Monday, December 28

Vacation (2015)

Director: John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein 

IMDB:  
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1524930/

Review: A fair amount of dud jokes and flat beats but a lot funnier than one might expect with a few genuinely big laughs. 

Watch it if: You're ok with some gross out humour.

And if you liked: National Lampoon's Vacation, There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber

Saturday, December 12

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Director: J.J. Abrams

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496

Review: A few weak moments and one or two convenient pieces of logic aside, delivers with a lot of fun and strong action and emotion. 

Watch it if: You care about Star Wars? 

And if you liked: The Original Star Wars Trilogy, Star Trek Into Darkness, Guardians of the Galaxy

Saturday, December 5

Krampus

Director: Michael Dougherty

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3850590

Review: A strong sense of tone and fun with genuinely scary monsters and just the right amount of meanness to really make it land.

Watch it if: You like both Christmas and horror.

And if you liked: Christmas Vacation, Gremlins, The Mist, Tremors, Child's Play

Monday, November 30

Bug

Director: William Friedkin

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470705

Review: Vibrantly directed and enthusiastically performed with a gripping energy and haunting use of sound.

Watch it if: You're interested in seeing how far a film can go.

And if you liked: Killer Joe, Withnail and I, Twelve Monkeys

Check this out: Bug

The Dorm

Director: Rachel Talalay

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3587064

Review: A few rough edges and reliance on old tropes but mostly holds together as something reasonably decent.

Watch it if: You want a horror film with a few things to say that isn't too earthshaking.

And if you liked: Urban Legend, The Hole, Carrie, Starry Eyes

Fear

Director: Rockne S. O'Bannon

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099557

Review: Feels like an episode of a procedural TV show but plays out as an enjoyable if throwaway episode.

Watch it if: You want something reasonably distracting without changing the rulebook.

And if you liked: A Nightmare on Elm Street, The X-Files, Dexter

Attack the Block

Director: Joe Cornish

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1478964

Review: Doesn't quite land all its pieces together but made with enough flair and style to deliver a fun experience.

Watch it if: You want an interesting science fiction action film that doesn't necessarily blow your mind.

And if you liked: The World's End, Super 8, The Horde

Sunday, November 29

Steve Jobs

Director: Danny Boyle

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2080374

Review: Brings some interesting ideas and approaches to the table but ultimately crumbles under the weight of a lack of subtlety and empty-feeling sentiment.

Watch it if: You're interested in different angles on film structure.

And if you liked: The Social Network, Selma, Network

Check this out: Steve Jobs

Thursday, November 26

Love is Strange

Director: Ira Sachs

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2639344

Review: A delicate and honest portrayal of very believable characters with sincere emotion and some very human performances.

Watch it if: You don't need a hardline plot thrust and can enjoy just letting characters breathe.

And if you liked: About Time, Annie Hall, A Single Man

Wednesday, November 25

Goon

Director: Michael Dowse

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1456635

Review: Creatively constructed with genuine flair and heart with a strong lead performance and a slight melancholy tone that ties everything together well.

Watch it if: You like Seann William Scott.

And if you liked: Happy Gilmore, Kingpin

Check this out: Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey Into Minor League Hockey

Tuesday, November 24

His Girl Friday

Director: Howard Hawks

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032599

Review: Fast-paced and funny with a good plot and a great central relationship.

Watch it if: You've somehow never seen it like I hadn't.

And if you liked: Duck Soup, The Hudsucker Proxy, Intolerable Cruelty

Check this out: The Front Page

Monday, November 23

The Signal

Director: William Eubank

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2910814

Review: A few logical leaps and gets a little overblown towards the end but still brings some nice ideas, tone and design.

Watch it if: You want some science fiction that's intriguing and unsettling.

And if you liked: Chronicle, Oblivion, District 9

Wednesday, November 18

The Dunwich Horror

Director: Daniel Haller

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065669

Review: Doesn't fully deliver all the way through but manages to effectively build some unsettling tones and effective scenes given its clear limitations.

Watch it if: You can appreciate interesting choices and moods in an otherwise shaky film.

And if you liked: The Devil Rides Out, The Wicker Man, A Field in England

Check this out: The Dunwich Horror

Saturday, October 31

Insidious

Director: James Wan

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1591095

Review: A few decent performances but largely a bag of old tricks cobbled together fairly loosely.

Watch it if: You've never seen a horror movie before.

And if you liked: Sinister 2, Paranormal Activity, Poultergeist

Twixt

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1756851

Review: Seems to be attempting some sort of meta-narrative and tone but never really delivers a clear enough framework to make its utterly amateur-feeling construction seem intentional.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film abandoning any thread whenever it feels like it.

And if you liked: Shutter Island, Silent Hill

Into the Grizzly Maze

Director: David Hackl

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1694021

Review: Dumb as nuts and absolutely bonkers in its approach but never bores and manages to deliver a fair amount of fun.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film having no concept of subtlety.

