Movie Master List Title Card

Ratings

Positive (Worth Seeing)

List of Positive Labeled Movies on Page 2

This rating is for movies which deserve at least one viewing. For while they may not all be worth repeated viewings, they are the type which deserves 1 – 2 hours of your life.

Mixed (Divisive) 

This rating is used for movies I think have some issues but are worth checking out. Also, this rating applies to movies I feel just won’t appeal to everyone because of some of the movie’s quirks.

Negative (Skip It)

If something is rated negative, it is because it failed to meet any and all expectations. So while you may make it to the end of the film, it is only because you don’t know where the line is. That is the line where perseverance meets fighting for a lost cause.

All Movies Reviewed on Page 3

Recommended

Reviewed 2018

Movie Title Synopsis
Dude Dude should have been a series – point blank. For between the writing and casting, this just being an hour and a half will make you feel cheated.
The Relationtrip Over the course of a weekend “Friends Trip” two people, both dealing with issues that ruined past relationships, go through every stage of love in a brilliantly weird and comical way.
Unsane Unsane, as Claire Foy’s character unravels, turns into a mystery where you are questioning and investigating what is real and perhaps just the perception of a crazy person.
The Female Brain Whitney Cummings proves that it isn’t just male comedians who find a second life and flourish by taking on a dramatic role.
Freak Show Freak Show moves past your usual coming out story and focuses on how to gain tolerance or acceptance, thus presenting a more interesting narrative than often seen in LGBT focused films.

Reviewed 2017

Movie Title Synopsis
The Greatest Showman The Greatest Showman is the type of musical which is worth repeat viewings and one you can see make an inevitable move to Broadway.
Dismissed Dismissed for Dylan Sprouse will surely make him one of the few Disney Channel alumni whose talent deserves to be taken seriously.
Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) Though it may require more forgiveness than you may be able to muster, A Silent Voice may end up being considered this year’s Your Name.
The Foreigner In The Foreigner, Jackie Chan combines a timely backstory, a slightly generic plot, & action you’d expect from something associated with him.
The Story of 90 Coins  The Story of 90 Coins is the type of short you want to see become a full-length feature. For 9 minutes truly isn’t enough.
Girl’s Trip Without question, Girl’s Trip is the funniest movie I have ever seen. All thanks to, not necessarily the established stars, per se, but Tiffany Haddish.
To The Bone To The Bone makes it so you can’t say Lily Collins is living off her father’s name anymore. Alongside you needing to know the name: Alex Sharp.
Our Lovers (Nuestros amantes) Our Lovers (Nuestros amantes), with its moments you want to steal for your own life, reminds its audience not just what love can be, but also what love is as well.
Get Me Roger Stone In Get Me Roger Stone, Roger Stone is presented beyond the level of the Koch Brothers or any non-politician political figure you may know. For truly, the way this documentary presents him, he should be in history books.
Audrie & Daisy Documentaries, usually, are not about happy topics. They are about exposing someone’s suffering, maybe triumphs, and try to be empowering tales. So is the case of Audrie and Daisy.
Dying Laughing With the rise of YouTube and various other online platforms giving birth to comedians, it has made it seem that just being funny was all it took to become a professional. However, the 50+ stand-up comedians involved in this documentary remind you that being funny is good and all, but that’s just part of the basics.
Get Out You know how in 2009 people said Orphan would negatively affect adoption rates and how movies like Split give a bad name to those with dissociative identity disorder? Well, Get Out may likely make Black men think twice when it comes to dating white womIen.
One Night (1 Night) This movie was a pleasant surprise. For one, it is a romance which isn’t about unrealistic showboating and over the top grandeur gestures. It’s heavily about communicating with someone you like or love and attempting to work through the kinks in your relationship. Leading to perhaps one of the most likable romantic films I’ve seen.
A Monster Calls There are many ways to handle the death of a person, be it in a movie or in life and through animation, the point of view of a son, the point of view of a mother, and each finding their own way to deal with things, we are given a story which I can almost guarantee will bring you to tears.
Elle If you thought Gone Girl was twisted, oh you haven’t seen nothing yet.

