Category: 5 Star Reviews

Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

AVENGERS: ENDGAME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 2, 2019 “Whatever it takes.” — Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) [If you have not yet taken the ride that is “Avengers: Endgame,” please recuse yourself from this review and rectify that. That said … SPOILERS!] Over eleven years and twenty-two films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has amassed a substantial amount of fans. Lifelong comic lovers, decadelong … Read More Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Quick Review: The Rover (2014)

THE ROVER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 23, 2014 Post-apocalypse has become so many things in cinema. Whether it is zombies or the fallout of some catastrophe, Hollywood seems obsessed with the idea. Flooding the theaters with these films, it becomes rare for any of these them to stand out. What becomes key is subtlety. Parring down, focusing on the characters rather than the changing world … Read More Quick Review: The Rover (2014)

Quick Review: Breathe In (2014)

BREATHE IN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 11, 2014 With 2011’s “Like Crazy”, two things happened: Drake Doremus became one of my favorite directors and I developed a huge crush on actress Felicity Jones. A few years later, we are once again graced with their presence together in the independent drama entitled “Breathe In”, an emotionally complex study of a family that faces its breaking point … Read More Quick Review: Breathe In (2014)

Movie Review: Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014)

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 6, 2014 Michael Bay gets me. He understands that I was once an eight-year-old boy who had a huge collection of Hot Wheels cars that were often commanded by Optimus Prime. In my imagination, these non-transforming cars were still Autobots, fighting alongside their leader, attempting to stop the Decepticons from destroying the Lego towns that lay in … Read More Movie Review: Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014)

Quick Review: Joe (2014)

JOE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 19, 2014 David Gordon Green returns to form with his latest drama, “Joe”, about an ex-con who finds himself in the tough position between a young, innocent boy and his twisted, abusive father. Proving that his best days may still be ahead of him, Academy Award-winning Nicolas Cage produces one of his best performances ever, as the title character. Joe … Read More Quick Review: Joe (2014)

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2014 Over the weekend, you are going to hear the words ’70s espionage thriller tossed around quite a bit, to which I’ve already seen in about four reviews that I’ve read, and in all honesty, they are not wrong. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” feels less like a Marvel superhero movie and more like a … Read More Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Quick Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013)

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 15, 2014 Coming out of Belgium and nominated at the 86th Annual Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Feature, “The Broken Circle Breakdown” is a passionate love story filled with young love and young loss that tears at the heartstrings and leaves you on the verge of emotionally drained by the time you walk out of the … Read More Quick Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013)

Quick Review: Omar (2013)

OMAR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 2, 2014 Five years ago, I started participating in what I call the Oscar Challenge, where I watch every single film nominated for an Academy Award that year, and it was for films like “Omar” that I started doing it in the first place. A Palestinian love story between a young man and his best friend’s sister, “Omar” was one … Read More Quick Review: Omar (2013)

Quick Review: My Week With Marilyn (2011)

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Michelle Williams wholeheartedly pulls off the role of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn” capturing not only the bubbly on-screen beauty that we knew and loved but the innocent and mysterious side of her character as well. Williams has never been more attractive and wholly engulfed in a role than she was with Marilyn, … Read More Quick Review: My Week With Marilyn (2011)

Quick Review: Braveheart (1995)

BRAVEHEART BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Mel Gibson not only proves he’s an amazing actor in “Braveheart,” but he also proves to be a high caliber director, versatile enough to star as the lead in an epic film while directing what will remain a cinematic classic. Extremely dark, the story continuously surprises, catching the viewer off guard on multiple occasions. Hooking me within the … Read More Quick Review: Braveheart (1995)

Quick Review: The Lion King (1994)

THE LION KING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 An absolute classic, Disney’s “The Lion King” is one of the very first films I remember latching on to as a child, watching the VHS in constant succession, learning every line and every song, and the film still does not get old to this day, with a brilliant remastered version that makes the film look like … Read More Quick Review: The Lion King (1994)

Movie Review: Her (2013)

HER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 I have never smiled so much or felt so much emotion during a film this year than I did with “Her.” Feeling the presence of a smile while you’re watching a film is a rare thing, at least for me. The immense glow of emotion coming from this film is brought on, not just by the lavish performances, … Read More Movie Review: Her (2013)

Quick Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 Every year, I feel like we get at least one truly phenomenal music-based film, and the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” is that one. The music throughout the film is performed by the actors themselves and comes from Oscar winner T Bone Burnett collaborating with Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons. Catching you with folk ballads … Read More Quick Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Quick Review: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 17, 2013 Easily one of the best war films of all time, Steven Spielberg brings to the screen a representation of WWII’s D-day that overwhelms and captivates in the most emotional, realistic, and an unforgettable 24-minute opening sequence that blows you away while opening your eyes to the loss of the war. “Saving Private Ryan” brings an all-star … Read More Quick Review: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Quick Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)

