10 Worst Films of 2014
Dec30

10 Worst Films of 2014

There may be some omissions, but here are ten films that made me want to do parkour into a vat of lava. 10. Monuments Men A theatrical, bombastic, and wretchedly out of breath score huzzahs, hiccups and goes through the motions of trying to elevate Clooney’s slovenly-paced material. There is so much going on, but the film treats every event with the same canned urgency, so everything bleeds together into one monotone groan....

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Top Five
Dec30

Top Five

The Numbers Game Starring: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson Review written by Robert D. Patrick Bumbling lunacy, plumes of weed, and anatomy jokes – that’s been the popular well for comedies in recent years. Writers and directors, such as Judd Apatow and Evan Goldberg, make their money drilling for this kind of crass oil. Sometimes the affable schlubs in these buddy comedies come across as exhaustive and stale. Sometimes they...

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The Gambler
Dec27

The Gambler

Know When to Fold Them Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Brie Larson Review written by Robert D. Patrick A razed piñata of spilled spirits and emotional needling. Imagine a 21-year-old community college student who loves Charles Bukowski, Jameson whiskey, existential seething, and the musing of Tom Waits. Now, imagine that he’s seen a lot of Charlie Kaufman films, secretly loves action movies, and enjoys using the word “dig.”...

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Unbroken
Dec26

Unbroken

Dad Bait: The Movie Starring: Jack O’Connoll, Takamasa Ishihara Review written by Robert D. Patrick Chapped, sun-braised lips and unbridled suffering? It must be December, because the saliva slacked maws and welted skin is in full effect just in time for Oscar season. Clint Eastwood’s Unbroken – – – I mean Ron Howard’s Unbroken – – – I mean Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is a...

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Into the Woods
Dec24

Into the Woods

♫ This Is Bad, Please Help ♫ Starring: Meryl Streep, Chris Pine Review written by Robert D. Patrick It’s a grisly business to adapt a musical to screen, there is no doubt, particularly when the source material is beloved. Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods shoehorns a myriad of fairy tale characters into an allegoric hornet’s nest. Culled from various stories, everything from Little Red Riding Hood to Jack and the...

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The Better Angels
Nov21

The Better Angels

Abe-bout a Boy Starring: Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger Review written by Robert D. Patrick The Better Angels offers no levity, no flecks of light or booming laughter. No school taught anecdotes or conventional wisdom. The Better Angels, instead, leaves you with sharp monochrome images of buzzing insects and weathered faces. Arboreal light and rough, wooden chairs. The synopsis will tell you that this film is chiefly about Abraham...

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The Last Temptation of Christ
Oct03

The Last Temptation of Christ

What sets this film apart – the story of Jesus Christ leaving Nazareth to collect his apostles and ultimately begin the chain of events that will lead to his crucifixion – is that it presents itself as a narrative instead of a gospel.

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Annabelle
Oct02

Annabelle

Guise and Dolls Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton Review written by Robert D. Patrick Dummies, dolls, and plastic fortune tellers make up the axis of evil in the land of possessed inanimate objects. Their lifeless orb-like eyes, stare, without motive, as their frozen lips curl into a macabre smile. A perfect conduit for demons, to be sure, these facades hang out until they have the appropriate opportunity to scamper across a...

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Kelly & Cal
Oct02

Kelly & Cal

Sheena is a Punk Mocker Starring: Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston Review written by Robert D. Patrick Middling, downtrodden, clawing out of a heap of emotional malaise. Kelly (Juliette Lewis) is steeped in repressed fears, admonishment, tides of doubt. Having just had a baby, she is in the throes of despondency and existentialism. Her husband, Josh (Josh Hopkins), is a responsible but unvaried partner. And with a onerously stuffy in-law...

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My Old Lady
Sep20

My Old Lady

Where There’s a Will There’s a Nay Starring: Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith Review written by Robert D. Patrick Isreal Horovitz, the writer and director of My Old Lady, creates a color wheel of incendiary black humor and repressed ire in his opus about a rascally opportunist named Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline). Adapted from the stage play of the same name, Horovitz’s picture lampoons honesty in favor of expedience....

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