This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Oct. 24-26, 2014)

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: Oct. 24-26, 2014

Wide (United States)

23 Blast

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: We start to wonder if there’s really anything even slightly worthwhile—let alone Very Important—about [this story].

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: The clunky script and amateurish performances are not unexpected in the faith-based genre, but its dubious “inspiration” gives even diehard-atheist me pause.

[New Today] Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: On the one hand, it’s well-meaning and high-minded; on the other, it’s obvious and predictable.

John Wick

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

Ouija

[New Today] William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: They didn’t make a fun commercial, they didn’t disguise it as a good movie, they just told us that their product isn’t worth buying. And they made us buy a ticket to find that out.

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: This kind of repetitive, transparent deceit is either lazy or cynical, or maybe it’s a combination of both.

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

  • Excerpt: ‘Ouija’ – You’ve Seen It Before, But It’ll Still Scare You

[New Today] Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: Born out of a desire to explain the seemingly inexplicable, the Ouija board remains enigmatic.

[New Today] Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: Ouija pulls out a modicum of effective moments. However, unless ticket buyers are horror-movie virgins, no one will be made a chicken of through much of this temporarily startling, though never-chilling exercise.

[New Today] Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: A threadbare attempt at a frightfest–dumb, turgid and ultimately tedious.

Expanding (United States)

St. Vincent

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

Limited (United States)

Citizenfour

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: a hell of an eye opener, even given knowledge of its events. Poitras’s documentary makes us feel the danger of government invasion.

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Edward Snowden speaks. Buy a ticket to this film… and use your credit card, so the NSA knows you care about this stuff.

Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: “Citizenfour” provides a stark cinema vérité perspective on America’s biggest political scandal.

Force Majeure

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

Laggies

Travis Hopson @ Examiner

  • Excerpt: While it’s true that adults don’t always have the answers and sometimes make childish mistakes, Laggies says as long as you look like Keira Knightley everything will be fine.

[New Today] Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: What impresses most about Laggies is how it manages to be familiar and yet wholly avoid clichés at the same time. Shelton’s film resembles any number of mainstream fish-out-of-water stories, but her easygoing presentation and sharp eye for where the humor goes manages to make Laggies feel fresh.

Revenge of the Green Dragons

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: hysterically rendered cohorts are even more irksome, a barrage of squeals, snarls, and gunshots that are more repulsive in their exaggerated acting than any of their heinous crimes.

[New Today] Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

White Bird in a Blizzard

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: lurid camp

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

  • Excerpt: ‘White Bird In A Blizzard’ Is A Mystery That No One Is Trying To Solve

Travis Hopson @ Examiner

  • Excerpt: White Bird in a Blizzard lacks momentum as a tawdry mystery, but it’s worth seeing for Woodley, Green, and Araki’s intoxicating sense of mood.

[New Today] Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: If 2005’s “Mysterious Skin” was his most grown-up film and 2011’s offbeat, defiantly rudderless oddity “Kaboom” had him boomaranging back to old times, then “White Bird in a Blizzard” might be Araki’s most accessible—this is relative—and yet it’s still transgressive and quite haunting.

Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

  • Excerpt: Too slow-moving for a thriller, but shocking ending is almost worth waiting for.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

1,000 Times Good Night

[New Today] Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A sensitive drama about the challenges idealists and people of great passion face within the family circle.

3 Days to Kill

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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

The Babadook

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Genuinely horrific and deeply scary in a way that draws on the most primal of emotions. A horror flick with rare emotional and psychological resonance.

David William Upton @ So So Gay

  • Excerpt: Elegantly focusing on the extended chills the genre can provide, rather than short sharp shocks, Kent’s film will not be for those who favour their horror with buckets of blood, but it may prove impossible not to be drawn into the increasingly insular world.

Big Men

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: This doc tells the true story, with impressive access and documentation, about a little Texas company that finds oil in Ghana.

Birdman

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

The Blue Room

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Book of Life

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

Dear White People

[New Today] Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: The film isn’t as funny as it could be, largely because Simien’s tone isn’t as fueled by anger as [Spike] Lee’s films, but when he scores, it’s often a bullseye.

Default

Travis Hopson @ Examiner

  • Excerpt: Setting itself apart from a crowded field of Somali pirate movies is a goal Default reaches for, but in choosing meaningless action over all else it’s never achieved.

Dracula Untold

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Eternity: The Movie

Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

Exists

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: With nary an original flourish in its little brain, despite some fleeting moments of genuine creepiness, the distraction of its mechanics work as resolutely against its effectiveness like a majority of all films in this vein, wherein cameras stay indefatigably in action no matter the dangers faced, and obvious editing and musical cues interfere with the rules of the game.

Extraterrestrial

Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!

Felony

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

Foxcatcher

Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Fury

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

The Golden Era

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

Gone Girl

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Great Museum

Alan Mattli @ Facing the Bitter Truth [German]

  • Excerpt: The only real downside to this otherwise fascinating fly-on-the-wall documentary is that it shamelessly plagiarises Nicolas Philibert’s ‘La ville Louvre’.

Happy New Year

[New Today] Kathy Gibson @ Access Bollywood

The Heart Machine

[New Today] Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: a case study of mutation in a modern struggle to connect with another person intimately in a world that no longer conditions us to have the patience or mind frame to do so.

[New Today] Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A thought-provoking psychodrama about the misuses of technology in affairs of the heart.

Carson Lund @ Slant Magazine

  • Excerpt: New York filmmaker Zachary Wigon’s concise introspective thriller, by contrast, is a rare example of a work that operates outside expected approaches, showcasing a genuine fascination with the mind/body split engendered by Skyping, online dating, and constant app usage through a plot that doesn’t fuel itself on received wisdom, instead considering its isolated characters as though through an anthropological lens.

