Tense, dramatic, emotional. Some of the characters come off annoying at first, but they develop and move well throughout the movie, backed with poignant dialogue and beautifully crafted imagery. Recommended? An ideal movie for showcasing the strength and layers that exist beneath every human being. (more…)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002): Epic, beautiful, adventurous. While difficult to understand for those with no prior knowledge of the story, the visual effects and artistic work are magnificent. Recommended? The Lord of the Rings trilogy is not just a series of films, but an experience worth taking.
Frankenweenie (2012): Dark, emotional, quirky. Two classic stories are expertly moulded into one film with interesting characters and a truly heartwarming story. Recommended? The darker overtones may not appeal to children, but the film is still quite entertaining overall.
Django Unchained (2012): Graphic, intense, entertaining. There is a lot of depth behind this intricate storyline, and the exceptional actors bring colourful characters to life above vivid visuals and a fitting soundtrack. Recommended? Not suitable for anyone under 16, but truly worth watching.
Back to the Future Part II (1989): Engaging, confusing, disappointing. While the first movie sets up the sequel well, the result is a complicated hodgepodge where the loveable characters from the first movie make stubborn and irrational decisions, leading up to an unsatisfying ending. Recommended? For those seduced by first one who are hungry to see what comes next.
Monsters University (2013): Cute, funny, entertaining. This prequel to the Pixar classic gives audiences a look at how the dynamic duo came to be, and while it isn’t one of Pixar’s best stories to date, it is still a fun film with loveable and funny characters. Recommended? Mostly for children and children at heart.
The Aviator (2004): Biographical, visual, slow. The acting in this film is stellar, specifically the performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett, but the plot moves far too slowly and a bit unclear, since it focuses on a great many aspects of the life of Howard Hughes. Recommended? Anyone who knows about the life of Howard Hughes or is interested in it would enjoy this.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003): Emotional, slow, beautiful. The grand conclusion to this adventurous trilogy is a little trying and confusing at points, but the overall visual masterpiece and ultimate closing is as timeless as it gets. Recommended? Since all 3 movies tie into each other, it is probably best to watch them all as close together as possible, so that the storyline is clearer.
Back to the Future Part III (1990): Engaging, satisfying, entertaining. The Western theme behind Marty’s final time-travelling adventure comes across as more of a parody at times and strays away from the more serious undertones of the previous films, but the sense of adventure makes this movie fun. Recommended? A decent conclusion for those who enjoyed the first two.
The Brothers Grimm (2005): Dark, conflicting, sparse. Matt Damon and Heath Ledger try to bring the most out of their characters in this poorly constructed screenplay combining unnecessary themes and bland supporting characters. Recommended? Not worth it.
The Mummy (1999): Exciting, adventurous, cliché. A typical American archaeological classic in the shadow of Indiana Jones proves to be very entertaining with impressive visual effects. Recommended? This movie is a lot of fun.
Side Effects (2013): Dramatic, mysterious, slow. This movie takes a while to pick up, but once it does, it makes its audience think and has some pretty intense moments, courtesy of standout performances from Rooney Mara and Jude Law. Recommended? This mystery film is interesting, but not very exciting.
Scarface (1983): Slow, violent, overhyped. The final action scene is very exciting, but the rest of the almost 3 hour film is dry and a lot of the plot is unclear. Recommended? Not as good as it’s hyped up to be.
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation) (2011): Dramatic, emotional, engaging. The movie is entertaining from start to end, filled with many pressing themes and an underlying mystery that brings out everyone’s secrets by the end. Recommended? An interesting story worth seeing.
Planes (2013): Predictable, light, lacklustre. This movie boasts some nice scenery and a few laughs, but Disney’s latest attempt at a merchandising cash-grabber shows no originality in its story, characters or humour. Recommended? Amusing and fun for kids, but ultimately not very memorable.
The Truman Show (1998): Funny, clever, interesting. This philosophical plot is set apart by the humour and personal connection made to the protagonist. Recommended? A fascinating eye-opener for television lovers.
Pretty in Pink (1986): Humorous, feminine, fun. The quirky characters are entertaining in an otherwise typical high school movie, complete with a booming 80’s vibe. Recommended? This light-hearted comedy is not fantastic, but enjoyable nonetheless.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012): Dramatic, emotional, dark. The themes and symbolism underlying this movie add a sense of depth beyond the average high school film, sparing no breathtaking moments, coupled with amusing characters and a well-assembled soundtrack. Recommended? The plot is very heavy and can be overwhelming at times, so it is best to not watch this alone.
The Butler (2013): Informative, slow, engaging. The acting and make-up work salvage an otherwise dry storyline and poorly executed production effort. Recommended? Not regrettable, but not a spectacular biopic.
Goodfellas (1990): Exciting, intriguing, entertaining. The colourful characters and dangerous lifestyles that they lead manage to stay amusing without being too much, and even though the story is a bit confusing at times, it is coherent and all ties together. Recommended? Thoroughly engaging from start to finish.
The Omen (1976): Unsettling, intriguing, engaging. The effects and action are a bit outdated, but despite some plot holes, the mysterious storyline and eerie score help to build suspense and maintain a constant level of tension throughout the film. Recommended? A decent thriller, great for a movie night with friends.
