Iron Man 3 (2013)

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When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. (IMDb)
Here we see our hero at his most anxious and out of control (see his panic attacks, bedside suit scare) but also his most focused and angry (see his workshop insomnia, challenge to the Mandarin); at his most technologically dazzling and powerful (see his army of suits in a great final action scene), but also back to his most humble creative roots (“I’m The Mechanic”). This strong climactic characterization, coupled with a brilliant turn (x2) by Kingsley makes for the best film in the MCU so far.
8.5/10 (Amazing)

 

The Boxtrolls (2014)

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A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator. (IMDb)
Painstakingly detailed animation (see the existential after-credits scene) brings forth a fun steampunk-style setting and simple story saturated with sharp and silly Seuss-like commentary on social equality and fear-driven racism (see Eggs’ summation in the tasting room). Brimming too with memorably quirky characters good, bad, and in between (the henchmen are refreshingly thoughtful) and pops of sly wit (see the happenstance rimshot after the Curds Way joke), the film has ne’er a dull moment.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Shutter Island (2010)

A U.S Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. (IMDb)
The chilling Alcatraz-like island setting here is masterfully portrayed, thanks to stunning cinematography and a haunting score, and the three leading males are all superb in their respective roles, giving attention to every tic and syllable. The story gets more complex and intriguing with each scene; just when you think you have a handle on it, a new twist or layer is added, leading to an eventual ending that’s certainly satisfying, if not a little too easy. A suspenseful psychological mystery.
8.5/10 (Amazing)