Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
It's only horrifying to consider going to pay to see this! Warning.
"Hereditary" is total garbage. Don't be like me, and fall for the misleading advertising surrounding this turkey. This movie is not really horror, by the way, but much more of a "black comedy". Many of the scenes are done in such a way as to make you laugh on purpose. But the comedy is pretty bad, even allowing for the low standards of this genre.
I won't even go into the lame story - suffice it to say that its the usual setup for a horror film centered around a cursed or satanic-like family line. The story is superfluous to the movie, really, only serving as a way to setup cheap jump scares. Very cheap.
I was also not impressed by the actors performances. The mother of the troubled kids in the movie seemed to be trying way too hard, and was overacting like crazy. The weird little girl was one dimensional as can be, and was obviously chosen because of the unfortunate way she looks, (like an elderly person in a child's body)
The son character acted like he was 5 years old, even though he is supposed to be a high schooler. It was also very odd that he appeared to be swarthy or of Hispanic or middle eastern descent, when both mom and dad in the film were both very obviously white people. But I guess that is Hollywood these days, diversity trumps logic or even common sense!
3 stars -- only for some good cinematography of the outdoors in certain scenes. An awful, over-hyped garbage horror film, that lacks real scares or atmosphere, and is more of a black comedy, but where nothing is funny.
Molly's Game (2017)
Surprisingly good movie, more than meets the eye
This movie is unexpected in its level of depth, for sure. I went to it thinking it would be a typical poker type thriller movie, and the advertising is a little misleading for the film, because I think it gives this impression. Instead, we get a complex and intelligent "deep" type of film, about important, meaningful things such as family relationships and how the past can have lingering effects on peoples lives, and lasting consequences. If you like drama type movies with lots of character depth, and a movie that has lightning quick dialogue - you have to always be paying attention - the movie assumes the viewer is intelligent and is not watching it for cheap thrills or for shallow reasons, if seeing it in the right frame of mind, you will find this to be a very interesting movie.
The Commuter (2018)
Great Thrill Ride, and Liam Neeson is better than ever
Liam Neeson is back, playing his "every-man" action star roles, and he is superb in this new movie. But not only is Neeson at the top of his game, but the story and pacing of the movie are stellar, and it really hooks you and keeps you wondering what new twists and turns will come next. The setting of the train is used to full effect, and really showcases how good drama and thrills are so evocative aboard a train, as other movies have also exemplified in the past.
Just amazing special effects and action, if you've ever thought that movies with great action scenes involving trains often seem to reach a higher level of electricity and excitement, then this movie will be right up your alley!
The conspiratorial plot is surprisingly well told - no spoilers - but the way they set up the mysterious villainous organization is excellent, without really giving anything away to the viewer. The way it keeps you guessing, and is, in a way, rooted in real world conspiracy theories, is pretty awesome. Can't wait for the hinted sequel!
Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
A Fantastic atmospheric classical style mystery - with great actors/actresses!
Wow, I didn't see this coming! I had seen previews and since I'm a British mystery book enthusiast, I very much was interested in the movie. But my expectations were not very high, because of all the disappointing drek that Hollywood has been churning out in recent history. Hollywood seems to have been having a really rough time in trying to make good movies lately.
So I was very surprised at just how good this movie turned out to be. It's filmed in a very classical style, and reminds me of older movies, when they knew how to make good movies. Great atmosphere of a luxury train in the 1930s, and the train interior scenes are done in a way that doesn't feel cramped at all, like you might think. It all feels very natural.
The ensemble cast is excellent. My favorite characters and performances in the movie were Kenneth Branagh as the esteemed detective Hercule Poirot, Willem Dafoe as Professor Gerhard Hardman, and especially Michelle Pfeiffer as Caroline Hubbard.
I don't know what it is about Michelle Pfeiffer, but I have taken a real liking to her as she has become an older actress. I used to not like her at all when she was "young and hot", but now I think she is a really good actress and I'm excited to see her name in a film. Here, she is really superb playing a mature woman who still has a wild streak in her, and she almost steals the entire movie all by herself.
