• Stoker

    Stoker

    ★★★★

    This film has some breathtakingly stunning transitions, sensuous sound, and a compelling plot, even if some of its psychological suspense ultimately relies on cliches.

  • Dredd

    Dredd

    ★★★

    Some really nice special effects, but I found it a bit boring.

  • Gangster Squad

    Gangster Squad

    ★★½

    An attempt to be stylized with the dialogue results in the screenplay feeling wildly overwritten - either too many turns of phrase or too many on-the-nose statements ("Here's where we're going to run dope and whores!"). Generally, the film is not particularly stylish or special, much as it tries to be. As usual, a great, understated performance by Gosling and a refreshing character for Eric Patrick. Sean Penn gives it his best, but the dialogue doesn't give him enough to work with. Some exciting action and use of slow-motion. But not enough of a story (or moral) to sink one's teeth into.

  • Zero Dark Thirty

    Zero Dark Thirty

    A rather dispassionate account of the hunt for bin Laden. Certainly, as promised, the film is journalistic in style, but it was to the point that I found myself little transformed or emotionally engaged at the end. More than anything, it's an interesting portrait of the CIA and its personality as an organization.

    I have to take issue with those that have suggested that the film justifies torture as a means to finding bin Laden; although it does portray torture…

  • John Dies at the End

    John Dies at the End

    ★★★★

    A fun, lo-fi, but clever b-movie by the director of Bubba Ho-tep, Beastmaster and Phantasm, in the spirit of Evil Dead and early Sam Raimi. The narrative keeps adding layers, and even when it seems to devolve into ridiculousness, something novel develops. Embrace the corny effects and give into it.