Filtering by Tag: movies

The State of Film Criticism Today

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Thanks to my buddy Ben for hipping me to "Rex Reed Bangs a Gong on the Mediocrity of Modern Life." The URL for that piece is mysteriously: who-is-rex-reed.html.

I love Rex (meaning I almost always agree with him). He's the last honest movie critic. He has balls, the way only a gay man born in the American South in the 1930's can have balls. And he writes well.

A few excerpts to whet your appetite:

"Mr. Reed bought his apartment in the Dakota for $30,000 in 1970." [nice timing]
"... one of the reasons that movies are so profoundly screwed up today is because the last person who gets any credit for anything is the writer."
"All [neighbor John Lennon] did was lie around stoned watching television."

2015 Movies Watched -- Master List

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Bold means recommended. Italics means I haven't seen it yet. No documentaries included here.

  1. 45 Years (2015) {My review}

  2. '71 (2015)

  3. 99 Homes (2015)

  4. A Most Violent Year (2015)

  5. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2015)

  6. About Elly (2015)

  7. Anomalisa (2015) [Refuse to watch Charlie Kaufman pics on principle]

  8. Ant-Man (2015)

  9. Appropriate Behavior (2015)

  10. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

  11. Black Souls (2015)

  12. Bone Tomahawk (2015)

  13. Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) (2015)

  14. Breathe (2015)

  15. Bridge of Spies (2015)

  16. Brooklyn (2015)

  17. Carol (2015)

  18. Clouds of Sils Maria (2015)

  19. Coming Home (2015)

  20. Creed (2015)

  21. Dope (2015)

  22. Ex Machina (2015)

  23. GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2015) (My review)

  24. Girlhood (2015)

  25. Grandma (2015)

  26. Güeros (2015)

  27. I'll See You in My Dreams (2015)

  28. Inside Out (2015)

  29. It Follows (2015)

  30. James White (2015)

  31. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2015)

  32. Love & Mercy (2015)

  33. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

  34. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015)

  35. Mississippi Grind (2015)

  36. Mommy (2015)

  37. Mr. Holmes (2015)

  38. Mustang (2015)

  39. Paddington (2015)

  40. Phoenix (2015)

  41. Queen of Earth (2015)

  42. Room (2015)

  43. Selma (2015)

  44. Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) {My review}

  45. Sicario (2015)

  46. Slow West (2015)

  47. Son of Saul (2015) {My review}

  48. Spotlight (2015)

  49. Spring (2015)

  50. Spy (2015)

  51. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

  52. Steve Jobs (2015) [Quit after five minutes, looked that bad]

  53. Still Alice (2015)

  54. Straight Outta Compton (2015) [Quit after five minutes, alien culture]

  55. Tangerine (2015) {My review}

  56. The Big Short (2015)

  57. The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015) {My review}

  58. The Duke Of Burgundy (2015)

  59. The End Of The Tour (2015)

  60. The Forbidden Room (2015)

  61. The Gift (2015)

  62. The Lady In The Van (2015)

  63. The Look of Silence (2015) [Refused to watch after suffering The Act of Killing last year]

  64. The Martian (2015)

  65. The Peanuts Movie (2015)

  66. The Revenant (2015) {My review}

  67. The Second Mother (Que Horas Ela Volta?) (2015)

  68. The Tribe (2015)

  69. The Walk (2015) [Refused to watch re-make of Man on Wire, which I enjoyed]

  70. The Wonders (2015)

  71. Theeb (2015)

  72. Timbuktu (2015)

  73. Trainwreck (2015)

  74. We Are Still Here (2015)

  75. What We Do In The Shadows (2015)

  76. When Marnie Was There (2015)

  77. White God (2015)

  78. Wild Tales (2015) {My review}

Engaged in an Interaction with a Killer Whale

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From the SeaWorld prospectus:

