Seven Halfway Decent Movies of 2014
It was no “Source Code,” but “Edge of Tomorrow,” obsessing on the frustration of having to start from the beginning after every minor mistake, at least had the distinction of being true to its premise. “Interstellar” offered a painless dose of cotton candy ponderations and Space Odyssey emulations, but was nowhere near as empty as last year’s weightless “Gravity.” “The Other Woman” and “The Interview” were distinguished among the year’s comedies by the simple virtue of actually being funny. “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” a throwback to the slapstick of The Marx Brothers,” had some nostalgic appeal. Not the least among the many virtues of the non-exploitive yet uncompromising “Nymphomaniac” was sparing us the presence of Charlotte Gainsborough in its first half. Although “Ida” did very little with its slight premise, the acting was decent. “Frank” had something tof say about the success border-line retards have had in the music business, but fell short of its potential.
Five Over-Rated Movies of 2014
A cross between the Up Series and American Family, this picture isn’t nearly as original as its fans would have us believe. For anecdotal sketches of degenerate family life, I’ll take the pictures of Todd Solondz over this any day. But Boyhood, although a bit of a grind, isn’t too bad, and Patricia Arquette deserves to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Ethan Hawke, who was so good in “Predestination,” is a bore here.
This is the kind of overlong and formless drivel that can result from a lousy writer being hired to adapt screenplay from her own novel. Rosamund Pike, who has been smiling through undistinguished performances in mediocre pictures for the last 15 years, gives us cinema’s dullest incarnation of the femme fatale. And David Fincher, who never could direct worth a damn. is just begging to be turned out into the pastures of the daytime television serial.
3. Miss Meadows
She is no Ms. 45. Every one of her kills is in self defense.
4. The Immigrant
This is the kind of sordid movie that appeals to asexual film critics whose empathy for exploited film heroines is the closest they ever come to having an emotional relationship with a woman. Thus its place on so many year end best lists.
5.The Theory of Everything
I learned nothing about Stephen Hawkings’ theories from this movie. So I dug up “A Brief History of Time” and learned nothing from that movie either. I hope that the widespread theory that playing a character with a disability is a sure-fire way to snag an Oscar is refuted this year, as every other actor who might be nominated in this category is more deserving of the statue than Eddie Redmayne, the English television actor who skunked up the film version of Les Miserables with his revolting turn as Marius.
The Ten Worst Movies of 2015
These movies are so bad that the less said about them, the better. And since thinking about them recalls the acute mental agony suffered by watching them, I’ll say nothing.
- Let’s Be Cops
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- The Hundred Foot Journey
- The Babadook
- Skeleton Twins
- The Homesman
- As Above, So Below
- The Monument Men
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