Guide

1 star (★) is bad,  5 stars (★★★★★) is good.

  • (500) Days of Summer  Not even the super awesome (attractive) leads could save this yawn fest. Cringe-worthy but for all the wrong reasons
  • 8 1/2 ★★★ Beautiful, important, and mostly entertaining. Yes it is black and white. Yes it is in Italian.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You ★★★★ Fast and fun. Anyone seen Julia Stiles recently? Hat tip for the Shakespeare approach.
  • 12 Monkeys ★★★★★ A solid feature based on the equally impressive film/culture snob  original short film La Jetée. Time travel, nuff said.
  • 21 Grams ★★★★ Beautiful and intense. Makes you wonder about death and stuff. Not so great if you want to zone out with a bowl of popcorn.
  • 28 Days Later ★★★★★ Best zombie film I’ve ever seen. Beautiful video, soundtrack, acting. Cillian Murphey is quite enjoyable.
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin ★★★★ Might not want to watch it with your parents/kids, but this movie gets me laughing in the open credits no matter what side of the bed I woke up on that morning.
  • 50 First Dates ★★★★ I don’t really like Adam Sandler. Or romantic comedies. And yet I found this film highly enjoyable.
  • 180° South ★★★ Beautiful scenery in this documentary. Captivating story, too. Slightly slow.
  • 300 ★★★ Turn the sound down and play your own music (a technique that makes most movies better, but really works well for this one). Incredible visuals.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★ It means something slightly different to me each viewing. And I still can’t believe it was made in 1968!
  • 2012 ★★ Put it on to pass the time, glance up at the cool parts, ignore the rest.
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence ★★★★ Ambitious, with a lot of heart. Visually stunning.
  • About Schmidt ★★★★ Classic emo old man movie. Jack Nicholson plays it perfectly.
  • The Abyss ★★★★★ Do not watch the director’s cut ending, where it gets all political. That’s crap. Watch the original. One of my all-time favorites.
  • Adaptation. ★★★★★ Nicholas Cage anyone? Seriously though, he’s remarkable. And the story is even more impressive.
  • Aeon Flux ★★★★ I was a huge fan of the animated series I first saw on MTV. This doesn’t suck.
  • Air Force One ★★★★ Harrison Ford for president. That is all.
  • Airheads ★★★★ Grunge, dude! Long hair! Bad acting! What’s not to love?
  • Alien ★★★★★ One of the best sci-fi films ever made. Groundbreaking, I tell you. Patient, beautiful, somewhat terrifying.
  • Aliens ★★★★ The best sequel of all time. It’s like the first film but with more action, and better one-liners.
  • Almost Famous ★★★★ If this doesn’t make you want to be a rock star then you’ll probably never want to be a rock star. Goodness all around.
  • Amelie ★★★★★ A true work of art. Storytelling at its finest. Funny, sad, full of love. I need a french tutor.
  • American Beauty ★★★★ Already a classic? We watched this in high school. Thank you, American public education.
  • American History X ★★★★ This film is important! That said, I’ll never, ever watch it again unless I have to.
  • American Pie ★★ Might make you chuckle, or vomit. Stupid laughs, but Alyson Hannigan  keeps it from getting only 1 star.
  • American Psycho ★★★ I’m really not sure how or why this gained such a following. It is ok. A good movie. There, that’s it.
  • Anaconda ★★★ Snakes not on a plane! A snake in the Amazon! Ice Cube!
  • Anchorman ★★★★★ Yes, this movie reviewer just gave Anchorman 5 stars.
  • Angels & Demons ★★★ Entertaining. Not garbage. The book is much better.
  • Anger Management ★★★ Unexpectedly amusing. Don’t want to fold laundry, pay bills, do your homework? Put this movie on while you get that crap done.
  • Apocalypse Now ★★★ While I get slightly bored each time I watch this film, it is still very well done. Then again, I gave Anchorman 5 stars.
  • Apollo 13 ★★★★★ Cheats a bit because it has Tom Hanks (which guarantees 4 stars). Powerful and incredibly well done.
  • Army of Darkness ★★★★ I saw this as a kid before I knew about Evil Dead. So you can imagine how I was confused for a bit. Super stop-motion animation skeletons!
  • Art School Confidential ★★★★ Oh the film major/maker in me LOL’d. Reminded me more of high school than college, though. Quirky as  hell.
  • Avatar ★★★ One big “meh.” Again, the “turn down the volume and play your own music” strategy works very well here. 3D was coolish.
  • Babel ★★★★★ Oh hell, another incredible film that I never, ever want to watch again. But you totally should if you haven’t.
  • Babies ★★★★ This documentary on the first year of a child’s life as seen in various cultures/countries is great.
  • Baby Mama ★★★★ I did not expect to laugh at this film. At all. I should have known better. Tina Fey shines and Greg Kinnear is somewhat likeable.
  • Back to the Future ★★★★★ One of the earliest movie memories, for me! I feel like I grew up watching it once a month, but that’s probably not right (or healthy).
  • Bad Santa ★★ I’m IN this film and I can still only give it 2 stars (it’d get 1, without me). Lauren Graham is super cool and has great taste in music in real life so there.
  • Batman ★★★★ Very, very good. Solid mix of something dark and humorous.
  • Christopher Nolan Batman Films ★★★★ They all feel the same, so they’re all getting the same steady rating. Incredibly over the top, in both good and bad ways.
  • Batteries Not Included ★★★★ Robot aliens! Oh nostalgia. I wore out the VHS copy of this film pretty well.
