The Quiet Duel
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
The Quiet Duel follows a doctor who contracts syphilis while performing surgery during the Second World War and tries to keep his condition secret. Well paced and well shot, the film is austere and affecting, but a contrived setup, dated morals, and scenes that sometimes veer into melodrama prevent The Quiet Duel from reaching the heights of Kurosawa’s best films.
Directed by Alex Garland
Ex Machina is a science fiction thriller about artificial intelligence. At turns funny, thrilling, and thought-provoking, Ex Machina is, at all times, more entertaining than profound.
Directed by Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft
Mulan is set during an invasion of Han China by the Huns. Mulan serves in the army in place of her father and saves the kingdom. The level of humor is consistent with other Disney films of the 1990s (think Aladdin or The Lion King), but quick pacing and musical interludes give Mulan an innate charm.
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton
Shaun the Sheep Movie is a wordless claymation adventure film which centers around Shaun and his flock as they search for the Farmer in the Big City. From the same minds that generated Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep Movie stays true to a spirit of absurd fun.
Directed by Judd Apatow
Trainwreck is a romantic comedy that follows Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) as she unravels her feelings towards romantic interest and sports surgeon Aaron Conners. The film is a humorous take on the healing process of an emotionally damaged adult, but its attempts at poignancy and sincerity fall flat. The undeniable star is Lebron James, as himself.
Would not see.
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Aladdin is a children’s fantasy film about a pauper whose life is transformed when he is tricked into retrieving a magic lamp. Although Aladdin lacks plot subtlety and significant character development, it is amusing for audiences of all ages and heartwarming to watch.
Directed by Christian Petzold
Phoenix is a drama about a concentration camp survivor who returns to Berlin and tries to determine whether her husband had betrayed her during the war. The film is engaging and thought provoking, though, with a 98 minute run time, its brevity and lack of depth risk making Phoenix too slight and inessential for its weighty backdrop.
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
The Master is a drama about an alcoholic World War II veteran who struggles to adjust to society and joins a shadowy religious movement that is called “the Cause,” but closely resembles Scientology. Though thematically interesting, well acted, and well shot, The Master is somewhat of a chore to watch.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Wild Strawberries is a Swedish language film about an old professor who reevaluates his life on a dream and memory punctuated road trip. Appearing ponderous at first glance, Wild Strawberries proves itself poignant and lightly paced, finding humor and meaning in its examination of the joys and sorrows of reminiscence, even if it fails to fully bear the weight of the stark and complex questions it raises.
The End of the Tour
Directed by James Ponsoldt
The End of the Tour follows the writer, David Foster Wallace, over a five day interview with a Rolling Stone reporter, David Lipsky. The film is intermittently entertaining and occasionally meaningful, but mostly rote.
Would not see.