Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
There are still many films I need to watch but some I anticipate could make a run at the top 25: "ida", "Leviathan", "Blackhat", "Inherent Vice", "Digging Up the Marrow", "American Sniper", "Camp X-Ray", and "In Order of Disappearance".... or at least those are the 2014 films on my watchlist that I anticipate will make a run at the list.
i have watched 77 films from 2014.(will edit)
Remember, it's just an opinion.
Just missed:26.The Judge 27.Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 28. Life Itself
It is a particularly exciting year for me at the movies. My two favorite directors, Wong Kar Wai and Brian De Palma released new movies, and a bunch of sleepers are dominating the list.
A Few months ago - I thought that 2013 might have been a pretty weak year for movies, but now that I've come to the end of the watchlist, it was actually a VERY GOOD year for movies. Seldom do I have so many 9's in my top 25, and seldom do the 8's go nearly to the bottom of the list like this. By the time I'm done there may not be a 7 on the whole list. Amazing.
will edit as I see films that deserve a spot on the list. (last edit was out of NINETY-THREE films viewed from 2013). Will likely/eventually be out of about 110.
Sometimes my top 25 lists(see previous yrs) might include films that imdb says were released the previous yr... but I go by the us dvd or major u.s. theatrical release dates... not festivals etc..
at times it was rough. had to cycle through some rough patches... Spring Breakers... it "looked" good, but what the heck was that about? Pain and Gain... much, mUCH more pain than gain... Rapture Palooza? Take me Away.
here's the Just missed list:26.The East 27.Mental 28.Blue Jasmine 29.Only God Forgives 30.Warm Bodies, 31.StarTrek:Into Darkness 32.Maniac, 33.Fruitvale Station, 34.Locke, Before Midnight, Grandmasters, Rush, Eden, Side Effects, 42, Man of Steel, Gangster Squad, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The World's End, Oblivion, Captain Phillips, Last Vegas, Trance, Redemption, Red 2, Extracted, Hatchet 3, Stoker, Olympus Has Fallen, Dark Skies
I suggest inverting the list.............................................\/
just missed:The Green Mile, Varsity Blues, The Limey, Election, Stir of Echoes.
2001 was a terrible year for movies, ratings-wise - it's the lowest of any year since 2000, and by a fairly wide margin.
no 9's on this list for me(that's a first so far), and also contains some 6/10's - also a first. Some good sleepers in there, but that's about it, bad yr overall.
just missed:crazy beautiful, Hannibal
just missed: 26.Devil's Rejects, Hard Candy, Election(subt), Grizzly Man, 40 Year-Old Virgin, Three Burials of Mequiades Estrada, Walk the Line
just missed list:26.Ratatouille, 27.The Hunting Party, 28.Talk to Me, 29.Spiral, 30.Knocked Up, 31.The Mist, 32.The Brave One, 33.Kite Runner, 34.3:10 to Yuma, 35.American Gangster
2010 was a GREAT year for movies... rarely do my lists like these carry the "8's" past the #20 mark... and the top 5 here are exceptional.
hard to believe some of these were just short of the mark. 26.The Fighter, 27.Inception, 28.127 Hours, 29.Cold Fish, 30.Hanna, 31.Love and Other Drugs, 32.Frozen, 33.Animal Kingdom
I have yet to see: Sightseers, Tabu, Gangs of Wasseypur, and Iron Sky. I've seen pretty much everything else that looked like it had a chance to make this list. Those films look like they could crack my top25.
JUST MISSED MAKING THE LIST:26.Citadel 27.Hit and Run 28.Cloud Atlas, 29.Lawless, 30.Sinister, 31.The Sapphires, 32.The Raven 33.Safety Not Guaranteed 34. The Master, 35.Sessions, 36.Hitchcock, 37.Killing Them Softly, 38. A Thousand Words 39.Deadfall 40.Robot and Frank
Wild Card (2015)
A few great fight sequences - now for the rest of it
The last year has been brutal for "mindless action flicks", a subgenre that i usually like. "In the Blood" was bad, "Falcon Rising" was as bad or worse, but this, this is perhaps the biggest "disappointment" in a while for one of these potential, guilty pleasures. Even bigger productions like "hercules" and "lucy" failed to meet my modest expectations.
