ian has written 56 reviews for films during 2013.

  • The Selfish Giant

    The Selfish Giant

    I'm typically a sucker for the working-class Ken Loach-style stuff, and while I did enjoy the grittiness, one saw the denouement from miles away, which sucked a lot of the air out of it. Had Barnard been able to create and maintain the same sense of dread without telegraphing the ending, well, that would've made for a formidable film.

  • Clear History

    Clear History

    ★★½

    yes, it was a lot like a drawn-out Curb ep, but there are enough good gags and cameos to make it watchable. You could do worse.

  • Identity Thief

    Identity Thief

    By-the-numbers (literally) comedy wasn't awful. I laughed, but felt bad while doing so.

  • Captain Phillips

    Captain Phillips

    ★★★½

    I'm not saying it made me shit my pants, but I'm not saying it didn't. An old-fashioned Hollywood thrill ride.

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

    The middle bits of trilogies can be tricky things, and Jackson and co. seemed to make every wrong choice they could. It started abruptly in media res and then jumped around, so that I was completely disoriented from Jump St.

    It seemed to right itself after a while, and delivered a coupla slick (if ridiculous) action sequences. But it kept introducing new characters like its life depended on it, and I cared about each character less than the one before…

  • Her

    Her

    ★★★

    Maybe my expectations had been jacked up too high, but this seemed pretty far up its own ass. Clever and kinda touching at times, but really hokey and obvious at others. Not bad by any means, but neither should it be in any best picture conversations.

  • All Is Lost

    All Is Lost

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I was not expecting the shot of Robert Redford in boy shorts at the end.

  • Wrong Cops

    Wrong Cops

    ★★★½

    I've started and deleted this review about a dozen times because I simply can't find words to describe WRONG COPS. If you like idiot humor, non-existent narrative, and weed, this is the movie for you.

    Spoiler alert: writer/director/cinematographer/editor Quentin Dupieux also scored the film as Mr. Oizo.

  • August: Osage County

    August: Osage County

    ★★★

    Master class in acting. Musical cues were a little heavy-handed and parts still played like a stage play, but goddamn, the performances.

  • 20 Feet from Stardom

    20 Feet from Stardom

    ★★★★

    Possible side effects include: goosebumps, weeping, and having to pick your jaw up off the floor. If these women's incredible stories don't move you in some way, you may have already expired.

  • Sinister

    Sinister

    ★★½

    Exceeded my extremely low expectations, and was actually pretty good/scary!

  • Nebraska

    Nebraska

    ★★★★

    A minor revelation. Small in scale, expansive in theme, and gorgeous to look at.