Here’s a bunch of random mini reviews of films that have come out this holiday season…

  • Seemingly marketed as an Anne Hathaway vehicle, she doesn’t have nearly enough screen time
  • Has Russell Crowe had a good performance since Gladiator ? Terrible acting and worse singing from him here
  • Weird “wide angle lens” shots of characters faces during musical numbers
  • None of the songs were pre-recorded which lessens the quality; the actors vocal imperfections are really noticeable
  • Difficult to become invested in all of the side characters

FilmFire review:
2.75/5 forms

  • Astounding lead performance by John Hawkes, undeniably deserves this years Best Actor Oscar
  • The story here isn’t particularly engaging and it does start to drag at a certain point
  • The chemistry and supposed romance just do not exist between the 2 leads, which is the main failing of this movie
  • The subject matter isn’t particularly fun or entertaining to watch play out
  • Despite the grimness of the subject matter, the film can be very funny and light

FilmFire review:
3/5 forms

  • Great acting from Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence
  • Robert DeNiro’s return to his Meet the Parents style comedic chops
  • The set up for the final act of the film is a bit too convenient
  • Cliche cliche cliche……………
  • It may be an unconventional romantic comedy, but it ends in the most conventional possible place it could have

FilmFire review:
3.25/5 forms

  • An interesting twist on mobster films, playing on the themes of “America is a Business” and “Every Man for Himself”
  • Great colorful side characters played by James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta and Vincent Curatola
  • Intense scenes of brutal violence may turn some away
  • Incredibly stylish, entertaining and not subtle at all
  • The message is pounded home so often, it ends up being much too heavy handed

FilmFire review:
3.5/5 forms

  • Incredible opening sequence/hook that sets the pace of the film
  • Very intriguing and mysterious plot that is fun to figure out along with the character
  • Tom Cruise doing his best Tom Cruise performance (essentially a flawless and magnetic hero with great one-liners)
  • Best car chase sequence of the year
  • A nice little down-to-earth and workmanlike action film

FilmFire review:
3.75/5 forms

  • A heartwrenching and devastating story
  • Mesmerizingly raw performances from the leads, Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts
  • Intense and brutal with plenty of touching and tender moments to balance the tone
  • Beautifully shot with incredible seamless special effects
  • A powerful and triumphant look at the survival instinct of human nature

FilmFire review:
4.25/5 forms

  • Charming, sweet and funny. The best “John Hughes-esque” film to come out in years
  • So many great character moments really help put the audience in the mind of the introverted teenager at the center of the film
  • Fun cameos by Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Mae Whitman, Melanie Lynskey, Joan Cusack & Kate Walsh
  • Terrific performances by the 3 young stars – Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller
  • An expertly crafted coming of age story; surprisingly refreshing and heartfelt

FilmFire review:
4.25/5 forms

  • Opens up conversations about many important topics, most notably the success of using torture as a practice to obtain information
  • There is a pace and urgency present in many scenes that, with a lesser director, could come across trivial or boring; really showcases Kathryn Bigelow as one of our best working directors
  • Maintains such an incredible level of suspense despite knowing exactly how the film ends
  • Jessica Chastain’s lead performance is the best you’ll see this year from an actress
  • The last 45 minutes of the film are truly mesmerizing

FilmFire review:
4.5/5 forms