"Wild Card" is a colossal flop. The acting is terrible(stathom however is fine). The story is more than a bit disjointed and the characters actions completely nonsensical. The best thing about the film is a cameo from Stanley Tucci - that's if you can stomach getting that far into this. The second best were the action sequences - the fight choreography is well done, but everything else(91% of the movie),..a real mess of a movie. Sad too,.. Stathom, gambling, revenge.. Sounded like it was right up my alley.
I've enjoyed some of Stathom's little gems. "Parker" was average, "the mechanic" was alrt(pretty good actually), "homefront" was solid, "redemption" was a pleasant surprise, but this? This is NOT a good movie. Pretty bad actually. I sat and watched it put 3 of the 5 people in the room asleep. Not because they were tired - it was just easier to watch the back of their eyelids.
Pass on this one. Don't be fooled by the appealing trailer either. stathom was fine. But the script is deplorable, the action too scarce, and the characters too shallow. It's bad.
Full Circle (2013)
Good effort. Shoestring Budget. Genuinely hilarious at times.
Sitting at 8.0, I said sure, I'll give it a spin.
"Full Circle" is a low-budget, urban gangsta flick. Think "El Mariachi" in New York, but not quite as good(mainly due to Rodriguez' deft touch with the action sequences).
I'm putting this on my "B-movie-marathon list".
The film's strongest asset is it's humor. There are some great lines in here. Clever, abundant humor. By far the best thing about this flick.
The film has some stylish touches that help overcome it's production challenges - from some musical touches, to character back-stories, to it's hard-edged city-scope - "Full Circle" is well worth a look.
The acting is sometimes suspect(the lead was good), but overall the film does an amiable job considering what I'm sure were limited resources.
I know that at the time of posting that this will be the lowest review. I was going to go with 7/10 which is a good rating and fair, because of the humor, and for staying true to what it wanted to be, but I just can't. It's good for what it is, and again very funny at times, but it's not a 7/10, not for me anyway.
I still recommend it. It definitely has an urban-edge that we don't see enough of in movies. It won't hold at 8.0 for long, but even if it settles around 6.7-7.1(which I suspect it will within a few months), that's quite an accomplishment for a film of this stature.
I agree with some of the other reviewers that this is definitely going to be a cult-classic.
Surprising Contender for Top 10 for 2014. Strong Documentary.
I woke up today thinking about this, and likely will follow this story to what I hope is a happy ending.
This indictment of the Florida Penal System tells the story of Mark Defriest. Mark received a 4 year sentence essentially for stealing tools that he believed were entrusted to him by his father.
A sentence that seems a bit harsh in retrospect, but that's only the beginning of the story.
It's almost comical that we use the word "rehabilitation" when talking about the prison system - when this film shows-us, shockingly, the debilitating nature of the system. The system failed Mark Defriest - taking a brilliant mind, a free-spirit, and nearly breaking both.
The film is bolstered by some comical moments, which speak to Mark's steadfast and still-amazingly-present sanity. The interviews, for me, are really the highlight of the film, but the film's music and animation raise this piece to another level. To me the 'angle' of proving Mark's insanity is only a sad state of "Telling them what they want to hear and not addressing the real problem which is the system itself", but I guess if that is what is best for Mark then so be it. Mark is crazy, but not (dice clay draw) "crazy". During the opening credits Mark sums it up, "I mean if I was just a rapist or murderer or somethin' they'd let me out, I mean I made them look like idiots". And they were next to him,
ONe of the most damning aspects of the movie are the interviews with a former Warden. You can feel the remorse and responsibility he felt with every word he uttered, and the stories only justify and offset the long history of disciplinary reports that the parole board kept throwing back in Mark's face. I'd like to see how some of those weasels would fair in the prison system.