And if you liked: Jaws, Jurassic Park, Predator

Friday, October 30

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2326554

Review: Doesn't quite land everything it's trying to do but still brings a fair amount of invention and fresh ideas to the party.

Watch it if: You want to see a new angle on an old style genre.

And if you liked: Let the Right One In, Donnie Darko

Wednesday, October 28

The Serpent and the Rainbow

Director: Wes Craven

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096071

Review: A little oddly paced but has a fair few effective horror sequences and a decent plot.

Watch it if: You're ok with something that's probably culturally insensitive.

And if you liked: Tales from the Crypt: Ritual, Zombie Flesh Eaters

Check this out: The Serpent and the Rainbow

Tuesday, October 27

Spectre

Director: Sam Mendes

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2379713

Review: Thinner on plot than it thinks and plods occasionally but is an absolute joy to watch with well paced action and some fun ideas.

Watch it if: You like James Bond films?

And if you liked: Skyfall, Casino Royale, Inception

Suspiria

Director: Dario Argento

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076786

Review: Striking in its visuals with a bizarre and surreal score tied together with an intriguing plot.

Watch it if: You can handle a lot of obvious ADR.

And if you liked: Rosemary's Baby, Don't Look Now, Black Swan

Check this out: Suspiria de Profundis

Monday, October 26

Some Kind of Hate

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3698558

Review: Has a fair amount of flair and style but doesn't really build its emotions well and ends up feeling overwrought rather than tumultuous.

Watch it if: You're ok with a lot of throat slits.

And if you liked: Hesher, Red State, Short Term 12

Night People

Director: Gerard Lough

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2856046

Review: Confusing and incoherent with excruciating dialogue and some really hard line cliche pitfalls.

Watch it if: You're ok with not following a film on any level.

And if you liked:

The Witch

Director: Robert Eggers

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4263482

Review: Haunting and tense with a nice slow build and some genuinely skin-crawling moments.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film not necessarily re-inventing the wheel but perfecting it.

And if you liked: The Wicker Man, A Field in England, The Crucible, Macbeth (2015)

The Final Girls

Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2118624

Review: Doesn't quite hit the highs it could and settles too easily but still delivers a fair few laughs and fun moments.

Watch it if: You're interested in deconstructing horror cliches to a certain degree.

And if you liked: Friday the 13th, The Burning, Wes Craven's New Nightmare, Scream

Saturday, October 24

The Burning

Director: Tony Maylam

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082118

Review: By the numbers but by the numbers well with effective scenes of violence and a decent plot.

Watch it if: You can handle some violence and an unnecessarily leering camera.

And if you liked: Friday the 13th, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cropsey

Check this out: Andre Rand

The People Under the Stairs

Director: Wes Craven

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105121

Review: Runs a little long but delivers plenty of creep and invention tied together with some absolutely bombastic villain performances.

Watch it if: You want something that won't go where you expect it to.

And if you liked: Housebound, American Horror Story, Twin Peaks

Thursday, October 22

Fear(s) of the Dark

Director: Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti and Richard McGuire

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0792986

Review: A few rough edges aside, visually striking with a strong sense of atmosphere and immersive sound design.

Watch it if: You like horror anthology stuff.

And if you liked: Waltz with Bashir, Persepolis

Sunday, October 18

Christine

Director: John Carpenter

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085333

Review: A fun concept that builds well with some stunning visuals and a nice moody score.

Watch it if: You're ok with something having a slow build.

And if you liked: The Car, The Fly (1986), Carrie, American Graffiti

Check this out: Christine

Sicario

Director: Denis Villeneuve

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3397884

Review: Has a lot to say and says it well with gorgeous visuals and a haunting score.

Watch it if: You can handle some pretty intense violence.

And if you liked: Zero Dark Thirty, Apocalypse Now, Breaking Bad

Cooties

Director: Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2490326

Review: Leans a little into unnecessary stereotyping and doesn't quite stick the landing but delivers enough laughs and fun to justify a watch.

Watch it if: You can handle some very gross closeups of meat.

And if you liked: The Faculty, Child's Play, Braindead

Saturday, October 17

Crimson Peak

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2554274

Review: An intriguing plot that chills the right amount with gorgeous design and incredible use of colour.

Watch it if: You can handle a fair amount of moth closeups.

And if you liked: The Devil's Backbone, The Others, The Innkeepers

Magic

Director: Richard Attenborough

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077889

Review: Doesn't quite know what tone its aiming for but delivers a good amount of atmosphere and performance.

Watch it if: You're not utterly horrified by ventriloquist's dummies.

And if you liked: Peeping Tom, Eyes Without a Face

Check this out: Magic

Thursday, October 15

Horns

Director: Alexandre Aja

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1528071

Review: Teeters on the edge of greatness but rushes too often to fully land it despite solidly delivering in most ways.

Watch it if: You like Daniel Radcliffe.

And if you liked: Choke, Locke and Key

Check this out: Horns

Tuesday, October 13

Mr. Jones

Director: Karl Mueller

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2507280

Review: Too often resorts to overplayed jumps and spooks which is a shame as it holds some interesting ideas and angles on the genre.

