Moneyball (2011): Slow, insightful, inspiring. The story takes a long time to pick up and could have used some humour to carry it into the second half, but it gives a fascinating perspective into the game behind what baseball spectators see. Recommended? For anyone interested in baseball or a good underdog story.
American Psycho (2000): Gory, confusing, psychological. Christian Bale’s talent is the best part of this movie, which otherwise manages to be unique from other serial killer films by having no tangible ending and a plot that takes so long to develop that viewers must sit through never-ending unintelligible rants and blatant misogyny to get there. Recommended? For those who enjoy films whose explicit content outweighs the overall plot.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010): Humorous, fantastical, quirky. Despite a few minor inconsistencies and a few blunders in the special effects, the story and adventure present Ancient Greece in an accessible and interesting way for young people. Recommended? To people of all ages with a basic knowledge of Greek mythology who wish to indulge in such an interest.
In the Heat of the Night (1967): Slow, mysterious, interesting. While the pace could have used some work, the mystery itself is quite intriguing and the overall tone shows viewers the everyday struggles for Blacks in 1960s USA. Recommended? For those who like classic cinema and/or mystery stories.
The Iron Lady (2011): Insightful, confusing, dark. Meryl Streep does a fantastic job as Margaret Thatcher, but that is the highlight of this monotone and often pessimistic film. Recommended? Not the best, but worth a try.
Jurassic Park (1993): Stunning, imaginative, unintelligible. The bizarre science and stupid decisions comprising the first portion of the movie border disaster film cliché, but the action shots and exemplary special effects make this movie an adventure like no other. Recommended? Don’t watch this for the story, but for the incredible accompanying visuals.
The Black Cauldron (1985): Enchanting, dark, forgettable. Certain elements of this film are signatures of Disney, though some of the characters are exaggerated, and the film is neither as timeless nor memorable as the true Disney classics. Recommended? Not bad, but a complete childhood does not require this film.
Paranorman (2012): Hilarious, unique, entertaining. The variety and depth in the humour and story allows the content to resonate among different generations. Recommended? Even though it’s an animated film, the movie is definitely meant for young adults.
Identity Thief (2013): Funny, interesting, entertaining. Behind the often excessive attempts at humour and sometimes illogical decisions is a good message, loveable characters and lots of laughs. Recommended? Not a 5 star movie, but a good laugh nonetheless.
Psycho (1960): Scary, dramatic, exemplary. Classic films like this show that horror films can have a deep plot and good character development. Recommended? Psycho is like a history lesson for fans of horror movies.
Reservoir Dogs (1992): Mysterious, excessive, violent. The movie has a good premise and structure, but unfortunately, Tarantino’s obsession with cramming as much explicit and unnecessary content as possible into his films elongates the film and makes it irritable at times. Recommended? This film would be most enjoyed by those who share the director’s fetish for explicit content and nonsense.
Rear Window (1954): Witty, mysterious, predictable. Hitchcock manages to maintain tension and suspense without gore and horrific gags, but with clever use of dialogue and implications. Recommended? A very good drama that is also funnier than expected.
Pitch Perfect (2012): Funny, light, entertaining. Despite some plot holes and excessive jokes, the one-liners and some of the musical numbers make this film memorable. Recommended? Good laugh, but this film’s main appeal is to women and music students.
White House Down (2013): Intense, humourous, entertaining. Despite being riddled with clichés associated with “American-action-disaster” films, the humour and action sequences are enjoyable. Recommended? Not the best movie, but the pure escapism makes it fun to watch.
The Impossible (2012): Gripping, emotional, frightening. The reality that this film is based on a true story of recent events takes this tale of disaster and survival to new depths, though beyond the story, viewers are captivated by breathtaking visuals and mature performances. Recommended? A powerful film, not for the faint of heart.
Jaws (1975): Scary, dramatic, engaging. The plot holes do not detract from the film that proves that Stephen Spielberg can make horror movies seem classy. Recommended? Anyone who is not afraid of sharks will be after seeing this.
Despicable Me 2 (2013): Hilarious, fun, entertaining. If the well-cast voice actors aren’t enough, this comedy is a laugh a minute, focussing on but not overplaying the humourous aspects that audiences loved in the first movie and introducing new ones as well. Recommended? Don’t think, just watch it!
Gandhi (1982): Fascinating, inspiring, slow. Some parts of this 3 hour historical piece seem to drag on, but Ben Kingsley gives an incredible performance and audiences can learn a lot about Gandhi’s unique methods for fighting injustice. Recommended? For anyone interested in learning more about this historical figure.
Back to the Future (1985): Light, entertaining, humourous. Alongside feeding fantasies of time travel, a good crop of characters and a loveable story, this film crosses over into many different genres, allowing a varied audience to appreciate and enjoy it. Recommended? This one is truly a classic and a must see.
The Fifth Element (1997): Strange, dramatic, artsy. This dystopian action drama is quirky and questionable at first, but the eccentric characters prove to be oddly entertaining amongst the vivid visuals and simple story. Recommended? For those interested in an everyday SciFi action film.