This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Dec. 12-14)

[Editor’s Note: Due to the site outage, this article was postponed (it was originally scheduled to post Saturday morning).]

Because of embargoes (those happy little restrictions on when critics can post reviews, good or bad), a lot of our critics aren’t able to share links with you until release day. Here are some last-minute reviews for this weekend’s upcoming films. We’ve kept in all the reviews posted yesterday as well so you can have more help in deciding what to see (if you haven’t already).

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: December 12-14, 2014

Wide (United States)

Exodus: Gods and Kings

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Top Five

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Expanding (United States)

The Pyramid

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
[New Today] Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: Since a genre movie of this type solely relies on who lives and who dies, it’s hard to care when there is such nondescript character development and little to no tension to be found.

Limited (United States)

Inherent Vice

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

[New Today] Stacia Kissick Jones @ Next Projection

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

  • Excerpt: sweet and surprisingly charming, even though it never transcends its choppy staginess

We Are the Giant

[New Today] Stacia Kissick Jones @ She Blogged By Night

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

After the Fall

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

  • Excerpt: the film ultimately seems like an archaic example of the dangerous follies of patriarchy

The Babadook

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Before I Disapper

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: It’s an original, intoxicating, giddily alive movie.

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain

[New Today] Kathy Gibson @ Access Bollywood

Big Hero 6

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Citizenfour

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Dying of the Light

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Finding Fela!

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix

Flamenco, Flamenco

[New Today] Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: If you don’t know flamenco, this will be a baptism of fire, and by the time you leave you’ll know whether you like it or not.

Foxcatcher

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Get On Up

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Grand Budapest Hotel

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Green Prince

[New Today] David Upton @ So So Gay

  • Excerpt: Cinematically, Schirman’s filmmaking feels limited; the recreations are hampered by the awkward framing provoked by a need for distortion and vaguery, while the two men are framed in rather morbid black rectangles, their faces square and confrontational.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: I fear that Peter Jackson has been suffering from a similar affliction to the dwarf king’s “dragon sickness”: a compulsive lust for epicness.

Oktay Kozak @ Oregon Herald
[New Today] Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog

  • Excerpt: Everything ends.

The Homesman

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Horrible Bosses 2

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Imitation Game

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Inside the Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci

[New Today] Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: Any chance to spend some time inside one of the greatest minds that ever lived is time well spent, even if this documentary doesn’t take as much advantage of the visit as we might like.

Interstellar

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

John Wick

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Last Days in Vietnam

Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: In the film, the morass of strategic confusion, political convenience, and stubborn personalities pushing an agenda is the prelude to a story of startling moral clarity.

Late Phases

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Life of Riley

Andrew Wyatt @ Gateway Cinephile

  • Excerpt: On paper, Life of Riley makes for a wry little tale about self-delusion and faux-virtuous narcissism, but Resnais makes some unfortunate choices in the process of bringing it to life.

Mommy

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

National Gallery

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

Nightcrawler

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Ouija

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Penguins of Madagascar

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Point and Shoot

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: Point and Shoot is a study of overcompensation.

Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine

  • Excerpt: Point and Shoot provides valuable context for VanDyke’s personal evolution and his choices, turning an American footnote to the Arab Spring into a deeply human story.

Song of the Sea

[New Today] Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears

Aaron Pinkston @ Battleship Pretension

  • Excerpt: This is an ultimate case of style over substance, and the style is absolutely worthy. Though Cattet and Forzani’s style may be indefensibly pretentious at times, they throw so much at your eyes and ears that it becomes an exhaustive marvel.

The Theory of Everything

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Tip Top

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Two Days, One Night

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: The film correlates depression, an invisible state of crippling, with the equally hard-to-discern nature of financial distress in a modern Western state, where the accoutrements of suburban life give an illusion of stability that can become a perpetual goad to anxiety.

Unbroken

[New Today] Edwin Davies @ A Mighty Fine Blog

  • Excerpt: Jolie and her collaborators clearly have a lot of respect for the story they are telling, but their reverence prevents the film from having much passion, or from cohering into anything like a decent narrative. Instead, it feels like a series of well-shot scenes that happen to follow each other.

[New Today] Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews

  • Excerpt: There’s much to recommend here, but at over two hours the production taxes the viewer’s patience after a while. Let’s just say, Unbroken is worth watching once and then never again.

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
[New Today] Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog

  • Excerpt: Gimme a break.

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: [I]t feels unfair to fault the soft edges of Unbroken since Jolie’s direction favours the light of Zamperini’s tale rather than the darkness from which it emerges.

Whiplash

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Wild

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Zero Motivation

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
Ron Wilkinson @ Monsters and Critics

  • Excerpt: Starting off as a great military/industrial complex send-up, the story flounders in the home stretch when it grasps at the serious and ends up in slapstick.

2014 Films (Coming Soon)

Electricity

[New Today] David Upton @ So So Gay

  • Excerpt: Electricity acts as a reflective, intimate take on epilepsy even as it obscures it. In that way, it obviously reflects how Lily is forced to live her life, blanking out on bits of her existence with the bruises to prove things she can’t recall happening.

Going Away

Samuel Castro @ Ochoymedio.info [Spanish]

  • Excerpt: Un drama bien concebido sobre dos personas que cargan con fardos del pasado y que se descubren como salvadors el uno del otro en una jornada en la que pasan por todas las emociones.

Montana

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

  • Excerpt: While unreservedly entertaining in parts, unfortunately Ali struggles to lift himself up out of the realm of conventionality, with a hackneyed take on the revenge plot thriller.

Ragnarock’s Cabin

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: The cheese has a distinctly local flavour, but ‘Ragnarock’s Cabin’ is fun for what it is.

Single by Contract

Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]

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