Featuring animals at our theme parks involves risks.
Our theme parks feature numerous displays and interactions that include animals. All animal enterprises involve some degree of risk. All animal interaction by our employees and our guests in attractions in our theme parks, where offered, involves risk. While we maintain strict safety procedures for the protection of our employees and guests, injuries or death, while rare, have occurred in the past. For example, in February 2010, a trainer was killed while engaged in an interaction with a killer whale. Following this incident, we were subject to an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which resulted in three citations concerning alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and certain regulations thereunder. We have appealed certain of these citations and the appeal process is ongoing. In connection with this incident, we reviewed and revised our safety protocols and made certain safety-related facility enhancements. This incident has also been the subject of significant media attention, including television and newspaper coverage, a documentary and a book, as well as discussions in social media. This incident and similar events that may occur in the future may harm our reputation, reduce attendance and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, seven killer whales are presently on loan to a third party. Although the occurrence of any accident or injury involving these killer whales would be outside of our control, any such occurrence could negatively affect our business and reputation.
We maintain insurance of the type and in amounts that we believe is commercially reasonable and that is available to animal enterprise related businesses in the theme park industry. We cannot predict the level of the premiums that we may be required to pay for subsequent insurance coverage, the level of any self-insurance retention applicable thereto, the level of aggregate coverage available, or the availability of coverage for specific risks.

Incidents or adverse publicity concerning our theme parks or the theme park industry generally could harm our brands or reputation as well as negatively impact our revenues and profitability.
Our brands and our reputation are among our most important assets. Our ability to attract and retain customers depends, in part, upon the external perceptions of the Company, the quality of our theme parks and services and our corporate and management integrity. The operation of theme parks involves the risk of accidents, illnesses, environmental incidents and other incidents which may negatively affect the perception of guest and employee safety, health, security and guest satisfaction and which could negatively impact our brands or reputation and our business and results of operations. An accident or an injury at any of our theme parks or at theme parks operated by competitors, particularly an accident or an injury involving the safety of guests and employees, that receives media attention, is the topic of a book, film, documentary or is otherwise the subject of public discussions, may harm our brands or reputation, cause a loss of consumer confidence in the Company, reduce attendance at our theme parks and negatively impact our results of operations. Such incidents have occurred in the past and may occur in the future. In addition, other types of adverse publicity concerning our business or the theme park industry generally could harm our brands, reputation and results of operations. The considerable expansion in the use of social media over recent years has compounded the impact of negative publicity.

Top 61 Movies in Year 2013

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews, divided into non-documentaries (41):


12 Years a Slave 

Zero Dark Thirty 

American Hustle 

Captain Phillips 

Inside Llewyn Davis 

Dallas Buyers Club 


All Is Lost 


Blue Jasmine 

Fruitvale Station 

Before Midnight 



Enough Said 

Frances Ha 

Blue Is The Warmest Color 

The Spectacular Now 

Short Term 12 

The Past 

The Sapphires 

The Hunt 


In a World... 

The Great Beauty 


A Hijacking 



Behind the Candelabra 

Beyond The Hills 

A Touch of Sin 

The Selfish Giant 

Gimme The Loot 

Museum Hours 

War Witch 

Still Mine 

Drug War 

Our Children 

Mother Of George 

and documentaries (20):


The Act Of Killing 

Stories We Tell 

Room 237 


20 Feet From Stardom 

The Gatekeepers 

Muscle Shoals 

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks 

Cutie And The Boxer 

56 Up 

Inequality For All 

A Place at the Table 

The Square 

After Tiller 

A Band Called Death 

The Crash Reel 

Caesar Must Die 

Call Me Kuchu 

Sound City 

Let The Fire Burn 

Rampant grade inflation in recent years forcing me to shift cutoff to 95% Fresh; here's the list, again sorted by number of reviews (a measure of obscurity), 24 in total:


12 Years a Slave 

Inside Llewyn Davis 

Before Midnight 


Enough Said 

Short Term 12 

The Act Of Killing 

Stories We Tell 


20 Feet From Stardom 

A Hijacking 


Behind the Candelabra 

Muscle Shoals 

Cutie And The Boxer 

The Selfish Giant 

56 Up 

War Witch 

The Square 

The Crash Reel 

Call Me Kuchu 

Sound City 

Let The Fire Burn 

Top 55 Movies in Year 2012

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews, divided into non-documentaries (32) and documentaries (23):

Marvel's The Avengers 





The Cabin in the Woods 

Silver Linings Playbook 

Moonrise Kingdom 


The Sessions 


Holy Motors 

Safety Not Guaranteed 

The Secret World of Arrietty 

The Kid with a Bike 

Monsieur Lazhar 

Beauty and the Beast  [Disney 3D animation]


Farewell, My Queen 


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia 

I Wish 

Raiders of the Lost Ark [1981 re-release]


La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion)  [1937 re-release]

Keep the Lights On 


Oslo, August 31st 

Wake in Fright [1971 re-release]

The Loved Ones 

Turn Me On, Dammit! 