This is a very good film. Not quite as good as "Stop at Nothing:The Lance Armstrong Story", but it's close. Both are better than "Life Itself" and both will likely be the only two documentary films that hold onto a top 25 spot for 2014 - unless another film like this jumps out and surprises me.
Seek this out immediately. I caught it on Showtime last night. Completely enthralling and seriously well-made exposition on one man's wasted potential, and the system that wasted it.
This could climb in terms of my score and rankings after I chew on it for a bit.
84/100 HIGHLY recommended. "Thought Cafe's" animation really adds another dimension.
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
not quite as dumb.. unfortunately
Is it as good as the first one? No. Is it as bad as many of these written reviews? No.
It's more of the same. Very similar to the first one. I'd say the first half of this one is pretty close to being as funny as the first half of the first one(there are a few genuinely hilarious moments), but it really falls off the wagon in the 2nd half, which is where the first one went into high gear.
It's Carrey's physical comedy that saves the day - keeping this from being a pretty bad comedy. The film does have some nice tie-in stuff to the original(again in it's first half). It's not nearly as bad as some of the first page reviews. Well worth a view if you liked the first. Of course the originality takes a hit seeing how it's all the same formula, and it's not as funny as the orig, the music's not as good as the orig, and the plot not as fitting as the orig.
STILL it's not THAT bad!
Jeff Daniels Lloyd seems to have grown-up(and I don't just mean physically) from the first film. He was a little 'dumber', and better in the original. Carrey, however, is great here. Makes this watchable.
I'm going 5/10.. I can see 4... maybe 3 for those with seriously high-expectations and for those that didn't like the original but for some reason see this anyway.
BUT IT"S NO 1 or 2... come on people let's reserve those types of ratings for really, really bad films.
If you wanna see it - see it. Don't forget about it because some of the written reviews because it ISN't THAT bad. Go-in knowing what you're getting into(again), and enjoy the first hour which is pretty funny actually.
hope it helps. 50/100
The Brass Teapot (2012)
my two cents..
read a review on here about this 'losing steam'...?!?!
too bad that reviewer quit paying attention, because the thing that made this stand out to me, was the fact that it kept getting better, that it kept 'pushing the envelope' with the story.
"The Brass Teapot" is a low-budget comedy from 2012 that I neither noticed nor watched until last week when I was fiddling through Netflix to find something to pass the time.
The film, while not rocket-science nor packed with amazing performances or drama, actually backed-into my top 25 for 2012. Sitting at #18 one spot above "Jack Reacher" and one spot below that years blockbuster comedy "21 Jump Street".
It really does gain steam though... that's why I brought-up that other review.. because for me it's the opening credits which seem pretty hokey, and the films' opening 20-25 minutes(in which nothing significant happens) that is my biggest gripe with the film.
The moral of the story, and the extreme/building to a crescendo nature of the plot, really come together nicely at the end of the film. A really basic idea is done a great service by the writer, the director, and the cast.
This reminds me a bit of last years' "Cheap Thrills", and is similarly good given it also had little to work with.. This is actually a touch better because it builds and builds, and the moral hits home a bit truer here.
FANTASTIC date movie. Everything you'd look for. Light-hearted, but not too-light-hearted, well-written, entertaining, funny...
Smart, under-rated, worth seeking out as a nice sleeper date- nt/spouses-nt-in treat.
You might like this if you liked:Seeking A Friend For the End of the World(about even), Mr. Destiny(close, maybe a touch better), Mystery Date(about even, maybe a touch below), Honeymoon in Vegas(not as good), and Let it Ride(a smidgen better). All fine company.
Solid recommendation. Instantly gets added to my "B-Movie-Marathon" lists.. and while I watch about 3-4 films a week, it seems like months between deserved additions to those lists.
Last Passenger (2013)
like it for what it is - different than just about every Hollywood thriller.
This is a British "B"movie thriller. This film has a few high's and low's, but overall it's a decent, albeit unconventional/throwback thriller.
