Footloose (1984): Fun, light, entertaining. This generation-defining classic has a lot more depth than one would expect, even with an upbeat 80s pop playlist for a soundtrack. Recommended? An ideal 80s style film.
The Great Gatsby (2013): Beautiful, tragic, engaging. Despite some poorly executed artistic work, this adaptation captures the superficiality of the era and depth of its characters, making good use of its eclectic but suitable soundtrack. Recommended? Baz Luhrmann makes this timeless 1920s literary classic accessible to a modern society almost a century later and such efforts deserve to be seen.
Ginger & Rosa (2012): Dry, simple, disturbing. The acting was quite good, but the story takes a very long time to develop into a climactic but lacklustre conclusion, and the movie overall could have benefited from a consistent score. Recommended? This is not for a sit down movie night.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012): Interesting, strange, unpredictable. There are many aspects of this movie that are disturbing in one way or another, but the unique stylistic elements and sparse but well placed humour make this a unique and quirky treat. Recommended? This is an entertaining piece, but definitely not meant for those of the same age group as the main actors.
Et maintenant on va où? (Where do we go now?) (2011): Funny, interesting, intense. This movie has a simple storyline that rests on major issues and recurring themes that mould together and come full circle by the end, creating an experience that is humourous at first and becomes quite serious and emotional as the plot thickens. Recommended? A fascinating, but somewhat upsetting film.
Flight (2012): Intense, dramatic, humourous. There are a few dry spells during the middle section of this film, but they do not take away from the frightening action sequence and character development of Whip Whitaker, brought to life fantastically by Denzel Washington. Recommended? Although it may be a bit slow at times, the story is very engaging and entertaining for mature audiences.
Rebelle (War Witch) (2012): Emotional, disturbing, graphic. This gruesome look into the Congolese war captures the struggle of the child soldiers with the actors’ captivating performances, as well as the beautiful visual work and good direction overall. Recommended? An engaging journey that will teach as much as it entertains.
El labarinto del faunto (Pan’s Labryinth) (2006): Artistic, quirky, entertaining. This fantasy adventure is brought to life by the intricate visual effects and art direction, as well as the characters who are all meant to invoke emotion from the audience at some point in the movie. Recommended? This is not for the faint of heart, but fun nonetheless.
Anna Karenina (2012): Beautiful, emotional, reflective. The unique visuals and art direction are well-executed, although confusing at times, and the story has its fair share of both good moments and irrational turns. Recommended? This would be best for those who would appreciate romantic dramas.
The Intouchables (2011): Inspiring, emotional, humourous. For such serious undertones, this uplifting film has a comedic side and very likeable characters, telling a story of friendship, growth and redemption. Recommended? A must see film.
End of Watch (2012): Intense, dramatic, entertaining. The plot blends realism and drama very artistically and builds up strategically to an emotional, hard-hitting end, despite a few off-putting moments. Recommended? This deep journey offers a new and welcome perspective on the life of cops in south L.A.
She’s The Man (2006): Funny, engaging, light. This movie is nothing short of a laugh a minute with its surprisingly well thought out plot, save a few subpar actors and characters and some teen drama fluff. Recommended? The perfect light comedy during a stressful time.
Hitchcock (2012): Witty, informative, engaging. While it lacked a vintage vibe that would have helped to make it feel more like an event in the 1960s, the perspective shown on that part of the legendary director’s life is fascinating and beautifully brought to life by the characters around him and cleverly placed humour. Recommended? For anyone who has seen and enjoyed Psycho, this movie provides an interesting insight on the making of the film and its pop cultural impact.
12 Years a Slave (2013): Emotional, disturbing, intense. Few films are ever of such high quality in most every aspect, acting, directing, writing, production design, music; this is by far one of them. Recommended? This movie may be too harsh for more sensitive viewers, but deserves every accolade that it is likely to come across in the months to come.
Captain Phillips (2013): Intense, emotional, engaging. After a weak opening, the real push behind this film comes when the action kicks in and the excitement lasts right through to the end of the film. Recommended? Definitely one of 2013’s gems.
Home Alone (1990): Humourous, fun, entertaining. This family comedy maximizes laughs where action is absent and has a great score to back it up. Recommended? A modern Christmas classic.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): Mysterious, engaging, unique. Where this movie lacks in production value, it makes up for in the overall story and acting and grows more intriguing as it goes on. Recommended? A fascinating story worth watching.
Frozen (2013): Enchanting, magical, entertaining. The fantastic soundtrack and dazzling animation bring to life this imaginative story with loveable characters and thoughtful themes and undertones. Recommended? This modern tale deserves to be among Disney’s classics.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013): Exciting, emotional, dramatic. This movie takes a while to take off, but once it does, there is a great deal of action, character development and transformations from cheap superficiality to deep struggles. Recommended? All sequels should be able to recover from the issues with their prequels like this one.
Good Will Hunting (1997): Fascinating, profound, inspiring. Far more crude than it needs to be, but an overall interesting story with likeable characters and a strong moral base. Recommended? A feel-good journey worth watching.