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.


Kick-Ass - Movie Poster

Kick-Ass

4.0 Andrew O'Dea

An unnoticed high school student with no powers or training decides to become a super-hero.

"Kick-Ass" weaves teen melodrama with some of the coarsest language and most gratuitous and glorious violence ever seen on screen. Every action sequence is amazingly original, bolstered by inventive choreography and superb production values. Although the storyline is flimsy in parts, the uneven pacing may be considered deliberate, as our expectations are frequently and often shockingly shattered at any given moment. The director is to be applauded for this completely unrestrained film, free from industry conformity. Genuinely messed up, but totally kicks ass.


Children of Men - Movie Poster

Children of Men

4.0 Anthony Macali

In 2027, as humankind faces the likelihood of its own extinction, a disillusioned government agent agrees to help transport and protect a miraculously pregnant woman.

This is a disturbing look at London in anarchy, rife with violence and refugees impounded in cages. The future is glum when no children exist. The Bexhill refugee camp scenes towards the end are breath-taking. If you don't understand why there are no children in this movie, or continue to question it, this movie is not for you.


The Blind Side - Movie Poster

The Blind Side

4.0 Anne Murphy

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

"The Blind Side" has quite a plot, all true, all fairy-tale and all feel-good. With a remarkable story to tell, the film is not unnecessarily cheapened by sentiment. It is related in a down to earth manner that could be described as understated, marred only by the cloying musical score which is definitely overplayed. This pragmatic movie is delivered with faultless performances from the cast, and it is surprisingly moving to watch. Be blindsided.


Flight - Movie Poster

Flight

4.0 Anthony Macali

An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.

"Flight" begins with one of the most exhilarating cockpit sequences you will ever see, and never lets up. This tale centers on the pilot, riddled with a substance addiction, and the morality that surrounds his heroic endeavour. It's an investigation that generates further intrigue and suspense as it travels along, despite the odd scene that undermines its gravity. A truly riveting story and performance from the lead. Strap yourself in.


The Conjuring - Movie Poster

The Conjuring

4.0 Anthony Macali

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Rooted in the origins of a true case, "The Conjuring" is frightening. Largely set in an eerie country home, this story doesn't appear to bring anything new to the genre, but the execution is haunting. The tension slowly builds and the heart-rate jumps with each scare. Even with the lights on you don't feel safe. There are few moments of silliness, but they are lost in the shadowing score, and the many bumps and thumps that mark the return of the exorcism. The film is possessed.


Julie & Julia - Movie Poster

Julie & Julia

4.0 Anne Murphy

Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book.

Two storylines are baked together, although about 50 years separate them, and the result is delicious. Scenes effortlessly transport the viewer in and out of the lives and kitchens of Julie and Julia, capturing a shared passion for cooking. The characters are wonderful, warm, and loving; their relationships golden roasted and close to perfect. This movie is appetizingly presented and readily devoured. As both Julie and Julia would have said... bon appetit!


Guardians of the Galaxy - Movie Poster

Guardians of the Galaxy

4.0 Andrew O'Dea

A group of misfits finds themselves the target of a manhunt after acquiring an all-powerful orb.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is utterly dazzling as a sci-fi spectacle, but its real strength lies in the charisma of its characters. The band of atypical yet weirdly loveable heroes at its core affirms the film's goofy and energetic nature, as it strikes a cosmic balance between rollicking action and humour. It also proves to be a musical treat, with the eclectic soundtrack providing a slew of classic songs to compliment the irreverent fun. Relive that feeling of being a kid watching a Saturday morning cartoon with this awesome addition to the movie universe.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Movie Poster

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

4.0 Anthony Macali

Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding the Dark Lord's three remaining Horcruxes.

From dark, to darker, to pure black, the final installment does not disappoint. The excruciating build-up of Part 1 is justified in this fast-paced climax, high in tension and full of magic, action and spells that shape a siege for the ages. Every wizard is witness to the ultimate assault of good and evil, characters fighting their destinies, confronting love, life and death. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" is sombre in mood but not in nature, producing an impressive finale to a much-loved epic.


The Fighter - Movie Poster

The Fighter

4.0 Anne Murphy

A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980's.

