Frozen - Movie Poster

Frozen

3.0 Anthony Macali

Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

"Frozen" is the story of two sisters surrounded by a dazzling world of ice that gleams so impressively in this animation. While the characters and relationships are tailored to suit a modern audience, the core of the story sticks to a classic formula with familiar themes of family and love. Full of adventure and laughs thanks to a troupe of goofy sidekicks, this film distinguishes itself with merry displays of music and song. For the young princesses of the world.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Movie Poster

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

4.0 Anne Murphy

A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action.

Suspend disbelief and step into the sort of adventure we ordinary folk only dream about. In addition to the ripping story line there are quirky characters and a stunning visual presentation, a magical combination. There is an interesting sub-plot about corporatism and the value placed on the bottom line rather than employees which has us hoping that someone can pull a rabbit from a hat. Remind the cynics when they scoff that it is the star gazers who create the magic. Shhh.


August: Osage County - Movie Poster

August: Osage County

3.5 Anthony Macali

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in.

"August: Osage County" plays host to a family steeped in unresolved issues. As each character is introduced, they bring extra weight to the drama. Based on a play, there are no small parts to this story, allowing each member of the ensemble to thrive, most memorably when they sit together in a dining scene to never forget. While the film lingers towards its conclusion, there's no doubt individuals will resonate identify with parts of the narrative before the end. Funny: Sad Family.


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - Movie Poster

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

3.0 Andrew O'Dea

With the 70s behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm.

Vintage Ron Burgundy returns to the screen in this fantastically outrageous sequel. Not nearly as much fun as the prelude, hard-core fans will no doubt be left in stitches by the familiar silliness of "Anchorman 2", and the rapport of its cast who shine in their individual performances. The film is downright hilarious in parts, only to be let down by stretches of padded, low-brow humour in-between. By no means a comedic gem, but offers just enough to stay classy.


The Spectacular Now - Movie Poster

The Spectacular Now

3.5 Anne Murphy

A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl."

Some matches are made in heaven, and the romantic match central to "Spectacular Now" is made on a front lawn. That should tell you that this is a quirky but down to earth tale. The focus is on the now rather than the future, but the past looms large for the characters. Spectacular suggests grand, but it's the simplicity of the everyday that is most engaging. Then there is self-discovery, ubiquitous and inevitable in coming-of-age movies, and breathtaking here. Simply stupendous.


Austenland - Movie Poster

Austenland

2.0 Anne Murphy

Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.

This is one of those times when the story ought to have remained a literary piece and not have been brought to the screen. The actors ham up romance scenes in a corny but corseted way. "Austenland" is daffy, cute and insubstantial; there is no trace of the wit and wisdom of the author on whose classic works this fantasy piece teeters. Not the end of the world, but it is a relief to reach this land's end.


One Chance - Movie Poster

One Chance

3.0 Anthony Macali

The true story of Paul, an amateur opera singer who became a phenomenon after winning "Britain's Got Talent".

"One Chance" is the inspirational story of Paul Potts, and his competition with the forces preventing him from singing opera. Bullied at school, he received no support from his father and lacks the confidence to hold his nerve on stage. While the film only scratches at the surface of these issues, it's still uncomfortable to watch. Thankfully there are many moments of humour throughout to curb the continuous heartbreak, especially when the road to success is this long. An emotional winner.


Enough Said - Movie Poster

Enough Said

4.0 Anne Murphy

A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she's interested in learns he's her new friend's ex-husband.

Reading the synopsis you might assume the relationship central to "Enough Said" is fraught, which would misrepresent this intelligent and nuanced comedy. Maybe any romantic pairing is complicated, even the flirtatious liaison that this couple starts out with. While there are complexities inherent in the story line, the movie is deceptively simple, and the realism disarming, almost achingly so. How do you love someone just as they are and not for how you want them to be? Say it again...


About Time - Movie Poster

About Time

3.5 Anthony Macali

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life.

"About Time" is one of those sweet romantic comedies designed for everybody to love, with the added gimmick of time-travel to keep the story moving forward. It's a plot device we've all seen before, but the charming set of characters allow a welcome and constant reminder to treasure every moment of our day-to-day lives. Despite the lack of originality, there's enough laughter and plenty of good-will to forgive the film for its obvious flaws. About life.


