order for it to reborn.
#8 Scene of the Year-Celine (Julie Delpy) gives a breakdown of modern society by using a lab experiment as a metaphor. A mouse figures out how to pleasure itself and when it does it just keeps going back to the well over and over and over until it just drops over dead. Love, life and a perfect little scene. ” - spencergrande6
Inside Llewyn Davis
A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. (104 mins.)
“ #8 Quote of the Year- "If that's what music is to you, a way to get to that place, then yeah, it's a little careerist and it's a little square and it's a little sad."
Llewyn explains what music means to him (in a backwards kind of way).
#9 Scene of the Year-Llewyn plays his heart out for Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham), to which he simply replies, "I don't see a lot of money here." Nothing about talent or art. ” - spencergrande6
12 Years a Slave
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup
, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. (134 mins.)
“ Choice Supporting Actress of the Year- Lupita Nyong'o, again the obvious choice and the Oscar winning choice but also the right choice.
#6 Scene of the Year-Solomon hangs from a tree with his feet touching the ground by the tips of his feet, in an extended take that doesn't move or relent, while we suffer with Solomon willing someone to come and cut him done. Audacious, and it works. ” - spencergrande6
When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back. (95 mins.)
“ #2 Score of the Year-Mads Heldtberg, Kyle McKinnon, and Jasper Justin Lee delivered one of the most exciting scores of the year. A pounding synth beat builds steadily throughout the movie until it goes all out towards the film's climax (this is based entirely on the one time I saw it in theaters, as I haven't been able to listen to it since, it's not available).
#6 Quote of the Year-This dialogue exchange captures the perfect tonal balance of the movie (the final line being the actual chosen quote, context just helps here).
Zee: "You never want to do anything interesting any more."
Felix: "I don't think that's a fair criticism."
Zee: *beep* me next to your dead mom then."
#5 Scene of the Year-The absolutely cathartic and badass blender kill that ends the movie solidifies Sharni Vinson's Erin as a "final girl" for the ages, and somehow is both hilarious (a blender!) and also gory and horrifying. Honorable mention for the two scenes that used "Looking for the Magic" by the Dwight Twiley Band. Effective and more importantly, very memorable. ” - spencergrande6
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. (137 mins.)
“ Gorgeous. The ultimate culmination of visuals and sound and beauty. There's no other studio like Ghibli, and truly no other film quite like Kaguya. ” - spencergrande6
A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love... (98 mins.)
“ Choice Actress of the Year- Cate Blanchett is astounding, in a way that reminds you that yes, she has always been that good. Wrenching, funny, awkward, powerful and very much a real character.
#4 Quote of the Year-"Who do you have to sleep with around here to get a Stoli martini with a twist of lemon?"
Jasmine flustered and in need of a drink (among many other things) with easily the most quotable line of the movie. ” - spencergrande6
The Spectacular Now
A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl." (95 mins.)
Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. (130 mins.)
“ A leisurely paced rumination on what it means to be a man (especially in a rapidly changing south), and how women shape and forge that man, told through the eyes of two children (played naturally by Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) so that it becomes a bittersweet coming of age story in the vein of Huck Finn. Matthew McConaughey continues his recent streak of great roles here, as the titular Mud, with a lived-in performance clearly built to his strengths and depths as an actor. The plot does follow some conventional story archs, but it's the journey (as always) that makes this worth traveling. ” - spencergrande6
Dallas Buyers Club
In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease. (117 mins.)
“ Choice Actor of the Year- Matthew McConaughey is the obvious choice and the right choice this year. It's not just for his dirt-deep performance as a homophobic cowboy with AIDS, but for his lived-in performance in Mud and his scene stealing turn in The Wolf of Wall Street (and then early the next year in True Detective). ” - spencergrande6
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse. (131 mins.)
