The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Movie Poster

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

3.0 Andrew O'Dea

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a beautifully crafted and acted film, but the running time and ambiguity surrounding its message holds it back. Lessons of fate, mortality, life, and death are prevalent - but they remain convoluted. For all their enigmatic symbolism, they are difficult to comprehend and appreciate. However, that's not to say the audience won't be able to draw their own conclusions from the many parables throughout. Indulge your curiosity, watch it, and make up your own mind.


Frost/Nixon - Movie Poster

Frost/Nixon

4.0 Andrew O'Dea

A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

"Frost/Nixon" is an intelligent and provocative political drama. The film's strength lies in dialogue that is witty and engaging, delivered by superlative performances from the two leads. Frost and Nixon are combatants slugging out a verbal war, gaining ascendancy only to be countered. Their battle of wills generates cinema that is completely engrossing. Who'd have thought that two men sitting down and talking to each other could be so entertaining?


Twilight - Movie Poster

Twilight

2.0 Andrew O'Dea

A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire.

"Twilight" is in essence a thinly veiled melodrama. The bulk of the film constitutes parading an endless procession of our star-crossed lovers staring longingly at each other, which achieves nothing but to reduce it to a lumbering bore. It feels like filler to a paper-thin plot, glaringly prevalent when crucial story revelations are uncovered simply by using an online search engine. An overwhelming sense of the anemic is coupled with dialogue that is as bland and as pale as the vampires' ridiculous skin. Appropriately put, this movie sucks.


The Wackness - Movie Poster

The Wackness

3.5 Andrew O'Dea

A lonely teenager spends his last summer before university selling marijuana throughout New York City, trading it with his unorthodox psychotherapist for treatment.

"The Wackness" follows the empathetic character of social outcast and drug dealer Luke Shapiro, centering on the unlikely friendship he develops with his eccentric therapist, Dr. Squires. In each other they find a solace of sorts, sharing their parallel frustrations with life. This movie is entertaining in its strangeness, as it paints an almost sardonic humour through the juxtaposition of adolescent anxiety and middle-aged depression.


RocknRolla - Movie Poster

RocknRolla

2.5 Andrew O'Dea

In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting the city's scrappiest tough guys and its more established underworld types, all of whom are looking to get rich quick.

"RocknRolla" is your prototypical gangster movie. It doesn't disappoint in featuring all of the mobsters, crime-lords, violence and cash one would expect from such a film. However, rather than an original revival of the genre, it simply produces a tired archetype that seems all too familiar. It lacks coherency, and a narrator constantly explaining the storyline is testimony to the overly convoluted plot. Only worth watching for gangster-film-groupies.


Death Race - Movie Poster

Death Race

3.0 Andrew O'Dea

Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must kill one another on the road to victory.

"Death Race" is a film pertaining to pure mindless entertainment. It takes us on a violent ride fuelled by all the fast cars, big guns, explosions and gore one would typically expect from the unashamed action genre. Fans of such cheap thrills will revel in the fun generated by the constant high-octane race sequences, while those seeking more dramatic substance will find the movie as a whole severely lacking.


The Counterfeiters - Movie Poster

The Counterfeiters

4.5 Andrew O'Dea

The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936.

"The Counterfeiters" presents a completely different sort of holocaust story. Saloman Sorowitz is captured and forced into a concentration camp to produce fake banknotes for the Nazi's. It challenges us through Saloman's quandary by raising provocative moral dilemmas. The movie doesn't impose a right or wrong, instead the viewer is subtly invited to ascertain their own beliefs. This brilliant film is surely no fraud, it's near enough a masterpiece.


Burn After Reading - Movie Poster

Burn After Reading

3.5 Andrew O'Dea

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

"Burn after Reading" is a wry, satirical comedy that revels in its own quirkiness. The outstanding performances convey a series of characters that haven't a clue what's going on - and neither do we - but therein lies the fun. The plot is as brilliant as it is convoluted. We don't see anything coming as each twist gathers momentum, creating a hilarious sense of the inconsequential. An absurdly entertaining film.


Body of Lies - Movie Poster

Body of Lies

3.5 Andrew O'Dea

Based on Washington Post columnist David Ignatius's 2007 novel about a CIA operative who uncovers a lead on a major terrorist leader suspected to be operating out of Jordan.

