Category: Drama


Shame is pretty much just like every other movie ever made about addiction…only a whole lot sexier. That’s because the addiction in question here is sex addiction. It’s not a film about whether or not sex addiction is even a real problem, though that is a debate – to this day, the American Psychiatric Association refuses to consider it an actual mental disorder, and have once again rejected it for inclusion in the upcoming DSM-5. Then again, I doubt many in the APA would have as easy a time getting a different hot chick to bang them every night as Michael Fassbender does in this movie.

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The Rum Diary, which could just as easily be titled “Hunter S. Thompson Begins,” is an adaptation of the famous Gonzo journalist’s semi-autobiographical novel about a young American reporter named Paul Kemp, who goes to work for a struggling newspaper in Puerto Rico, only to soon find himself embroiled in a love triangle, a political conspiracy, AND battling a near constant state of chemically-induced mind alteration. The movie holds two exciting prospects for fans of Johnny Depp – to see him once again play one of Thompson’s kinda-fictional alter-egos (as he did so memorably in the great Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas), and to finally see him in a real adult movie again, after what feels like years of family-friendly fare (I guess you could point to The Tourist, but why bother?).

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Moneyball is a movie based on two things I can’t stand – baseball and math. Needless to say, I loved it.

No, really, I did.

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After an unfortunate misstep with Leatherheads, George Clooney the director is back with a new movie that once again suggests he should be included in the discussion about the most talented filmmakers on the current scene. This, of course, in addition to also being a very good actor, unfairly handsome and seemingly an incredibly cool guy. Alright, George, we get it! You’re good at everything! Geez, don’t you just hate the guy? What’s that? You like him him a lot, actually? Yeah…me too. Damn Clooney and his charm.

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A strange person inserts himself into the life of a dysfunctional family, at first seeming to be a hindrance, but time soon reveals that perhaps they have actually been sent there by fate, to help the family work out their issues. It’s certainly not a new formula, but – as I’ve said before – if movies like Drive, Hanna, Warrior and the Lincoln Lawyer have taught us anything this year, it’s that the old formulas can still make good movies when done right. And in this case, I think having your titular character be a burnt-out, long-haired, tattooed, anarchist metalhead played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt definitely counts as “doing it right.”

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Based on the first novel in a series by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer is about Mickey Haller, a lawyer who gets his nick-name because his office is actually the Lincoln Town Car he is driven around in…although, actually, the movie does a pretty poor job making that clear (there’s a scene in the trailer where his daughter refers to the car as his office, but that part didn’t actually make it into the movie). Anyway, Haller is your typical slick and somewhat sleazy defense attorney, but his morals are put through the ringer when he discovers a client he is representing in an assault charge (Ryan Phillippe) is not only guilty of that crime, but might be responsible for an even more heinous act that a former client of his is currently serving time for. And unfortunately for Haller, he is unable to legally tell anyone about, since he IS the guy’s lawyer. Oh no! I hope he can manage to use all his lawyer tricks to out-think and out-maneuver the bad guy while still technically doing his job!

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I’ll admit, when I first saw the trailer for this one a few months back, I instantly wrote it off. Sure, I like Tom Hardy, and am a casual fan of MMA, but as of yet have been thoroughly unimpressed by attempts to bring that sport over into the movie world (seriously, have you TRIED watching Never Back Down?), and this just looked another overly-clichéd sports movie. Don’t we already have enough of those about boxing?

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After years of shitty Ocean’s Eleven sequels and experimental movies that seemed more focused on craft than actual storytelling, it’s kind of great to see Steven Soderbergh back in the habit of making good-old-fashioned Hollywood fare like Contagion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the guy his desire to try new things, but I’d much rather simply see his take on a traditional narrative like this than to continue seeing him become the guy who’s getting closer and closer to filming his next movie entirely with cell-phone cameras (don’t think he hasn’t considered it).

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The Adjustment Bureau, VERY loosely adapted from a Philip K. Dick short story, stars Matt Damon as a young politician who meets and quickly falls for a beguiling British dancer played by Emily Blunt. Unfortunately, their series of chance meetings are not part of the cosmic plan for the two of them, and Damon soon finds himself at first confronted and eventually pursued by the “adjustment bureau,” a mysterious group of fedora-wearing gentlemen who insinuate they are not quite human, and are in fact responsible for making sure everything that happens on earth goes along with a master plan created by their unseen “chairman.”

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I went to the San Diego Comic Con excited to see footage for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, The Amazing Spiderman and Fright Night. Little did I know that the movie that would make the biggest impact on me would be one I hadn’t even heard of going into the event. Thankfully, though, a decent panel complete with a rave recommendation from an incredibly enthusiastic Guillermo Del Toro convinced my buddies and I to go check out the free sneak preview screening of Drive…and it’s easily the best movie I’ve seen all year.

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