American Hustle (2013)

Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Jack Huston, Michael Peña, Louis C.K. Directed by: David O. Russell R. 129 mins A fun, but overrated film that seems to wander back and forth in a monotonous way, repeating situations over and over without truly going somewhere. David O. Russell directs this very…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Starring: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch Directed by: Peter Jackson PG-13. 161 mins Slightly better than it’s predecessor, the middle chapter of the Hobbit trilogy still feels just as unnecessary as the first. Moving at a glacial place, the adventure continues as Bilbo Baggins…

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F Murray Abraham, Adam Driver Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen R. 105 mins An atmospheric portrait of male anxieties and failure, Inside Llewyn Davis explores the tremendous lows and all-too-brief highs that make the life of a musician so unique. Written and directed…

Frozen (2013)

Starring: Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds Directed by: Chris Buck PG. 85 mins Catchy musical numbers along with some dazzling animation make this rather traditional Disney fairytale feel *almost* good as new. Loosely adapted from The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Anderson’s emotionally complex story, the film features Kristen…

Philomena (2013)

Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Anna Maxwell Martin, Ruth McCabe, Barbara Jefford, Mare Winningham, Michelle Fairley, Kate Fleetwood, Peter Hermann Directed by: Stephen Frears PG-13. 94 mins A formulaic, but resonant depiction of injustice and the various ways in which people respond to such seemingly unforgivable events. Based on the 2009 investigative…

Nebraska (2013)

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach, Devin Ratray, Rance Howard, Mary Louise Wilson Directed by: Alexander Payne R. 115 mins A remarkably resonant treat that proves Alexander Payne as a master of modest storytelling. Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) directs this black and white road trip drama starring Bruce Dern as a wiry Missouri…

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins Directed by: Alan Taylor PG-13. 112 mins An uneven, yet entertaining sequel that retains the humour of it’s predecessor without skimping on the action. The story of Thor continues as he finds himself pitted against a an…

The Counselor (2013)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Dean Norris, Natalie Dormer, Goran Visnjic, Rosie Perez, Edgar Ramirez Directed by: Ridley Scott R. 117 mins The Counselor promises a good time thanks to the talent both in front of and behind the camera, but the elements are too conflicting; nothing seems to stick and the…

Blue is the Warmest Color / La vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 + 2 (2013)

Starring: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche, Stéphane Mercoyrol, Jeremie Laheurte, Mona Walravens Directed by: Abdel Kechiche NC-17. 187 mins * * Warning: A few spoilers and lots of feelings ahead * * A heartbreaking tale of self-discovery anchored by two powerhouse female leads; it’s not a wonder why both the director and lead actresses – the first females to win since…

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard Directed by: Steve McQueen R. 133 mins Using his signature visual style to create profound moments of near-silence along with a surprisingly delicate and haunting score from Hans Zimmer, Steve McQueen explores the subject of…

Carrie (2013)

Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell, Judy Greer Directed by: Kimberly Peirce R. 99 mins Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, this is a remake of the 1976 classic horror film starring Sissy Spacek and directed by the legendary Brian DePalma. With hardly any changes to…

Captain Phillips (2013)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Catherine Keener, Michael Chernus, Corey Johnson, Max Martini, Chris Mulkey, Yul Vázquez Directed by: Paul Greengrass PG-13. 134 mins In the hands of director Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips is hardly a miss, but it’s overlong and lacking in some much-needed depth. Tom Hanks plays the titular character, and real life hero,…