Watch it if: You're not completely sick of found footage yet.

And if you liked: As Above, So Below, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Willow Creek, The Evil Dead

What We Do in the Shadows

Director: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3416742

Review: Feels unfocused and never really reaches a real high point but delivers enough strong deadpan humour to make it worth watching.

Watch it if: You enjoy seeing the tropes of horror played with.

And if you liked: Young Frankenstein, For Your Consideration, This is Spinal Tap, Flight of the Conchords

Monday, October 12

Regression

Director: Alejandro Amenábar

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3319920

Review: Has a few nice flashes and flourishes but never really finds a strong footing which carries through to a fairly predictable plot.

Watch it if: You already have a general interest in Satanic imagery.

And if you liked: Sinister 2, The Mothman Prophecies

Friday, October 9

The Woman

Director: Lucky McKee

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714208

Review: Deeply unsettling and raw with a few leaps in logic but a strong enough throughline to carry the whole thing.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film using a few broad strokes to make a larger point.

And if you liked: May, American Mary

Check this out: The Woman

Wednesday, October 7

May

Director: Lucky McKee

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303361

Review: Loses control of its tone to a certain degree in the last third but still brings a fair amount of mood and weirdness to the table.

Watch it if: You can handle a fair amount of uncomfortable awkardness.

And if you liked: American Mary, Blue Velvet, The Skin I Live In

Tuesday, October 6

The Purge

Director: James DeMonaco

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2184339

Review: Doesn't make the most of its interesting idea but taken as is delivers reasonably well with moody atmosphere and effective violence.

Watch it if: You're ok with a fairly humourless horror movie.

And if you liked: Series 7: The Contenders, You're Next, Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Fright Night

Director: Tom Holland

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089175

Review: Runs a bit long and has other pacing issues but delivers with some fun ideas and strong special effects.

Watch it if: You're ok with a fairly dated score and soundtrack.

And if you liked: Scream, Gremlins, Teen Wolf

Monday, October 5

Martin

Director: George A. Romero

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077914

Review: An eerie and effective film that manages to build sympathy for a character despite the horrific things he's done.

Watch it if: You can handle some uncomfortable scenes of assault.

And if you liked: Night of the Living Dead, Dexter, Let the Right One In

Pet Sematary

Director: Mary Lambert

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098084

Review: Spooky and fun in most of the right places with some nicely odd choices and some genuinely gnarly scenes.

Watch it if: You can handle a few rough moments.

And if you liked: An American Werewolf in London, Wake Wood, Child's Play

Check this out: Pet Sematary

Sunday, October 4

The Martian

Director: Ridley Scott

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388

Review: Keeps a good pace while delivering visually with a lot of unexpected but welcome humour.

Watch it if: You're interested in a movie about problem solving.

And if you liked: Moon, Gravity, Interstellar

Check this out: The Martian

Saturday, October 3

Poltergeist

Director: Tobe Hooper

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084516

Review: Fairly well made with some nice moments but far too long and largely inconsequential.

Watch it if: You've somehow never seen it like I hadn't.

And if you liked: Casper, Super 8, The Hole

Macbeth (2015)

Director: Justin Kurzel

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2884018

Review: Absolutely stunning in its visuals with a haunting score and strong performances.

Watch it if: You can handle the dense Shakespearean text.

And if you liked: A Field in England, The Wicker Man, Kill List

Friday, October 2

Housebound

Director: Gerard Johnstone

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3504048

Review: A little uncertain of its tone but largely holds together with a decent plot and consistently strong design.

Watch it if: You enjoy a comedy leaning horror movie.

And if you liked: The Innkeepers, The Pact, The Babadook, Stoker

Thursday, October 1

From Beyond

Director: Stuart Gordon

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091083

Review: Bonkers and unpredictable with gorgeous lighting and really great and bizarre special effects.

Watch it if: You're ok with some odd sexual politics coming into the mix.

And if you liked: Re-Animator, Altered States, Hellraiser, Brain Damage

Check this out: From Beyond

Monday, September 28

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Director: Terry Gilliam

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096764/

Review: Bounces along nicely and has in any given scene more invention and rich design than most films manage in their entire running time.

Watch it if: You have an interest in extended stage fantasy.

And if you liked: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Time Bandits, Gulliver's Travels, Big Fish

Sunday, September 27

Rumble Fish

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086216

Review: A few really nice moments swimming in a largely unfocused and overwrought drama.

Watch it if: You have a tolerance for highly stagey set pieces.

And if you liked: The Warriors, Dracula (1996)

Check this out: Rumble Fish

Call Me Lucky

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3899932

Review: Funny and touching in equal measure with a well-woven story and a strong sense of sincerity.

Watch it if: You can deal with some upsetting subjects being addressed.

And if you liked: World's Greatest Dad, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Saturday, September 26

Monsters University

Director: Dan Scanlon

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1453405

Review: Shows its gears and never really hits any serious high point but offers plenty to entertain and enjoy along the way.