Planes - Movie Poster

Planes

3.0 Anthony Macali

A cropdusting plane with a fear of heights lives his dream of competing in a famous around-the-world aerial race.

"Planes" is a simple story of flying fun. The premise is basic and sticks to a tried formula, lacking the boost in creativity required to distinguish this animation from the rest. As a result, the film is best suited to the youngest of age groups, who will marvel at the soaring aeroplanes brought to life in colourful 3D. There is plenty of spectacle and lots of racing, astutely captured and easy to follow, darting to the finish of a short and sweet running time. Fly in, fly out.


I'm So Excited! - Movie Poster

I'm So Excited!

2.0 Anne Murphy

When it appears as though the end is in sight, the pilots, flight crew, and passengers of a plane heading to Mexico City look to forget the anguish.

The raunchy over the top camp moments deliver the most entertaining segments, but there's not much more to "I'm So Excited". The movie under delivers to an extent that makes the title seem paradoxical. The antics in the first class cabin left this viewer enthused. The flamboyance is fun but overall the production fails to soar. I'm so excited, not.


Kick-Ass 2 - Movie Poster

Kick-Ass 2

2.5 Andrew O'Dea

The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume.

"Kick-Ass 2" returns with the same manic mix of comedy and action that made its predecessor so uniquely original and successful. Unfortunately you can't help but compare the two, and although a gang of new heroes and villains offer some freshness, the shock-drama that was once edgy and brash now feels regurgitated and routine. Despite the film's clumsiness, it is still sporadically funny and gruesome enough to entertain those open to the experience. Kicks ass in name only.


Frances Ha - Movie Poster

Frances Ha

3.5 Andrew O'Dea

A story that follows a New York woman who throws herself headlong into her dreams.

"Frances Ha" is an unassuming and offbeat comedy about life, loves and messy rooms. Shot entirely in inky black and white against a New York City backdrop, the film's colour radiates from the whimsy and charm of the affable Frances. Her flawed character is an aimless yet endearing underachiever, and despite the glaring criticisms her questionable life-choices might draw, her gleeful exuberance and goofball nature has an appeal which makes her disarmingly likeable. An affectionate salute to our disjointed lives; fall for Frances.


We're the Millers - Movie Poster

We're the Millers

2.0 Anne Murphy

A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico.

"We're the Millers" will divide audiences. Some will find it hilarious and entertaining, while others will squirm and remain straight faced. Try this test; do you usually like movies that are advertised in bus shelters? Answer "yes siree", then next stop is the cinema. Answer "meh, I don’t think so", then stay on board. This film doesn't ask much of viewers, yet doesn't deliver much either. Ironically it's about a big deal... but is no big deal.


100 Bloody Acres - Movie Poster

100 Bloody Acres

4.0 Anne Murphy

Brothers Reg and Lindsay are struggling to keep their organic blood and bone fertilizer business in motion.

"100 Bloody Acres" is a splatter-comedy and more Australian than anything seen in donkey's years. From the bush setting to the larrikins and drongos who inhabit the screen, the film's ethnicity is unmistakably true-blue. It's even set on an Australia Day long weekend. The plot is imaginative and original, and the director delivers plenty of scares. Thanks to the cast, who each play their parts perfectly, the way events unfold is funny as well as bloody; bloody funny.


The World's End - Movie Poster

The World's End

2.5 Anthony Macali

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.

"The World's End" is a directors attempt to satisfy a sense of nostalgia, granting inspiration to this drunken comedy. The start is promising, an eclectic bunch of old friends reflecting on their lost youth, memories we can all relate to. The banter is quietly funny, and momentum builds with each humorously named pub until the whole quest descends into a science-fiction farce. It feels like lazy way to rescue a story that would otherwise run out of drink. Pub crawl come robot crawl? WTF.


The Way Way Back - Movie Poster

The Way Way Back

4.0 Anthony Macali

14-year-old Duncan is having a rough time enjoying his vacation away with his mother and new boyfriend, until finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

"The Way Way Back" is a coming-of-age tale that will make you wish for summertime. The warm beach-side is an interesting setting to play out the conflict, as the shy Duncan wrestles with the reality of his newly blended family. With the help of the most unexpected of strangers, he slowly gains confidence and there is great joy to be found in watching him grow. A wonderful mix of laughter and drama, held together by a fantastic cast. Take the vacation.