"Body of Lies" is a political thriller that presents a current perspective of the turmoil pertinent to the Middle East. Rather than descending into patriotic nonsense, it takes a pointed look behind the veil of the 'War on Terror'. Those with a vested interest in the often volatile yet delicate balance of diplomacy and international espionage will find this film intellectually engaging, while others may find the portion of action sequences, however impressive, lacking.


WALL-E - Movie Poster

WALL-E

5.0 Andrew O'Dea

A small robot embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

This is a wondrously inventive and poignant film that takes us on a journey of galactic proportions. The clever and heartfelt storyline is reflected amazingly onto screen through unequivocally stunning animation. We can't help but be captivated by our rusty little robotic hero as he scoots around the universe, inadvertently teaching us lessons of life, love, humanity, and the fragile nature of our planet. With storytelling and pure visual magic at its absolute best, "WALL-E" is out of this world.


Son of Rambow - Movie Poster

Son of Rambow

3.0 Andrew O'Dea

Set in the early 80's, this is a comedy about friendship, faith and the weird business of growing up.

"Son of Rambow" is a quirky comedy that takes us on a nostalgia trip. It rekindles our sense of youthful exuberance as we're invited into the imaginations of a couple of schoolboys as they set about creating their own crude and amusing homemade 'Rambo' movie. Through their unlikely friendship we remember the ecstasy and difficulties of being a kid. Though the story lacks excitement in parts, and suffers prematurely from a relatively dull climax, lovers of heartfelt movies will find it very engaging.


The Death of Mr. Lazarescu - Movie Poster

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

1.0 Andrew O'Dea

Follows the title character as he is passed on from hospital to hospital waiting for dire attention.

As the health of Mr. Lazarescu deteriorates then fails, so does this film. If the intention was to force the audience to associate with (and endure) Mr. Lazarescu's suffering, then it is a resonating success. The shaky handheld camerawork becomes nauseating, and the drawn out length nearly bores us to death. You can't help finding yourself willing his demise to come sooner, not to end his agony, but your own. Such is the lack of empathy created by unstirring, stagnant scenes. Avoid like the plague.


In Bruges - Movie Poster

In Bruges

4.0 Andrew O'Dea

Two hit men are sent to hide out in Bruges, Belgium after a difficult job goes wrong in London.

This film is essentially a black comedy that juxtaposes humour with tragedy. Set amongst the churches, canals, and cobbled streets of the titular Bruges, it uses this very setting to accentuate the polar natures of our two leading characters. The highly strung Ray struggles to cope with the lack of excitement, while the older, more refined Ken immerses himself in the history of the town. Amidst the dry humour created by their interaction is woven a very clever story that presents an undercurrent of morality.


The Bourne Ultimatum - Movie Poster

The Bourne Ultimatum

4.5 Andrew O'Dea

Bourne dodges new, superior assassins as he searches for some finality to his unknown past.

"The Bourne Ultimatum" is a spy-thriller that magnificently meanders its way through Moscow, Madrid, London, Morocco and New York. The movie travels at a frantic pace, and the camera never stops moving either, as it compels us to identify with the urgency of every scenario Bourne is confounded with. We are forced to brace ourselves as the thrill of the chase creates a gripping tension. The intense action sequences that result are a seamless constant, and bring an uncompromising yet exquisite realism to the film that you cannot help but marvel at.


Black Sheep - Movie Poster

Black Sheep

3.5 Andrew O'Dea

An experiment in genetic engineering turns harmless sheep into blood-thirsty killers that terrorize a sprawling New Zealand farm.

"Black Sheep" is a horror comedy pertaining to the most unique of premises. It's clever and fun and gets away with it because there's no need to pull the wool from our eyes, and it's easy to just sit back and enjoy the mutton madness. These 'baa-baa bad sheep' blend enough humour and gore to create a sublime comedy. If you don’t take things like this too seriously, ewe'll be sure to laugh...


300 - Movie Poster

300

4.0 Andrew O'Dea

King Leonidis leads a band of elite warriors to war in the defence of their revered Sparta.

A gourmet for the purest of action fans, "300" is a visual feast. It doesn't concede to that typical movie concept whereby our heroes find themselves vastly outnumbered only to overcome insurmountable odds. Amidst all the testosterone and glistening abdominal muscles, it still does well to conjure inspiration and give substance to the brave three hundred's valour and sacrifice. It's brutal, but ultimately moving. With ferocious battle sequences choreographed using superlative CGI, and a plot to match, slaughter never looked this good.