Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Movie Reviews

4 Stars:

The Artist—12/23/2011

The Muppets—11/23/11

My Week with Marilyn—11/23/11

The Descendants—11/18/2011

Margin Call—10/21/11

Ides of March 10/7/11


The Help—8/10/11

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two—8/15/11

Midnight in Paris—5/27/11


Water for Elephants—4/22/11


3 1/2 stars

Young Adult 12/16/11

A Dangerous method – 12/16/11

Hugo – 11/23/11

Tower Heist – 11/04/11

Martha marcy may marlene – 10/28/11

Drive – 9/16/11

Higher Ground—9/16/11


The Debt—8/31/11

Crazy Stupid Love—7/30/11

Larry Crowne—7/1/11


Source Code—4/01/11

Win Win—3/25/11

The Lincoln Lawyer—3/18/11

The Company Men—1/21/11


3 stars

War Horse—12/25/11

We Bought a Zoo—12/23/11


Sherlock Holmes—12/16/11

The Way—10/28/11

In time—10/28/11

Puss In boots—10/28/11

the Skin I live in—10/28/11

Take Shelter—10/14/11

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark—8/26/11

Rise of the Planet of the Apes—8/05/11

Captain America—8/22/11

Horrible Bosses—7/8/11

The Trip—6/17/11

Super 8—6/09/11

X Men:  First Class—6/03/11

Everything Must Go—5/13/11


Hoodwinked Too—4/29/11


Scream 4—4/15/11



Jane Eyre—3/18/11


Adjustment Bureau—3/04/11


Gnomeo and Juliet—2/11/11

The Mechanic—1/28/11

Barney’s Version—1/28/11


Another Year—1/21/11

Blue Valentine—1/7/11


December 25, 2011—War Horse—3 stars—Steven Speilberg puts his touch on the story of a boy, his horse, and World War One

December 23, 2011—The Artist—4 stars—Silent story of an actor on the way down and actress on the way up.

December 23, 2011—We Bought a Zoo—3 stars—Matt Damon shakes up his life with an animal park.

December 21, 2011—Adventures of TinTin—2 stars—Over heated animated action based on 1940’s comic.

December 20, 2011—The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—2 1/2 stars—Harsh remake of the Swedish thriller.  Feels like torture porn.

December 16, 2011—Young Adult—3 1/2 stars—Charleze Theron tries to recapture her high school mojo.  Patton Oswalt wises her up.

December 16, 2011—Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy—3 stars—Dense atmospheric cold war thriller hard to follow but beautifully done.

December 16, 2011—Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows—3 stars—Sherlock as action hero.

December 16, 2011—A Dangerous Method—3 1/2 stars—Freud, Jung and a beautiful hysteric.

December 16, 2011—Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol—2 1/2 stars—non stop Tom Cruise action.

December 9, 2011—New Year’s Eve—2 1/2 stars—Sugary sweet Gary Marshall comedy romance.

December 9, 2011—The Sitter—1 star—run of the mill kid comedy with Johan Hill.

December 2, 2011—Shame (NC-17)—Story of sex addict brother and sister.

November 23, 2011—The Muppets—4 stars—A wonderful return

November 23, 2011—My Week with Marilyn—4 stars—Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe

November 23, 2011—Hugo—3 1/2 stars—3 D homage to the earliest days of movies.

November 18, 2011—The Descendants—4 stars—George Clooney family comedy/drama—never boring.

November 11, 2011—Immortals—1 star—Over the top Greek mythology.

November 11, 2011—Melancholia—Zero—overhyped arty indie story of the end of the world.

November 11, 2011—Jack and Jill—2 stars—Adam Sandler as twins crappy comedy.

November 9, 2011—J. Edgar—3 stars—Long weird biography with great performance by Leonardo DiCaprio.

November 4, 2011—A Very Harold and Kumar 3 D Christmas—2 1/2 stars—Continued hilarious adventures of the stoner friends.

November 4, 2011—Tower Heist—3 1/2 stars

November 4, 2011—Like Crazy—2 1/2 stars

October 28, 2011—The Way—3 stars—Martin Sheen honors his son on a religious pilgrimage.

October 28, 2011—In Time—3 stars—Justin Timberlake.  A world where you buy time—the rich live forever and the poor die young.  Great sci fi.

October 28, 2011—Puss In Boots—3 stars—Antonio Banderas voices the dashing kitty.  Fun and funny.