12 YEARS A SLAVE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 27, 2013 There’s no getting around it, “12 Years A Slave” is an intense journey of a free man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1800s. Directed by the ever incredible Steve McQueen (“Hunger” and “Shame”), the film has a rich, emotional foundation that McQueen thrives in, with lingering close-ups and uncomfortably long takes. … Read More Quick Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)

Quick Review: Gravity (2013)

GRAVITY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 “Gravity” is many things, all of which are outstanding. “Gravity” is the best use of 3D to date, dealing on a layer of superb cinematography and directorial forethought to allow for things such as an extremely long take to open the film. “Gravity” produces the best performance of Sandra Bullock’s career, as Dr. Ryan Stone, a doctor and … Read More Quick Review: Gravity (2013)

Quick Review: Short Term 12 (2013)

SHORT TERM 12 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 “Short Term 12” is a mass of emotions, brought to life by a superior eye for film-making and some subtle yet high caliber performances from everyone involved. The film follows Grace (Brie Larson) as she supervises a home for at-risk teens. With each interaction, at work and home, a new set of issues is at hand, … Read More Quick Review: Short Term 12 (2013)

Quick Review: Last Ride (2012)

LAST RIDE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 Visually striking and emotionally in tune, “Last Ride” takes a father and son road trip and puts it on the backdrop of the Australian outback. Not quite the average road trip adventure, Kev (Hugo Weaving) is on the run from the law for reasons we’re not privy to immediately while his son Chook (Tom Russell) is along … Read More Quick Review: Last Ride (2012)

Quick Review: The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 Hannibal Lector is one of the best villains in cinematic history, made possible by the astounding performance by Anthony Hopkins, whose dead stares and impressive delivery become staples in his Academy Award winning performance as the former doctor. Jodie Foster plays off him wonderfully and when Hopkins isn’t stealing the show as Hannibal, Foster … Read More Quick Review: The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

Movie Review: Transformers (2007)

TRANSFORMERS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 24, 2013 Bringing to life a story of epic stature, “Transformers” is everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Michael Bay understands the anatomy of a science fiction action film and runs with that knowing full force. Despite some heavy-handed attempts at stereotyped humor, Bay handles the comedic portion of the movie with an expert hand, weaving … Read More Movie Review: Transformers (2007)

Quick Review: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

SPIDER-MAN 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 24, 2013 One of the best superhero films of all-time, “Spider-Man 2,” develops such a strong emotional rapport, it is hard not to become engrossed in the world. With the struggle between being a superhero and a regular guy highlighted perfectly, the inner struggles match the exquisite outer efforts in the form of the brilliant Alfred Molina in the … Read More Quick Review: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Quick Review: The Kings Of Summer (2013)

THE KINGS OF SUMMER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 13, 2013 In addition to being one of the most enthralling coming-of-age dramas this year, “The Kings Of Summer” is as visually stunning as emotionally engaging, taking these unknown teenage actors and giving them an open-world to roam around freely. Centered around three runaways who decide to live in the woods, the film ends up being one … Read More Quick Review: The Kings Of Summer (2013)

Quick Review: Grizzly Man (2005)

GRIZZLY MAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 23, 2013 Built from Timothy Treadwell’s footage while living with grizzly bears in the wild, Werner Herzog delivers a postmortem character study of a man with a strange demeanor but a kind and gentle heart towards the animal kingdom, especially with the bears and foxes that surrounded him. Including interviews with those who knew him best and narration by … Read More Quick Review: Grizzly Man (2005)

Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

IRON MAN 3 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 2, 2013 Shane Black re-teams with Robert Downey Jr. to deliver not only an exceptional stand-alone action film with comedic and emotionally charged themes but produces another gold brick in the foundation of the Marvel universe. All returning characters are at the top of their game, with no wasted reintroductions or unnecessary plot devices, including the best showing … Read More Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

Movie Review: Oldboy (2004)

OLDBOY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 25, 2013 One of the most potent foreign films I’ve ever encountered, “Oldboy” is an epic story without the unneeded glitz and glamour of a Hollywood blockbuster. Park Chan-Wook tests the viewers’ endurance, putting his main character, Dae-Su, through challenges while touching on thick and heavy emotions that translate perfectly to the spectator. The epic feeling is achieved through masterful … Read More Movie Review: Oldboy (2004)

Movie Review: To The Wonder (2013)

TO THE WONDER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 17, 2013 Meditative and reflective, “To The Wonder” is an ethereal glimpse at the emotions of love as perceived by director Terence Malick. Not for everyone and described by one patron as “over two hours of leaves blowing in the wind,” Malick’s latest is much more down to earth than “The Tree Of Life” but still relies heavily … Read More Movie Review: To The Wonder (2013)

Quick Review: Jurassic Park 3D (1993)

JURASSIC PARK 3D BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2013 “Jurassic Park” is a masterpiece and one of the greatest films of all time. An adventure on one of the grandest scales, the iconic dinosaur and island imagery, and still-ahead-of-its-time visual effects will live on forever. Steven Spielberg solidifies his name in the history books alongside Michael Crichton, who turns his epic novel into an extremely … Read More Quick Review: Jurassic Park 3D (1993)

