2012’s new and old, rented, streamed and gone to.

GO! (or get)

Silver Linings Playbook. Heartbreaking/funny, heartwarming/wrenching. Alive. One of 2012’s best.

Key Largo. It’s got gangsters, see, Bogart, a hurricane, and great dialogue.

To Have and Have Not. I wanna be Bacall in this. A great old movie.

The Ref. Great if you like your Christmas comedy kinda mean.

Footloose. It’s still a really good movie!

Hopscotch. Clever and delightful one-step-ahead Walter Matthau spy romp.

Skyfall. Sly humor. Great women. Cool visuals. Juicy villain. And plot!

Galaxy Quest. Very entertaining family movie. Fun actors. Great lines.

Soapdish. Ridiculous soapy, fast-talking hilarity.  (One major joke is dated).

Four Weddings & A Funeral. Ignore the rom’s weak-link MacDowell. The -com’s hilarious.

Moonrise Kingdom. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Visually, a candy store. Thoroughly entertaining, delightful.

Argo. Very good (but slightly over-hyped). Nice performances all around.

No Way Out. Great ’80s drama/thriller holds up (even with that soundtrack).

Looper. Engrossing/intriguing/violent action/drama. JGL & Willis match well.

How to Steal a Million. Marvelous! Rom-com heists don’t get better than this.

Sneakers. Fun heist flick that actually lives up to its cast.

The Bourne Legacy. Good. Refreshingly efficient storytelling. Good action, good characters. Not dumb.

The Dark Knight Rises. Enjoyable and entertaining (though not perfect). Cool, dark, complicated storytelling.

Lone Star. Such a good movie. Mystery, western, commentary, exploration. Excellent cast.

MoonGreat sci-fi flick. Rockwell‘s awesome performance overcomes any inconsistencies.

Zodiac. Fascinating. Gyllenhaal‘s weaker than Ruffalo and Downey, but who isn’t.

Black Hawk Down. Riveting (if blunt). Deep list of excellent actors.

Bullitt. Cool, moody cop drama/character piece. Bullitt wears awesome pjs.

The Great Escape. Jaunty WWII classic with a great roster of actors.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind. A total classic, see it, but I have reservations.

Beat the Devil. Totally entertaining, clever, droll, with excellent character actors.

The Avengers. Whoohoo! Snappy script, fun action, great actors having a blast.

The Cabin in the Woods. So much fun, and adrenaline too. Awesome.  I love Whedon.

Station Agent. Great character piece. Funny. (Warm funny, not guffaw funny). Rewarding.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. A titch long but such a satisfying, LOL romantic comedy.

Real Genius. So funny/awesome. Even better now than in 1985.

Silverado. Big-budget fun (touch cheesy?) with great scenestealing actors.

The Awful Truth. Great ’30s comedy, a’la Thin Man and His Girl Friday.

The African Queen. Romance! Adventure! Technicolor! My childhood favorite, still as enjoyable.

Source Code. Engaging thriller. Kinda romantic. This and this are oddly cousins.

Open Range. A lot to like about this. A real interesting Western.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Not perfect, but, surprisingly, deeply funny. But Pitt‘s always great.

The Godfather. Rewards every time. You should watch it every couple years.

Bull Durham. Great fun. Deserves its reputation as a classic baseball movie.

The Hurt Locker. So good. A little tough to watch, but must-see.

The Artist. Teensy bit overhyped but good old-fashioned fun. Dujardin entertaining.

The Prestige. Really interesting. You’ll think you’ve guessed the twists, but no…

Three Kings. Uneven, but worth watching. Funny and dark. Wahlberg‘s good at comedy.

The Last King of Scotland. Really good. Powerful. A Whitaker tour de force. Great camerawork.

The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Slooooow, but gorgeous (looks like a Rembrandt). Excellent soundtrack, performances.

Moneyball. New favorite. A good story well told. Sharp, entertaining, human.

Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Fun. Thrills. Moxie. Doesn’t take itself too seriously. Costars great.

Midnight in Paris. English majors must see. Not obnoxiously neurotic. Fantastic Hemingway.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. British, atmospheric, tense. Oldman amazing. Story unfolds slowly but well.


Sabrina. Hate to say, but the era’s attitudes overrun the charm.

Blue Valentine. Good if you like painfully realistic improv’d indies. Too long.

S.W.A.T. Otherwise excellent actors phoning it in, and a terrible script.

Death at a Funeral. Oddly paced, not super-duper, though some really funny moments.

Hunger Games. Bet the books are better. Interesting, but a problematic script.

Phone Booth. Good acting, but a pointless, story-less story.

SaltAlmost fascinatingly bad.

Ladyhawke. Alas, a former favorite succumbs now to its 80s cliches.

Interview with the Vampire. I’m all for camp (and vamps) but gawd. Terrible.

Minority Report. Eeh. (By the way, the other precogs are Portland poets.)

Sea of Love. Always love Pacino and Goodman, but this hasn’t aged well.

Shopgirl. Hmm. Very pretty. Odd. Pretty slow. Ultimately satisfying? Maybe. Hmm.

War of the Worlds. (Cruise + Spielberg + fx) – story = zzzzzzzz.

Drive. Interesting movie & good Gosling performance wasted —  gratuitous  “realistic” violence.



The tail-end of 2011:


The Descendants. Gorgeous. Great acting. Heavy plot but funny parts very funny.

The Next Three Days. Riveting. Even at home, you won’t pause for bathroom break.

Horrible Bosses. Ridiculous yet intelligent. Laugh bonanza. But I’ve always loved Bateman.

The Debt. Couldn’t decide if truly good, but kept thinking about it.

Hanna. Taut thriller. Doesn’t go where you think it will.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Classic. Wayne to Stewart: “Whoa, take ‘er easy there, Pilgrim.”

Five Element Ninjas. Brilliant. I like the gold lamé ninjas the best.


Don’t See!

Born on the Fourth of July. Stone really overdoes what should have been a good story.

Mission Impossible III. Not even Philip Seymour Hoffman makes this worth watching.

Ides of March. Good performances. Lame movie. Watch this, this or this instead.