October 28, 2011—The Skin I Live In—3 stars—Creepy Spanish thriller with Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeon who creates the love of his life.

October 28, 2011—Rum Diary—2 stars—Johnny Depp as Hunter Thompson in Puerto Rico in the 1950’s.

October 28, 2011—Martha Marcy May marlene—3 1/2 stars—Elizabeth Olsen plays a highly disturbed but rightfully paranoid former cult member.

October 21, 2011—Margin Call—4 stars—Great financial drama based on the fall of Lehman Brothers.  A great cast figure out how to nail the rest of us.  Kevin Spacey, Simon Baker, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci.  One of the year’s best.

October 21, 2011—The Mighty Macs—2 1/2 stars—Carla Gugino plays Immaculata College basketball coach Cathy Rush.

October 14, 2011—The Thing—2 stars—Weak remake of sci fi classic.

October 14, 2011—The Big Year—2 stars—Steve Martin, Jack black, and Owen Wilson as champion bird watchers.  For the birds.

October 14, 2011—Footloose—2 stars—Weak remake. 0

October 14, 2011—Take Shelter—3 stars—the great Michael Shannon fights schizophrenia—or does he?  With Jessica Chastain.

October 7, 2011-Ides of March-4 stars-George Clooney runs for president—Ryan Gosling manages his campaign.  Evan Rachael Wood complicates things.

September 30, 2011—What’s Your Number?—2 stars—Anna Faris in run of the mill R Rated comedy.  She hopes to stop at 19 guys.

September 30, 2011—Machine Gun Preacher—2 stars—Gerard Butler as an ex con who gets religion.  Heavy handed.

September 30, 2011—50/50—Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a 20 something guy who gets a diagnosis of cancer—with Seth Rogen as his best friend.

September 23, 2011—Killer Elite—2 stars—Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Robert DiNiro.  Hard to follow crime drama.  Should have been better.

September 23, 2011—Moneyball—4 stars—Brad Pitt plays out of the box baseball manager Billy Bean, with Jonah Hill as his sidekick.  True story.

September 16, 2011—1 star—I don’t Know How She does it—Sarah Jessica Parker juggles family and a high powered job.  I don’t know why she made it.

September 16, 2011—Drive—3 1/2 stars—So Cool—Ryan Goslin as a stunt car/getaway man.  Cool.  Albert Brooks has great turn as a gangster.

September 16, 2011—Higher Ground—3 1/2 stars—Extraordinary story of a woman’s struggle with her religious faith.  Vera Farmiga with a lot of heart.

September 16, 2011-Straw Dogs-Zero-Remake of 70’s film.  Beautiful girl moves home to the redneck south with her new boyfriend and the locals don’t like it.

September 9, 2011—Contagion—3 1/2 stars—First rate medical thriller.  There’s a killer virus going around.  How to stop it?

August 31, 2011-The Debt-3 1/2 stars-Great cold war thriller set in East Germany in 1966-and a generation later.  Great cast-Jessica Chastain, Helen Mirren.

August 26, 2011—Don’t be Afraid of the Dark—3 stars—Great horror thriller—with Katie Holmes.  Creatures in the basement are coming to get you.

August 19, 2011—Attack the Block—2 1/2 stars—Playful sci fi—British ghetto kids gear up when space aliens attack their block.

August 10, 2011—The Help—4 stars—Recreats life of Black household help in the pre-civil rights South.  Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer stand out.

August 12, 2011—30 Minutes or Less—1 star—Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza delivery boy pulled into a dumb scheme.

August 5, 2011—Glee 3 D–2 stars—Skip the movie and watch TV instead.

August 5, 2011—Rise of the Planets of the Apes—3 stars—Thrilling prequel to the series.

August 5, 2011—The Change Up—2 stars—Bachelor Ryan Reynolds trades bodies with married guy Jason Bateman.  Weak remake of “Freaky Friday.”

July 30, 2011—Crazy Stupid Love—3 1/2 stars—Great romance.  Steve Carroll’s wife Julianne Moore asks for a divorce.  Ryan Gosling introduces Steve to the dating world.  Emma Stone enters as a wild card.

July 29, 2011—Cowboys and Aliens—2 stars—Space Western with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.  Good western lousey sci fi.

July 22, 2011—Friends with Benefits—2 1/2 stars—Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake remake “No Strings Attached.”

July 22, 2011—Captain America—3 stars—Chris Evans reboots the World War Two Superhero and brings him into our time.

July 15, 2011–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2—4 stars—a Fitting Finale.

