I have dedicated this page to movies that I have watched in 2013 (these have to be fairly current movies from this year or last year to make the list). Older years will show up as blog posts (there is a link section at the bottom of this page). Newest movies are at the the top. My goal this year is 50 movies half in theaters.
Results for 2013: 62 Movies, 35 in a theater. That’s it for this year, so it’s time to publish this list as a post and move onto 2014!
The Secret Life of Water Mitty 8.5/10 – What a cool movie! Really enjoyed this one. It was refreshing in a way that most movies aren’t. I think we should all take a look inside ourselves – there’s potential to be more than we are.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 8/10 – Some of the action was a little over the top (like jumping the shark silly), but on the whole the movie was an excellent synthesis of action and storytelling.
Smurfs 2 6.5/10 – Sentimental, simplistic but heartfelt enough.
The Lone Ranger 7/10 – Actually a lot of fun to watch. I’m not clear on how $200+ million was sunk into this movie.
Planes 7/10 – This movie was blasted by critics but I thought it was really cute. Basically “Turbo” with planes.
Turbo 7/10 – This movie is a about something dear to my heart- speed. In a way it’s almost too happy of a movie- nothing bad ever really happens and the good guys win and win and win. It’s a feel good show- you won’t walk away feeling anything but upbeat.
Monsters University 7.5/10 – This is a cute prequel and a worthy addition to the Pixar film library. Nothing too surprising here, except was a douche Sully was.
Bad Grandpa 6.5/10 – I would have watched this movie even without it’s attempts to connect the hidden camera moments together with a “plot.” When it hit it was hard and funny, but when it missed it was hard to watch.
Rush 8/10 – “Men love women, but men love cars even more.” I’m a sucker for cars and this movie didn’t disappoint me. Based on the real life rivalry between James Hunt and Nicky Lauder – although embellished to make them seem more like enemies than friends – Rush chronicles their 1970’s Formula One races.
Prisoners 8.5/10 – Wow! This movie really worked for me. At almost three hours long I kept glancing at my phone hoping there was still a long way to go. Loved the plot, excellent acting. Not perfect by any means, but this is a great thriller.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters 6.8/10 – The kids were dying to go see this. It’s good, but it lacks something I can’t put my finger on. Maybe I have a hard time suspending my disbelief for things like this.
Argo 8.5/10 – I liked this movie a lot. The storytelling was excellent and the tension was nice and thick. I realize they took some liberties, but they make an excellent movie.
Mud, 6/10 – I guess this movie received a lot of critical acclaim. I thought the themes of “complicated love” were okay, but the movie felt long and often boring.
Bullet to the Head, 6/10 – Not very inspired. Stallone as the “good bad buy” works okay, but it feels tired.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, 6.5/10 – This had some really funny moments, but overall the stupidity of the movie hurts a bit.
Pacific Rim, 8.5/10 – This was just plain old awesome. This is the stuff I watched as a kid brought to life. In some ways it’s almost mindless (and there are some exceptionally large plot problems), but it give you the kind of rush you expect from a blockbuster. Visually breath taking.
The Call, 5.7/10 – A little over the top. And it’s just too hard to swallow all the stuff that’s going on (or not going on). A miss for me.
The Purge, 6/10 – This started out so good. What a great premise. But the movie slowly degenerated into an almost comical slash fest by the end. Some part of this movie had me slapping my forehead (spoiler alert: seriously, who gives their kids security override codes during the Purge?), rolling my eyes and dry heaving. I’m sure the movie was trying to make a political statement, but it got lost on me.
Warm Bodies, 6.9/10 – Unexpectedly enjoyable! Expectations were pretty low. Some funny moments, some okay action and an interesting plot. (Spoiler Alert!) But love? Love is the cure for the Zombie virus? Hmm.
Jack the Giant Slayer, 7/10 – This tanked in theaters, but I don’t really see why. It’s exciting enough and parts of the movie are captivating. Maybe people just have trouble accepting that a beanstalk can take you to a non-existent world between earth and space.