The good is that the two main leads here do a fine job. The cast is really only comprised of about 5 speaking parts. Dougray Scott is always good, but Kara Tointon is a pleasant surprise here. SHe looks a bit like Sienna Miller, and might actually be an even better actress. No doubt she looks the part.
The film is a bit of a slow-burner - taking at least 45 minutes to get to the meat of what's going-on.
I like the idea of Iddo Goldberg's character in the film(Jan Klimowski). A neat backstory for a character who isn't what he appears to be in the film. The only issue I have is that his Russian accent fizzles into western European English at the end of each sentence. The accent was 'a miss'.
You might give this a spin as a decent passer of the time, but I wouldn't go in expecting one of those blow-you-away films that you've never heard of, because it will definitely fall short of that expectation.
The film does have 'a little' style, and the action scenes are actually admirably done for what they had to work with.
some better music throughout would have added A LOT, while I didn't mind the unconventional approach of no explanation of the villain in this tale - I still would have liked a little 'after-the-fact' finishing scene. It would have been nice to see Sarah and Lewis off the train, if only for a minute. There was a brewing chemistry there, and it would have been nice to see Lewis' character come full-circle with his personal life.
Srpski film (2010)
Best movie I can't ever and won't ever recommend.
The sad story here is that "A Serbian Film" is a surprisingly well- made thriller/horror. Sad in that it will never get the credit it deserves for that because of what it is. ANd what it is, is the most disgusting, disturbing(and readily available)film that has ever been made.
I've seen 4000+ movies, and my fair shake of "disturbing" flicks, but this flick is on another level. It WILL make you feel uneasy. No review, no warning, can prepare you for what you witness. The cliché "some things can't be unseen" applies. Think about your decision to watch or not watch this CAREFULLY. I'm not bothered by much - I actually enjoy my "torture-porn" horror flicks, BUT THIS, THIS is something else altogether.
Avoid at all costs. Still scoring it a 74/100. Part of the problem is its' gritty realism, and strong acting. Don't say I didn't warn you. If I could go back and decide against watching this - I WOULD>!
In the Blood (2014)
Not even Gina can save this one.
Of course the highlights of the film are the action sequences. The brief moments where we get to dismiss the abomination of a plot and watch Gina kick some butt.
The film has some MAJOR problems. You get the feeling as a viewer that the film crew threw-together this plot on the fly. Like they didn't know where to go with it.
The film starts-off with some bad acting, a really cheesy 80's montage love video(ala "Streets of Fire" only placed in a bad movie making it worse instead in a really good movie making it only above average for SOF). Really bad start.
Gina can't act. Let's face it - she can't. Her character is just so void of emotion - especially considering what she's gone through. The only person that kicks Gina's butt in this film is the younger actress who's playing her younger self in some flashback scenes.. at least I can tell when she's upset.
This kinda reminds me of "Falcon Rising"... I gave both films a 4/10, but this is probably closer to a 5 than FR was. The production values here are certainly better. Like FR, In The Blood is shot in a beautiful location. This film looks great BUT.
It's total nonsense. The actions of the characters are ridiculous, and again the plot was written by a pre-kindergartner. It's full of laugh-off loud moments that weren't meant to be funny.
How could so many directors in the 80's get the formula right? Not trying to do too much with the plot, so as to not detract from the action, or not throw in the plot like it was a complete after- thought an hour into the film?(the case here) I mean it literally feels like the production stopped and they decided on the fly 'why' the husband had been taken. They had no idea until that moment. Like it or not. If the reason was actually put to paper and this was actually scripted in advance then I apologize, but the writer should still bit put out of our and their misery.
Very little works here. The highlight of the whole film is a barfight in the first third, after that, it's all downhill. THey could have used the scene to drive the plot, but instead, the writers and director got drunk and went into lala-land for the films final hour.
Gina still deserves some props because she can certainly pull-off the action stuff better than just about any chick in the biz, but the aimless, silly plot, and the lack of emotion here sink this ship. I dialed up Falcon Rising and In The Blood because I wanted a mindless action flick - i just didn't want them THAT mindless.
