49. Darling Companion. Diane Keaton as a whiny, bratty crone whimpering about a dog she hardly knows reached a new low in yet another aging actresses' declining career. Oh, and Kevin Kline was also on-screen but for the life of me I couldn't tell who was more bored, Kevin or me. I have a feeling he lost a big bet with his agent.
48. Ghost Rider Part Two: Spirit of Vengeance. The interesting parts of this movie lasted fewer seconds than the time to say the title. Nicholas Cage, like a bad penny, gets worse every time I see him.
47. This Means War. How can three really good looking people manage to be so freaking annoying. They all deserved each other.
46.The Three Stooges. The film speaks for itself. My low expectations were too high. I thought Sofia Vergara could save anything. I was wrong.
45. Dark Shadows. I cant think of anything to say about this movie. Michelle Pfeiffer looks great but I am so over seeing Johnny Depp in white face. This man must own a shit load of Noxzema stock.
44. Rock of Ages. OMG....
43 Jack Reacher: The lowest rated film I actually saw in the theater. I take some comfort in the fact that I got in with a premature senior ticket and Robert got in with a post-mature child's ticket. I recall that we shared a really large box of popcorn and I think my stomach ache was as much about this lousy mush of a movie as the over indulgent treat. Could somebody tell Tom Cruise that he needs to take a nap.
42. Piranha 3D Nasty teeth chewing more than just the scenery.
41 Total Recall Boring and ridiculous and totally un-memorable. Should have been titled No Recall.
40. The Words. Its a movie within a movie within a movie within a movie. It just keeps abruptly moving through time and space like John Carter with less muscles. But, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana look fabulous. Every now and then Dennis Quaid wanders in. I think he must have been getting lost trying to find his new tv show set.
39. The Dictator. Sasha Baron Cohen needs to restrict his career to other peoples movies. I fell asleep halfway through.
38. People Like Us. There are no people like "us", certainly no one like anyone in this insane movie that reminds us of the timeless cinematic contrivance that death is a pretty good time to teach the kids a few lessons about family. An episode or two of Brothers and Sisters might have been more effective. I was more than just a little worried about the incest threat too.
37. Chernoby Diaries. Lets just say I was rooting for the rabid dogs and leave it at that.
36. John Carter. Somewhere this movie took a left turn and I clearly got lost. I'm still waiting for a ride home. what kind of name is Taylor Kitsch anyway?
34. The Five Year Engagement. I usually like Emily Blunt and Jason Segal but they had zero chemistry and I was much more intrigued by her sisters relationship with his friend.
33. Big Miracle I Liked the John Kasinski film. I did not like the Drew Barrymore film. I am a sucker for animal movies so this film was predestined to get at least a C because lost stranded whales are catnip for me.
32. Jeff Who Lives at Home. Sort of funny, sort of sad. Sort of pointless.
31. To Rome With Love. After Match Point, Vicki Christina Barcelona, and Midnight In Paris I had high hopes for Woody does Roma but alas, I fell asleep; something I haven't done in a Woody Allen movie since Everyone Says I Love You. Actually You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger was pretty awful too but I have chosen not to remember that particular mess since I am such a Woody buff.
30. Mirror Mirror. Julia Roberts does ok evil. Nice updating of the fairy tale. Sleeping Beauty as envisioned by Gloria Steinem. But who was that extra lady in the mirror?
29. Contraband Good guys win in the end. Don't bother.
27. Friends with Kids. I had expected this movie to be really hip and funny and so next week. Instead I was completely distracted by how much I don't like Jennifer Westfeldt as an actress. It is criminal to waste the talents of Kristin Wiig and Jon Hamm who could not have been less believable.
26. Sleepwalk With Me. Mildly funny but the movie was a little too sleepy and he definitely did not deserve the luminous Lauren Ambrose
25. The Amazing Spider Man. This is the first movie I have ever seen in a theater by myself. I had just had a
blue light treatment on my scalp and was required to stay out of the sun for 48 hours. A darkened theater seemed the perfect retreat. I guess I enjoyed the movie but so close after Sam Raimi's trilogy I dont know why it was made.
24. Lincoln. I am often troubled by Steven Speilbergs odd affinity for framing his films seeping in drippy melodrama. So it was no surprise at how irritated I was by Thaddeus sudden wig toss and romp into bed with his black lover at the end. Are you kidding me? It was all for a chick??? Lincoln gets my award for the preachiest movie of the year. DDL is quite effective as St. Abraham but I kept feeling like I was in school and big famous people were reading text books to me. Sure, they were more interesting than Mrs. Alston but I couldnt wait to get out of the movie and was relieved that there was no homework.
23. The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton are so attractive and so sincere for heaven's sake I wanted to give them my own children.
22. Lawless. I liked the feel and look of this movie. Having lived and worked in real backwoods Virginnie I know the descendants of these people. Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke were warming up their intensity chops for their future romp down Bin Laden Lane.