But Kenneth Branagh also gives a sterling performance, and I was very impressed by his portrayal of the detective Poirot in the movie. He was pretty amazing in how authentic the character came across as, and had a hell of a presence in the movie, basically anchoring the whole movie around his performance.
Willem Dafoe was solid, as usual, as a fine character actor. And he had a really good reveal type scene near the end of the film, I thought. That said, the acting from all the characters in the movie, both major and minor, was of a very high caliber overall.
The film's mystery is based on the famous Agatha Christie novel, which I must confess I never read. So, the entire plot was a surprise to me, and I have to say it was a damn fine mystery! I now know why this book is one of Agatha Christie's most famous mystery novels, its quite fantastic! I didn't see the solution coming at all, and even though I have read numerous detective books and seen a ton of mystery TV shows, the climax even surprised me, which shows just how special this mystery really is -- definitely written by a master.
My only real criticism is that the film is shot in 65mm, which gives the film kind of a fantasy, story-book like look to the whole film. A lot of the landscape shots especially looked fake and like CGI because of this.
I prefer the more realistic look that you get from normal 35mm film.
A minor complaint is the film feels a bit rushed to me, and maybe should have been half an hour longer. This is a very unusual complaint coming from me, because I don't like and often will criticize the too long running times of many movies these days. But this movie felt like it could have used another half hour to expand upon, and not feel so rushed.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys traditional style mysteries, it really is a must-see!
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Super slow, like watching paint dry for 3 hours - way overrated
Blade Runner 2049 is already in the top 100 movies by rating, and this is very undeserved. I had to warn people that this movie is way, way overrated, and not deserving of all the gushing praise.
First, the best points of the film are there are some good futuristic city designs and special effects, with flying cars (finally!) coming to America, and it doesn't look too CGI and fake, like in so many other films these days. They were true to the spirit of the first movie in this aspect, which is a good thing. Though its hard to understand why its always raining in L.A. in this future, which is weird, and feels artificial to give a depressed tone to the movie.
There are several huge negatives going on within the film that make a terrible impression. The movie's biggest problem is the cast. The main characters are mostly played by actors who are charisma-free black holes at the center of the film.
Ryan Gosling is one of them. It's really hard to care what's going on or to not have your attention wander with this guy getting so much screen time, and in so many scenes sucking the life and energy out of the movie. Another one is Jared Leto, playing one of the lamest villains seen in years. This is another guy who has no screen presence whatsoever.
The other huge issue is the plot. It's both boring and uninvolving, and the pace is glacially slow. This will be one of the longest 3 hours you spend in the cinema in a very long time. Everything moves as slow as molasses, with some scenes being ridiculously long and drawn out, and for no apparent reason - no good reasons anyway.
The movie only picks up a bit at the conclusion, when Harrison Ford makes an appearance, and he brings some much needed energy to the film at a very sprightly 75 years old. But it just serves to remind the audience how bad, charmless, and low energy the other actors are in the film.
A 2 hour ordeal - movie torture
First off, this felt (at least) 3 hours long, but was only 2 hours, to my great surprise.
Ugh. Where do I begin. My friend dragged me to see this, I warned him ahead of time that it was directed by an artsy type director. We had seen another truly awful movie by this same director many years ago - Pi.
This movie is one of the worst movies of the decade, if not the century. It's painful to see how self-important, pretentious and eager this movie tries to be, as if its some sort of artistic film. It fails totally.
Jennifer Lawrence - what was she thinking? Worst career move in recent history. I just hope this movie doesn't end her career - yes, it is THAT bad. I really liked her acting and performance in the Hunger Games movies, but here, even her star power can't even barely make a dent in the utter awfulness of this film.
I can only say that watching this movie was an ordeal, and I'm shocked more people didn't leave the screening earlier, but like me and my friend, most stayed and watched it all the way until the bitter end, waiting for a miracle that it might get better - it never did.
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Has all the trappings of sci-fi movies from the past, but with no identity of its own
The general look of the film is very good, and reminds us of some of the classic science fiction movies of the past. The Matrix films especially. That said, there is a feeling of being too generic at the same time. The film doesn't create anything new. More of a homage to some of those (much better) previous films.
