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NEW THIS WEEK
Hobbit, The: The Battle of the Five Armies 2
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 1
Annie (2014) 1
Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation rate me!
Goodbye to All That rate me!
If You Don't, I Will rate me!
Gambler, The (2014) rate me!
Medeas rate me!
Song of the Sea rate me!
Mr. Turner rate me!
Winter Sleep rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
24-Dec Beloved Sisters
24-Dec Two Days, One Night
25-Dec American Sniper
25-Dec Big Eyes
25-Dec Into the Woods
25-Dec Leviathan (2014)
25-Dec Selma
25-Dec Unbroken

DVD RELEASES
16-Dec Maze Runner, The  
16-Dec This is Where I Leave You  
23-Dec Good Lie, The  
23-Dec Pride (2014)  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Uzumasa Limelight 5
Foxcatcher 5
Why Don't You Play in Hell? 4.57
Mea Culpa 4.14
Horns (2014) 4.14

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Annie (2014) 1
Before I Go to Sleep 1.44
Goodbye to Language 2
Exodus: Gods and Kings 2
Hobbit, The: The Battle of the Five Armies 2

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Your Sister's Sister 3.71
Headshot 4
Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal 5
Revisionaries, The 4
As Luck Would Have It (2013) 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Confession of Murder 3
Last Tycoon, The 4
Burning Buddha Man, The 3
Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo 2
Vessel (2013) 3.14
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Prisoners 2.2
Proxy 2
Philomena 4.1
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 3.56
Belle 4.25
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
All Is Lost 4.53
About Time 2
Immigrant, The 4.11
Her 4.08
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Le Week-End 3.4
Like Father, Like Son (2014) 4.75
Argento's Dracula 4.08
Major, The 5
Blinding Sunlight, The 3
MORE MOVIES

2015 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
'71 4
Tribe, The (2014) 5
Wild Tales 2
It Follows 4.57
Girlhood (Bande de filles) 2
MORE MOVIES

2014 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Equalizer, The 2.33
Judge, The 1.9
Hector and the Search for Happiness 2
Top Five 4.86
Tusk 4
MORE MOVIES

2014 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder 4
Force Majeure 5
Creep (2014) 4.56
Beyond the Lights 3.22
Fort Tilden 2.43
MORE MOVIES

2014 Telluride Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Wild Tales 2
Imitation Game, The 3.57
'71 4
Wild 4
Madame Bovary (2014) 4
MORE MOVIES

2014 Denver Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Midnight Swim, The 3
Imitation Game, The 3.57
'71 4
Wild 4
Alleluia 5
MORE MOVIES

2014 AFI Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Girlhood (Bande de filles) 2
It Follows 4.57
Sea Fog (Haemoo) 4.38
Duke of Burgundy, The 4.71
Tu dors Nicole 5
MORE MOVIES