Watch it if: You enjoy these characters.

And if you liked: Monsters Inc., Ratatouille, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Friday, September 25

Cropsey

Director: Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1277936

Review: Leans into a slightly hokey tone every now and then but otherwise holds up as a well made and interesting piece.

Watch it if: You can handle some very upsetting footage.

And if you liked: The Jinx, The Thin Blue Line

Tuesday, September 22

Election

Director: Alexander Payne

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0126886

Review: Doesn't quite hold all its threads together all the way through but still delivers its satire while serving a good story.

Watch it if: You want to see a different angle on a high school comedy.

And if you liked: The Breakfast Club, Arrested Development, Mean Girls, Legally Blonde

Check this out: Election

Sunday, September 20

The Thin Blue Line

Director: Errol Morris

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096257

Review: Haunting and fascinating with an inventive style and a great score.

Watch it if: You're interested in true crime stories.

And if you liked: Tabloid, The Jinx

Sunday, September 13

The Visit

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3567288

Review: Overly telegraphed at times and ends one or two scenes late but overall holds a creepy tone with some genuinely great moments.

Watch it if: You're able to stomach more found footage.

And if you liked: The Blair Witch Project, Signs, The Others, Red State

Saturday, September 12

Legend

Director: Brian Helgeland

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3569230

Review: Some good performances but far too long and uncertain of its tone.

Watch it if: You're interested in mens' clothing and hair.

And if you liked: Bronson, The Black Dahlia

Check this out: The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins

Monday, September 7

Duel

Director: Steven Spielberg

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067023

Review: A masterclass in storyboarding that grips and builds tension all the way through.

Watch it if: You're interested in simple ideas well made.

And if you liked: The Hitcher, Mad Max, The Twilight Zone

Check this out: Duel

Monday, August 31

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

Director: Lou Adler

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082639

Review: A bit over-acted at times but holds interest while managing to keep a fairly anarchic tone.

Watch it if: You're interested in punk music.

And if you liked: We Are the Best!, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, The Punk Singer

Hardware

Director: Richard Stanley

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099740

Review: A few odd choices aside, manages to build a tense and moody atmosphere with good use of bold coloured light and a great soundtrack.

Watch it if: You want to see the early 90s concentrated.

And if you liked: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Blade Runner, Alien, Dust Devil

Check this out: SHOK!

Monday, August 24

The Punk Singer

Director: Sini Anderson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1785612

Review: A fascinating and heartfelt insight into the career of creatively and ideologically interesting person.

Watch it if: You have an interest in punk music and/or feminism.

And if you liked: End of the Century, Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, American Splendor

Sunday, August 23

Sinister 2

Director: Ciarán Foy

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2752772

Review: Plays out as a potentially interesting overwrought family drama that keeps getting interrupted by a badly made Slipknot child-ghost movie.

Watch it if: You're stupid like me.

And if you liked: Sinister, The Orphanage

Computer Chess

Director: Andrew Bujalski

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2007360

Review: Has an interesting approach but never really lands and eventually falls into unearned science-fiction silliness.

Watch it if: You're ok with a lot of awkward line deliveries.

And if you liked: Escape from Tomorrow, Primer, Pi, Clerks

Monday, August 17

Spellbound

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0334405

Review: An interesting perspective on a subculture that manages to portray the stakes of its subject while never over-inflating its importance in a larger context.

Watch it if: You're interested in some of the bizarre minutia of Middle America.

And if you liked: This American Life, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Sunday, August 9

The Gift

Director: Joel Edgerton

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4178092

Review: Intriguing and tense all the way through with a winding plot that doesn't fully reveal until the very end.

Watch it if: You're ok with not being quite sure who to side with in a film.

And if you liked: The Guest, Old Boy, One Hour Photo

Saturday, August 8

Fantastic Four (2015)

Director: Josh Trank

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1502712

Review: Has some shades of greatness and a few lovely images but descends into absolutely bizarre rushed dialogue and action beats towards the end.

Watch it if: You're interested in seeing how a messily made curiosity can play out.

And if you liked: Prometheus, Green Lantern, Chronicle

Tuesday, August 4

Creep

Director: Patrick Brice

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2428170

Review: Does one or two interesting things and has a few nice shots but definitely feels like an experiment by people who don't realise how played out some of these clichés are.

Watch it if: You're not completely sick to death of found footage yet.

And if you liked: Willow Creek, The Sacrament

Saturday, August 1

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2381249

Review: Runs longer than it should but filled with fun action set-pieces and has a reasonably clean plot to follow.

Watch it if: You enjoy a good Tom Cruise romp.

And if you liked: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Wednesday, July 29

Jodorowsky's Dune

Director: Frank Pavich

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935156

Review: Filled with fascinating imagery and bizarre stories with a nice ethereal tone to it and some genuinely charismatic people.

Watch it if: You're interested in film-making and science fiction design.

And if you liked: The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?, Dune

Thursday, July 23

The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?