Scarlett Johansson isn't good in the film. She looks very attractive and eye pleasing on screen, but with no personality. She has no charisma. Any fashion model type with a pretty face could have done this role just as well. She has no presence in the film. You can try and excuse it by saying she is trying to act robotic, but no, that is just a lame excuse. She must bring something to the table, instead of being a non-presence. She can't carry a film, not going by this example, at any rate.
I'm being very generous by giving it a 6, just because it has a few good action scenes, nice set design, and a few good one-liners said by some of the other characters. And the film does not feel too boring, but moves along at a good clip. Most science fiction fans will probably like and enjoy this film, even though its nothing special.
Jason Bourne (2016)
Best movie in the series since The Bourne Ultimatum, A Must-See
Matt Damon is back, and better than ever in the role of Jason Bourne. Incredible thriller, with a frenetic pace and bone-crushing action in another outstanding entry in the series by brilliant director Paul Greengrass. This movie is the must-see movie of the summer, in my opinion. I had high expectations going in, and this movie not only lived up to them, but surpassed them. From car chases to fight scenes, the action is exhilarating, non-stop, and very brutal and "macho" in the film, and Matt Damon obviously put in a lot of hard work on his physique in order to get into top shape for the movie. Matt Damon was born to play this character, he is truly amazing as Jason Bourne.
Other standout performances were the actors Vincent Cassel as the cold-blooded assassin, "the asset", and I especially loved the character Heather Lee (played by the wonderful Alicia Vikander). I thought she was one of the best characters in the film, besides Jason Bourne.
I loved this movie, and would put this as ranked second best in the whole series, only beaten by the masterpiece, The Bourne Ultimatum.
A couple minor criticisms are: there should have been a few more "quiet moments", my friend who saw it with me remarked that the music seemed to always be going and was loud throughout the film, and there weren't enough parts to catch your breath. The only other criticism is the story line is kind of simple and straightforward - not the most interesting story in the world, but it is serviceable to the great action. I can only hope this movie is the first of many sequels in the series starring Matt Damon and directed by Paul Greengrass, because these guys are an incredible team, who know how to make an outstanding action/thriller!
The Call (2013)
Good thriller that keeps the tension high
This was better than you might expect, and is worth watching. The best part of the movie is the pacing and how it manages to keep a high level of tension throughout the film. I also really liked how realistic the movie seemed - for most of it - and the no-nonsense showing of the super intense and high pressure conditions a 9/11 operator must work under.
Halle Berry is very good as the veteran operator, who, against her training, gets too deeply involved with a harrowing emergency call she receives. She then has to deal with the consequences of the aftermath, and her emotional state is deeply affected. Berry's especially good at showing this vulnerability and her human side here. When another emergency call comes in later in the film that echoes the previous one, she sees a chance for redemption.
The acting is very good from the large cast of characters all around. Every actor seems to be portraying a realistic character, and has good believable dialog.
The only major flaw is the ending, which was a letdown, and just too unbelievable. However, despite that miscue, which can be overlooked as its relatively brief, this is a good thriller. Another thriller that excels this one and has tension and suspense dialed up to the breaking point is "Breakdown", which I highly recommend if you like this movie.
No One Lives (2012)
Just OK, another film with similar themes is much better
Instead of this movie, another film covers the same kind of territory that this one does, and in a much more interesting and compelling fashion. "You're Next" is the movie I would recommend to watch instead.
This horror movie has both pretty bad acting combined with dumb and dull characters, and just feels cheap. The budget must have been low, and it shows. Compared to the far superior film, "You're Next", this movie pales in comparison. If you like routine slasher horror films with a lot of gore, then this will fit the bill. The one bright spot is the leading actor is pretty good. But if you are looking for something more interesting and with much higher quality across the board, then look elsewhere, such as my recommendation.