  • Beetlejuice ★★★★★ Michael Keaton deserves some more awards for this. Tim Burton classic. Creeped me out as a kid, love it as an adult.
  • Before Sunrise ★★★★ Sappy love stuff. Lots of talking, most of it good. Has everyone lived this at one point?
  • Being John Malkovich ★★★★★ One of the few movies that made me want to make movies. Everyone brings their “A” game, even my nemesis, John Cusack.
  • Bend It Like Beckham ★★★★ Remember this? I didn’t either, but I remember liking it a whole lot. Might have had something to do with Keira Knightly.
  • Best in Show ★★★★ A mockumentary gem! Christopher Guest strikes again!
  • Bicentennial Man ★★★ So much potential! So much averageness!
  • Big ★★★★★ Come on. Another Tom Hanks freebie. As a kid who doesn’t want to be bigger?
  • Big Fish ★★★★ Tugs at your heartstrings. Everyone is perfect and everything is beautiful even when it’s not supposed to be. Thanks, Tim Burton.
  • Big Trouble in Little China ★★★★ Kurt Russell can do anything. Highly quotable. Deliciously cheesy.
  • Black Hawk Down ★★★★ Kind of heavy. What I imagine to be “realistic” which also means, scary as hell.
  • Black Sheep ★★★★ “I used to grab bear claws as a kid, two at a time, and I’d get them lodged right in this region here.” Funny stuff, Chris Farley
  • Blade ★★★ Techno and vampires and Wesley Snipes. Um, that’s it.
  • Blade Runner ★★★★★ One of my top five favorite films ever, regardless of genre. It is sci-fi but a thinking-person’s film. Way ahead of its time.
  • Blades of Glory ★★ No no no. Sure Jay-Z and Kanye make it sound cool, but its like a bad SNL sketch that goes on 10x longer than it should.
  • The Blair Witch Project ★★★★ I’ll admit: I saw it in the theater and was freaked. I haven’t seen it since, and it didn’t make me want to create lo-fi found footage films, which is nice.
  • Blindness ★★★★★ Underdog classic? This film was intense, and provocative. Kind of had me on the edge of my seat.
  • Blow ★★★★ The crazy glamorous life of drug dealing. Lots of style. Lots of substance (abuse, ohhhhh)!
  • Blue Velvet ★★★★ My least favorite David Lynch film, yet it still gets 4 stars! Disturbing(ly good) performances and story.
  • Bolt ★★★★ John Travolta voices a dog in this light, all-ages adventure animation.
  • Boogie Nights ★★★★★ Marky Mark does porn. A thoughtful, fictional vignette of the adult film industry by one of America’s greatest directors, Paul Thomas Anderson.
  • Borat ★★★ Insanity. A car wreck that you want to turn your head away from but just can’t.
  • Borderland  Squirmed through this painfully weird, creepy, and unsettling horror film.
  • Born Into Brothels ★★★★★ Fascinating documentary. Children of prostitutes in Kolkata get cameras. Watch it.
  • The Bourne Identity ★★★★ Just goes to show you I’ll watch anything with Matt Damon in it. And this was an above average action flick. Doug Liman (director) is reliable!
  • Boys on the Side ★★★ I went in with low expectations, which were exceeded. Slightly.
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula ★★★ Entertaining. Underwhelming, but not terrible.
  • Braveheart ★★★★ The Scotsman in me wants to give it 5 stars. A teenage me would give it 5 stars. But it isn’t perfect. Pretty close, though.
  • Brazil ★★★★★ Hauntingly funny/depressing. An ambitious vision and the greatest work by Terry Gilliam.
  • The Breakfast Club ★★★★ I can’t not finish this movie if I see more than 2 seconds of it. It isn’t a great work of art. It is whiny and flawed. But for me, it is a classic.
  • Breathless ★★★★ One of like, 3 movies I watched in film school that I actually liked.
  • Brick ★★★★★ Is this movie still undiscovered? It is brilliant. It is smart and captivating. I have nothing snarky to say.
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf ★★★★ A french monster movie? With crazy martial arts? Yes.
  • The Brothers Grimm★★★★ Another film that I had high hopes for and mostly delivered.
  • Bruce Almighty  Complete garbage. Might be worth walking out on even if you’re burdened with it as an in-flight movie.
  • Buffalo ’66 ★★★★★ The first time I watched this movie I cringed the whole way through. Then I wanted to watch it again. And again. Stick with it, Vincent Gallo delivers.
  • The Butterfly Effect ★★★★ Surprisingly thoughtful, and certainly entertaining.
  • Carrie ★★★★ Haunting. Classic horror. High school kids can be so mean, amirite?
  • Cars ★★★ My second least favorite Pixar film (Cars 2 being my least favorite). Good morals though. Lots of heart!
  • Casino Royale ★★★★ The only Bond film I like…that I’ve seen.
  • Cast Away ★★★ So much potential! Some wonderful moments, which make for an enjoying, albeit frustrating ride. Sorry Tom Hanks.
  • Catch Me If You Can ★★★★ Super storytelling. Great period piece. Captivating!
  • Cellular Don’t bother.
  • Chaos Theory ★★★ Way to go, Ryan Reynolds. Slightly predictable but slightly enjoyable.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ★★★ Not an improvement over the original (which I happily give 4 stars)
  • Charlotte’s Web ★★★★ So good. Could have been easy to mess this one up. Animals that TALK, people.
  • Cheaper by the Dozen ★★★★ Steve Martin in a family film with a lot of heart. And a bajillion kids.