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All is Lost
All is Lost
American Hustle
American Hustle
August: Osage County,
August: Osage County,
Dallas Buyers Club
Dallas Buyers Club
fault in our stars

The Fault in Our Stars was written for and aimed at the "young adult" female demographic -- two beautiful teens fall in love but both are dying of cancer. Will they? Won't they? (That means sex or death or maybe something more.). That this middle aged male critic found this to be a terrific film means (either) it is a terrific film or we're just getting soft. It's the former.


Godzilla saves the world in one big monster vs. monsters scene. Just as the movie entered its second hour something went 'pop' in our spinal cord. Thankfully you don't need our opinion to influence you. Y'all will go.




Heaven is For Real

Heaven is For Real is the real life story of an eight year old who has a near death experience and sees dead relatives and Jesus.

Heck, we were a practicing white-boy Buddhist when we had the near death experience on September 15, 1988. Heaven is real. But Buddha wasn't there. Neither was Jesus. God, on the other hand . . . and that's all He would let us see. His Hand . . . is very much real.



The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug


The Homesman by triple threat Tommy Lee Jones stars Hilary Swank as a plain Jane Nebraska homesteader tasked with "bringing back to civilization" three other female homesteaders who have lost their minds. We can't tell you any more than that without ruining Swank's bravura performance in a story that will break your heart (assuming you are grown up enough to understand the shocking twist to the story).

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis


Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey as an astronaut searching out a new planet on which to seed a new Earth. Or serve as sanctuary for refugees from the old, dying earth. The film offers both possibilities and then dives head first into explaining time shifts and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Until the final two minutes the film is a slow, steady and good sit. What we thought was supposed to be happening in those two minutes was not what we saw on screen.

Jimi All Is By My Side

Being mentioned, because we watched it, is a limited release, music free re- creation of a year in the life of Jimi Hendrix starring Andre Benjamin as the original guitar god. The film is called Jimi: All Is By My Side . . . except that the one thing that isn't by (Jimi's) side is a guitar. Nothing matters about anything about Hendrix without the music. Nuh. Thing. Period.

Left Behind

Left Behind remakes the Christian Rapture (apocalyptic) fantasy that was a low-budget, virtual direct to disc release five or six years back. For this telling, comic book aficionado Nicolas Cage has the lead role. Yeah, we're Hebrew but we would've been fair if it had (but it wasn't) and if (all the stuff to the left . . .). Now that we think about it, that comic book story comparison is gonna get us soooo dissed . . .

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor,stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana and recreates a battle (lost) and retreat across the mountains of Afghanistan. If you haven't burned out on battles-against-impossible-odds movies, find the theater with the biggest screen and best surround sound and hunker down. Honestly... had we managed to see this film during the mid-December screening frenzy we may have been content with the film. Now, in January, we're just too burned out. That being written, with Mark Wahlberg above the title, you're not going to go wrong.. . that's if you're in the mood.


Angelina Jolie stars in Maleficent which explains how Sleeping Beauty's evil queen got that way. Cranky's back went out just prior to our screening -- marking the beginning of what is now three weeks of back pain "h... e... double hockey sticks" Our old fall back rates the film barely watchable (RT43% Fresh - props to Jolie). Wallpaper downloads here


Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm is the kind of movie that Disney should be able to produce, and produce well, with its eyes closed. Nope. This story of an Indian (the country) novice pitcher, true as it may be, is just dull.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFarlane thinks too much. His film A Million Ways to Die in the West is proof. His spoof of classic western genre films failed to make us laugh or to keep our attention BUT we listen to the audience and all the 20somethings in our theater thought it was great. Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris and Liam Neeson share the bill

22 Jump Street

22 Jump Street is where everyone else (meaning the non-family daters and some single folk) will go, if they really enjoyed the predecessor adaptation of the hit television show. That's a lot of words to say if the sequel is half as good as the original, you will be happy We expect that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will be spewing as many cusswords as they did in the last one. Whaddya want from us? We're getting old!!!

Need for Speed

What can we say about Need for Speed other than, yes, we saw it? The script is godawful. The car crash stunts are all been- there-done-that (you've seen 'em all before). We were bored silly. Only the stoners in our screening were happy campers. If that's you, we don't have to tell you about the story. Everybody else -- sorry, Need for Speed was such a wreck that we didn't remember a thing by the time we left the theater. It was so bad we didn't feel like looking it up on the 'net, either.

The Other Woman

The Other Woman stars Cameron Diaz, with Leslie Mann and Kate Upton as lover, wife and bimbo (in that order) to investment banker Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The three discover each other and decide to turn the tables on the man. First time writer Melissa K. Stack sets up some good jokes but fails to follow through. We sense the potential for a great revenge comedy in this thing somewhere. It's just not what we saw on the big screen. Avoid.


If it were not for Keifer Sutherland all dressed to the nines as a Roman Senator who is just so full of himself Pompeii would be just another disaster flick. The film is cheesy but things blow up real good.

the raid 2

DO NOT MISS The First FIVE MINUTES of The Raid 2 or you will be totally lost. The next 80 minutes are nothing but action, all of which will leave all males under the age of 30 sitting in a puddle by the time it is over. We were so impressed by the action we tried to see the film a second time ... mostly because we missed two of the first five minutes. We failed. If you fit the above mentioned demographic, you shouldn't. Again: Nothing But Action..


The music world according to Whiplash: Rock drumming isn't music. Jazz drumming is and, if you're not as willing to take the kind of abuse you are willing to inflict on your instrument, you'll never make it as a pro. J.K. Simmons gives. Miles Teller takes. TV's Paul Reiser co-stars as the failure of the kid's dad. Kid doesn't want to be a failure so . . . prepare yourselves -- the abuse is verbal and hard core. Nominations will follow.


A number of events, badly revealed in flashback form, spur a young woman (Reese Witherspoon) with booze and sex addiction problems to walk the thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Said travels begin at the southern edge of the Mohave Desert and end at the Canadian border. There are not enough revelations in the aforementioned flashbacks to make Wild into an interesting film. Unless you've read the book, avoid the film


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The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995-2015 Chuck Schwartz. All Rights Reserved. Articles and interviews by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All Rights Reserved. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of and ©, ®, ™ their respective studios. Used by permission. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award™(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All Rights Reserved.