With demanding family commitments, increasing work pressures and professional and college football capturing the national consciousness, as a collective people, finding free time for anything else becomes a rare miracle.
Why spend two hours (and $10 or more) at a movie theater for an ordinary or even a terrible film?
The simple fact is one should not.
A movie critic’s job is to steer the movie-going public towards great films and away from bad ones.
That is my job! (Well, my part-time job.)
Here are my thoughts on the very best films in your local movie houses right now!
My hope is ten minutes of reading might save you, the reader, from wasting two hours at the movies.
“Rush” 5 / 5 stars – Director Ron Howard perfectly casts Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as real-life 1970s Formula One rivals, James Hunt and Niki Lauda, in a truly spectacular sports film. Hemsworth might be the film’s initial star attraction, but Brühl steals the picture and should be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his riveting performance.
“Short Term 12”
“Short Term 12” 5 / 5 stars – Applying a hand-held camera, writer/director Destin Cretton guides us through a dangerous minefield of emotionally and physically abused teenagers living in a group home. All of the essential (to the story) young actors clearly communicate the pain and angst which parental abuse can create. It might be impossible to hold back tears. It was for me.
“Prisoners” 4.5 / 5 stars – When two young girls go missing on a gray Thanksgiving afternoon, two families lose their minds with grief. One parent (Hugh Jackman), however, goes over the edge and loses something else: his humanity. This strongly-acted psychological thriller looks at humanity’s inhumanity. Terrence Howard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, and Maria Bello co-star.
“Blue Caprice” 4 / 5 stars – A very disturbing backstory about the two 2002 Washington D.C. snipers reaches the big screen. John (Isaiah Washington) – emotionally damaged by life – finds a teenage protégé (Tequan Richmond) to help carry out his evil and murderous actions on an unsuspecting public. The film shows – step by step – how to turn an ordinary teenager into a sinister monster, and it will throw chills down your spine.
“The Spectacular Now”
“The Spectacular Now” 4 / 5 stars – This highly effective high school tale features Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley as a party boy slacker and a studious nice girl who find each other during their senior year. The film does not focus on the typical kegger wild high school times, but rather the destructive pattern of everyday alcohol abuse and its collateral damage on friends and family. Quietly powerful.