Director: Jon Schnepp

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2753778

Review: Lacking in a small way on the plot of the film in question but otherwise a densely packed and fascinating exploration of an interesting subject.

Watch it if: You're interested in filmmaking and/or Superman.

And if you liked: Lost in La Mancha, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau

Sunday, July 19

Tig

Director: Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3986532

Review: Doesn't have a whole lot of filmmaking flair to it but is an interesting and touching story about very likeable people.

Watch it if: You can handle a certain amount of tragedy.

And if you liked: Harmontown, This American Life

Ant-Man

Director: Peyton Reed

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478970

Review: Enjoyable enough with a few decent laughs and good use of scale but nothing particularly strong to hold onto.

Watch it if: You find Paul Rudd charming.

And if you liked: Iron Man, The Avengers

Thursday, July 16

Dude Bro Party Massacre III

Director: Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet and Jon Salmon

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699692

Review: Doesn't always hit with its humour but when it does it hits hard and never stops being entertaining.

Watch it if: You enjoy seeing the tropes of horror being played with.

And if you liked: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Planet Terror, Too Many Cooks

Monday, July 13

Inside Out

Director: Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2096673

Review: Jammed with clever ideas and honest moments with warm, likeable characters and a strong catharsis.

Watch it if: You're ok with something that can be emotionally devastating in a cathartic way.

And if you liked: Toy Story 3, Up, Wreck-It Ralph

Song of the Sea

Director: Tomm Moore

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1865505

Review: Beautiful and delicate in its presentation with plenty of fun characters and genuine emotion.

Watch it if: You're interested in seeing something that feels hand crafted.

And if you liked: The Secret of Kells, Spirited Away, Into the West, Ponyo

Sunday, July 5

The Guest

Director: Adam Wingard

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980592

Review: Intriguing and beautiful to look at with great use of music all held together by a strong and focused lead performance.

Watch it if: You're interested in seeing a mystery thriller through a horror lens.

And if you liked: Killer Joe, It Follows, Drive

Terminator Genisys

Director: Alan Taylor

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1340138

Review: Messy as hell with incoherent motivations and constant dead humour.

Watch it if: You like being constantly prodded and asked if you remember other films.

And if you liked: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation

Saturday, July 4

Magic Mike XXL

Director: Gregory Jacobs

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2268016

Review: Screamingly funny and visually dazzling when it needs to be with a fun swathe of characters and a genuinely invigorating sense of joy.

Watch it if: You're ok with spending an entire movie grinning.

And if you liked: Magic Mike, Pitch Perfect, Pacific Rim

Tuesday, June 30

Flatliners

Director: Joel Schumacher

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099582

Review: Far too long and overcooked in a way that likely thinks it's very profound but really is just silly and ineffective.

Watch it if: You miss young weird Kiefer Sutherland too.

And if you liked: Crash, Altered States, Lifeforce, The Number 23

Monday, June 29

A Field in England

Director: Ben Wheatley

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375574

Review: Visually arresting with a haunting soundscape and some bizarre performances.

Watch it if: You're ok with a movie going full psychedelic.

And if you liked: O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Wicker Man, The Blair Witch Project

MacGruber

Director: Jorma Taccone

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1470023

Review: A few mean spirited moments aside, holds up as a bizarre and funny movie with strong commitment to tone and great use of Will Forte's face.

Watch it if: You're ok with some graphic violence and a lot of swearing.

And if you liked: The Naked Gun, Team America: World Police, Zoolander, Hot Rod

Friday, June 26

Altered States

Director: Ken Russell

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080360

Review: Bizarre and intriguing with incredible imagery and enjoyably heady dialogue.

Watch it if: You're ok with a movie that revels in trippy symbolism.

And if you liked: Videodrome, Brain Damage, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Check this out: Altered States

Tuesday, June 23

Clown

Director: Jon Watts

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1780798

Review: Well shot with decent makeup, strong sound design and a few interesting images but far too long and filled with nods to other films without building anything particular with them.

Watch it if: You're ok with some gory clown violence.

And if you liked: Sinister, The Fly (1986)

Down Terrace

Director: Ben Wheatley

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1489167

Review: Manages to blur the line between absurdly funny and grimly disturbing creating a tense atmosphere that keeps you guessing right until the end.

Watch it if: You're ok with some realistic violence in an oddly comic way.

And if you liked: Kill List, Dead Man's Shoes, Blood Simple

Sunday, June 21

Mr. Holmes

Director: Bill Condon

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3168230

Review: Delicate and charming in its melancholia with an intriguing plot and a beautifully subtle lead performance.

Watch it if: You like Sherlock Holmes?

And if you liked: Nebraska, Elementary, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Check this out: A Slight Trick of the Mind

Saturday, June 13

Jurassic World

Director: Colin Trevorrow

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369610

Review: Riddled with problems and cheap shortcuts but the last third or so has enough fun moments to justify its existence.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film being fairly predictable in its beats.

