"Pitch Perfect," a quirky comedy about all-girls a capella group the Barden Bellas, took critics by aca-amazement by becoming one of the biggest hits of 2012, fueling a renaissance of collegiate a capella enthusiasm. Now the Barden Bellas are back, and they're better than ever. "Pitch Perfect 2" is a hilarious and worthy sequel, filled to the brim with gags and female empowerment.
"Avengers: Age of Utron" may be full of the same explosions, special effects and snappy one-liners that turned it's 2012 predecessor into a hit, but it's no follow up to the Avengers film that had audiences hooked. Though "Ultron" benefits from the engaging action sequences with the sprinkling of humor that enchanted us in the first film, its villain never seems to present itself as a formidable enough threat.
Director Kenneth Branagh creates a true fairy tale experience with his modernized "Cinderella.” He updates the film from its 1950s animated counterpart by adding depth to what has always been seen as a rather superficial storyline. By focusing on character development, beautiful visual effects and costumes, he proves that he can excel in any film genre.
Heart-racing, haphazard driving; colorful textiles and beautiful costumes make watching "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" feel like going on a two-hour, jam-packed trip to India.
What looked like a movie dealing with artificial intelligence versus man-controlled machines also investigated themes such as parenting, big corporations, human morality and feelings of separation. There's a lot going on in writer/director Neill Blomkamp's ("District Nine," "Elysium") third feature film. Unfortunately, weak characters and plot holes prevent these ideas from making an impact.
The plot of "McFarland, USA" brings nothing surprising or extraordinary to the table, not to mention that Kevin Costner is yet again playing the "clueless mentor searching for answers" role.
In the newest addition to the series, "Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb," the tablet begins to be marked by an unknown force. Searching for answers, Daley and company are forced to unravel the mystery of the tablet's beginnings.
"Unbroken" is the remarkable true story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), featuring Olympic games, World War II plane crashes and torture in Japanese prisoner of war camps. Based on Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 best-seller, director Angelina Jolie struggles to recreate the smoothly paced plot of Hillenbrand's book. Instead, Jolie creates build-ups and climaxes for each segment of Zamperini's story, which ultimately causes the story to lose its fluidity.
"Annie" is two-dimensional, goofy and very cheesy. This film will not be sweeping at the Academy Awards. But if you're ready to embrace the feel-good silliness and fall into a world in which it really is always better tomorrow, "Annie" is for you. Be ready to sing along.
The first Hunger Games film adaptation, which premiered in 2012, took the movie industry by storm and paved the way for a burst of formulaic dystopian movies ("Maze Runner," "Divergent," etc.). But the Hunger Games series itself is far from formulaic, and that's what made Suzanne Collins' books and their movie adaptions so popular
"Interstellar" is an audacious space epic on a grand scale—a behemoth that is overwhelming in every sense of the word. From cinematic greatness to dramatic intimacy, the film refuses to be simple and stay put.
Films often take advantage of the whole "this is based on a true story" or "this could happen to you" theme to make their stories more engrossing and frightening. "Ouija" attempts to do this too, but it completely drops the ball.
In his newest production, director David Dobkin has spliced all of the typical Hollywood clichés from family drama and courtroom genres into one generic, cheesy movie. With a star-studded cast, including the wry comedic and dramatic actor Robert Downey Jr. and Academy Award-winner Robert Duvall, Dobkin tells a predictable and drawn-out tale of a small-town family's buried problems.
"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," directed by Miguel Artecta, is a sappy and unrealistic children's film about a series of unfortunate and frustrating events that shifts a family's outlook on life.
Director David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" is an engaging, fast-paced film with aspects to please any moviegoer. With remarkable stylistic choices and a plot that is anything but formulaic, "Gone Girl" shapes up to be one of the best movies of 2014 so far.
"The Boxtrolls" isn't your typical animated kids' movie. The film is adorable and heartwarming, yet also gruesome and dark. It's playful in its animation, but wondrously artistic at the same time. It's silly, in the best of ways, but it also has underlying themes of morality and family.
The action film, based on true events, centers on police detective Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji) and her personal vendetta against a human trafficking gang . The premise is fascinating, but Sarkar goes way over-the-top in the script, music and certain plotlines, adding an unnecessary theatrical element to the film.
Some movies seem to come out at the perfect time, striking a chord with the emotions and experiences of the audience. Other movies come out following the release of a litany of similar films, seeming unoriginal and boring. "The Giver" is that second kind of movie.
Following the overused 'disaster thriller' pattern, "Into the Storm" documents the small town of Silverton as it's slaughtered by an unprecedented amount of tornadoes. In an awkward and unconvincing hour and a half, the film tells the story of a bunch of good-hearted people who manage to escape catastrophe. Unsurprisingly, it fails to thrill.
"The Hundred Foot Journey" is a heartwarming if predictable film about food and its power to bring people together against all odds. While most of the cast in the film are not household names, the characters shine.
With "Lucy," director Luc Besson tries to look at humanity through an existential lens while simultaneously creating an action-packed and fun summer movie. Unfortunately, his ambitious attempt to create a film that can please a wide variety of moviegoers has resulted in a jumbled, pseudo-scientific mess.
From the moment Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) climbs out of the sewers in the first scene of this movie, you know you're watching a classic. Suspenseful and gritty, "A Most Wanted Man" is a refreshing look at the darker, rougher side of our bureaucracy.
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