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Amazing Spider-Man 2

Amazing Spider-Man 2 is almost adequate, if all you know is its predecessor movies. Long term fanboys already know, and it is confirmed, that this film is wrong on so many levels that it is painful to sit through (although the one minor change to the ultimate sequence is adequately clever).

Yes, we know "don't compare to Source Material." For once in twenty years, we can't do that. The film is terrible. It assumes relationships that don't exist and then follows fanboy-known continuity to the very end. For about half the film, ASM2 looked like it was going to break from print continuity, but no. That is why it fails miserably.

American Sniper

American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, from the creative mind of director Clint Eastwood. After four terms in Iraq, a vet brings his problems home in a terribly average film. Wait and rent.

Big Hero Six

A boy and his older brother's robot take on the mysterious killer of latter human in Big Hero Six. It's an adequate animated film, though two deaths early on make us warn readers not to bring six year old kidlets to the film. . The cute moments outweigh the creepy but, ultimately, the film is a rental offering.

dom hemingway

Dom Hemingway stars Jude Law as a safecracker who spends 12 years in jail waiting for a promised payout from taking the fall on his last job. He doesn't get it. So, rather than becoming a standard revenge flick, Dom turns his life around and, well, makes a bet to crack an uncrackable safe. We had a full review done -- this one's a rental -- but Win8 burped and all was lost. Richard E. Grant co-stars.


Foxcatcher is a film that will re-define the word "creepy" for a new generation Formerly comic actor Steve Carrell stars as an exceedingly wealthy middle aged man determined to restore the U.S. Men's Olympic Wrestling team to its former glory. His focus is on two brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), one who figures it out and one who, maybe, doesn't want to figure it out. A true story, begging for Awards considerations..

the mule

The Mule is an Australian film with accents so thick even a knife couldn't cut through 'em. In it, a naive man attempts to smuggle 20 condoms packed with heroin, from a supplier in Bangkok to a dealer back home. Said dealer isn't the smuggler's usual connection -- which pisses off said connection. In the middle is Australian Customs, which quarantines the mule, suspecting what is essentially the truth. The film doesn't deliver the suspense you would infer from our description.

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2 is really Horrible. If you haven't seen the first one, rent it. Without that background, only half the film is understandable. Three inept dudes (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) who got their boss (Kevin Spacey) thrown in jail last time out, decide to start their own biz. How that turns into kidnapping will be left for you fans to discover. Jennifer Aniston has very little to do other than to look good in lingerie, which she does very well.

come together

Almost 45 years on, The Beatles live on in tribute bands all over the world. Come Together, narrated by John Lennon's sister Julia, is a loving tribute to those who attempt to replicate long lost performances down to the clothing and old equipment. If you remember the band in any form, or wish that you did, the film is 52 minutes you won't regret spending cash for. Amazon has it for you at half the price of a theater ticket.


The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg as a college professor with a wee blackjack problem, and John Goodman as the loan shark more than willing to make that wee problem into a deadly one. A good sit.


still alice

Still Alice stars Julianne Moore as a Columbia University professor diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers Disease. With Alec Baldwin as her husband and Kristen Stewart as a daughter on the west coast the film gently documents the character's decline. Moore's performance will break your heart. As serious films go, this one is magnificent.

Song of the Sea

Based on an Irish legend of a race called the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells of a brother and sister who must journey across land to get back to their home in the sea. The animation was far too cartoon-y for us and the story failed to hold our attention. Even a 'toonhead can be let down.

The Theory of Everything

Every once in a while we close the books early: if The Theory of Everything, tells the story of Dr. Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his love turned wife Jane (Felicity Jones), as they face (his) last two years of life with working legs. She starts a family. He solves the Physics of Time. One of the best of the year.

The Theory of Everything trailer here

Exodus Gods and Kings

Exodus Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses . . . if we need to tell you the story, shame on you . . . with Joel Edgerton as Pharoah and Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley in supporting roles. There's also an interesting choice for the One who isn't called God. We're glad director Ridley Scott has kept relatively close to the original story.(or maybe we should thank writer Steve Zallian) for an OK sit.


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is more rightly Part Two of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Six months from now you will be able to sit and watch the whole megillah from its intolerable start to its action packed finish. There is no need for a review -- everyone is going to go see it, even if just to finish out the story -- so we've built a couple of dozen wallpaper sized images for y'all to download. Click an image or Start here


One of the best films of the year, Selma recreates one of the key events of the 1960s Civil Rights 'uprising'. The events surrounding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King's (David Oyelowo) march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The film is better than anything you may have read in a history textbook.

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The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is  Copyright © 1995-2017 by, Chuck Schwartz. 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.