And if you liked: Jurassic Park, Predator, Godzilla (2014)

Monday, June 8

Taken 3

Director: Olivier Megaton

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2446042

Review: Dumb and underwhelming with unfollowable action and bizarre character choices.

Watch it if: You're curious to see a film that gets more boring when the action starts.

And if you liked: Taken 2, Running Scared

Fifty Shades of Grey

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2322441

Review: Muddled in tone and keeps the viewer at arm's length with hammy-as-hell dialogue and a jarring ending.

Watch it if: You're ok with some movie sex? I guess?

And if you liked: Sex, Lies and Videotape, Crash, Secretary

Wednesday, May 27

Starry Eyes

Director: Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2793490

Review: Dark in its subtext and gruesome in its depiction of it with a strong, consistent tone and a brave and effective lead performance.

Watch it if: You're not of too squeamish a disposition.

And if you liked: It Follows, Mulholland Drive, The House of the Devil

Monday, May 25

Beware of Mr. Baker

Director: Jay Bulger

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1931388

Review: Bizarre and revealing with a real appreciation of what makes music great and with an interestingly uncomfortable clashing of two obnoxious personalities at the centre.

Watch it if: You're interested in drums I guess? And a bizarre personality.

And if you liked: Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Gimme Shelter, Some Kind of Monster

Saturday, May 23

Big Trouble in Little China

Director: John Carpenter

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090728

Review: Keeps its pace up pretty well while delivering fun ideas and never lets itself stop being funny.

Watch it if: You enjoy a movie that is just having a blast existing.

And if you liked: They Live, Mortal Kombat

Monday, May 18

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Director: Grant Heslov

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234548

Review: A few enjoyable moments but quite unfocused and with a fairly flat tone overall.

Watch it if: You want something very light and inconsequential.

And if you liked: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Spies Like Us

Check this out: The Men Who Stare at Goats

Saturday, May 16

Mad Max: Fury Road

Director: George Miller

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392190

Review: An unbelievable wash of intensity and inventive action woven through with a strong, meaningful subtext that gives the entire piece an emotional weight.

Watch it if: You want to see how far smart action cinema can really go.

And if you liked: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Dune, Dredd

Wednesday, May 13

Speed

Director: Jan de Bont

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111257

Review: Well drawn characters with a clear throughline and constant inventive avenues of raising and maintaining tension.

Watch it if: You've somehow never seen it like I hadn't.

And if you liked: Die Hard With A Vengeance, Mission: Impossible

Sunday, May 10

Hollywoodland

Director: Allen Coulter

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427969

Review: Well put together and intriguing with a strong cast and a fun subtext to enjoy.

Watch it if: You enjoy a good Hollywood noir.

And if you liked: L.A. Confidential, Chinatown, The Black Dahlia

Monday, May 4

Force Majeure

Director: Ruben Östlund

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3630276

Review: Has a little trouble winding down but delivers an interesting idea with some beautiful imagery and some genuinely funny moments.

Watch it if: You handle some very awkward scenes.

And if you liked: We are the Best!, Eyes Wide Shut

Sunday, May 3

Best Worst Movie

Director: Michael Paul Stephenson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1144539

Review: Uncomfortable to watch at times but presents a fairly honest and unmocking story of some very sincere people.

Watch it if: You're interested in the culture of cult classic movies.

And if you liked: Troll 2 (probably), American Movie, Trekkies

Saturday, May 2

Forbidden Planet

Director: Fred M. Wilcox

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049223

Review: Some strangely abrupt character motivations but inventive in its style and set design and delivers with its plot.

Watch it if: You like idea based science-fiction.

And if you liked: Star Trek, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

Check this out: The Tempest

Sunday, April 26

Mission: Impossible II

Director: John Woo

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120755

Review: Very drawn out with heavily flawed gender politics but has a few fun action set pieces to enjoy.

Watch it if: You want to see some ridiculous action beats.

And if you liked: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible III, The Matrix, Goldeneye

Saturday, April 25

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Director: Joss Whedon

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2395427

Review: Oddly designed with a lot of elements that fall flat but still packs a fair amount of decent stuff in while managing to keep most of its threads coherent.

Watch it if: You're following the whole Marvel thread.

And if you liked: The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World

Sunday, April 19

All Good Things

Director: Andrew Jarecki

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1175709/

Review: Nicely shot and holds attention but is oddly structured and ultimately falls flat.

Watch it if: You're interested in the Robert Durst story.

And if you liked: The Jinx, Zodiac

Saturday, April 18

Good Will Hunting

Director: Gus Van Sant

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119217/

Review: Has some good moments but its uneven style, forced epiphanies and heavy over-scoring ultimately make it an odd experience.

Watch it if: You've somehow never seen it like I hadn't.

And if you liked: Milk, Forrest Gump

Saturday, April 11

John Wick

Director: Chad Stahelski and David Leitch

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2911666

Review: Wavers a little towards the end but delivers with a lot of stripped down action sequences and an exciting tone.

Watch it if: You're ok with a lot of violence.

