Captain America: The First Avenger: Engaging, inspiring, heartwarming. Action scenes are brilliantly put together, backing up a main character who truly demonstrates what it means to be a hero. Recommended? A worthwhile film for those who love comic book and action movies.
Forrest Gump: Simple, engaging, heartwarming. The touching screenplay is only further brought to life by Tom Hanks’ performance as the lovable lead character on his self-approving journey through life. Recommended? A must see film that will inspire all audiences.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: Funny, light-hearted, entertaining. Despite a poor technical effort, certain poorly thought out moments and one particularly grotesque scene, an overall good laugh courtesy of a few reputably hilarious actors. Recommended? As a great source of escapism and a good laugh, but not to be taken too seriously.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Abstract, quirky, entertaining. The unique approach towards creating this film following in style with graphic novels redefines “comic book film”, though certain plot transitions make the story somewhat confusing at first. Recommended? While particularly noteworthy for the style of direction, the romantically based storyline may not appeal to certain audiences.
Hugo: Imaginative, playful, artistic. While the storyline is quite slow in the beginning, the plot takes a more inspiring turn during the second half; the entire film backed up with beautiful art direction that could draw anyone to this simple Parisian train station. Recommended? Despite being labelled a “children’s” film, the meaning is transcendent of age.
The Ides of March: Intriguing, intense, a bit confusing. While the tension and cutthroat nature of the modern political scene is well captured, the heavy and monotonous dialogue makes the film overall slow and a bit confusing, especially the first half. Recommended? Interesting as a political film, but otherwise not worthwhile.
Star Trek: Adventurous, light, entertaining. Although the storyline can be a bit confusing at times, the film sports a lot of action with huge efforts in the special effects department paying off; with a plotline deep enough to be noteworthy, but light enough to be enjoyed casually; and a cast who takes this piece from nerdy guilty pleasure to mainstream blockbuster. Recommended? While this film probably won’t go down in history as a classic, it is still worthwhile checking out.
Midnight in Paris: Funny, puzzling, thought-provoking. The beauty of Paris is well captured, the cast is stellar, and the story is as enchanting as the city itself; and with a writer/director like Woody Allen, a potentially dry and tedious storyline is more entertaining with subtle humour and mildly absurd dialogue. Recommended? Although this film probably isn’t a must see, it is a fun and worthwhile film to see.
Ce qu’il faut pour vivre (The Necessities of Life): Emotional, dramatic, eye-opening. The story manages to be both heart-warming and heart wrenching at the same time, and the symbolism portraying Tiivii’s journey to recovery throughout the film manages to remain subtle, yet effective. Recommended? This film is definitely worth checking out, as there is a little something in here for everyone.
A Bug’s Life: Funny, playful, entertaining. Imaginative and punny in the typical Disney Pixar style, as well as the typical great animation and storyline. Recommended? For kids and kids at heart; and anyone who is or once was a fan of Disney Pixar films.
Green Street Hooligans: Unsettling, gripping, emotional. A raw and gritty look into the dark side of the British “football” community; and despite a repulsive first few minutes, this film bears a decent plot and a cinema rarity of well filmed street fighting sequences. Recommended? While viewers outside the soccer community may appreciate this film as well, one would have to be quite sadistic to really enjoy it.
Troy: Emotional, violent, epic. Despite some historical and literary inaccuracies, the new perspective of the Trojan War allows viewers to distinguish for themselves who the good guys are, all the while fascinated with brilliant art direction, effects and soundtrack. Recommended? While this film will not help with a history class, it is still a must see, for there is something here for everyone.
Edward Scissorhands: Whimsical, heartfelt, original. The story of one of the most misunderstood characters shines through mediocre film making and an unsettling suburban setting, with expectant brilliance from the likes of Johnny Depp. Recommended? An overall enjoyable film worthwhile watching.
The Shining: Tense, intriguing, captivating. While slow at times, especially towards the beginning, this film has a building anxiety about it that does not stop until the very end, showcased through the evolving insanity of Jack Torrence, brilliantly portrayed by Jack Nicholson. Recommended? This thriller is unlike most others, which is all the more reason to watch it.
Skyfall: Intense, unpredictable, entertaining. This film combines classic Bond elements with a storyline equally accessible for those watching James Bond for the first time; with an unpredictable opening sequence, fantastic action scenes and a respectably humbling and humanizing side to the iconic character. Recommended? For both those who love Bond and who are unfamiliar with it, this film is enjoyable and impactful all the same.
The Great Escape: Slow, but clever and intriguing. This film can be divided into two parts: the first half dragging on with not much action and, for the most part, forgettable dialogue; and the second part exciting and suspenseful, leaving viewers waiting to see what will become of their favourite characters. Recommended? The last ninety minutes of this film are worthwhile sitting through the gruelling first part.
Pretty Woman: Fun, romantic, hilarious. Despite being branded as a “chick flick” (though to be honest, it is one), this film is very entertaining, thanks to the likes of Julia Roberts’ lovable and humourous spin on the broke prostitute, a catchy and well pieced together soundtrack and the story resembling an 1980’s My Fair Lady. Recommended? A good laugh and a great date night movie.
The Descendants: Slow, tragic, intriguing. What the film lacks in pace, the emotional journey taken by the characters and overall calming beauty of the Hawaiian scenery and soundtrack make up for completely. Recommended? This film is worth seeing at some point in life, but nothing to rush to see.
The Prestige: Clever, mysterious, thought-provoking. Typical of Christopher Nolan, this movie promises a well thought out plot, great filmmaking, and likeable characters, subject only to minor flaws in the plot. Recommended? A good story, probably to be seen more than once.
Cloud Atlas: Intense, confusing, overwhelming. This film is a mix of high class production and unreachable goals, combining inconsistent hair and make-up work and visuals with a plot that boasts interconnectivity throughout human eras, but rarely delivers more connections than actors portraying different characters in different eras; if there is a deeper relevance behind this film, it is not a clear one. Recommended? While this film provides a complete and utter mind-freak, its ultimate impact is more perplexing than explanatory.