Hollows Grove

Mike McGranaghan @ Film Racket

  • Excerpt: A virtual compendium of found footage clichés, all assembled in an unoriginal, lackluster manner.

Housebound

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Jimi: All Is By My Side

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

The Judge

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Kill the Messenger

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Kundo: Age of the Rampant

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

Left Behind

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Life After Beth

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Life of Riley

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: With a finale that suggests an ‘all’s well that ends well’ ideal, Life of Riley is a highly styled exercise from a master filmmaker, a bittersweet addendum to an impressive body of work.

Listen Up, Philip

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Magic in the Moonlight

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Maps to the Stars

Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews

  • Excerpt: Julianne Moore gives a brave performance, but at times the determination to shock the audience reeks of desperation.

The Maze Runner

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

A Million Ways to Die in the West

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Nightcrawler

Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog

  • Excerpt: I’m giving you a night crawl…

The November Man

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

One Chance

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Pride

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Private Violence

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: Tthe lid is just beginning to lift from the black hole of domestic violence and its pervasive infiltration into American society – at all socio-economic levels.

Rudderless

Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!

See No Evil 2

[New Today] William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: a dark, spooky litany of brutal slayings and well-timed jump scares, making it just as good as (almost) any of the Friday the 13th sequels that actually made it to theaters. Take THAT, prestige.

Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!
Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous

Stonehearst Asylum

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: an injustice to its vintage source material. Anderson can be a director of excitingly high concept, offbeat material, but Stonehearst is too glossy and too lugubrious to consider seriously.

[New Today] Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder

  • Excerpt: …STONEHEARST ASYLUM is more clever than scary. But there’s a lot to be said for a well plotted thriller in a time when too many horror movies hinge more on shocking their audiences instead of getting under their skin.

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: Aside from the crucial but completely arbitrary twist at the end, what we see and hear is exactly what we get…

[New Today] Aaron Pinkston @ Battleship Pretension

  • Excerpt: Brad Anderson has made both far better and far worse films and I’d say that Stonehearst Asylum is worth watching, especially if you are into classic horror tales. But the film is limited, refusing to take its most promising parts to the extremes, as its filmmaker has been able to do before.

Summer of Blood

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Theory of Everything

[New Today] Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: Touching story about a couple able to weather many challenges thanks to their partnership approach to marriage.

Time Is Illmatic

[New Today] Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!

Transformers: Age of Extinction

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Tusk

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Two Faces of January

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

V/H/S: Viral

[New Today] William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Every installment is a mean-spirited little treat for horror fans, and in a genre that is largely defined by inconsistency, that’s a tiny little triumph in and of itself.

[New Today] Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: While there is no pleasure in taking down a filmmaker, the shockingly piss-poor efforts by these so-called “visionary directors” (the one-sheet’s words) manage to turn the “V/H/S” series into a complete joke.

The Way He Looks

[New Today] Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
David William Upton @ So So Gay

  • Excerpt: Daniel Ribiero’s deft expansion of his exquisite short film allows the simple narrative more time to feel through its characters. It helps greatly that the young performers are so natural, not just in Lobo’s astonishing believability at playing blind, but in their rhythms and ability to place delicate reactions inside scenes that might otherwise contain very little.

We Are the Best!

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Whiplash

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

Winter Sleep

Carlos del Río @ El rincón de Carlos del Río [Spanish]

  • Excerpt: Poco visual y mal contada, y sin embargo, muy interesante.

Wish I Was Here

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

Yves Saint Laurent

Dragan Antulov @ FAK [Croatian]

  • Excerpt: Cak i oni gledatelji naviknuti na rutinske nedostatke suvremenih biografskih filmova osjetit ce se zakinutima.

2013 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Blue Jasmine

Nuno Reis @ Antestreia [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Apesar de já ser bastante pesado, se não tivesse a comédia forçada – e sabemos que Allen não precisa disso – podia ser o filme do ano. Um dramalhão sobre uma mulher no ponto de ruptura, pode não ser fácil de vender, mas seria inesquecível.

Night Train to Lisbon

[New Today] Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Vikingdom

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Made by Malaysians and played out on CGI-sets that look like black metal album covers, ‘Vikingdom’ is an odd film whose stupid title telegraphs the level of sophistication involved.

2014 Films (Coming Soon)

The Dark Valley

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

Delicious

Nuno Reis @ Antestreia [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: http://antestreia.blogspot.pt/2014/09/delicious-por-nuno-reis.html

Heimat: Home from Home

Tiago Ramos @ Split Screen [Portuguese]

Jauja

Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?

  • Excerpt: Two things are new here in Alonso’s unyielding world: a leading lonely man with palpable emotions and motivations made clear to the audience rather than willfully obfuscated, and a willingness to allow the environment to assume the interior dimensions of this character.

Kung Fu Jungle

[New Today] James Marsh @ Twitch

  • Excerpt: Donnie Yen plays a convicted murderer sprung from jail to help track down a serial killer targeting martial arts masters in Teddy Chen’s appreciably nostalgic action thriller. While Yen wisely gifts the lion’s share of the fighting to opposite number Wang Baoqiang, Kung Fu Jungle also serves as a reverential ode to the local industry, and something of a swan song for Donnie as Hong Kong’s foremost action hero.

Love, Rosie

[New Today] Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Serena

[New Today] Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Walking on Sunshine

Dragan Antulov @ FAK [Croatian]

  • Excerpt: Džuboks mjuzikl koji uspijeva ništa više ni ništa manje nego što je uspjela ‘Mamma Mia’.

Watchers of the Sky

[New Today] Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: An extraordinary documentary about a heroic peacemaker who coined the term “genocide” and fought to bring those responsible for mass killings to trial.

Wolf

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

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