If you thought stories of the boxing hero had retired to their corner, grab a ringside seat... "The Fighter" will get you in a clinch. Oddly the fighter himself is the most conventional, and possibly the least interesting character in the ensemble. There are no glass jaws among his family, brawlers all. While not landing a full body blow, the action is powerful if punishing to watch. The gloves are off, and the audience is delivered a TKO.


Adventureland - Movie Poster

Adventureland

4.0 Anthony Macali

Set in the summer of 1987 and centered around a recent college grad who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Despite its 'indy' pretensions, this story has more heart than its formulaic predecessors. Sure, it might follow your typical boy meets girl scenario, but it rises above the cliché with a cast who wonderfully capture the fun, frivolity and angst of the time. Although short on the laughs it may promise, it still makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Coupled with an awesome 80's soundtrack en-loop, "Adventureland" is a charming ride about growing up and finding love.


Quantum of Solace - Movie Poster

Quantum of Solace

4.0 Anthony Macali

Seeking revenge for the death of his love, secret agent James Bond sets out to stop an environmentalist from taking control of a country's water supply.

"Quantum of Solace" continues the story of a re-invented Bond and sustaines him brilliantly. The film speeds to life in its CG-adverse approach, parenting action that is gritty, real and constant. What really shines is the comparable emotional conflict of 007, rebelling from his seasoned superiors and contending with the revenge that consumes him. This is still quintessential Bond, revamped, reenergized and welcome solace for an equally stirring future.


Buried - Movie Poster

Buried

4.0 Tom Jones

Paul is a U.S. contractor working in Iraq, wh After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin.

'Tis an ambitious undertaking to make a film with only one character and only one setting, especially when that setting is a wooden box. All involved, particularly the lead who battles the worst bureaucracy to try and survive, deserve great credit for achieving this feat in such a compelling way. The suspense is sustained brilliantly. Just when the situation looks like it couldn't get anymore dire, it does, in a most unexpected and nightmarish way. "Buried" is bold, brave and breathtaking.. literally.


Submarine - Movie Poster

Submarine

4.0 Andrew O'Dea

15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.

There is an underlying idealism and sentimentality to "Submarine" that is tenderly masked by moments of genuine hilarity. Just like sonar, you can't see it, but you can feel it there. The humour is oddball and quirky, but never to the point where it's self-aware. With a soundtrack that is simply sublime, and whimsical visuals to match, this is a stylish and funny story told with great affinity by a clearly talented first-time director. Submarine down. Periscopes, emotion, and laughter up.


127 Hours - Movie Poster

127 Hours

4.0 Stefan Bugryn

A man gets stuck under a boulder while he ventures out alone to a canyon in Utah.

It is quite obvious the film-makers wanted the audience to feel like they were right there with the protagonist throughout this harrowingly absorbing ordeal. At times it almost feels like a 'docu-drama'. There's an abundance of uncomfortable close ups as the storyline is confined to that wretched canyon, while 'that scene' is unflinchingly realistic (you won't ever forget it!). In doing so, they created a film experience that is both gruelling and rewarding, and will leave you deep in thought afterwards. Every minute, and hour, is worth it.


Role Models - Movie Poster

Role Models

4.0 Anthony Macali

Wild behavior forces a pair of energy drink reps to enroll in a Big Brother program.

This film is testament to those 'crass-comedies with charm' which have now grown to become their own sub-genre. Whilst containing your typical vulgar jokes, it doesn't rely on them for cheap laughs. Instead, the most uproarious scenes are generated by low-key interplay shared between some of the movies' more eccentric characters. There's never a dull moment as it propels you into the hilariously crazy and endearing world of 'Live Action Interactive Roleplaying Explorers', or L.A.I.R.E. "Role Models" is definately a comedy to aspire to.


Arthur Christmas - Movie Poster

Arthur Christmas

4.0 Wendy Slevison

On Christmas night, Santa's youngest son looks to use his father's high-tech operation for a mission.

"How DOES Santa deliver ALL those presents in one night?" Well, here is the answer, in this charming and engaging addition to the Christmas movie genre. Santa's family are just like any other family, so it seems, with their squabbles and power struggles. Ultimately the job must get done though, and despite some quirky yet substantial obstacles on this particular Christmas Eve, it eventually does. With voice work provided by a quite dazzling array of well-known actors, this delightful romp is guaranteed to imbue Christmas spirit into even the most cynical of viewers. Merry Christmas!