July 8, 2011—Horrible Bosses—3 stars—Goofy comedy.  Edgy fun.  Jennifer Aniston hilarious.

July 8, 2011—Zookeeper—2 stars—Kevin James and a bunch of animals.

July 1, 2011-Larry Crowne-3 1/2 stars-Late life romance between laid off discount store manager and Jr. College speech teacher.  Tom Hanks  Julia Roberts.

June 27, 2011—Transformers Dark of the Moon—2 stars—More of the same only without Megan Fox.

June 24, 2011—Bad Teacher—2 1/2 stars—Cameron Diaz proves she can be as raunchy as anyone.

June 24, 2011—Cars 2—2 1/2 stars—Disappointing follow to the great original.  On a world wide car/spy tour this time.

June 24, 2011—Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop—2 stars—disappointment documentary on Conan’s comedy tour after getting the shaft from Jay Leno and NBC.

June 17, 2011—Mr. Popper’s Penguins—2 stars—Jim Carrey inherits a bunch of penguins.

June 17, 2011—The Trip—3 stars—The hilarious Steve Coogan and Rob Beydon ad lib their way through the English countryside.

June 17, 2011—Beautiful Boy—1 star—Michael Sheen and Maria Bello plays parents of a mass murder. Deeeeeee-pressing.

June 9, 2011—Super 8—3 stars—Steven Speilberg oversees this twist on “E.T.”—kids discover an alien who escapes from an Army train.

June 10, 2011-Beginners-3 1/2 stars-Christopher Plummer turns 75 and comes out of the closet gets Cancer. Ewan McGregor plays a loving son.

June 3, 2011—Submarine—2 stars—Australian coming of age story but nothing new.

June 3, 2011—The Tree of Life—2 stars—Brad Pitt plays a 1950’s Texas dad, mixed with musings on the universe.  What the hell?

June 3, 2011—X Men:  First Class—3 stars—Prequel to the superhero story.  Seems they prevented nuclear war over Cuba in 1962.

May 27, 2011—Midnight in Paris—4 stars—Woody Allen’s best comedy in years.  Owen Wilson as a nostalgic writer who time travels to Paris in the 20’s.

May 27, 2011—Hangover 2—2 stars—Disappointing follow to 2010’s best comedy.

May 20, 2011—Pirates of the Caribbean # 4—2 stars—Johnny Depp in more of the same.

May 13, 2011—Everything Must go—3 stars—Will Farrell gets into A.A and simplifies his life.

May 13, 2011—Bridesmaids—4 stars—2011’s best comedy—thanks to a great cast led by Kristen Wiig and breakout star Melissa McCarthy.

May 13, 2011—Hesher—2 1/2 stars—Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a wild man loose in the suburbs who loosens up a depressed family.

May 6, 2011—Thor—3 stars—Norse mythology directed by Kenneth Branagh.  Chris Hemsworth gives viewers their hims-worth.

May 6, 2011—Jumping the Broom—3 stars—Wealthy Paula Patton plans wedding to finance guy Laz Alonzo.  Families clash.

May 6, 2011—the Beaver—3 stars—Mel Gibson Jodie Foster in family drama about depression.

May 6, 2011—Something Borrowed—2 stars—Kate Hudson as a shrew about to marry—sad to see.

April 28, 2011—Fast Five—2 1/2 stars—Another car movie with Vin Diesel.

April 29, 2011—Hoodwinked Too—3 stars—Further adventures of fairy tale characters from earlier film.

April 22, 2011—Water for Elephants – 4 stars – Robert Pattinson and Reece Witherspoon in the circus of the 1930’s—great thriller.

April 15, 2011—Greatest Movies Ever Sold – 2 1/2 stars – Morgan Spurlock on marketing.

April 15, 2011—Rio—3 starrs—Kid friendly animated comedy about birds on the loose. Voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway

April 15, 2011—Scream 4—3 stars—Tongue in cheek reboot of the horror series.

April 8, 2011—The Conspirator—2 1/2 stars—Earnest post civil war American history play with Robin Wright as Mary Surratt.  Slooooooow.

April 8, 2011—Hanna—3 stars—Saoirse Ronan plays a high tech assassin on the run from Cate Blanchette.  Over the top and never boring.

April 8, 2011—Arthur—3 stars—Reboot of the 80’s comedy with Russell Brand in the Dudley Moore role.

April 8, 2011—Your Highness—2 stars—Danny McBride as a bumbling prince.