Quick Review: The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 30, 2013 Don’t let the two-hour and twenty-minute run-time frighten you away. Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine”) uses every last frame of that run-time to create a masterpiece of drama. Ryan Gosling is easily one of the best actors of his time, making the persona Luke, a motorcycle stuntman who finds out he has a son from … Read More Quick Review: The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

Quick Review: Serendipity (2001)

SERENDIPITY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 21, 2012 “Serendipity” is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies. Pairing John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in a romantic comedy set in the cold and snowy streets of New York City, these two lovers are parted by the world of fate and destiny. With an impressive supporting cast in Jeremy Piven and Molly Shannon, who are … Read More Quick Review: Serendipity (2001)

Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

THE LORD OF THE RINGS:THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 9, 2012 J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson are both pioneers. The first time you read or see “The Lord of the Rings,” it is nothing short of a masterpiece. And that respect grows each time you visit the film or read the massive novel. How Tolkien could have had such an imagination … Read More Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Movie Review: Skyfall (2012)

SKYFALL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 10, 2012 What I would consider the best James Bond film yet, “Skyfall” does for the 007 series, what “The Dark Knight” did for the Batman series. The genius poured into Christopher Nolan’s Batman turned an entire generation onto a character known mainly to comic book enthusiasts. “Skyfall” takes the whimsical, two-dimensional James Bond and gives him a depth unseen … Read More Movie Review: Skyfall (2012)

Movie Review: Lawless (2012)

LAWLESS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 8, 2012 “Lawless” is the perfect Prohibition-era film, with everything it takes to make a phenomenal period piece. Set in the backwoods of Virginia, the set pieces are of the time, immersing the audience without ever drawing them out. The gangster get-ups are subtle yet practical, the vehicles spring to life in a way unmatched by any period piece I … Read More Movie Review: Lawless (2012)

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 22, 2012 Expectations and presumptions can kill a film. I went into “The Dark Knight Rises” with neither. Too many people I know walked into the final Christopher Nolan Batman film expecting it to be better than “The Dark Knight.” In my mind, that just wasn’t possible. “The Dark Knight” is a near-perfect film, and Heath Ledger … Read More Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Movie Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

THE DARK KNIGHT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 22, 2012 “This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to ‘em.” — The Joker (Heath Ledger), “The Dark Knight” Going on record to say that one actor could make or break an entire film feels like a complex statement to make. I mean, even to say that a particular director has enough … Read More Movie Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 15, 2012 “The Amazing Spider-Man” is my favorite film so far this year. Perhaps it’s my passion for Spider-Man, which dates back to my childhood years when I would read all the comics. Maybe it’s my affinity for comic book films in general. But no matter the reason, I thoroughly enjoyed this newest film, directed by Marc Webb. … Read More Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Movie Review: Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 20, 2012 Besides considering myself somewhat of a nerd when it comes to movies and the like, I have never been a huge comic book person, apart from the occasional Spider-Man comic I would purchase from yard sales in grade school. Though not wholly knowledgeable about comic book lore, I still felt highly excited when Christopher Nolan’s take … Read More Movie Review: Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

Movie Review: Like Crazy (2011)

From frame one, it is hard not to fall in love with these actors. Yelchin and Jones form the key to any engaging love story with chemistry that drives into the end scenes of the film. Style and meaning exude out of every frame of this film and each selected moment with this couple appears both thoughtfully structured, yet carelessly organic. Like Crazy takes a step away from the standard Hollywood romance and brings to life a painfully truthful and touching glimpse into a couple’s life. There is always something so enriching when a film evokes from you an entire spectrum of emotion in such a short period of time and this film does just that. Like Crazy lived up to my high expectations and so much more.

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 28, 2010 Certain comedies come out sporadically that indeed appear tailored to a viewer’s exact humor. “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” is that film. Not only does the film live up to its tagline: “an epic of epic epicness,” with its action sequences, music, and overall style, “Scott Pilgrim” has the cast and performances to match. … Read More Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)

Movie Review: Inception (2010)

INCEPTION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 19, 2010 Let me begin with a novel analogy: “Avatar” is to the mass majority of theater-goers, what “Inception” was for me. Though “Avatar” had its pretty colors and “stacked” cast, Inception shows up with originality and heart (both of which are lacking from almost every film created lately). Director Christopher Nolan took tons of heat for not jumping straight … Read More Movie Review: Inception (2010)

Video Game Review: PS3’s Red Dead Redemption (2010)

RED DEAD REDEMPTION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 16, 2010 Tell me you have never wanted to be a rugged cowboy riding your horse through the wild west. Even as a child you may have dressed up in a cowboy hat and sheriffs badge and galloped your wooden stick horse around the living room. “Red Dead Redemption” is the living enigma of all your childhood dreams. … Read More Video Game Review: PS3’s Red Dead Redemption (2010)