“ A live-action anime. A geek fantasia. *beep* cool. Guillermo del Toro unleashes his childhood sandbox of dreams on us and it's an absolutely thrilling blast. Yes there are caricatures, archetypes, stereotypes and cliches in healthy doses, but this is (mostly) part of the movie's fun. We signed up to watch giant monsters battle giant robots and that's exactly what's delivered. There isn't much pretense nor mistaken identity here. Every aspect of the film is played to its maximum potential. I wish there had been more big monster moments however. There was never that sense of impending doom, or dark mystery like a great big monster movie, and the Kaiju aren't still long enough to be studied and appreciated. It's all a bit too fast and hyper-active sometimes. But that's also part of the film's DNA. It's the Japanese way. In every sense of the word this feels like an anime come to life, and mostly the film geeks out. There's drifting, which is how two humans link minds to pilot the Jaegers. There are crazy cool weapons and defining features for each Jaeger. The battles are visually spectacular and truly awe-some, and there are some fun homages to classic kaiju from their heyday.
#4 Score of the Year- Ramin Djawadi, with the help of guitarist Tom Morello, delivers a theme ready score that's as cool as the movie and as fitting as an elbow-rocket to a Kaiju's face. ” - spencergrande6
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring. (161 mins.)
“ #6 Score of the Year-Howard Shore continues to deliver in the second Hobbit film. The new themes are memorable (Lake Town and Smaug) and the stirring use of familiar themes fits well without feeling lazy or overused. ” - spencergrande6
An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize. (115 mins.)
The Place Beyond the Pines
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective. (140 mins.)
“ An audacious film from the director of Blue Valentine. A story about fathers and sons told in three parts, or more accurately three interwoven stories. Ryan Gosling leads the first part as a drifter biker stuntman who starts robbing banks to provide for his son. Bradley Cooper shows up as the cop who busts him and finally we see their sons years later. Sometimes the plot is a bit contrived and follows its own course just for the sake of satisfying the themes of the movie. But really this film is so much more interesting and intelligent than 90% of the movies released every year that it's easy to forgive some of its faults for the greater good.
#10 Quote of the Year-"If you ride like lightning, you're going to crash like thunder."
Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) delivering to Luke (Ryan Gosling) sage advice and foreshadowing in equal measure.
#9 Score of the Year- Mike Patton does some interesting work, and in particular the song "The Snow Angel" captures the exact thematic resonance of the movie. ” - spencergrande6
The World's End
Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from twenty years earlier unwittingly become humanity's only hope for survival. (109 mins.)
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. (112 mins.)
“ A perfectly structured haunted house creepfest. How a genre as well-worn as this can still surprise and shock is a testament to the sure-hand of director James Wan. Not only are the shocks earned, and the jumps genuine (random blasts of loud noise/music ARE NOT the scare), but the actors are more than game, the cinematography is goth gorgeous and the story simple, yet satisfying. If only the end delivered just a bit more, this would go down as one of the great horror movies of all time. As such it's just really really good, and loads better than The Amityville Horror (which the Warrens (the paranormal investigators in the movie) also investigated, and which has mostly undeserved classic status). ” - spencergrande6
Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges. (126 mins.)
“ A really good, fully realized movie but one that isn't as clever as all the directing going on around it. This is just your basic socio-economic class hierarchy sub-society that's a just a microcosm of the bigger picture. It's not profound and it's pretty much a bullet point style examination. It's Hunger Games made by a mad talented Korean director. ” - spencergrande6
The Great Gatsby
A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby. (143 mins.)
“ Instead of the doldrums and flatness of the other adaptations, Baz Luhrmann contemporizes Gatsby for modern audiences, and he does it not by changing what Gatsby is exactly, but by capturing the spectacle and awe of what makes Gatsby, the person, GREAT. You can feel the draw and the appeal and the mystery of Gatsby. It's riveting. But at it's core this is really a love story, and Luhrmann knows when to hold back. Tobey Maguire does a good job being the kind of everyman, letting the audience into this world through his eyes and DiCaprio is great as always. It can all be a bit too much soap opera at times, but this is a unique vision of a landmark novel, and it works wonderfully. ” - spencergrande6
The Way Way Back
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park. (103 mins.)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. (146 mins.)