You're Next (2011)
Very funny black comedy/horror
An unusual horror film with a lot of black comedy and a very good twist. What would happen if in a standard horror movie, the tables were all of a sudden turned? Excellent acting by all involved, and I really liked how it started out as a bog-standard horror flick and then became something else. Lots of (intentionally) very funny scenes and the black comedy bits are consistently funny. I was laughing out loud often throughout the film. Even though the film has buckets of blood and gore, it was not the centerpiece of the movie, like all too often many cheap horror films have as their focus these days. So the excessive gore didn't bother me, because of the light tone and black comedy themes of the movie. I would recommend this movie to hard core horror fans.
Silliness echoing across multiple time dimensions
I'm a time travel and science fiction fan, but this movie was just way too preposterous and nonsensical to take. The plot is laughable, and its basically something you might catch on a really late night playing on the sci-fy channel, that kind of low-rent quality level. The only bright spot is the emergence of a new actress I had never heard of or seen before, the interestingly named Sarah Snook. She does a superb job with her character, and is much better than the movie deserves. I wish the whole movie had centered on her character, and then also had had a halfway decent story line too, instead of the ridiculous plot that is on display. 4 stars for her performance only, even though its wasted in a stinker movie like this one.
The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
Superb sequel and one of the best horror/thriller movies in some time
I was blown away at how good this movie turned out to be, and a sequel to a fine horror movie in its own right no less, which is rare these days.
The movie created a palpable and tense atmosphere from the outset, when a young innocent couple is stranded on the freeway when their car breaks down. The couple are now faced with surviving alone and unarmed in a big city full of thugs and killers on the prowl, when its the one night a year that all crime is deemed legal, including murder.
The sense of menace and atmosphere is prevalent throughout the movie and really well done, and the story is very interesting and exciting, as a group of innocent people must cope and try to survive a night of brutality and horror where there are no rules. There are plenty of thrills and twists and turns, and the movie creates a very real sense of chaos and danger lurking around every corner.
The setting of the cold and uncaring big city of Los Angeles is excellently shot, with great cinematography. The pacing is amazing and gripping. There is even a theme of redemption in the movie, it is not just a cheap and hollow typical horror film, with guts and gore as the only elements, like so many other lesser horror movies.
The Purge and its sequel have proved to be one of the best horror franchises in some time, by outstanding director James DeMonaco. I only hope he directs a third movie and that it lives up to the first two!
Gone Girl (2014)
Like 2 and a half hours of fingernails on a chalkboard
I was reading some other reviews with people saying how shockingly bad this movie was and I had the same reaction.
This was the most annoying movie I have seen in a long time. The lead woman character has this really annoying and nails on the chalkboard sounding voice, and she narrates long stretches of the movie with that horrible voice. It's not just the way her voice sounds either, her vocal style and the way she uses words compounds the offense and insult to the ears. I was thinking that instead of using torture, they could just put this actress's voice in the film on repeat with a loud speaker, and strap a terrorist suspect in a chair, and he would confess to anything within a half hour!
This movie is also very slow and boring, with the actors seeming to play their roles in a hammy fashion, not taking any of it seriously. It fits the movies plot though, because it is utterly ridiculous and contrived, one of those types of movie plots that no one would ever imagine happening in real life. 2 and a 1/2 hours of this was torture.
A good, if standard, science fiction themed effort
Saw this at a free screening. It turned out to be better than I expected. Johnny Depp plays a brilliant and eccentric scientist who is a leading expert on artificial intelligence, and when he is mortally wounded by an anti-technology extremist/terrorist group, he and his small inner circle of fellow genius scientists embark on an ambitious experiment that will test a radical theory of his.
The plot and overall story is pretty standard fare for science fiction, but it still manages to keep things interesting, with various echoes of other classic sci fi movies like 2001: A space odyssey in there as well. The visuals can be really striking at times, with long, brightly lit white hallways that seem to go on forever in an advanced scientific lab, and neat-o computer-like visualizations of cities. The best part of the movie is the last segment, with some really good twists. No spoilers, but the ending is particularly interesting and well done. There is a nice ambiguity and there can be different interpretations of the overall message of the movie. My friend and I disagreed on what the movie was ultimately saying, for example. It's no masterpiece though, but science fiction fans will like it.