What's in a Name? - Movie Poster

What's in a Name?

4.0 Anne Murphy

At a dinner with family Vincent announces the name for his future son, the revelation ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters.

We say that familiarity breeds contempt, and the conversation over dinner with family can be sharper than would come forth in the same setting with friends. The erudite and witty repartee shared during thisgathering is bitingly sharp, with accidental disclosures that could only be tolerated by spouses or relatives. Tempers rise and civility slips, but the dialogue is so well crafted and funny that enjoyment builds frame to frame. Call me anything... but don't call me late for dinner.


This Is the End - Movie Poster

This Is the End

3.5 Andrew O'Dea

While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.

"This Is the End" is a creative comedy that plays like one stupendous inside-joke the audience is invited to. Although there are stretches of tedium at times, memorably hilarious scenes are never too far away. The self-referential and defacing style is bolstered by a witty script and a superb cast willing to mock themselves, with a host of high-profile cameos providing some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. Juvenile, crude, and funny till the end.


Much Ado About Nothing - Movie Poster

Much Ado About Nothing

5.0 Anne Murphy

A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Finally a rom-com that is unabashedly romantic and laugh-out-loud funny. The ingredients of this movie create a heady cocktail that ensures audience delight. First take a work published in 1600, stage it as a garden party with players costumed in business attire speaking with American accents, sit back, and swig. The secret is having the cast drink a lot, it works, and the otherwise silly plot twists make more sense than ever. Ta-dah and much ado.


Monsters University - Movie Poster

Monsters University

3.0 Andrew O'Dea

A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University - when they weren't necessarily the best of friends.

"Monsters University" is more than adequate as a stand-alone film. Although it brings the same successful charm to screen as its predecessor, it takes far less risks, and seems content to appease its audience rather than dazzle them. Impressively animated, there are still a host of clever moments that deliver life lessons to learn and college humour to laugh, with both subversive gags for the adults and colourful entertainment for the kids. B minus.


A Gun in Each Hand - Movie Poster

A Gun in Each Hand

3.5 Anne Murphy

A series of five vignettes exploring the relationship crises of middle aged men.

This movie is a conversation starter. After watching the intimate conversations on the screen, there will much to talk about, particularly with a member of the opposite sex. "A Gun in Each Hand" is thought provoking, and we're given a fly-on-the-wall chance to witness men talking and sharing about their feelings and relationships. They are all struggling in some way and the director's slightly cynical touch is light enough that we can connect with both their desires and concerns. Straight shooters, or trying to be…


Despicable Me 2 - Movie Poster

Despicable Me 2

2.5 Anne Murphy

Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.

Despicable has become respectable and it must be Spring as dating and romance are the featured themes. The writers have set up their reformed villain to meet a love interest and create a traditional family. How’s that for uninspired? Needless to say, "Despicable Me 2" is not as delightful as its predecessor. Thankfully those little yellow guys, the minions, make merry with fart jokes and other slapstick mayhem; they are more attuned to junior audiences than the besotted lead characters. Disappointed me.


Happiness Never Comes Alone - Movie Poster

Happiness Never Comes Alone

3.0 Anne Murphy

Sacha is only interested in one night stands and has a phobia of children, until he meets Charlotte, the divorced mother-of-three and ex-wife of one his employer's powerful clients.

This French rom-com is delightful, and there's much enjoy. Unfortunately, like many in the genre, there's not a lot to make it memorable. The good-looking leads enchant with their on-screen chemistry, and the humour has a physicality to it that borders on slap-stick, providing an amusing touch of vaudevillian styling. You can't help but be enamoured - this movie delivers a delightful affair of the heart. Happiness, apparently, comes for couples.


The Internship - Movie Poster

The Internship

3.0 Anthony Macali

After losing their sales job, two middle-aged men are forced into a career change.

"The Internship" a.k.a. 'The Google movie' paints a glamorous and humorous picture of the greatest workplace in America. Get past the initial grandstanding, and you might discover a charming story of two salesmen lost in a digital future. Their foray into the world of technology is comical one, taking place in the bright yet surprisingly hostile environment of computer geeks. You don't need to understand all of the tech-jargon to get the gist, but it certainly might help. The film's only error is the time it takes to produce results. Google it.