2013 and 2014 Movie Reviews


Movie Rating Comments
12 Years a Slave 5.0 Very hard to watch.  Absolutely compelling and well-acted.  Must see.
Book Thief 5.0 Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush were great.  A moving story of sacrifice, generosity, and bravery.  The horrific story of Jews in Germany between 1938 and 1945.
Great Beauty 4.5 Splashes of beauty among the midst of the haggard misery of human life.   My pick for best foreign film.
Philomena 4.5 Lots of territory covered here:  Evils of the Catholic Church, losing children, being gay in the 60s, compassion, and forgiveness.  Judy Dench is amazing as always.
Osage County 4.0 Incredibly well-acted:  Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Juliet Lewis.  Dark story of dysfunctional family with sprinkles of hilarity.
The Past 4.0 A marriage between an Iranian man and a Parisian woman breaks down.  No matter how much suffering and misery was caused in the past you have to forgive yourself and others and look for joy in each moment.  You never forget but you can find peace and meaning.
Nebraska 4.0 Bruce Dern is great.  Very funny.  A story of growing old and how friends are attracted to money like flies on cake.
Blue is the Warmest Color 4.0 Poignant and pornographic.  A story of a desperate need for love and different ways of manifesting it.
American Hustle 4.0 Brilliant performances by Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence.  Based on a true story about how money and power corrupts.
Inside Llewyn Davis 4.0 Carey Mulligan and John Goodman are great.  A sad story of the struggle of folk artists.
Her 3.0 Amy Adams, Joachim Phoenix both very good.  Evolution of Artificial Intelligence morphing into quantum physics.
Blue Jasmine 3.0 Kate Blanchett always great.  Woody Allen always funny.
Hunger Games 3.0 Jennifer Lawrence always worth watching.
Wolf of Wall Street 2.5 Over the top and gratuitous sex and language.  Based on a true story of a wall street rogue.
Dallas Buyers Club 2.5 Based on true story of AIDS and AZT.  Pharma influence on FDA.  Matthew McConnaghue was very good.  Jennifer Gardner was weak.  Now I know why she married Ben Affleck.
Gravity 2.5 Sandra Bullock and George Clooney flailing around in space.  Great cinematography but not a compelling story.
Captain Phillips 2.5 Tom Hanks is a captain of a cargo boat off the coast of Somalia that gets hijacked by pirates looking for ransom.  The navy seals demonstrate once again their lethal brilliance.  Very real and entertaining.
Captain America 2.5 Silly but substantial.  Robert Redford, Samuel Jackson, and Scarlett Johannsen play compelling roles in a futuristic story about a timeless problem – how much freedom are we willing to sacrifice for security.   And who is making the decision about what is required to be achieve security?  How much of the motivation is power and control?  Hard questions, no easy answers.


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