Another modern horror snore fest
Stay far away from this one if you are a horror fan and have seen more than a handful of horror movies. This is just another in a long line of modern horror movies from the past decade or so, where it is full of jump scares and bad CGI ghosts. Ugh. Dumb, boring, and about as non-scary as they come. The best part is the first third or so, with some actual suspense developed, but it never follows through and turns into a generic ghost horror movie from there. The actors all play standard parts, nothing surprising, but the little boy character was mildly amusing, as he always seemed to be scared out of his wits, no matter what was going on in the scene. They could be having a calm normal morning breakfast, and he was scared as heck! I didn't pay a cent to see this, saw it at a free screening, and I think I got what I paid for.
Somewhat over-hyped thriller
I became a Liam Neeson fan when he started his new turn as an action hero in the excellent thriller, Taken. But I think this newest entry in his recent action roles is more routine and by the numbers than what some of the enthusiastic response is giving it credit for. It is a "bog standard" action thriller aboard an airplane, and to me, it seemed a bit too goofy in places and overly contrived. It's not terrible by any means, but nothing special. I hope to see more interesting movies in this genre from Neeson in the future, because I still haven't seen any of his other action movies rise to the level of "Taken" yet.
As far as special effects and set design, the movie is strong in those departments. I think the movie is actually best in its first 3rd, there is a nice style and atmosphere built up, and the movie seems quite promising at that point. Then it slowly goes downhill at an increasing rate from there. By the time the ending rolled around I found it to have become very silly and a disappointment.
Out of the Furnace (2013)
Not just slow, but moves at a glacial pace. And feels like a TV movie
"Out of the Furnace" has an all star cast of current and former huge Hollywood names, but this movie feels very small, and more like a TV drama than a feature movie. It also has a glacial pace, and seems like a 5 hour experience, a real slog. The only bright spot is Woody Harrelson, playing an uber-hillbilly who is a down and dirty scumbag, he shows his usual great range when compared to his recent work as a very different character in the blockbuster Hunger Games movies. This movie is very pedestrian in the story line, with nothing that surprises you, and you know what will happen from a mile away. I would not be surprised if this bombs at the box office. Very dull.
Wow, an amazing sequel that outdoes the first one in all respects!
I must say that Catching Fire blew me away in how good it was, I didn't expect this. I was not impressed with the first movie - The Hunger Games - but this sequel raises the bar significantly and its stunning at just how entertaining the film is, and very surprising what they accomplished here.
Jennifer Lawrence was phenomenal in the lead role, showing a great range of emotions and intensity, it was one of the best performances by a lead that I have seen in a long time. But this movie is full of great acting, with all the parts being played to a high level, and it goes along with a suspenseful and exciting plot, which draws you into the movie with ease and skill. I know I sound like I'm gushing, but it's just that kind of a movie, where you leave the theater excited and with an afterglow of having seen a first rate piece of film making. I can't wait to see the third movie, the anticipation is already building to see what happens next. I applaud all the actors and directors and special effects people, they really excelled and made quite a movie!
Good genre movie for science fiction fans
"Riddick" was better than I thought it would be. I had read some mixed reviews and went to see it not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised, it was a good science fiction and action movie, and I think fans of the genre would be pleased. The storyline is a little bit confused, especially if you forgot what happened in the previous movies, but you can follow it along good enough and make sense of most of it.
The movie starts out very strong, with Riddick stranded on an inhospitable and deadly alien planet filled with forbidding vistas and predator type wildlife that would love nothing better than to snack on a human for a quick meal. Riddick, the ultimate survivor, must contend with these creatures, and also with basics such as finding water and a place to shelter. I really enjoyed this opening act, and also the special effects and general look of the planet are very well done. I especially liked the colors used, a lot of yellow and orange hues that are striking to look at on screen and its effective in creating a rich atmosphere of a forbidding alien planet.
I thought the acting of Riddick and the other characters in the movie was good overall, and even though most of the characters are minor, the actors did well to create a memorable impression.
The movie is no masterpiece though and has its problems (some lame dialog, some of the action gets a bit tedious, and the movie also runs too long, should have been 90 minutes), but it has a definite appeal for fans of the previous movies and fans of the genre, and is entertaining to watch.
