When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it’s up to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans. (IMDb)
Another healthy dose of enormous and entertaining action make this a fun film to watch in spite of its mostly lazy writing (see Wanda and Pietro’s weak antagonist motivations–and Ultron’s, for that matter–and correspondingly cheap turn; the half-baked Hawkeye development; the far-fetched and only vaguely explained bad guy antics), with the aid of one well-timed bit of self-awareness: “The city’s flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense.”
Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity. (IMDb)
After a scattered first act, the film picks up as the Avengers gather; clashing egos (along with the welcome addition of Ruffalo’s mellow Banner) and growing feelings of distrust keep the dream-team motif grounded (though the Thor-Iron Man fight with Loki watching was dumb) while a jaw-dropping final action sequence (deftly managing to give each hero their shining moments) brings it to its apex of feel-good entertainment. A tantalizing epilogue and perfect after-credits scene end things well.
The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. (IMDb)
The dense dialogue doesn’t dumb anything down, to the film’s initial detriment (it’s tough to latch on), but ultimately giving it a welcome mature feel as the Spotlight team continues to determinedly dig their way to the disturbing truth. A no-frills story, solidly acted (Ruffalo’s passionate Mike and Schreiber’s calm and calculated Marty are two standouts) maintains this tone, dispensing with unnecessary character explorations and pushy pathos on the way to its subtly sentimental final scene.
A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents. (IMDb)
The slightly awkward camerawork, editing, and acting at first feel a little amateurish but quickly grow on you as the two main characters (of strikingly moving backstories) are developed (the unique flashback format is excellent), giving the film an invigorating down-to-earth, natural feel that’s perfect for its sweet streets of New York-set script about music and relationships. It gets a tad cheesy at points but mostly stays fresh, inspiring, and enjoyable–particularly for the music lover.
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.