2014 Polish Film Festival in America MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ida 4.71
Immigrant, The 4.11
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2015 Palm Springs Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ida 4.71
In Order of Disappearance 5
'71 4
Citizenfour 3.14
Helicopter Mom 5
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 27531
Total Ratings: 244705
Total Reviews: 26495
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
The Oscar Eye (2014 Awards Tally) (UPDATED 12/20 w/Florida & Nevada)
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: SNOWMAN director Mike Douglas
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: BACKCOUNTRY director Adam MacDonald
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: THE COCKSURE LADS MOVIE director Murray Foster
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: STAY AWHILE director Jessica Edwards
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: PRETEND WE'RE KISSING creators Matt Sadowski & Pete Harvey
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: WE WERE WOLVES director Jordan Canning
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: AFTER FILM SCHOOL director Joel Ashton McCarthy
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: WHAT AN IDIOT creators Peter and Julia Benson.
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: ALLY WAS SCREAMING director Jeremy Thomas
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: MOUNTAIN MEN director Cam Labine
Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: The Backward Class director Madeleine Grant
The 2014 Whistler Film Festival and an Imitating Snowman
The Curious Case of "The Gambler" - The Woes of Hollywood's International Release Strategy
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
BACK IN TIME (FLEET OF TIME)
"Right characters, wrong story."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It can be kind of interesting to watch a movie like "Back in Time" ("Cong Cong Na Nian" in the original Mandarin, translated onscreen as "Fleet of Time") which comes from another culture, though often kind of puzzling: It's at least partly someone else's nostalgia, and if you don't know the late-1990s mandopop song accompanying a scene, you may be missing the punchline. Then again, it's not like the movies that make an appeal to one's own youth generally wind up being very good beyond that knee-jerk reaction, even without this movie's specific problems." (more)
ANNIE (2014)
"Annie Hell"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... ""Annie," the stage musical adaptation of the long-running comic strip, has, of course, gone on to become one of the biggest hits in Broadway history but when it came time to transfer it from the stage to the screen in 1982, the end result was a critical and commercial disaster, largely due to the bizarre decision to turn the directorial reins over to John Huston, a legendary filmmaker who, as it turned out, had absolutely no affinity for the genre and its trappings--essentially it was the "Jersey Boys" of its day. Because of the show's enduring popularity, though, it was almost inevitable that someone would try to film another version of it at some point and now, after years of false starts, "Annie" is back and, astonishingly enough, it is worse than ever. Despite the incredibly low bar set by the previous film, this incarnation is such a grim and joyless slog in almost every imaginable way that not only did Huston make a better "Annie" back in the day, he made a better "Annie" when he did "Victory"--at least that one had something vaguely resembling choreography going for it." (more)
INHERENT VICE
"Cuts right through the haze."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Thomas Pynchon kicked my butt in both classes where I had to read one of his books twenty years ago, and the film adaptation of "Inherent Vice" seemed like it was going to be the same sort of experience - I felt like I had lost the plot about two minutes into a 148-minute movie, which shouldn't even be possible. Of course, sometimes the plot matters much less than the telling, and the telling of this story is exceptional." (more)
HOBBIT, THE: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
"Are We Out Of The Shire Yet?"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "As long-time readers have no doubt heard me pontificate about before at excruciating length, I have a general aversion to most medieval fantasies involving elves, pixies, sprites, broadswords, dragons (especially those of the talking variety) and other such accoutrements of the genre. Even when an example comes along that I am able to embrace on some level, as was the case with the "Lord of the Rings" films and "Game of Thrones," there is still something about the genre in general that keeps me at a distance and prevents me from embracing them as fully as their most rabid fans do. And yet, I felt a certain degree of elation while heading into the theatre for the screening of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the concluding chapter of Peter Jackson's ridiculously elongated adaptation of JRR Tolkien's relatively slim predecessor to his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. This sense of anticipation was not due to any sense of love for the film's predecessors--I found both "The Unexpected Journey" and "The Desolation of Smaug" to be bloated nightmares that found him stretching a thin narrative to unconscionable lengths for no obvious reason other than to milk the property for every possible cent. No, this anticipatory delight was due almost entirely to the realization that not only would the story finally have to find some focus in order to get to its conclusion but once the end credits finished rolling, it meant that I would almost certainly no longer be professionally required to give a damn about orcs, white wizards, walking trees and those goddamn talking dragons ever again. (Any smart-ass out there who even thinks of mentioning the title "The Silmarillion" is going to get SUCH a pinch.)" (more)
TOP FIVE
"Chris Rock & Rosario Dawson are a great top two."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It took roughly a minute of "Top Five" for me to realize that I really hadn't been anticipating this film enough - it is, after all, built around Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson hanging around and verbally jousting with each other, and I like both of them a lot. It's not much longer than that before it's clear that we're getting both of them at their best, and that makes for a formidably funny movie." (more)
EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS
"Well, There Is One Good Part. . ."
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Ridley Scott is one of the few directors out there who more often than not works better when he has enormous technical hurdles to conquer. If you have a film that needs vast worlds, either recreations of past eras or detailed conceptualization of future ones, filled up with casts of thousands (even if many of them are now digitally created these days) and elaborate action set-pieces, he is your man, as he has shown in such epics as "Alien," "Blade Runner," "Black Hawk Down," the extended edition of "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Prometheus" (yeah, "Prometheus"). When it comes to dealing with two or three people in a room simply communicating with each other, on the other hand, is when things get dicey and the end result is something like his last effort, "The Counsellor," a film that may reveal itself as some kind of bleak masterpiece of nihilism at some point down the road but which now still plays like a turgid disaster. The problem with his latest effort, the Biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings," is that it tells a story that requires someone with a facility for handling both the epic and the intimate and while he pulls off the big-scale stuff in a reasonable manner, he badly fumbles the quieter, character-driven stuff that is equally important. The end result is a lumbering saga that offers a few moments of real spectacle but which is, ironic for a religious-based narrative, almost utterly devoid of anything resembling a soul." (more)
IT FOLLOWS
"Bits are missing, but what's there instead more than makes up for it."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT FANTASTIC FEST 2014; "It Follows" is genuinely weird in a few places, and there are moments when I think writer/director David Robert Mitchell had a great idea for a horror movie without any idea of how he would finish it. This thing is pure distilled "stalker who won't stop and whom nobody will believe exists" without much worry about mythology, and that's okay - it lets Mitchell really get at the emotion of never feeling safe again, and the ending he comes up with is, in its own way, kind of fantastic." (more)
SEA FOG (HAEMOO)
"Tension and horror on the high seas."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT FANTASTIC FEST 2014: This one has received a lot of notice in part because of Bong Joon-ho's involvement as a producer and co-writer for long-time collaborator Shim Sung-bo, and if that helps it out, that's great. It's a nifty little movie, the sort of thriller that South Korea seems to do better than anyone else right now - the type that plunges the audience into much darker than expected territory and still keeps one on the edge of his or her seat out of genuine excitement." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: STICK WITH "THE RELIC"
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "A Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" and "Muffin Top: A Love Story"" (more)
THE OSCAR EYE (2014 AWARDS TALLY) (UPDATED 12/20 W/FLORIDA & NEVADA)
by Erik Childress
"The Oscar Eye is brings you the latest award tallies for each of the film. Who is winning? Who is being nominated? Who isnít getting any love? Will it all lead to Oscar gold or will some great films be the perpetual bridesmaid to the soft-loviní Academy? (NOTE: "Other Awards" are those signified by organizations that limit their awards to a very specific subsection of the year's qualifiers - or - awards that are not presented at the Oscars. Or the Gothams who miss about two months worth of movies. Or the Golden Satellites who voted for The Wolf of Wall Street despite not seeing the movie.)" (more)
WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL 2014 INTERVIEW: SNOWMAN DIRECTOR MIKE DOUGLAS
by Jason Whyte
"'SNOWMAN is a familiar story about dreams, risk, and friendship. Kevin Fogolin thought he had life figured out until the helicopter he was travelling in slammed into the side of a mountain.' Director Mike Douglas on his film SNOWMAN which is the closing night film of the 2014 Whistler Film Festival." (more)
MORE FEATURES

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- Vanessa, On "Can't Hardly Wait"
 
 

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