I'd pass. If you want some action flicks of the last decade that do it right(many sleepers and low-budget too) - i'd check out these first: The Man From Nowhere(subt), Elite Squad 2:The Enemy Within(subt), Running Scared, John Wick, Jack Reacher, Olympus Has Fallen, Dredd, IPman1&2(subt), Point Blank(subt), True Legend(subt), Shoot'em Up, Rampage, SHooter, Purge:Anarchy, 3 Days to Kill, Oldboy(remake), Homefront, 2 Guns, Raid1&2, Hanna, Never Back Down, Parker, The Mechanic, SNitch, From Paris With Love.... ...all those are significantly better than this junk and many of those have similar budget constraints.
If you haven't seen this - the first thing you should know is that this is a relatively 'small' movie. 3 million budget, young unknown director, casts the up-n-coming Miles Teller(brag and say I predicted his future success rt after watching '21 and Over') and JK Simmons known as 'the bald farmers insurance' guy.. the script is light in weight, the film didn't do great at the box-office but wasn't in many theaters to begin with..
Before I keep going I'd like to note that I've only given 43-"10's" out of 3450 ratings since I joined IMDb in 2006.
For me, this wasn't a film that 'squeeked-in' either. It's my favorite film in a long, long time.
What I love about "Whiplash", is that despite it's meager spec- sheet, it's packs one serious punch.
That punch starts with J.K. Simmons, who deservedly brought home the Oscar for this performance. Right from his first sighting he commands the screen, and he quickly becomes one of films' most memorable antagonists.
JK's "Fletcher" is a menacing figure. He holds futures in his hands, let's you know it, and isn't afraid to abuse the privilege. But, what really sets this character apart is that we still can't figure him out when the credits role. We certainly question his methods, but does he really have these kids interest at heart? We know(or think) that he feels some guilt because of a lie he tells about the death of a former student, but other moments like a hallway scene with what looks to be a former student make us question our hatred for the character.
That's one of the amazing things about this film - the two lead characters are psychologically damaged, but driven men, and they lead us through a story that is much deeper at its' core than it is on the surface.
The film begs to ask the question, "At what price?".
This small film will linger with you for days.
"Whiplash" has a lot of other stuff going for it. There are some individual scenes here that are incredibly well-written, incredibly well-shot - the types of scenes that you won't soon forget. The break-up, the dinner scene, the early Shaffer scenes, and my God the ending. When Neiman's Dad is looking through the crack of that stage door we are mesmerized!!
If you don't like this movie - you don't have a pulse. Don't get me wrong - I knew what the critics/detractors would say before I even looked. "That's not Jazz", "It's Unrealistic"(quickly becoming the cliché I look for in negative reviews that says to me, 'WATCH IT' - well, that and negative reviews that use the word cliché'd), and musicians and teachers that feel misrepresented,.. this and that of course there's those 'sensitive whussification of America' types that say it glorifies abuse. Hogwash!
Forget that crap. Especially those giving it 1 or 2... I mean REALLY?!?!? 1 or 2??? I reserve ratings like that for "Master of Disguise" or "A Cold Day in Hell", not for good(make that great) films that you might have 'moral issues' with.
This film is a psychological kick-drum to the face. It's brisk running time and that thin script just add to the mystique. I could watch the ending 50 times, and probably will.
A week later, after chewing on everything in your head, you'll start to ask yourself if 'everything' Fletcher did was calculated. But then that would make him a decent guy? Personally, I think that he IS truly evil either way, but that is a notion that I'm still fighting with. It's that fine line between extreme motivation and abuse, and this film straddles-it for 85minutes. In the end, Fletcher loses, but doesn't ultimately lose much, and our antagonist rides into the sunset following what might be my favorite scene in film history Now, that's just one man's opinion.
I love films like this that have such an amazing impact, but yet leave so much interpretation for the viewer.