And if you liked: Die Hard, The Raid, Crank, Shoot 'Em Up

Penguins of Madagascar

Director: Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1911658/

Review: Follows a formula in a few spots where it really doesn't need to but never slows down long enough for it to really be a problem and is otherwise jam-packed with jokes.

Watch it if: You want something light and silly.

And if you liked: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Probably the other Madagascar films? I haven't actually seen them

Sunday, April 5

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Director: George Clooney

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0270288/

Review: Gets a little messy but holds up with some interesting scene approaches and some odd humour.

Watch it if: You want to see a unique take on a biographical film.

And if you liked: Burn After Reading, Human Nature

Check this out: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

It Follows

Director: David Robert Mitchell

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3235888/

Review: Loses it's way after a while but presents some nice ideas and unique pieces along the way.

Watch it if: You can find enjoyment in an overbearing score.

And if you liked: Halloween, You're Next

Saturday, April 4

Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Director: Steven Soderbergh

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098724/

Review: A simple plot carried out well by a strange mood.

Watch it if: You're ok with some sexual conversations.

And if you liked: Crash, Lost Highway

Friday, April 3

War of the Worlds (2005)

Director: Steven Spielberg

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407304/

Review: Disjointed in some ways but tells the story in a unique and interesting way with some great set-pieces and a well established tone.

Watch it if: You're ok with some very grim scenes of science-fiction death.

And if you liked: Man of Steel, Super 8

Sunday, March 29

Short Term 12

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2370248/

Review: Moves a little quickly but otherwise sensitive and honest with some excellent subtle performances.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film touching on some difficult subject matter.

And if you liked: On the Edge, Silver Linings Playbook, Nebraska

Check this out: Short Term 12

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Director: George Miller and George Ogilvie

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089530/

Review: Adopts a lighter tone than what came before with an odd mix of good action set-pieces and shaky character work.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film that's not quite sure what it wants to be.

And if you liked: Planet of the Apes, Hook, Mad Max 2: Beyond Thunderdome

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Director: George Miller

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082694/

Review: Tight, fast and strong with unbelievable action and just the right about of melancholy to really make it stick.

Watch it if: You've somehow never seen it like me.

And if you liked: Mad Max, Death Race 2000, Desperado, Fallout 3, Aliens

Friday, March 27

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Director: J. Lee Thompson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069768/

Review: Not offering a whole lot plot-wise but well built and enjoyable to watch.

Watch it if: You're willing to let the story play out as it tends to in a Planet of the Apes film.

And if you liked: Mad Max, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Sunday, March 22

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Director: Paul Tibbitt

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2279373/

Review: Not a lot more than a series of gags and ideas strung loosely together but they are good gags and fun ideas.

Watch it if: You're ok with the film having far fewer 3D scenes than the advertising suggests.

And if you liked: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Tuesday, March 17

American Graffiti

Director: George Lucas

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069704/

Review: Builds at a nice slow pace with a strong period tone and engaging characters.

Watch it if: You want to see a well put together nostalgia piece.

And if you liked: Dazed and Confused, The Last Picture Show

Monday, March 16

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Director: J. Lee Thompson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068408/

Review: A well measured and realised film that builds to a gripping and fascinating climax.

Watch it if: You're ok with the customarily grim approach to story from this series.

And if you liked: Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, District 9, Brazil

Empire Records

Director: Allan Moyle

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112950/

Review: Has enough going on to keep you interested as it goes but most of its ideas and emotion are fairly thin.

Watch it if: You enjoy some standard 90s teen fare.

And if you liked: Can’t Hardly Wait, 10 Things I Hate About You, High Fidelity

Sunday, March 15

River's Edge

Director: Tim Hunter

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091860/

Review: Haunting and moody with some interesting tonal choices and nicely bizarre performances.

Watch it if: You want a slightly tilted coming of age kind of film.

And if you liked: Stand By Me, Twin Peaks, What Richard Did

Sunday, March 1

Running Scared

Director: Wayne Kramer

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0404390/

Review: Overcooked as hell but with a fairly consistently paced plot that keeps the interest up.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film going overboard at all times.

And if you liked: The Butterfly Effect, Smokin' Aces, Man on Fire (2004)

Saturday, February 28

We Are the Best!

Director: Lukas Moodysson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2364975/

Review: Truthful and engaging with great music and an infectious enthusiasm.

Watch it if: You want a fairly honest portrayal of teenage punks.

And if you liked: Metalhead, Freaks and Geeks, Somers Town

Check this out: Never Goodnight

Tuesday, February 24

Enemy

Director: Denis Villeneuve

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2316411

Review: Strong in tone and atmosphere with an unpredictable winding plot and some truly striking imagery.

Watch it if: You want something enjoyably impenetrable.

And if you liked: Under the Skin, The Machinist, Lost Highway, Possession

Check this out: The Double

Sunday, February 22

Hits

Director: David Cross

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3145220

Review: A little uneven and meandering but filled with enough interesting characters and angles to maintain a singular tone.