The Conjuring (2013)
I had read positive reviews about this movie, with some saying it was really scary and others giving it high praise. So it was with some anticipation as I sat down in the theater to watch this,since I am a horror movie aficionado, thinking I was in for a treat. Well, instead of a treat, the trick was on me. This movie was not scary in the least, and it was not even a good horror movie. I found myself laughing at some of the scenes, instead of feeling scared or spooked. The only thing I felt was spooky was the weird doll, which was well done and freaky looking. Besides that, this is a bog standard ghost horror movie that many movie watchers have seen a thousand times before. It brings nothing new to the table. Not sure where all the glowing reviews are coming from.
Damon gives it a good go, but the movie disappoints in many ways
I had several problems with this movie. The ending went on far too long, leaving a bad after-taste. I also hated how the politics of the current day were injected so blatantly into the movie - I don't go to a supposed science fiction movie to get lectured about political issues (illegals). I want escapism from a sci-fi movie above all.
Damon is the only thing good in the entire film. He gives it a good college try, but he can't save this movie from failure. A very awkward story line about a childhood sweetheart runs throughout, and the love interest is cold as a fish, and there is no chemistry between Damon's character and her. None of the other characters make an impression.
This movie felt really clunky and unsubtle and just awkward is the best way to put it. Recycled robots from other better sci-fi movies didn't help matters. The space station, Elysium, was kind of cool, but that is about it. 5 Stars only because Damon is always an engaging presence to watch, even in a lousy movie like this one.
The Wolverine (2013)
Great entertainment, made for adults
This is not another light and fluffy comic book super hero movie. This movie actually has depth and substance to it, and there are not fight scenes taking place every few minutes like in most comic book movies lately. It is more of a deep character study of the Wolverine. I thought it was unexpectedly good, with Jackman doing a superb job in the lead role, as a tortured hero, who seems as if he no longer wants to go on living his near immortal existence because of deep regrets and guilt he is feeling about things that happened in the past.
But it is not all doom and gloom, there are indeed fight scenes, and they are what you would expect of a summer blockbuster type movie. The last fight scene involving a giant robot-like Samurai is especially spectacular. Just don't expect the fight scenes to be the main focus of the movie, this is more about the Wolverine and his inner struggles of conscience. I liked it very much.
The Purge (2013)
Really good thriller
This was surprisingly good, and delivered in the suspense and thrills dept. with a wallop. The direction was no nonsense and lean, with no unnecessary padding or scenes. I think this didn't get as much attention as it should have, and will be a good movie to rent if you didn't see it in the theater. Ethan Hawke is good as the devoted father, who just wants to save his family, no matter what the cost. But all the actors give good performances, from the kids to the strange neighbors, to the black guy who is on the run and trying to escape with his life.
There are some nice and suspenseful scenes with a building tension, and no cheap scares. I really liked the ending as well, with its neat twist. This is much more of a thriller than a horror, but does have some fairly graphic scenes of violence, so that is something to keep in mind. Anyone who likes thrillers with an intriguing science fiction-like premise shouldn't miss "The Purge".
World War Z (2013)
A thrill ride for most of it, only let down by an anti-climactic ending
World War Z starts out with a bang, and just keeps upping the thrills from the opening scene onwards. Brad Pitt is a special UN agent who has retired and is now spending time with his family. Then in a mundane setting, they are stuck in traffic, when all hell breaks loose. Chaos and mayhem ensues, and its all done with a great sense of pace and style. Special effects are stunning, and look real. They don't have the "fakey" look like so many of CGI does these days in most movies. It is a real summer blockbuster popcorn type movie.
The ending is unfortunately a let down, and everything slows way down with a much too long scene set in a disease research facility. But for most of the movie, it is a thrilling roller coaster ride with superb special effects and a mercurial pace. Brad Pitt is excellent in the reluctant hero lead role, and this is the first time I have really liked him in a movie since "12 Monkeys". And that is good, because he is on screen most of the time and in just about every scene, and carries the movie. The other characters all have minor roles, but the actors do well with what they are given. An atmospheric soundtrack adds just the right touch. A movie that will probably rank among the best of the Summer!