An intense, powerful portrayal of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the… MoreAn intense, powerful portrayal of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, and his tours in Iraq as he struggles to keep his relationship afloat with his wife (Sienna Miller) back home. Director Clint Eastwood has crafted his best film in nearly a decade, as he fully captures the horrors of war and the brave men who put their lives on the line to defend our country. Cooper, in his finest performance, fully embodies Kyle, and the PSTD and depression he deals with but harbors up inside. The action sequences are masterfully handled, and the movie wisely sidesteps being a political one and instead focuses on our military and the orders they carry out to keep us safe.
A fun, adrenaline rush of a thriller about a former CIA agent (Liam… MoreA fun, adrenaline rush of a thriller about a former CIA agent (Liam Neeson) whose daughter is kidnapped in Paris and sold into the sex slave world, forcing him back into action to rescue her. Neeson brings a raw edge to a new breed of government agent, always cool and collected, and it is fun to watch him in action. Despite Maggie Grace being totally miscast as a 16 year old when she looks to be about 25 in real life, the acting is overall pretty solid. While the ending left me wanting more, the movie is well plotted and executed, thanks in large part to clever choreographed fight scenes and Neeson's stellar turn. Highly re-watchable and definitely recommended.
An emotionally felt, genuine feeling story based on true events of a… MoreAn emotionally felt, genuine feeling story based on true events of a young woman (Reese Witherspoon) who decides to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail to exercise some personal demons such as addiction, the loss of her mother (Laura Dern), and the divorce from her loving husband (Thomas Sadoski). While it is no "Into the Wild" and the story at times veers way to all over the place from past, present, and future, this movie remains interesting throughout its direction because you are never too sure what obstacle Witherspoon's character will face next. Her performance is the definition of minimalism, but it is the right call given the very basic nature of the story. This is a solid picture, with good acting from Witherspoon and an outstanding supporting turn from the always phenomenal Dern. If you are looking for a good adventure movie and spiritual journey, then "Wild" does the job well.
An unforgettable near-masterpiece from the always reliable Bennett… MoreAn unforgettable near-masterpiece from the always reliable Bennett Miller concerning the story of John du Pont (Steve Carell) and his recruitment of Olympic wrestlers Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), as he hopes to lead the Olympic wrestling team back to glory in the 1988 Seoul Games even though du Pont shows clear signs of paranoia and insanity that threatens not only his vision, but his wrestlers' personal safety as well. Carell, in a career-changing performance, embodies a truly creepy, lonely, pathetic human being whose downward spiral is not that surprising considering his upbringing. Tatum finally proves his movie-star status with the best performance of his career as an insecure, hulking figure that has lived in his brother's shadow, while Ruffalo nearly steals the show as his much friendlier, compassionate older sibling. It is a slow-paced film and not for everyone, but Miller's firm grasp on the subject material, as well as his ability to make you feel for all the characters involved, makes this film truly memorable, with a haunting final sequence that will not leave one quickly.
An indescribably odd surreal acid trip of a movie concerning an alien… MoreAn indescribably odd surreal acid trip of a movie concerning an alien (Scarlett Johansson) who comes to Earth, in Glasgow, Scotland to be precise, and proceeds to seduce men back to her place so that they can be swallowed into a vast pool of black liquid. What sounds like a bad monster movie from the 50's is anything but, as director Jonathan Glazier combines the likes of Kubrick, Lynch, and Von Trier to create one beast of a movie about sex, society, and perhaps most importantly, beauty in simple things. The performance by Johansson is perhaps the greatest of her stellar career, as she creates a character that can seem utterly lifeless and devoid of any basic human emotions one minute, to charming and irresistible the next moment. This is without question one of the weirdest films I have ever viewed, and one that I struggled to figure out if I completely admired or despised. The fact that this is such a polarizing picture, combined with the subtle messages that can be easily lost amidst the dreamlike nature and atmosphere it possesses during its running time, convinced me that this is truly a great film. It will get under your skin, and stay there long after, and for that reason, this movie accomplishes what it aims to do.
An outstanding, riveting sequel to the very flawed "Rise of the Planet… MoreAn outstanding, riveting sequel to the very flawed "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", concerning the last chance humanity, led by the believer Malcolm (Jason Clarke), have with mending their torn relationship with the apes, led by the charismatic Caesar (Andy Serkis). Where the first movie lacked interesting characters and brilliant twists in plot development, this movie more than makes up for it and some. Serkis, who has one of the most unique careers in the business, is absolutely breathtaking once again, where he raises the character of Caesar to "cult icon" status given the depth and muscle of his performance. The special effects, as expected, are phenomenal, but the real treat here is seeing how the story develops, and even if it gets a little left-wing, anti-gun at times, that is pretty much one of the only flaws the movie has. For the most part, this is a rip-roaring film worthy of the hype surrounding it.