Oz: The Great and Powerful, 7/10 – Visually I found this movie striking, but at the same time a little off-putting. I like the story of how the wizard came to Oz and the elements incorporated from the previous film (films if you want to acknowledge “Return to Oz”).
Identity Thief, 6.7/10 – It’s got it’s moments (you have to like Melissa McCarthy), but this is not great comedy.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, 6.5/10 – So over the top it’s surreal. Not great as far as action movies go, but there’s enough to keep you interested. Not a fairy tale for kids though.
Snitch, 6.9/10 – The Rock always does it for me. He’s been a bad ass commando, a warrior king, the tooth fairy and now he’s a caring father and truck driver.
Escape From Planet Earth, 6/10 – Somehow Escape managed to lack any of the Pixar & Dreamworks charm. I’m not sure if it was the cast, the idea or execution. A lot of the humor missed the mark for me. Our kids thought it was okay.
Parker, 6/10 – I like the mindless Jason Stathem action movies. This one seemed especially mindless.
After Earth, 7/10 – I don’t really understand why the critics hated this one so much. I confess that I don’t understand what the movie’s title has to do with anything, but I thought the film, overall, was enjoyable. Maybe people like to bash on M. Night. Maybe people are being just a little to hard on Jaden or expecting too much from Will. I’m not sure- but I thought the pacing and the visuals were good. The story, while light and predictable, worked for me too.
Fast and Furious 6, 7/10 – There’s a lot of things to like about this movie- great action, a fun villain and, of course, Vin and the Rock. A lot of it is too over the top for my taste and that makes the movie hard to take seriously. And maybe that’s the point.
Star Trek: Into Darkness, 7.5/10 – Many of the elements of the second Star Trek movie have been incorporated into this almost-remake. But it’s a fun backwards alternate reality version with some good hits and a few misses. An appealing action flick nevertheless.
I’ve sort of fallen behind with my mini-reviews. But come on, did anyone really read them anyway? I don’t think so.
Django, 7/10 –
Life of Pi, 8/10 – With its stunning visuals and moving store line Pi stands out from most other movies. In some instances I found myself totally captivated. This is a movie not to miss and Ang Lee probably deserves his Oscar.
Here Comes the Boom, 5.5/10 – Formulaic to the point of irrelevance. Sort of a comic knock-off of Warrior. I like Kevin James but this is not his best.
Les Miserables, 7.5/10 – This was a very moving production. It’s clear that not all the actor’s are good singers, but the performance is emotionally driven so I can appreciate what they did here (can singers act?).
Ice Age: Continental Drift, 6/10 – I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of this series to begin with- prehistoric animals having social problems just isn’t that appealing to me. It’s entertaining enough to watch, I suppose, but it’s not great.
Last Stand, 7/10 – Arnold is really showing his age. In some ways the title of this movie is ironic. The action is good (over the top, of course), loved the Corvette vs. Camaro showdown but the overall experience was lacking. I saw this in a D-Box seat- never doing that again.
Hotel Transylvania, 6.8/10 – A cute effort, but nothing too special here.
Premium Rush, 6.5/10 – After I watched this movie I had a dream that I was Lance Armstrong. The premise of the movie is okay, but everything about it is kind of so-so.
ParaNorman, 6.8/10 – The stuff they are doing with stop motion these days is pretty impressive. Visually ParaNorman is cool (the odd looking people don’t quite wok for me though), the story is good and it’s fun to watch. I think this movie is supposed to be funny too, but not a lot of it hit home with me. Not quite a Halloween movie, not quite horror and not quite right, but a good effort.
Looper, 8/10 – Time travel is always a messy movie subject. Having your future self sent back to your present self for extermination is extra messy, but Looper pulls is off with a fair amount of finesse. There’s nothing spectacular in terms of special effects, but the ending is both moving and shocking. An excellent effort.