A MUST watch! 95/100 My fave since, hmmmm, Twilight Samurai or The Pianist maybe. It's been a while that's for sure.
consider the potential 1.86 redbox charge as an instant coupon and go buy it! That's what I should have done. Hope it helps.
Star Wars (1977)
One of my co-workers, who's about my same age(40ish), was talking about an argument he was having with his 17yr-old son. The argument was whether or not the new "Marvel" films were bigger and better, and whether or not the whole "buzz' around them was bigger and better than the original Star Wars trilogy.
I don't think the younger generation will ever fully understand the scale of the first trilogy. They MAY get a better understanding after JJ Abrams returns the trilogy to it's awesome roots.
The first Star Wars film, known simply as Star Wars, was a land- breaking milestone of film-making, with a story, characters, and effects(not all effects are cgi people) that melded together into the greatest interplanetary adventure of all-time(at least until the sequel came out).
Today's generation can pick between Spiderman, Ironman, Captain America, and the Guardians of the Galaxy to find the film that they love the most, but when I was a kid there was one film, or should I say one trilogy, that stood far, FAR above the rest.
The number one argument that is made today by the younger generation is that the effects are outdated etc, but it was in fact Lucas' commitment(at least early on) to use models and make-up to create a world like no other. SOmething that CGI just can't capture. When I saw Guardians in the theater I thought it was amazing, but later I saw it on the 4G TV, and like many flicks, it kinda accentuated the small flaws of the cgi and the set-pieces, whereas I watch Star Wars and it actually shows how amazing the film was in that aspect.
CGI isn't necessarily an improvement. It's films like Star Wars and Blade Runner, whose "Gritty" qualities actually add realism to an unreal world. The only problems I have with the first three Star Wars films are the "digitally enhanced versions" that Lucas added later. That's why I eagerly await the original untouched films' release on Blue-Ray.
Scores usually drop a bit over time, and as it stands now, the weakest of the original trilogy is scored 8.4(Return of the Jedi), and that is higher than Avengers, Guardians, Cap 2, and Ironman, and FOR GOOD REASON.
And the original Star Wars is a superior film in every way as well. No Hokey opening like "Avengers", no lack of storyline like Guardians, no under-menacing not required to act Villain like Cap 2, and while I can't nitpick anything about Ironman, overall it just doesn't stand-up against Star Wars, it's a beatdown.
Simply put, it's EVERYTHING about it that makes it better. The acting, the story, the character development, the scale of the production, the start, the finish, the middle and every minute in- between.
Part of the problem here is that the added material in the re- released versions really detracts from the original films flow. The stupid dancing crap in Jedi, the Walking Jabba in Star Wars, etc... it did nothing but hurt the original films. The only added footage that didn't detract from the original films was some of the added bells and whistles to "Cloud City" in Empire, and Biggs early appearance in empire, which was wasn't an 'enhancement', it was cut-footage from the original tapes, other than that, the added stuff only hurt the overall quality of the original films. He basically added stuff that was the kind of stuff that ruined the second trilogy, so the original untouched films are still the real gem here. And that's not what these kids are watching either, because the untouched versions are HARD TO FIND!DOn't even exist on DVD or blu-ray. One of the times I'm glad I still have my VHS. Uh-Oh, Gotta-go, Re-tro:)
And WHile I love the new marvel films, they don't have what Star Wars and it's two sequels(i'm a purist) have.. that tangible something you CAN put your finger on - because it's REAL.. they built those ships, they designed and made those costumes and set-pieces. That kind of attention to detail, and scale just isn't in the Marvel films. Sure, it's cool to see Hulk crumbling down a building, but this galaxy really doesn't "SEEM" so far away in Star Wars. It has that 'realistic' edge to it.
Even some of my favorite Sci-Fi's of all-time like Blade Runner and 2001, while milestone's in their own right, just do not have the sheer entertainment value that Star Wars has.
Star Wars and Empire are 2 of the 42 out of the 3400 films that I have ranked 10/10, and they are two of the most deserving, if not THE most deserving.