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Leave The Boxtrolls (PG) for renting.

The Boxtrolls

6 Stars

I’m rooting for the underdog.

Not to win or place.

Not necessarily to show, either.

The Boxtrolls is not terrific.

It’s good, but it’s doubtful the average moviegoer will ogle it.

The Book of Life is the movie you should be seeing, not The Boxtrolls.

There, I said it!

The Academy nominates three to five pictures for Best Animated Feature. In the annual race to qualify, wouldn’t we prefer…

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Just as great as they say it is.

Gone Girl

10 Stars

This doesn’t bode well for my reading career.

Gone Girl is spectacular. A strong contender for this year’s Best Picture.

I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Reading the book isn’t necessary.

The differences between the textual and visual are minimal. Reconsider the commitment lingering on your bookshelf.

This is one flick you won’t want to miss.

If you’ve got a better half, bring him or…

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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

10 Stars
Writer/Director: Ned Benson
Runtime: 2 hr. 2 min.
Released: September 12, 2014
Weinstein Company

This is not a story about a Beatles fan stumbling down a well.

I highly recommend The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.

It’s completely character driven, but beautifully written.

So many parts of it were wonderful, where to start?

Look for it in your local arthouse theaters…I can’t believe I…

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The Skeleton Twins (R) brings the tally of uproarious summer comedies to four.

The Skeleton Twins

Director/Writer: Craig Johnson
Runtime: 1 hr. 33 min.
Released: September 12, 2014 Limited
Roadside Attractions

This is my least favorite type of movie.

I call them ‘sad swamps.’ Trekking through can be an emotional chore.

The best examples coming to mind are The Fault in Our Stars (thumbs-down) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (thumbs-up).

The Skeleton Twins is no exception; there’s some…

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The obstacles are not metaphysical.

The Maze Runner

8 Stars
Director: Wes Ball
Runtime: 1 hr. 51 min.
Released: September 19, 2014
20th Century Fox

What do The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, Divergent and The Maze Runner all have in common?

They’re based on dystopian YA novels.

They’re also introductions to a multi-part series.

And I never stop hollering about this, but they’re all rated PG-13.

Which is ultimately The Maze Runner’s least redeeming…

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Comme si, comme sa.

The Zero Theorem

5 Stars
Director: Terry Gilliam
Runtime: 1 hr. 47 min.
Released: September 19, 2014

Ever heard of Harry Potter?

This is nothing like that.

David Thewlis, also known as Professor Lupin, is the only similarity between the two narratives.

The Z.T.’s bleak, folks.

It’s dark, foreboding and existential. To follow a recent trend it’s also allegorical. Therefore, things can get confusing.

[Quick…

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The Tree of Life

5 Stars
Writer/Director: Terrence Malick
Runtime: 2 hr. 18 min.
Released: May 27, 2011
Fox Searchlight

I hate melancholy.

Floating in existential whispery sadness doesn’t warm the cockles.

I can’t believe The Tree of Life was nominated for best picture. Sure there’s good stuff in there, but it’s been a long time since I wanted a movie to end so badly.

Let me start out strong with my best argument.

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Oculus is a great movie for any casual fan of horror.

Oculus

8 Stars
Writer/Director: Mike Flanagan
Runtime: 1 hr. 44 min.
Released: April 11, 2014 Wide
Relativity Media

Self-reflection.

How much is too much?

Although the story remains unread on my bookshelf, I’d imagine Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey deals heavily with this notion.

Since publication, many other horror stories utilize the mirror motif. Candyman (1992) is one of the scariest…

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A brief, but wildly satisfying action thriller.

Haywire 3

9 Stars
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Runtime: 1 hr. 33 min.
Released: January 20, 2012
Relativity Media

This film satisfies.

Specifically the urge to watch a female protagonist square off with a male in hand-to-hand combat, and realistically win.

I’ve never considered how ill-equipped women are for fist-fighting. But that’s probably a good thing.

With the long hair, the unstable shoe heels, and…

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Both Frank Miller sequels from 2014 can’t live up their predecessors, yet the follow-up to 300 is surprisingly enjoyable.

300 Rise of an Empire 2

7 Stars
Director: Noam Murro
Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min.
Released: March 7, 2014
Warner Bros. Pictures

When it comes to expectation, Rotten Tomatoes established a new dynamic.

Although I only made the realization days ago, I’ve been a long-time fan of Frank Miller adaptations, loving both Sin City (2005) and 300 (2006) in the theater.

Since its early March release, 300: Rise of an Empire is…

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A better flick than critics are making it out to be, especially for fans of horror.

As Above So Below

Director: John Erick Dowdle
Runtime: 1 hr. 33 min.
Released: August 29, 2014
Universal Pictures

Horror movies are rarely called ‘great.’

When was the last critically acclaimed horror movie released? You’d be hard-pressed to find anything since The Ring in 2002.

I haven’t seen The Conjuring, Mama or Oculus but people say they’ve got potential. I thought Drag Me to Hell was pretty good from 2009.

B…

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (R)

A Dame to Kill For

7 Stars
Writers/Directors: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez
Runtime: 1 hr. 42 min.
Released: August 22, 2014
Dimension Films

Sigh.

It’s an injustice when critics refer to Sin City as a ‘cult classic.’

Likewise ‘campy’ denotes a lack in quality, and is unfit description of the first film.

A Dame to Kill For isn’t as good as its predecessor. Therefore if a group arises to defend their equality, then…

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For a PG-13 ‘Giant Monster’ movie, Godzilla’s pretty great.

Godzilla

Director: Gareth Edwards
Runtime: 2 hr. 3 min.
Released: May 16, 2014
Warner Bros. Pictures

Summer’s a-winding down.

You know what that means?

Less PG-13.

That’s right, folks. Content rated for ‘a mature audience.’

In consideration of the premise, one might presume this monster movie’s unsuited to a teenage audience.

At its core, Godzilla’s a horror story, no?

In terms of genre, it belongs under…

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Under the Skin (R)

Under the Skin

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Based on the Novel By: Michel Faber
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Released: April 4, 2014 Limited
A24

‘Alien’ is a misnomer.

More accurately Laura, played by Scarlett Johansson, is an ‘extraterrestrial organism.’

A being who exists beyond our frame of reference. Seems puzzling, no?

Well it’s certainly elaborate, but not needlessly confusing.

Under the Skin is smart and mandates…

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Let’s Be Cops (R)

Let's Be Cops

7 Stars
Writer/Director: Luke Greenfield
Runtime: 1 hr. 44 min.
Released: August 13, 2014
20th Century Fox

A Wednesday release is odd enough.

But a 12% amongst top critics on Rotten Tomatoes?

Heavens to Murgatroyd! Things don’t look good.

Now. Are you sitting down?

When asked my opinion of Breaking Bad or The Wire my response is always the same, “I haven’t seen an episode, but I’m sure I’d love…

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