Reviewed 2016

Movie Title Synopsis
The Man in 3B With one man moving into an apartment building, the weight of the web of everyone’s shared secrets lies, and relationships begins to bend and potentially break. To the point, eventually, it seems that man has become a weight some can’t bear to bear.
Kimi no na wa. (Your Name.) Boy meets girl, but not in the way you’re used to. For there is so much that separates them. Yet, by edging fate toward a favorable outcome, there is hope that neither one will become a forgotten name in the other’s life.
The Little Prince Sometimes it is easy to underestimate the impact or potential stories animated films could have, especially when they seem to be made for children, but The Little Prince rivals, if not surpasses, any and all animated media you might be used to.
Fences Fences seems barely changed from its theatrical production. The only difference maybe a set instead of a stage, and maybe one or two extra roles, which certainly don’t act like filler.
La La Land A light-hearted drama which provides a reminder as to why musicals used to be a staple in Hollywood’s golden age.
Indignation Logan Lerman makes the case for himself that as much as he could be just another Hollywood heartthrob, he actually has the acting chops to perhaps follow in the footsteps of Leonardo DiCaprio with time. For alongside Sarah Gadon, who also has a bit of a breakout performance, they present two odd characters who fall in love, but because of misunderstanding, well… read below.
Zootopia Behind the cute animals dressed in clothes in their version of New York is a story about perseverance, prejudice, fear mongering, and social commentary about the way our human world is.
Floyd Norman: An Animated Life Representation matters and as Viola Davis said, though more geared toward women of color, the only thing which separates people of color, or in this case Black people, from everyone else is opportunity. But in Floyd’s case what separates him from everyone else wasn’t just opportunity but hard work. Which, into his 80s, is what he gives Disney, Pixar, and the industry of animation.
Follow Me Who doesn’t want to experience love? Who doesn’t want to feel special? Who doesn’t want someone they can trust with their secrets, their dreams of the future, and have that person be just as vulnerable to share their own? This is the hope you walk into whenever a possible romance begins. What happens when those rose-colored glasses are taken off?
Anesthesia  This film explores a sense of numbness, for a lack of a better way to put it. Be it because of isolation, drugs, or because you put logic over emotion. Which I’m probably not selling that well, but believe me when I say it is worth seeing this.
Already Tomorrow In Hong Kong If you want something a little different in comparison to most romantic movies out there, but isn’t so different it is weird or off-putting, you may want to check Already Tomorrow In Hong Kong. For there isn’t your usual meet, one does something stupid, and then they through sheer luck or stupidity, they get back together. No, this movie wants something more natural, with a tad bit of happenstance, and a whole lot of chemistry.

Reviewed 2015

Movie Title Synopsis
He Named Me Malala  He Named Me Malala strangely isn’t just about the young lady who turned an act of defiance into a movement. It is also about her family and, most of all, the man who named her, inspires her, and seems to be the one she draws her strength from.
Five Star If the trajectory, and quality, of the urban dramas from the 90s continued into the 00s, and then into the 10s, Five Star would be one of the many classics showing that the complexity of the hood goes beyond gang violence and can include the topic of masculinity, love, and what a person’s absence can do to you.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Within The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is an insight into all that made Studio Ghibli what it is today. Be it the philosophy and work habits of Hayao Miyazaki, the production process of the studio, or the film giving props to integral members of the studio who not only helped give birth to it but keeps it alive.
Love Love, at worse, you may end up considering the best porn you have ever seen. However, at best, Love presents unfiltered passion, sex, intimacy, affection, and all that encompasses being in love with someone and f—ing it all up.
Mad Max: Fury Road Mad Max: Fury Road seems more about providing quality action, and a foundation for sequels, than a standalone movie which can stand the tests of time.
Middle of Nowhere Middle of Nowhere has both the appeal of the 90s Black cinema classics, mixed with the vibe which has made Black web series so popular, and truly it makes you have hope for Black cinema’s future if Ava Duvernay and co. are involved.
Blackbird (2015) The saying “Laugh to keep from crying” has been used for generations to explain how people get through what they get through but, as one character says, eventually you run out of punchlines. Something Blackbird displays for it brings the rare focus on non-white LGBT teens who struggle, become triumphant, but don’t necessarily make it to the finish line without some trauma.
Chappie Chappie is the type of film you’d expect out of Marvel, yet with no human superhero, more diversity, a bit more vulgarity, and much more violence. Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Pitch Perfect 2 Pitch Perfect 2 will remind you why you fell in love with the original, and honestly, is probably one of the funniest movies released in 2015 thus far.
Whiplash They say the best teacher you ever have is the one which pushes you the hardest, to the point of hating them, and this is one drum student’s story with the teacher from hell.
Room A young woman, for 7 years, has been trapped in a garden shed and with her son leaving the age where her lies are justifiable, she does what is necessary for them to do more than just survive.
Trainwreck Nevermind the idea of this being the funniest movie of the year, for it very well might be the funniest movie in years. For truly, as offensive as some may find this, and despite one 10 to 15-minute block of time I was ready for the movie to just be over, I do believe a star has truly be been born, and I don’t just mean Amy Schumer either.
Inside/ Out