Godzilla - Movie Poster

Godzilla

4.0 Anthony Macali

The world's most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures threaten our very existence.

"Godzilla" is back bigger and better than ever. This reincarnation of the story does not lay dormant for very long, feeding nuclear fears and manifesting them in the grandest and most terrifying of creatures. The special effects are superb, with hellish production sets and gravitating action that will leave you in awe. However, this monster's greatest success is the decidedly human element, brilliantly capturing the universal threat and far-spanning emotional reactions of all characters involved. Let them fight.


Friends with Kids - Movie Poster

Friends with Kids

4.0 Anthony Macali

Two best friends decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship platonic, so they can avoid the toll kids can take on romantic relationships.

"Friends with Kids" is about breaking conventions, offering an atypical (and refreshing) perspective on marriage and children. It thrives on the chemistry of its two leads, dishing out their rather brash commentary on the failed relationships of their friends, and sharing some of the opinions we always think but never say. The experiment unfolds and it's funny, only to succumb to the formulaic predictability so promisingly absent from the first half. Film with laughs.


Happy Feet Two - Movie Poster

Happy Feet Two

4.0 Anthony Macali

Mumble's son, Erik, is struggling to realize his talents in the Emperor Penguin world.

"Happy Feet Two" is actually an existential film with penguins, but don't let the seemingly grim subject matter get you down. It takes a good hike to get going, but once it does, there is plenty of the famous singing and dancing that made the first film so popular, and en masse. Thousands of penguins stamp their feet in this majestic world, its scope and beauty coolly realised with some very colourful animation. In the face of grave danger, these flightless birds find hope and life in their music. Skip along and you will be happy too.


The Hangover - Movie Poster

The Hangover

4.0 Anthony Macali

A Las Vegas-set comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him.

"The Hangover" premise is familiar and simple, the perfect breeding ground for plenty of laughter and stupidity. While the trailer might steal most of the best moments, the film is still hilarious. The characters are half as likeable as they should be, but it does make it funnier when bad stuff happens to them. It only struggles towards the ending, as jokes resort to bad cameos and slapstick. Despite a few headaches, it's still a winner.


Man on a Ledge - Movie Poster

Man on a Ledge

4.0 Tom Jones

As a police psychologist works to talk down an ex-con who is threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop, the biggest diamond heist ever committed is in motion.

Any film that starts with a car chase in a cemetery is bound to be good. "Man on Ledge" is packed with non-stop drama, suspense, action and characters. There are so many players in this game, each with their own rising stakes, and the way the multiple stories unfold simultaneously, with not a minute of screen time wasted, is incredibly smart and highly entertaining. Don’t let the title deceive you, the plot is a lot thicker and will keep you on the ledge of your seat.


Looper - Movie Poster

Looper

4.0 Tom Jones

In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits.

What would you do if you met yourself 30 years from now? Would you hug and tell yourself how healthy you look? This time travel film is far from some ploy to sell you life insurance. The characters are trying to kill their future selves, in a roundabout way. It is seriously cool. The plot is unpredictable for the entirety and the characters are as disturbing as they are likeable. Prepare yourself for hours of post film analysis. It's a ride


The A-Team - Movie Poster

The A-Team

4.0 Andrew O'Dea

A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

"The A-Team" might get a "B" for the script, but it more than makes up for it with an "A" for action. The elaborate stunts and explosions littered throughout are all absurd yet ingeniously creative, and the film delivers completely when it comes to pure escapist entertainment. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and in doing so manages to blend preposterous set pieces with some seriously funny moments. Action fans will be sure to love it when this plan comes together...


Up - Movie Poster

Up

4.0 Anthony Macali

By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfil his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America.

"Up" is an imaginative film of dazzling heights and adventure. En route to the wilderness, we befriend two of the most acutely realised characters ever created. It's a pure joy to watch as their personalities and mannerisms unfold during numerous suspenseful encounters, complete with hilarious talking dogs and a particularly snappy rainbow bird. This emprise of hopes and dreams is masterfully undertaken, reminding both kids and adults to never give up.