Hors de Prix (Priceless) Funny, romantic, hectic. While the beginning involves many plot turns that don’t seem to make sense and the many of the main character’s decisions seem irrational, the story picks up as the main characters learn the real tolls of the rich life, and the light-hearted nature of this film makes it very enjoyable. Recommended? Mostly for those looking to wind down with a good laugh (and also don’t mind reading subtitles if necessary).
X-Men: Fascinating, humorous, entertaining. The plot is very well developed and all aspects of the special effects were executed with class, all showcasing interesting characters never afraid to exhibit a witty one-liner. Recommended? A movie that can be both this much fun and serious at the same time has a little something for everyone.
Shutter Island (2010): Freaky, suspenseful, clever. While certain events towards the beginning of the film seem unintelligible, the plot takes many interesting plot turns and the mysterious and the quirky characters make this film even more entertaining. Recommended? Every minute of this film should be viewed with the utmost attention to details.
Inherit the Wind (1960): Profound, humorous, insightful. The performances of both Spencer Tracy and Fredric March are superb in this film adaptation of the real life Monkey Trial of 1925, a story that brilliantly displays the early stages of the evolutionism vs. creationism debate and the importance of higher thinking. Recommended? This film is an inquisitive journey for atheists, agnostics and believers alike.
Dances with Wolves (1990, Special Edition): Historic, heartfelt, captivating. While the first hour could be greatly condensed as to quicken the pace, the respectable acting and storyline are complimented by stunning visuals and effects. Recommended? While the extended version is quite captivating in itself, the added content may prove unnecessary for some, but this film is definitely worth seeing.
The Green Mile (1999): Dramatic, emotional, tragic. A truly great screenplay complete with memorable characters that will be loved and hated, on their journeys to truth and justice. Recommended? This is one film that definitely should not be overlooked.
Iron Man 3 (2013): Intense, funny, entertaining. As with the previous Iron Man films, the actors fit their roles perfectly and add some spice to boot; but unlike the previous one, the story is full of action, exciting plot turns and a genuinely interesting plot. Recommended? A big improvement over number 2, possibly the best one in the trilogy.
Citizen Kane (1941): Artistic, mysterious, boring. The filmmaking is clearly exemplary for many films to come, but the majority of the film consists of 2 hours chronicling the details of the life of Charles Kane which are indifferent to the purpose and outcome of the film. Recommended? This film would probably only be of interest to fans of classic cinema, as there is not much here for everyone else.
French Immersion (2011): Hilarious, light, disjointed. While the storyline is quite sparse, it produces enough laughs to make up for it, like any good comedy should. Recommended? For anyone with, at the very least, a basic knowledge of Canada, Quebec and the French language.
Saving Private Ryan (1998): Intense, gory, impressive. The effects and visuals that make up this film are of the class that has given Spielberg the positive reputation that he has today, and while a serious and respectful tone is maintained throughout the film, writer Robert Rodat cleverly adds some humour and quirky moments as well. Recommended? This wartime epic is an adventure well-worth the experience.
No Country for Old Men (2007): Violent, slow, unclear. The direction and acting in this film are both well done, but the simple storyline is far too drawn out and, for the most part, lacks cohesion. Recommended? Not the most exciting film out there, but worth a try nonetheless.
American Beauty (1999): Tragic, emotional, dramatic. Some of the subject matter is a bit unsettling, but the emotions and thematic depth coupled with Kevin Spacey’s amazing performance make for a thoroughly engaging movie experience. Recommended? A must-see film, especially for anyone who believes that their life is empty.
Philadelphia (1993): Engaging, informative, emotional. This movie tackles major issues and prejudices in a unique way, setting it apart from similar attempts, and the main characters are both strong, respectable and well-portrayed. Recommended? This is definitely worth watching.
The Wrestler (2008): Brutal, emotional, mediocre. The story and growth of the main character and Mickey Rourke’s performance are the driving forces behind this film, for despite some depth, the overall story is dry and excessively explicit. Recommended? Not bad, but not great either.
Babel (2006): Mysterious, emotional, profound. While a bit confusing and disjointed at times, the theme of universal connectivity adds to the depth and experiences of the characters in all of the stories. Recommended? Babel has a good moral that can only be truly understood by actually seeing the film.
City of God (2002): Disturbing, intense, insightful. A horrific and gripping look into the ugly side of Brazil, graphically detailing the dangerous lives of young people involved with drugs, war and violence. Recommended? Anyone who enjoys American films exploiting extreme gang violence and drugs should try their hand at this, bearing in mind that the scariest thing about this movie is that it’s based on a true story.
Catch Me If You Can (2002): Clever, fascinating, long. The reputable cast and director make watching this true story that much more enjoyable, though the opening scene should have either been cut or played on more. Recommended? A little dry in spots, but entertaining nonetheless.