Reviewed 2014

Movie Title Synopsis
 Before I Disappear  After slitting his wrist a man waits to die for he believes he lost the only thing worth living for. That is until he is reminded that there are still people who want, need, and potentially love him.
Veronica Mars: The Movie Every fan of a cult hit wishes for their favorite show to get the proper send-off, and Veronica Mars: The Movie doesn’t just give Veronica one more case, but presents an argument for why it should be renewed like Family Guy was.
Done In Done In truly is the type of film you want to see carefully expanded. For with it only being 7 minutes of film, and one minute of credits, it truly doesn’t feel like enough
Philomena After 50 years of struggling with a broken heart, a mother goes to find the boy snatched from her.
Kill Your Darlings Love awakens a writer, while his love interest seeks to destroy and push away, everything he has.
Sunshine on Leith Originally my draw to this film was seeing Antonia Thomas, from Misfits, and Freya Mavor from generation 3 of Skins. But, somewhere between the trailer, and the first few songs, I fell in love. Mind you, I’m not the biggest lover of musicals, but god does this make me seem like I had no idea what I have been talking about all these years.
Belle A young bi-racial girl, born illegitimate, is given the privilege of aristocratic life. But while this gift comes with a lot of perks, being an outsider with brown skin keeps her from experiencing her privilege to the fullest extent.
The Wind Rises We watch as boyhood dreams become part of reality during a time when reality is bleak and unrelenting.
Wadjda In a town, which seemingly she barely fits into, a young girl finds solace in her ability to persevere.
Nightcrawler Between Louis’s persistence and madness, Jake Gyllenhaal has undoubtedly found himself a film which likely will be linked to his career as much a Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain.
Gone Girl A mystery which truly leaves you unable to fully grasp what is going on, what may happen next, and who truly is manipulating who.
The Grand Budapest Hotel A story, within a story, within a story, of a young man’s eccentric father figure who taught him everything he knows.
God Help The Girl  As the summer of 2014 comes to an end, one last coming of age story is released to top the season off.
The Face of Love A film in which one woman is given a second chance to physically be with her husband and get the closure she needs.
Snowpiercer When a person plans a revolution, it is always hard to estimate the amount of sacrifices there will be. Leading one to question: Is the future you’re fighting for worth the blood it will take to run the engine?
Only Lovers Left Alive Though not the best vampire film out there, remember the sub-genre still is in recovery thanks to all the young adult novel adaptations.
Ernest & Celestine Despite living in separate worlds, in which one world fears the inhabitants of another, a mouse and a bear find themselves developing an almost parent/ child friendship.
Camp X-Ray  A newly enlisted young woman finds herself interacting with an accused terrorist. One who leads her to question if whether the treatment, and storage, of these terrorist is right.
Short Term 12 A hidden gem which doesn’t make light of, or over-dramatizes, the state of each character, and truly is one of those films you wish to share and see get prestige. Trigger Warning(s): Cutting & Attempted Suicide
After The Dark (The Philosophers) Within a Philosophy classroom, containing exemplary students, a game of “what if” is played to test the students beyond the subject of Philosophy.
20 Feet From Stardom Behind the voices of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Sting, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and many others, were Black background singers that did more than just sing the hook, but give these musicians soul! This is their stories.
A Long Way Down A suicide pact between strangers creates lifesaving friendships. Trigger Warning(s): Conversations about Suicide
Her A look into the world’s future in which computers are more than programmed assistants to humans, but capable companions, lovers, and friends.