Watch it if: You're interested in the work of David Cross.

And if you liked: God Bless America, The King of Comedy

Sunday, February 15

Selma

Director: Ava DuVernay

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1020072

Review: Manages to depict brutal violence in a tasteful manner while telling a strong story that still has relevance and parallels today.

Watch it if: You can handle some genuinely upsetting scenes of attack.

And if you liked: Lincoln, Do the Right Thing

Big Hero 6

Director: Don Hall and Chris Williams

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2245084

Review: Follows a formula but follows it well with plenty of fun action and nice design.

Watch it if: You're ok with Disney's lack of flinching from tragedy.

And if you liked: Bolt, The Iron Giant, Pacific Rim, The Incredibles

Check this out: Big Hero 6

Saturday, February 14

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Director: Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2872750

Review: Innocuous and silly with tons of charm and invention.

Watch it if: You want something very light.

And if you liked: Wallace & Gromit, The Boxtrolls

Sunday, February 8

Jupiter Ascending

Director: The Wachowskis

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1617661/

Review: Dopey but fun with some leaps in plot and nice design.

Watch it if: You'd like to see Eddie Redmayne revelling in creepiness.

And if you liked: Dune, Star Trek (2009)

Saturday, February 7

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse

Director: Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper and Eleanor Coppola

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102015/

Review: Reaches its peak fairly early and stays consistent but is filled with fascinating footage and bizarre parallels with the final film.

Watch it if: You're interested in seeing behind the scenes of a chaotic film.

And if you liked: Apocalypse Now, Lost in La Mancha, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau

Monday, February 2

They Came Together

Director: David Wain

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2398249/

Review: Breezy, sarcastic and funny with a great cast and excellent use of swearing.

Watch it if: You find Amy Poehler and/or Paul Rudd naturally charming.

And if you liked: Wet Hot American Summer, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, Burning Love

Sunday, February 1

Inherent Vice

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1791528/

Review: Wanders around its own story and finds different avenues whenever it pleases but never stops engaging and carries through with beautifully washed-out cinematography and a strong tone.

Watch it if: You're ok with a film that meanders and goes down tangents.

And if you liked: The Big Lebowski, A Scanner Darkly, Chinatown, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Check this out: Inherent Vice

Saturday, January 31

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Director: Matthew Vaughn

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802144/

Review: Riddled with unsettling and problematic stuff but manages to pull off some strong and compelling action set-pieces and some darkly comic violent spectacle.

Watch it if: You're ok with watching a film that is 100% utter UTTER male fantasy.

And if you liked: Wanted, James Bond, Kick-Ass

Check this out: The Secret Service

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Director: Don Taylor

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067065/

Review: Deceptively intelligent movie with an engaging plot and strongly realised characters.

Watch it if: You're ok with a reasonably grim outcome.

And if you liked: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Dead

Monday, January 26

The X-Files

Director: Rob Bowman

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120902/

Review: Plays out like an extra long, scary and revelatory episode with a higher budget and more exciting action set pieces.

Watch it if: You've seen the first 5 seasons of The X-Files.

And if you liked: Stargate, Alien, Mission: Impossible

Saturday, January 24

Ex Machina

Director: Alex Garland

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470752/

Review: Ends a scene late and never quite packs as hard a punch as it should but looks and feels beautiful with nice design and a good score.

Watch it if: You like to see more serious understated science-fiction.

And if you liked: Ghost in the Shell, Minority Report

Locke

Director: Stephen Knight

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2692904/

Review: A gripping exercise in subtlety with a perfect pace and a strong knowledge of how to build its stakes.

Watch it if: You're skeptical about single actor, single location films.

And if you liked: Red Eye, Buried, Drive

Sunday, January 18

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Director: Ted Post

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065462/

Review: Enjoyable downer sequel that has no qualms with getting strange.

Watch it if: You're ok with a movie sequel just going weird as balls.

And if you liked: Planet of the Apes, The Prisoner, The Empire Strikes Back

Whiplash

Director: Damien Chazelle

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582802/

Review: Intense and gripping with an impressively performed power dynamic and a plot that keeps you guessing until the end.

Watch it if: You can handle high levels of stress in a movie.

And if you liked: The Social Network, Full Metal Jacket

Sunday, January 11

Birdman

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2562232/

Review: Uses its gimmicks well to say something while delivering a strong tone with great performances.

Watch it if: You enjoy a film having a few meta-layers to it.

And if you liked: Black Swan, Barton Fink, Batman

Saturday, January 10

Foxcatcher

Director: Bennett Miller

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1100089/

Review: Oddly paced at times but holds a strong and tense atmosphere with strong performances.

Watch it if: You're ok with a slow subtle build.

And if you liked: Moneyball, The Social Network

Tuesday, January 6

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Director: Adam McKay

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1229340/

Review: Has a few laugh out loud moments but is far too long and is mired in a strange lukewarm tone that never quite shakes.

Watch it if: You really need to.

And if you liked: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The Interview, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby