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NEW THIS WEEK
Letter to Momo, A 5
Planes: Fire & Rescue 3
Purge, The: Anarchy 1.5
Sex Tape 1
Five Star Life, A rate me!
Video Games: The Movie rate me!
Among Ravens rate me!
Mood Indigo rate me!
Wish I Was Here rate me!
Master Builder, A rate me!
Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory rate me!
Persecuted rate me!
And So It Goes rate me!
I, Origins rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
25-Jul Fluffy Movie, The
25-Jul Happy Christmas
25-Jul Hercules (2014)
25-Jul Ironclad: Battle for Blood
25-Jul Lucy
25-Jul Magic in the Moonlight
25-Jul Most Wanted Man, A
25-Jul My Man is a Loser
25-Jul Very Good Girls
30-Jul War Story

DVD RELEASES
22-Jul Blue Ruin  
22-Jul Cesar Chavez  
22-Jul Dom Hemingway  
22-Jul Heaven Is for Real  
22-Jul Sabotage (2014)  
22-Jul Transcendence  
22-Jul Tyler Perry's Single Mom's Club  
29-Jul Cuban Fury  
29-Jul Noah  
29-Jul Other Woman, The (2014)  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Willow Creek 5
Jackpot 5
Letter to Momo, A 5
Obvious Child 4.86
We Are the Best! 4.86

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Sex Tape 1
Third Person 1.14
Million Ways to Die in the West, A 1.5
Purge, The: Anarchy 1.5
Holiday 1.57

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Resolution 4
Fourth Dimension, The 4
Deadfall (2012) 3
War Witch 4.5
In Their Skin 5
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Library Wars 3
Helter Skelter (2013) 5
Machine, The 5
When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep 4
Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo 2
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Joe 4.57
Railway Man, The 3
August: Osage County 1.91
Wind Rises, The 4.93
Grand Seduction, The 2.29
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Captain Phillips 4
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The 3.82
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
Nebraska 3.5
Tim's Vermeer 5
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Northwest 4
Le Week-End 3.56
August: Osage County 1.91
Book Thief, The 3
Stop-Over 4
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2014 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Imperial Dreams 5
Signal, The (2014) 2
White Bird in a Blizzard 3.29
Ida 5
God's Pocket 2.86
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2014 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Starred Up 3
Obvious Child 4.86
Calvary 5
Willow Creek 5
Copenhagen 5
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2014 Nantucket Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Skeleton Twins, The 4
Land Ho! 3
Boyhood 4.41
Art and Craft 5
We'll Never Have Paris 2
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2014 Los Angeles Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Jersey Boys 2.63
Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest, The 5
Man From Reno 5
Two Faces of January, The 4
22 Jump Street 3.6
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2014 Maui Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Grand Seduction, The 2.29
Skeleton Twins, The 4
Begin Again 3.75
God Help the Girl 4.14
Breath of Life 5
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2014 AFI Docs Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Life Itself 4.63
Art and Craft 5
Internet's Own Boy, The: The Story of Aaron Swartz 3
Search for General Tso, The 3.78
MORE MOVIES

2014 New York Asian Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Aberdeen (2014) 3
Public Enemy 3.88
Why Don't You Play in Hell? 4.62
Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, The 3.71
Uzumasa Limelight 5
MORE MOVIES

2014 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
White Bird in a Blizzard 3.29
Animosity 4
Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, The 3.71
Something Wicked This Way Comes 4.19
Red Family 4
MORE MOVIES

2014 Black Harvest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Forgotten Kingdom, The 3.29
DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till 4
MORE MOVIES

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Movies Listed: 26880
Total Ratings: 244923
Total Reviews: 26308
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Interview: RichardLinklater on "Boyhood"
Criticwatch - The Not-So-Perfect Date Movie
DVD Reviews For 7/6: "There You Go--Hiding Behind A Smokescreen Of Bourgeois Cliches!"
Films I Neglected To Review: Wet Hot American Romantic Comedy
Criticwatch - Shawn Edwards: The 2013 Quote Whore of the Year, Decade And Ever
Criticwatch - The 2013 Quote Whores of the Year
Criticwatch Presents: Peter Travers (The 2013 Retrospective)
Criticwatch Presents: Pete Hammond (The 2013 Retrospective)
Celebrity Exclusive Interviews
Film Festivals of the World
Criticwatch
Rants and Raves
Court of Public Opinion
DVD Reviews
Movies & Money with Erik Childress (WCIU-TV)
The HBS/EFC Hall of Fame
The Oscar Eye
Films I Neglected To Review with Peter Sobczynski
Short Stuff
WGN Radio's Midnight Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
DVD/Blu-ray Schedules
MORE FEATURES
LATEST REVIEWS
IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
"Revenge as deadpan comedy."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Where is the exact line between a movie being a darkly funny revenge story and a full-on, pitch-black dark comedy? In the case of "In Order of Disappearance", I think it is crossed early on in a gag that will recur throughout the movie, although it may seem to waver back and forth as the story unfolds. By the time it's over, though, this reunion of the team behind "A Somewhat Gentle Man" has produced something that is both darker and funnier than that impressive movie." (more)
CHEATIN'
"Another good reason for Bill Plympton fans to remain loyal to the man."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Cheatin'" is the new Bill Plympton movie, his first feature since 2008's "Idiots and Angels", and it's a fine demonstration that over thirty years as an independent animator, he hasn't dulled his edge much while carving out his niche. It's funny, strange past the point of eccentric, and has a style that is unmistakable for anyone else. Longtime fans should be pleased; and it wouldn't be a particular surprise if showing it to friends created new fans." (more)
WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD
"Does many things well but leaves me cold."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: I saw "White Bird in a Blizzard" referred to as a coming of age movie, and I don't necessarily think that designation fits. Not every drama where the characters haven't graduated from high school yet needs that label; sometimes bad things just happen when teenagers are around. That's sort of what happens here, and it's why a movie that's very strong in some ways, but is oddly hands-off enough in others that it's not quite as good as the surface suggests it should be." (more)
BUTTER ON THE LATCH
"I did not want the main characters to be eaten by bears. That's something."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Butter on the Latch" was listed in the program as playing before director Josephine Decker's prior film, "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely", as if it was a short film rather than a 63-minute feature. The programmers and projectionists mercifully flipped the order; I can only imagine how the audience might have revolted if this had played first. The properties that make it not a very good movie would have made it even more of an endurance test if the audience was sitting through the whole thing to get to the film whose name actually appears on the ticket." (more)
THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY
"Sometimes the line between 'striking' and 'bizarre' is thin. Not this time."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Before Joesphine Decker's "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely" starts to be a weird, creepy sort of movie in a way that has real certainty and direction, it's got two scenes that kind of warn the audience what it's getting into. In the first, farmer Jeremiah (Robert Longstreet) and his daughter Sarah (Sophie Traub) are rolling around in the grass, throwing a headless chicken back and forth, getting blood all over their clothes. In the second, Sarah narrates, describing a strange, ethereal, perfect lover while the camera slowly zooms in on her increasingly agitated dog. Decker quickly moves on to other things, and maybe I'm reading things into that latter juxtaposition that aren't meant, but even if that's the case, what the hell is the deal with everything else?" (more)
BOYHOOD
"A masterwork 12 years in the making."
5 stars
Brett Gallman says... "I was 18 and on the verge of my high school graduation when Richard Linklater started production on “Boyhood,” which is coincidentally where the film leaves its subject, Mason (Ellar Coltrane). By that time, we’ve watched twelve years of his life unfold over the course of 160 minutes, and it’s not the profound changes that amaze so much as Linklater’s ability to capture the authenticity of this moment: the excitement, the anxiety, the sheer relief of having made it through childhood and adolescence relatively unscathed. All of this resonated within me even with the distance of the twelve years I experienced since 2002—perhaps, more than anything, “Boyhood” is a reminder that life is sometimes just about finding a place where you can simply be okay even after being presented evidence that things won’t always be okay." (more)
ZOMBEAVERS
"Exactly what you want a zombie beaver movie to be."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Zombeavers" gives the audience what they want from a movie with that title, pretty much the way they want it, and that way involves puppets. Puppets and blood." (more)
BOYHOOD
"A Boy's Life"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Thanks to the constant stream of technological advances that Hollywood seems to put forth every few years--ranging from the early experiments with sound and color to the current state-of-the-art developments involving CGI effects and presenting a noticeably dingier and duller screen image while convincing moviegoers to pay an extra $3 a head for that "privilege"--it seems that there are precious few things out there that cannot be presented convincingly within the context of a feature film. Ironically, one of those things is something that all of us experience in our lives and that is the passage of time. Oh sure, films can recreate different time periods with an astonishing degree of detail and fidelity but when it comes to presenting the passage of a few years in the lives of the characters on display, they tend to come up short because while they may be getting older, the people playing them are not since the entire film, regardless of the storyline, is being shot within a relatively compressed timespan. As a result, the filmmakers are forced to rely on costumes, hair & makeup and music cues to signify to passing of time and if they aren't done with the upmost care (as was the case with the ghastly old-age makeup at the end of "Jersey Boys"), the results can be downright embarrassing." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
SILLY WALK RIGHT IN AND SIT RIGHT DOWN...
by Greg Ursic
"On July 15th there was a parrot sighting at Potters Field Park in London; but this wasn’t just any avian, it was a 50 foot Norwegian blue. The ornithological oddity wasn’t the product of science run amok or a pending birdnado, rather it was an homage to the four decade long partnership of Monty Python, sketch comedy’s terrifically twisted troupe and heralded their return to the stage (and quite likely their last…)." (more)
CAPSULE REVIEWS: JERSEY BOYS, BAD WORDS & THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
by Daniel Kelly
"Jersey Boys (Clint Eastwood, Warner Bros., 2014) Clint Eastwood’s musical gets off to a vivacious and energetic start, mixing warmth and wit with surprising aplomb, but goes off the deep-end somewhere around the halfway mark. The film’s characters weave in and out of the action satisfactorily, Eastwood using a potentially hackneyed but oddly effective “fourth wall” smashing address to keep audiences engaged. It’s as if he read Walter Benjamin’s “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, moving to maintain some of the theatre’s “aura” through a means of faux-immediacy and soul, allowing his characters to bust the screen and intrude on a space they shouldn’t be aware of. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but the concept works, especially when combined with the enigmatic likes of Vincent Piazza’s roguish Tommy, the most memorable of the film’s assortment of young dreamers. The ease and grace of the opening doesn’t carry much further though, Eastwood’s stiff direction of the musical numbers and a selection of ham-fisted subplots slacking the pace and sobering the buzz. When the end credits roll, we get a sense of what might have been, Eastwood unleashing a fearsomely executed encore, replete with fantastic energy and pageantry. It’s a pity that the hour leading up to that point should dither so aimlessly, and fill itself so distractingly with diversions aborted before they conjure up sufficient nuance. A curiosity peppered with worthy highlights, but hardly a certifiable return to form for Clint. Grade - C" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: PONY MEN
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "A Brony Tale," "Dormant Beauty" and "Video Games: The Movie."" (more)
INTERVIEW: RICHARDLINKLATER ON "BOYHOOD"
by Peter Sobczynski
"The director of such cult favorites as "Slacker," "Dazed and Confused," "Waking Life" and the "Before Sunrise" trilogy talks about his latest masterpiece, the intimate epic "Boyhood," and its unusual journey to the screen." (more)
MORE FEATURES

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