Reviewed 2013

Movie Title Synopsis
Blackfish Like many people who grew up in the 90s, part of my childhood fantasies were going to Disney World and going to SeaWorld. This film is so disparanging that the dream has died with my childhood.
Paris is Burning While Paris is Burning will leave you wanting more in terms of learning more about the mothers, houses, and children, I think this is a decent film to seek out if you have some curiosity about gay culture and want a baseline.
HAL (Haru)  A robot assists in the grieving process, helping someone cope with the tragic death of a significant other.
The Best Man Holiday The Best Man Holiday delivers a dramedy which reminds you why the 90s/ early 00s was a renaissance for Black films.
The Wolf of Wall Street The Wolf of Wall Street undoubtedly is one of Leo’s best performances and makes it seem that Oscar may finally be in his grasp.
The Heat This has to be one of the best comedy films I’ve seen; but, the best thing about the film is that it isn’t solely a comedy but has a nice bit of action, which by the way includes head shots and Bullock getting stabbed in the leg. Also, it has heart and that is what is missing from a lot of comedy films. But, what Dippold does well is not drowning us in the character’s personal lives but giving us appetizers throughout the movie, a scene with the main course, and outside of that we have the story going, jokes flying about and lots of action.
Dallas Buyers Club Though AIDS for most is a death sentence, it also can be that jolt which changes people’s lives.
The Family If you know Robert De Niro is playing a mobster, then why would you not see the movie? Add on Dianna Agron, who seemingly is the only one to really break away from Glee successfully, and then Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones and a mob story which doesn’t take itself too seriously, and really what is there to question, eh? Well, that is what I thought walking into this movie.
Things Never Said A spoken word artist tries to escape her life through poetry, only to realize putting pen to paper isn’t enough.
Blue Is The Warmest Color Combining the romantic chemistry of young adult novels, lack of inhibition, a story which feels like a 600-page book you can’t put down, you get Blue is the Warmest Color.
The Spectacular Now  I can’t say it is going to become iconic like The Notebook, but to me it is amongst the great realistic portrayals of the issues which come from being on the brink of graduating High School and starting to see that transition to adulthood coming, and knowing that you still have a lot of unresolved things from your childhood to deal with, much less growing up to do.
Don Jon Set aside the expectation for a comedy and you really have an interesting film. Though it presents itself like every other romantic comedy in terms of the guy meeting the girl, falling in love, breakup at climax and reconciliation, it diverts from this and even pokes fun at it a bit. And what I like the most is it approaches the idea of trying to understand how and why a person goes monogamous, without looking at it from the “It is time for me to settle down” route. Instead, it focuses on how porn and romance movies shape our expectations and how those expectations have an influence on what we seek out.
The Book Thief With a holocaust backdrop, The Book Thief explores a young girl’s world filled with tragedy, but with people who inspire love, hope, and perseverance.
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty An Oversimplification of Her Beauty retraces love lost, or which may have never existed, in the most artistic of ways.
About Time Despite being advertised as a romantic movie, the real focus is on the relationship between brother and sister, as well as son and dad.
Odd Thomas Anton Yelchin is one of those actors who, I feel, have a sort of Tom Cruise or Will Smith appeal. And while I haven’t seen his two biggest films, Star Trek and Terminator Salvation, I am quite a fan of Like Crazy, Charlie Bartlett, House of D, and a few other of his movies. Alongside the appeal he brings to the film, we also have Willem Dafoe and Addison Timlin, mostly known for her work on Californication. Together, these three create a film which seems like a cult-hit that is either about to get canceled or was recently canceled.
Asphalt Playground (La cité rose) Action, romance, and social mobility. This three forked movie features a young man trying to get a girlfriend, another entering a local gang and one last one who seemingly has made it out and has made it – in his mind. However, this French tale, showing us the non-tourist portions of the country, exhibits the difficulties of finding joy in a country which advertises one thing but offers many of its citizens something else.
Fruitvale Station Honestly, I didn’t know the story of Oscar Grant until I saw Fruitvale Station, and the main reason I saw this movie was because of Melonie Diaz; and because there hasn’t been too many movies featuring people of color, especially black people, not done by Tyler Perry, and I wanted to put my money down to show that it isn’t just Tyler Perry who can solely have people of color dominate his cast and make profit. That aside, I didn’t know what to expect, but in the AMC in Lincoln Square, seemingly I wasn’t the only one.
The Invisible War The subject matter for The Invisible War, in some ways, shares some similarities with Blackfish in the sense that something preventable was ignored and covered up. But, rather than it be a whale which was the subject to abuse, this film deals with Military culture and how both men and women are raped and have no means or method to see their case lead to justice.
My Brother, The Devil My Brother, The Devil may not have any recognizable names to draw you in, but the trailer gives you a certain amount of intrigue. We see young love, violence, homosexuality and family. All together, the trailer sets you up and the movie knocks you out.
Steins;Gate the Movie: Loading Area of Déjà vu Being a fan of the original Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate series, I was waiting a long time for this OVA to be released. The original, though originally just a silly anime, got serious and made me cry tears. And, the OVA did as well, for while there were stronger episodes in the series than the OVA is as a whole, it reminds you why you loved the series.
Gangster Squad
Warm Bodies
Liberal Arts
Beautiful Creatures
Gun Hill Road
War Witch
Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confession of a Marriage Counselor
LUV
Byzantium
Drinking Buddies

Reviewed 2012

Movie Title Synopsis
Una Noche  An unfamiliar tale, with known consequences. We are introduced to the lives of three young people seeking more than what Havana, Cuba can offer. Their plan of escape is the primary focus of the movie.
Yelling to the Sky
Silver Linings Playbook
Sparkle (2012)
Seven Psychopaths
Pitch Perfect
Wreck-It-Ralph
Ruby Sparks