Babe (1995): Adorable, heartwarming, entertaining. The touching premise and subtle, but effective visuals bring the film to life, but the ending is a bit of a copout. Recommended? Must be seen by all animal lovers.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009): Strange, incoherent, colourful. Somewhere deep down in this film lies a lesson about greed, but it is only reached after peeling through layers of poor storylines, unclear mumbling and the good visuals that hold this film together. Recommended? Beyond the merit of being Heath Ledger’s last film, it is more confusing and questionable than anything else.
Invictus (2009): Interesting, accessible, engaging. An appropriate and insightful look at one aspect of Mandela’s efforts to move his country away from the apartheid, and Morgan Freeman is perfect as Nelson Mandela. Recommended? Definitely worth seeing.
The Terminator. Suspenseful, action-packed, entertaining. While somewhat predictable, the visual effects and non-stop action ensures that there is never a dull moment, not to mention expectant brilliance from Scwarzenegger and Cameron. Recommended? A definite must-see.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Action packed, humorous, overall entertaining. Well written screenplay, great characters and incredible visual and sound effects. Recommended? A great adventure film that everyone can enjoy.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Exciting, a bit confusing at times, but engaging. A bit slow at times (not surprising for a 3 hour film) but good action sequences and a more or less comprehensible story. Recommended? Worth giving a shot.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Mysterious, witty, fun. A bit more far-fetched than the original series (yes, it’s possible), but stays true to the general tone, and who knew Harrison Ford still had it? Recommended? For old fans and new ones alike.
Dumbo. Adorable, fun, classic. A bit slow in some parts, but the overall lovable nature of the film and songs make this film enjoyable. Recommended? If deprived of this film as a child who watched Disney movies, this is one to check out.
The Dark Knight. Suspenseful, engaging, entertaining. While the true impact of the storyline does not click until the very end, the tedious wait is filled with phenomenal action sequences and some quirky albeit well-portrayed characters. Recommended? This film is only truly appreciated if seen after Batman Begins. Both are must-sees.
Casablanca. Quite slow, but heartfelt and mysterious. While rich in dialogue (including multiple timeless quotes), not much action and poor sound recording make this film difficult to sit through at times. Recommended? More as a novelty than a must see film that one would take something from.
The Godfather. Slow, but equally interesting and quite brutal. While the main plot is not incited for a while and many of the characters (though well portrayed) lack discernible traits, the film is well produced and still manages to be more or less engaging. Recommended? A worthwhile film, but not to be watched half-heartedly.
Howl’s Moving Castle. Imaginative, inspiring, but confusing. While most of the film includes lovable characters and good adventure, the last half hour involves bleak decisions and, while clearly resolved, leaves much to question. Recommended? For those with a strong imagination and a love for childlike adventure.
Inside Man. Intriguing, clever, engaging. The perfect blend of intense action and thought provoking (though accessible) mystery. Recommended? For sure, especially for fans of hostage movies and cop shows, though most audiences will enjoy this one.
From Paris With Love. Action packed, unpredictable, shocking. What the film lacks in its general dialogue, it makes up for in brilliant fight and chase sequences, as well as John Travolta’s unnecessarily crude but entertaining character. Recommended? For fans of action and explosions, because that’s what makes this film worth watching.
Proof. Funny, thought provoking, heartfelt. Story is flawed at times, but the film has an appealing quirkiness about it that some may find entertaining. Recommended? Not a must see, but worthwhile watching, especially for those who enjoyed A Beautiful Mind.
The Dark Knight Rises. Intriguing, dark (no pun intended), and for the most part unpredictable. Incredible action sequences and well thought out plot line with an outstanding conclusion. Recommended? A worthwhile conclusion for those who enjoyed the first two.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Shocking, tragic, emotional. Terrific acting takes this film with a debatable and often difficult to understand storyline to new heights. Recommended? Doesn’t live up to the hype, but overall worth the time.
Pulp Fiction. Violent, disjointed, profane. Good directing and well produced, but much of the film seems like an attempt to add as much explicit content as possible to one film while maintaining a basic plot line; with a twist that seems like its supposed to be an all revealing truth, but plays out more informative than shocking. Recommended? While this may have been ground-breaking in its time, it is not life-changing.
Se7en. Sadistic, intense, shocking. Climactic ending is incredible, but the plot until then is slow and much like any other insane serial killer flick. Recommended? For those who can stomach brutal crime scenes and testimonies.
Driving Miss Daisy. Wordy, funny, heartwarming. Difficult to understand dialogue at times, but the story shines through with lovable and well portrayed characters. Recommended? A surprisingly entertaining film that anyone can relate to.
Sling Blade. Gripping, emotional, ironically heroic. Story is incredibly heartfelt and acting displays characters in places far beyond the social norm, creating a heart wrenching but brilliant plot. Recommended? This film can be a tearjerker for some, but a must see for everyone.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Graphic, engaging, tragic. Brilliant music and acting bought out the best of the story, though the killing scenes were gory beyond necessity. Recommended? For fans of musicals and horror films alike, though not for the weak of heart.
Cabaret. Quirky, slow, but fun. Catchy songs, and a carefree vibe to the film, but perhaps there was too much carelessness when devising a plot for this one, as there really was none. Recommended? Perhaps as background noise at a party, but not worth committing 2 hours of life to.