Star Trek Into Darkness
After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction. (132 mins.)
“ After J.J. Abram's near-perfect reboot of Star Trek, it comes as no surprise that the 4-year later sequel arrives with high expectations. Poor title notwithstanding, Into Darkness mostly delivers. It's not on the same level as the reboot, and 4 years make it a bit more disappointing, but this is thrilling space opera done with spectacle and classy homages. The main problem is that it lacks a sense of being. The first movie was a character piece, it reintroduced the personalities and the lore and the optimism of Trek. The sequel still plays in prequel territory, but without the sense of newness. There's a lot of sci-fi action (too much for a Trek movie), but not enough sci-fi social allegory or brainy plot, and not enough new with the characters to justify the absence of those things. It's really another set-up movie, one that says "Ok yeah our first movie was a breakthrough success for Trek, and we don't want to lose the mainstream so we will cement that audience before (hopefully) moving on to better and more interesting things in the future." This sounds more negative than it really is (again it's been 4 years), because besides that flaw, the movie delivers. Benedict Cumberbatch is fiercely mysterious as the "villain", the action is thrilling and intense and if you are willing to dig a bit, there is thought to be provoked.
#1 Quote of the Year- "KHAAAANNNNNNN!!!!" but as uttered by Spock, not Kirk. What a nice twist, homage and gut-wrenching scene. ” - spencergrande6
Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. (91 mins.)
“ A dark, gritty bloodbath of a modern reimagining of the original classic horror movie that retains just enough of the slapstick edge and general sense of chaos that it feels like a true "Evil Dead" movie. The movie starts like a tepid modern grim everything-must-look-like-Saw type movie (bad CGI fire, desaturated colors, "character development" (admittedly the heroin addiction subplot for Mia was bold, but I also wish it had more impact since it was in fact part of the plot), atmospheric machine music), but then it kicks into gear. It's almost like the filmmakers decided that audiences might not like an old-school type movie, so they had to hook them with new-school convention first, before subtly and effectively reverting backwards. And when *beep* gets going in this movie, it goes. Most of the effects are practical, and the intensity is unrelenting.
#3 Scene of the Year- The entire finale is worthy of mention here. Mia gets trapped under a jeep, at which point she tears her arm off, grabs a chainsaw (paying respect) and proceeds to obliterate the evil dead, in one of the gorier and more cathartic moments in a mainstream R-rated horror movie. ” - spencergrande6
The Lords of Salem
Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record - a "gift from the Lords". The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts? (101 mins.)
“ #7 Score of the Year- A movie about an evil song by the eponymous Lords of Salem that controls the women of Salem better be something special right? Well the Lords Theme (as it's called) is unsettling and hypnotic (i.e. near perfect). And the rest of the score by john5 is atmospheric and foreboding, recalling both modern day horror industrial scores and 70's horror scores with piano and guitar themes that are both musical and off-putting. ” - spencergrande6
Short Term 12
A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend. (96 mins.)
A young woman's world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects. (106 mins.)
“ A pharmacological cautionary tale wrapped in a thriller guise, that provokes until it derails a bit towards the end in a pulpy splash of missed opportunities. Still, it works great as a thriller and a current state of drugs type examination, and the actors are all fantastic. Here's hoping that Soderbergh isn't really retiring. ” - spencergrande6
The Bling Ring
Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities' whereabouts in order to rob their homes. (90 mins.)
“ #9 Quote of the Year- "I'm a firm believer in Karma and I think this situation is a huge learning lesson for me... I want to lead a country one day for all I know."
Nicki (Emma Watson) explaining why breaking, entering and stealing expensive celebrity stuff was good for her. ” - spencergrande6
Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance. (96 mins.)
