“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” (2019)

This film isn’t anywhere near as clever or as smart as the original film, but that doesn’t in any way shape or form make this a make this a bad film. For example, this film actually understands character and plot progression for a sequel, instead of simply hitting the reset button. The film does rely a bit too much on pop culture references, far more so than the first film, there are more dud jokes here than in the first, and the film’s second act does drag a little bit, but the film does have instances of clever writing, including a well-executed twist, still has some funny moments, is well animated and contains a real genuine heart at its center.

Rating: 4/5

“Sorcerer” (1977)

Can easily be singled out as one of the most overlooked films of the entire 1970s, despite being directed by William Friedkin, the director of “The Exorcist,” despite starring Roy Scheider, riding off the heels of “Jaws,” and despite being an exceptionally thrilling movie. This is a visceral and raw film, with some of the most genuine white-knuckle scenes ever made. This is one of those rare thrillers where every second makes you tense up, because you feel like these characters could literally blow up at any second. The bridge crossing scene in particular is a real show-stopper and one of the best action set pieces in all of cinema. Seek it out, and watch it, because this film is truly great.

Rating: 4.5/5

“First Man” (2018)

Instead of focusing solely on the technicals of the infamous Apollo 11 mission, it instead much more wisely chooses a much more personal and introspective look at the man behind the mission; Neil Armstrong. This film is an incredible character study for one of the most famous men of the 20th Century, as it really dives into his motivations and the psychology of what must’ve been going through his head in the moments leading up to the landing. Ryan Gosling does a great job, Claire Foy is absolutely brilliant as his wife, and Damien Chazelle’s direction is simply stunning. It may occasionally try to cram too much information at once, but this is a visually stunning and highly impactful experience.

Rating: 4.5/5

“Hereditary” (2018)

This film is extremely frustrating, because there is quite a lot to like about it, but unfortunately, there’s also a lot to not like. The film’s first half is genius, including one of the best scenes of the year. But the film’s second half simply isn’t. It just winds up morphing from a haunting film about guilt and death into a generic ghost story. I didn’t find any of the scenes in the second half frightening in the slightest, I thought the ending was silly and stupid, and the film goes out of its way to explain every little thing that’s going on, completely stripping away the mystery, and therefore fright. Still worth watching for the stuff that does work, but it’s not great.

Rating: 3/5

“Movie 43” (2013)

What do a parent writing an insult on their son in poop, a young boy calling 911 because his date’s having her first period, and a man’s bowels exploding when he gets hit by a car have in common? That’s right; none of these ideas are even remotely funny. Also, they’re in “Movie 43,” one of the most desperate, vacuous and screechingly unfunny films ever devised. The only person in this star-studded cast who somehow managed to escape with their dignity intact is Dennis Quaid. Nobody else does. Not one. This is more than just an unfunny comedy; it is a comedy void. Its reputation is not unwarranted; it truly is as awful as you’ve heard.

Rating: 0.5/5

“John Wick: Chapter 2” (2017)

This film does exactly what a great sequel to an already great film should do; it takes the elements that were great in the original film, and makes them even better. The action’s better, the pacing’s tighter, the storyline’s better, and the mythos and world-building are better, and are actually expanded upon. The film’s action sequences are simply mesmerizing and hypnotizing. They’re so good in fact, that you’ll almost feel cheated when you watch other action films, because they’ll feel so much tamer in comparison. There is very little about this film I don’t like, and it ranks as not only one of the best action sequels of all time, but one of the best action films period.

Rating: 5/5

“John Wick” (2014)

I didn’t have the highest expectations when I first saw this film, and I was blown away by the experience. This was a fantastically entertaining action film, that showcases one of Keanu Reeve’s best performances in years, managing to sell both the genuine pathos of the film, as well as an effortless badass aura. One of the things I really liked about this film was how it illustrates how this film’s criminal underworld operates. I love the idea of a hotel for assassins with a strict no-kill policy, and I loved the sense of honor and moral codes amongst them. Stylized, moving, and genuinely thrilling, this was a great action film that served as an excellent springboard for the awesomeness that was to follow.

Rating: 4.5/5

“The Spy Who Dumped Me” (2018)

You know you’re watching a bad comedy when you can give the exact number of times you laughed while watching it. In my case, it was two. This is an extremely uninspired spy comedy, and a prime example of safe studio-mandated fluff. Mila Kunis and Kate MacKinnon have okay chemistry, when Mackinnon’s character isn’t insufferably written. The film’s biggest problem is that the film’s rather shocking instances of extremely graphic violence, doesn’t really gel all that well with the film’s lowbrow humor. This movie is predictable and dull. It may not be the worst thing ever made, and there are instances of things in it that are okay, but there is absolutely nothing in here that makes this worth seeking out.

Rating: 2/5

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” (2016)

This is nowhere near a great piece of filmmaking, but I found myself consistently entertained by this film. The four lead actors are all very talented comedians, and they have good chemistry with each other. It also helps that for an R rated comedy, it doesn’t feel like this film is crass just for the sake of being crass. And while I do wish that the film had done a little bit more with its comedic premise, it does just enough, and has just enough genuinely funny jokes, that I found this comedy was actually worth my time, even if it doesn’t try to push any boundaries, or have any aspirations other than being a generic throwaway comedy.

Rating: 3.5/5

“Hancock” (2008)

This superhero comedy probably has one of the most intriguing premises ever for a superhero film; what would happen if a rude, obnoxious drunk was given superpowers, and everyone expected him to be a hero, but he didn’t want to be? That is a premise that is wide open for comedic potential. Unfortunately, this film only takes advantage of it for the first half. Then, once the film’s midway twist is revealed, the film suddenly becomes the very generic and boring superhero film that it was initially lampooning. It’s a shame, because the first half actually was pretty good, and Will Smith was a great choice for the lead, but it’s biggest sin is that it doesn’t fully capitalize on its fantastic premise.

Rating: 2.5/5