21. How To Survive A Plague I know in my preface I said that I dont go to movies to be enlightened or educated but I guess every rule has to be broken occasionally. So, there. The movie is a taut chronology of a devastating history, the magnitude of which remains unknown.
20. Hope Springs. Nothing a little intimate munching couldn't cure
19.The Queen of Versailles How awful do I feel watching filthy rich people suffer. I refuse to answer the question. Just let them eat cake.
17. The Dark Knight Rises. I think time ran out for Batman before the end of part 3. The film is so technically cool that I frequently lost track of the story which in this case was probably a good thing.
16. Take This Waltz. I like Michelle Williams but I did not particularly like her character in this interesting but a little soul-less movie. Its hard to depict passive-ness without being boring so the movie gets a lot of credit for keeping me engaged until the end. Also, I have to be honest. I like nudity as much as the next guy but the shower scene seemed more than a little gratuitous Not that I'm complaining.
14. Ted. Man, is this movie juvenile and even offensive but it sure is funny. And Mark Wahlberg is cuter than the Bear.
13. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I liked it. Im not ashamed to admit it. I loved the old crumbling masterpiece and thought it was a perfect venue for my best friend Maggie Smith. I think that she should be cast in every thing I see because all I have to do is look at her and I am swooning.
12. Argo. Lets just ignore the fact that Ben Affleck cast himself in a part that I guess Javier Bardem was unavailable for. The movie was exciting and full of twists and turns as this motley group of badly dressed, poorly coiffed Americans try to get the Hell out of Dodge. The movie would have landed higher on my list but for the completely unnecessary and therefore highly irritating scenes of Ben's marital woes.
11. Premium Rush. I know, I know. It was ridiculous. An underground militia of bicycle delivery folks that can be activated by a single call is about as believable as the republicans giving Sarah Palin another shot. But I was enveloped by this movie's adrenaline. I loved the cycling ballets and loved the inventiveness of showing the characters calculating and re-calculating their turns in a series of split second frames. Finally I am ashamed to admit that I even got suckered in by the Asian re-unification under story. Go figure.
10 a. Ethel. I was mesmerized by Rory Kennedy's documentary about her mom. Ethel Skakel Kennedy was nobody's shrinking lady behind her man. She's all piss and vinegar and well into her 80's still full of tremendous energy. The movie is a love story from a daughter to her mother.
9. Beasts of the Southern Wild. Little Hushpuppy and the Bathtub came alive in this beautiful romantic vision of abject poverty and the moral superiority of having nothing. OK, it's not true but it came alive for me. For 90-odd minutes I believed the fantasy as much as Hushpuppy's mystic visions. You can taste the tabasco.
8. Django Unchained. The best buddy move of the year if not the most unlikely. As in most of Mr. Tarantino's recent work, each scene is beautifully realized and maybe a touch over long. It seems like there could have been five or six different movies here. This movie might have teetered at the top of my list if Broom Hilda hadn't been such a sorry reason for anyone to risk his freedom and his life not to mention killing most of the confederacy.
7. Zero Dark Thirty. I am going to let everyone else debate the politics of this movie and whether or not it is an accurate depiction of the events leading up to the big bang ending. The movie is a well written, well acted thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat for a long time. This is a pretty amazing feat considering we all know how it ends. The audience cheered and clapped and generally acted like goons but I cant blame the film for that. Given how easy it was for Bill W. to locate his fathers long lost friend Pearl, I cant help wondering if anyone ever tried to google Bin Ladin, for crying out loud.
6. Killer Joe. I am probably pretty alone in my love for this movie and it probably reveals a lot about my own pathology to share my admiration for Killer Joe and its band of truly awful irredeemably unsavory people. But its true, I love it. From the shockingly early shot of Gina Gershon and her lady parts to the grand operatic blood bath I was drunk with delight. Matthew McConaughey is a revelation. This movie crossed every line of decency and made me laugh more than any other movie this year.
5. Skyfall I have never enjoyed Bond more. Nuff said.
4. Bernie. Shirley MacLaine is such a grouch. I think it should have been justifiable homicide. Bernie was a hero and Jack Black inhabits him perfectly. You can give Danial Day Lewis all the big awards this season but for my money Jack Black gave the best performance of the year and Bernie is a masterpiece, a must-see.
1. Looper: The most entertaining movie I have seen in many years. It has it all. Action! Adventure! Science fiction! A love story! A child in peril story! Time travelling, crime melodrama, strong defiant woman, and the absolute purest depiction of the essential conflict of man against himself you will ever see. I found Looper to be inventive, unpredictable and even astonishing. The first movie I have ever seen where strangers in the audience debated it after the credits had rolled out. When I saw it a second time it reinforced the spaghetti theory. Even better as seconds.