The Act of Killing
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. (115 mins.)
A man imprisons his estranged junkie friend in an isolated cabin in the boonies San Diego to force him through a week of sobriety, but the events of that week are being mysteriously manipulated. (93 mins.)
A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. (98 mins.)
The Kings of Summer
Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. (95 mins.)
In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. (109 mins.)
When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition. (102 mins.)
Man of Steel
Clark Kent, one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable human, is forced to reveal his identity when Earth is invaded by an army of survivors who threaten to bring the planet to the brink of destruction. (143 mins.)
“ The reimagining of Superman is brooding, gritty and dark, much unlike what Superman actually represents. The underappreciated Superman Returns didn't click with audiences, so it's no surprise that the Man of Steel got The Dark Knight treatment. And there's nothing wrong with taking a superhero in new directions, as long as it contains the spirit, the essence of what makes the superhero unique, true to themselves. For good chunks of Man of Steel this is the case, but there are times when this falters, and quite badly at that. Superman is a protector first and foremost of the people, and the last 45 minutes of mindless carnage are a backhanded slap in the face to that ideal, of people first. Story, character, paradigm; all take a backseat to CGI splendor and robust set pieces. It's just too much after awhile, and Man of Steel loses what it needs to make it special, to set it apart. A brief scene of Superman flying to rescue one falling soldier, while thousands perish in skycrapers plummeting to the ground is bafflingly thoughtless. Even the end, in which Superman kills Zod to save a family lacks that poignant push (Superman doesn't kill...like ever) because so many have already died. Any thoughts of this being a plot point in the sequel have all but perished, I would think, with the announced Batman/Superman crossover movie.
#1 Score of the Year- Hans Zimmer delivers a fantastically uplifting and theme ready score that captures the excitement and the spectacle of Superman. I didn't think anything could ever get close to matching John William's original Superman score, but I was wrong. This is damn close. ” - spencergrande6
Ain't Them Bodies Saints
The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. (96 mins.)
The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. (85 mins.)
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.)
Iron Man 3
When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. (130 mins.)
“ A solid (maybe?) end to the Robert Downey Jr. led Iron Man trilogy. As a comic book fan, I was a tad upset by the treatment of the villain in the movie, but I realize it's only in service to this particular plot, and as such it works. The film is at its best when Downey is a rat-a-tatting with little kids and Pepper, and not as much when it's just another robot action spectacle. And the interesting PTSD development doesn't wrap as nicely as I would have liked, while the final moments lack sense (or storyline continuity...) ” - spencergrande6
As he helps a young artist with her upcoming exhibition, the owner of a mannequin shop's deadly, suppressed desires come to the surface. (89 mins.)
“ #3 Score of the Year- Synths seems to be making a comeback lately. I think this is great, especially for horror movies. They capture something about the spririt of horror that few other instruments can, like it's just this side of reality. Rob mixes some scuzzy 80's synth in his score here, but mostly he modernizes it, blending it with a piano theme that captures the delicate balance between horror and character study this film angles at. ” - spencergrande6
A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University -- when they weren't necessarily the best of friends. (104 mins.)
“ Charming, funny, and pretty to look at but also formulaic and lacking in that big Pixar magic. It's an insult to Pixar to call this movie disappointing when it's merely a good movie that rivals the best movies in most other animation studios, instead of another flawless masterpiece that only Pixar could produce. ” - spencergrande6
Thor: The Dark World
When Dr. Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful entity known as the Aether, Thor is heralded of the cosmic event known as the Convergence and the genocidal Dark Elves. (112 mins.)
The allure of easy money sends Mary Mason, a medical student, into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called "freakish" clients. (103 mins.)
At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think. (123 mins.)
“ Cheesy, schmaltzy, and a bit emotionally manipulative, yet attuned to human emotion and the rhythms of life (not to mention the passage of time) enough that it becomes the kind of romantic comedy we need more of; aware of exactly what it is yet still with something more to say.