April 8, 2011—Soul Surfer—1 star—Kid loses her arm in shark attack.  True story but not told very inspiringly.

April 1, 2011—Source Code—3 1/2 stars—Jake Gyllenhaal goes back in time to prevent a commuter train bombing.  Michelle Monaghan as his love interest.

April 1, 2011—Hop—2 1/2 stars—Great riff on the Easter Bunny.  Voiced by outragous Russell Brand.

March 25, 2011—Win Win—3 1/2 stars—Paul Giamatti as a down on his luck lawyer who takes in a kid for less than altrustic reasons.

March 25, 2011—Sucker Punch—1 star—Emily Browning leads a group of girls out of a mental hospital in the 1950’s.  A head scratcher.

March 18, 2011—The Lincoln Lawyer—3 1/2 stars—Matthew McConaughey as shady lawyer who gets in over his head—with Ryan Phillippe as a con artist.

March 18, 2011—Limitless—3 stars—Bradley Cooper finds an energy and brain booster that won’t quit.  Until you can’t get anymore.

March 18, 2011—Jane Eyre—3 stars—Literary classic with Mis Wasikowska and Judi Dench.

March 18, 2011—Paul—2 1/2 stars—Lampoon of E.T. set in area 51 of New Mexico.  Seth Rogen voices a nutty space alien.

March 11, 2011—Red Riding Hood—1 star—laughable—even with beautiful Amanda Seyfried.

March 11, 2011—Battle Los Angeles—2 stars—War of the World in Santa Monica. Lame.

March 4, 2011—Rango—3 stars—One of the year’s best animated goofs—with Johnny Depp as a cowardly lizard out west.

March 4, 2011—Adjustment Bureau—3 stars—Great sci fi story about fate and love. Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Terrence Stamp.

March 4, 2011—Take me Home Tonight—1 star—Topher Grace tries to recreate 80’s comedy in this watered down “Risky Business” and fails.

February 25, 2011—Hall Pass—2 1/2 stars (R)—Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis get permission to cheat from their wives.  Be careful what you wish for.

February 18, 2011—Unknown—3 stars—Laim Nesson mystery thriller.  He loses his identity in an accident but wait—there’s more…with January Jones.

February 18, 2011—I am Number 4—2 1/2 stars—Alex Pettyfer as an outer space alien in high school.  Fun sci fi.

Februiary 11, 2011—Gnomeo and Juliet—3 stars—Hilarious animated update of “Romeo and Juliet” with garden gnomes.

February 11, 2011-Cedar Rapids-2 1/2-Ed Helms at convention with John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and Isiah Whitlock Jr.  “Risky Business” meets “The Office.”

February 11, 2011—Just Go with It—2 stars—Adam Sandler Jennifer Aniston comedy-She pretends to be his ex wife but then they fall for each other.  Yawn.

February 4, 2011—Sanctum—2 stars—Underwater 3 D run of the mill horror.

February 4, 2011—The Illusionist—3 stars—Sentimental animated story of a magician and the orphan girl he protects and raises.

January 28, 2011—The Mechanic—3 stars—Jason Statham and Ben Foster in a slam bam crime thriller.

January 28, 2011—The Rite—2 1/2—Anthony Hopkins in a watered down version of “The Exorcist.”  Barney’

January 28, 2011—Barney’s Version—3 stars—The great Paul Giamatti portrays a messy but passionate life.

January 28, 2011—Biutiful—3 stars—Javier Bardem as underworld character dying of cancer and trying to tie up his life.

January 21, 2011—No Strings Attached—2 1/2 stars—Friends with Benefits except with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kucher.

January 21, 2011—The Company Men—3 1/2 stars —graet workplace drama with Tommy Lee Jones, Chris cooper and Ben Affleck

January 21, 2011—The Way Back—3 stars—Epic director Peter Weir’s story of prisoners escaping Siberia

January 21, 2011—Another Year—3 stars—Mike Leigh drama of British friends and family struggles.

January 14, 2011—The Dilemma–2 1/2 stars—Vince Vaughn Kevin James comedy about a cheating wife. — so so.

January 14, 2011—The Green Hornet—2 stars—Seth Rogan as comic superhero.  Mixed result.

January 7, 2011—Blue Valentine—3 stars—Blue collar marriage unravels.  Michelle Wiliams and Ryan Gosling.  Incredibly moving.

January 7, 2011—Season of the Witch—1 star.  Nick Cage searches for one.  He must have needed the paycheck.