365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About


Passengers (2016)

Passengers is one of those movies that your interest would be better served if you looked at the audience score rather than the critics' scores. A 30% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes would suggest that you skip this one. But a 70% audience score suggests something more. This was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Plus I try to see everything. But even I was skeptical when I saw how it was getting panned by so many different critics. Even my most respected site (Roger Ebert's site) only gave the movie 1.5 stars. But I talked to a couple of different people who go to the movies a lot, and they said, despite some holes, that they recommended it. The only thing I knew about Passengers going in (I never saw a trailer) was that it starred Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, Joy) and that they were lost in space. And while I suppose there were holes in this movie, they didn't in any way deter my enjoyment of this film. The parts that I found more troublesome than anything else were the personal emotions and the relationship between the two leads and, really, I didn't even have a problem with that.


The Imitation Game (2014)

The one movie of 2014 that I really was not looking forward to seeing but knew that I had to see was, without a doubt, The Imitation Game. I learned early in the year that this would end up being one of the movies to beat, but there was something about the trailer that told me that the movie would probably be well made and tell a great, true story, but also be extremely boring and long. Boy was I wrong. The first thing to point out was that this movie was only 1 hour ad 50 minutes. I love a movie that can tell its story under two hours. I understand the standard is tending to be closer to 2 hours and 15 minutes (with many, many movies pushing or exceeding 3 hours), but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Secondly, this movie was never dull. In the wrong hands, this movie as being a complete snooze-fest. It was anything but. This is why,without even having seen some of the probably Oscar nominated movies yet to be released (most notably Unbroken, American Sniper, Selma, Mr. Turner, and Into the Woods), I am ready to give Morten Tyldum a Best Director nomination. The only other nomination I have cemented is Richard Linklater (Boyhood). The direction in this movie was outstanding and I am confident there will not be three better directed movies in 2014 that I have yet to see.