Bonus props for a great piano based romantic soundtrack. ” - spencergrande6
To the Wonder
After falling in love in Paris, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Their church's Spanish-born pastor struggles with his faith, while Neil encounters a woman from his childhood. (112 mins.)
This movie is about Jackie Robinson and his journey to becoming a Brooklyn Dodger and his life during that time. (128 mins.)
“ A pleasant and uplifting movie with fine performances and a sense of exactly what it is. Not life changing, but then again it doesn't need to be. ” - spencergrande6
Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past. (119 mins.)
Insidious: Chapter 2
The Lamberts believe that they have defeated the spirits that have haunted their family, but they soon discover that evil is not beaten so easily. (106 mins.)
An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. (116 mins.)
World War Z
Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself. (116 mins.)
“ A fun, intermittently thrilling zombie flick that plays like a disaster movie. In fact, that is its chief innovation in the zombie ouevre; seeing the fall of the world and the spread of the virus first-hand instead of after the fact. Still, it can be a bit too summer-blockbuster much at times and the underused Mireille Enos is a shame. ” - spencergrande6
After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him. (99 mins.)
August: Osage County
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. (121 mins.)
When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons. (126 mins.)
The personalities of two former baseball players clash as they traverse the rural back roads of a post-plague New England teeming with the undead. (101 mins.)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
With the '70s behind him, San Diego's top-rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm. (119 mins.)
When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life. (94 mins.)
The U.S. government recruits Machete to battle his way through Mexico in order to take down an arms dealer who looks to launch a weapon into space. (107 mins.)
A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love. (90 mins.)
A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. (117 mins.)
The ABCs of Death
A 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty. (129 mins.)
Fast & Furious 6
Hobbs has Dominic and Brian reassemble their crew to take down a team of mercenaries: Dominic unexpectedly gets convoluted also facing his presumed deceased girlfriend, Letty. (130 mins.)
A veteran assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself. (124 mins.)
Pain & Gain
A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. (129 mins.)
“ #10 Scene of the Year- An entire sequence involving a perfectly exasperated Mark Wahlberg trying to figure out how to steal a lot of money, but first he needs it notarized. And he just. Can't. Understand. "What the *beep* are notaries man?!" ” - spencergrande6
A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she's interested in learns he's her new friend's ex-husband. (93 mins.)
The To Do List
Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Klark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall. (104 mins.)
The Lone Ranger
Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice. (150 mins.)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. (114 mins.)
The House at the End of Time
Dulce is a mother of two who experiences terrifying encounters with apparitions inside her old house, a place where a tragedy occurs. Thirty years later, an elderly Dulce returns home to decipher the mystery that has tormented her for so long. (101 mins.)
After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy. (98 mins.)
Thanks for Sharing
A romantic comedy that brings together three disparate characters who are learning to face a challenging and often confusing world as they struggle together against a common demon: sex addiction. (112 mins.)
An uptight FBI Special Agent is paired with a foul-mouthed Boston cop to take down a ruthless drug lord. (117 mins.)
Out of the Furnace
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.)
Here Comes the Devil
A married couple lose their children while on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana. The kids eventually reappear without explanation... (97 mins.)
“ An enticing movie, but one that doesn't deliver ultimately and leaves a lot of seemingly important themes hanging like the proverbial undercooked meatballs ” - spencergrande6
John Dies at the End
A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion? (99 mins.)
“ John Dies at the End is all over the place. It has a dry deadpan delivery for dialogue and an over the top cartoony physical style of comedy for the real world plot stuff. It's a strange mix, one that does and doesn't work depending on the scene.
The climax is bad, bad, bad. But it's an interesting oddity, though not one on par with Coscarelli's more accomplished Bubba-Ho-Tep (never thought I'd be able to say that without a trace of irony)! ” - spencergrande6
Witching and Bitching
A gang of escaping jewellery thieves get trapped by a coven of witches. (112 mins.)
“ A Spanish horror-comedy in which a group of bank-robbers stumble into a witch coven. Hijinks ensue, comedy is had. The theme of this one is about how the robbers (all men) have woman issues and have all but renounced their kind as villainous, deceptive and bitchy (*cough* witchy--get it?) The witch coven has done the same thing (there are no warlocks; though one witch has a son she keeps locked up in an underground vault).
Some lessons are not really learned, and there's a hulking monster witch with enormous boobs at the end the men have to contend with (one woman takes their side, alas). There's definitely some fun to be had here but it's fleeting and I'm not sure it's anywhere near as progressive as it thinks it is (if it does, I don't know). ” - spencergrande6
A wealthy family are held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legal. (85 mins.)
“ A thought-provoking premise rife with possibilities is basically squandered on a derivative home-invasion thriller. Not completely squandered, but enough to make you leave the theater shaking your head in disbelief. A great cast, especially the creepy smile-too-big-for-his-face Rhys Wakefield as the main bad kid. ” - spencergrande6
We're the Millers
A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico. (110 mins.)
A pianist with stage fright endures a performance under enemy eyes, who will shoot if a wrong note is played. (90 mins.)
An affable underachiever finds out he's fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them file a lawsuit to reveal his identity. (105 mins.)
A search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and Marybeth learns the secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades. (81 mins.)
A young couple take in their two nieces only to suspect that a foreboding evil has latched itself to their family. (100 mins.)
“ A nicely original horror idea, with some plot contrivances and a ridiculous conclusion that might have been forgivable if the scares and imagination stayed solid the whole movie. Unfortunately it devolves into over-the-top hokum by the end. Though Jessica Chastain rocks the emo/goth/grungy look, which helps. ” - spencergrande6
Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare. (121 mins.)
It's 1949 Los Angeles, the city is run by gangsters and a malicious mobster, Mickey Cohen. Determined to end the corruption, John O'Mara assembles a team of cops, ready to take down the ruthless leader and restore peace to the city. (113 mins.)
“ A tonally all-over-the-place movie with a great cast and a sense of fun, that really doesn't do anything new or interesting enough to warrant it's existence. ” - spencergrande6
Two salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital age find their way into a coveted internship at Google, where they must compete with a group of young, tech-savvy geniuses for a shot at employment. (119 mins.)
In Chile, a group of travelers who are in an underground nightclub when a massive earthquake hits quickly learn that reaching the surface is just the beginning of their nightmare. (89 mins.)
After being drugged and raped at a party, a young woman contracts what she thinks is an STD; but, it's actually something much worse. (84 mins.)
As the Barret family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them. (97 mins.)
“ A familiar premise albeit done in an interesting new way, a few fairly effective scares, and promises of a much more interesting story (the porn and job loss subplots based around fear) are here. But they all go nowhere and mean nothing.
#10 Score of the Year- Joshua Bishara delivers an unnverving score with shrieking siren like sounds and discordant violins, making seemingly simple scares that much more effective. ” - spencergrande6
An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting. (101 mins.)
We Are What We Are
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.)
When Christian, an LA trust-fund kid with casual ties to Hollywood, learns of a secret affair between Tara and the lead of his film project, Ryan, he spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence. (99 mins.)
Jug Face tells the story of a pregnant teen trying to escape a backwoods community when she discovers that she may be sacrificed to a creature in a pit. (81 mins.)
Olympus Has Fallen
Disgraced Secret Service agent (and former presidential guard) Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers. (119 mins.)
“ Mediocre. Decent acting, low-budget special effects, cheap thrills and a nonsensical plot. Should have been more fun, but a little too rah-rah and little too self-serious. ” - spencergrande6
(2013 TV Movie)
When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature's deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace. (86 mins.)
In a remote town in Ireland, eleven-year-old Niamh finds herself the sole survivor of a bloody massacre that killed her parents and younger brother... (90 mins.)