The Well-Digger's Daughter 

Searching for Sugar Man 

West of Memphis 

The Imposter 

The Queen of Versailles 



Jiro Dreams of Sushi 

This Is Not a Film 

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 

How to Survive a Plague 

First Position 

The Central Park Five 

Chasing Ice 

The Invisible War 

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel 

Side by Side 

The House I Live In 

Brooklyn Castle 

Beware Of Mr. Baker 

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God 

The Island President 

5 Broken Cameras 

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present 

Top 54 Movies in Year 2011

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 

Source Code 




The Artist 

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol 

The Muppets 

Midnight in Paris 


Martha Marcy May Marlene 


Win Win 

Attack the Block 

Take Shelter 

A Separation 

Arthur Christmas 


Project Nim 

Cave of Forgotten Dreams 

Winnie the Pooh 

The Guard 


13 Assassins 



Of Gods and Men 

The Lion King 


Into The Abyss 


The Interrupters 

Le Havre 

Point Blank 


Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey 

Bill Cunningham New York 



Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest 

The Four Times (Le Quattro Volte) 


Born To Be Wild 

Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel 

City of Life and Death 

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 

Silent Souls 

The Arbor 

King of Devil's Island 

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone 

Nostalgia for the Light 


Elite Squad: The Enemy Within 

We Were Here 

Top 44 Movies in Year 2010

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

The Social Network 

Toy Story 3 

True Grit 

The King's Speech 

The Fighter 

127 Hours 

The Town 

The Kids Are All Right 

How to Train Your Dragon 

Another Year 

Winter's Bone 

Animal Kingdom 

A Prophet (Un prophete) 

Inside Job 

Fish Tank 

The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) 

The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) 


Mother (Madeo) 

Exit Through The Gift Shop 

Lebanon (Levanon) 

Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work 


The Tillman Story 

The Secret of Kells 

Waste Land 

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer 


A Film Unfinished 

Best Worst Movie 


Dogtooth (Kynodontas) 

Winnebago Man 


No One Knows About Persian Cats (Les Chats Persans) 

My Dog Tulip 

The Father of My Children (Le pere de mes enfants) 

Last Train Home 

Samson and Delilah 

Alamar (To the Sea) 

Terribly Happy (Frygtelig lykkelig) 

Boxing Gym 



Top 43 Movies in Year 2009

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

Star Trek 


Up in the Air 

District 9 

Drag Me to Hell 


The Hurt Locker 

Fantastic Mr. Fox 


Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire 

Crazy Heart 

An Education 

In the Loop 


The Messenger 

Anvil! The Story of Anvil 

The Damned United 

The Cove 


Food, Inc. 

Goodbye Solo 

L'Heure d'été (Summer Hours) 

Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick (Everlasting Moments) (Maria Larsson's Everlasting Moment) 

Every Little Step 

Tokyo Sonata (Tokyo Sonata) 


Good Hair 

Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg 


Etz Limon (Lemon Tree) 

La Nana (The Maid) 



Afghan Star 

Mary and Max 


Of Time and the City 

Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers 

Somers Town 

Under the Sea 3D 

Il Divo 


Avaze gonjeshk-ha (The Song of Sparrows) 

Top 31 Movies in Year 2008

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

The Dark Knight 

Iron Man 


Slumdog Millionaire 


The Wrestler 


Let the Right One In 


Man on Wire 

The Class 

Waltz with Bashir 

Gomorrah (Gomorra) 



Bigger, Stronger, Faster* 


Trouble the Water 


Les Plages d'Agnès (The Beaches of Agnes) 

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! 

Aruitemo Aruitemo (Still Walking) 

Burma VJ: Reporter i et Lukket Land (Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country) 

35 Rhums (35 Shots of Rum) 

Le fils de l'épicier (The Grocer's Son) 

Chop Shop 

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father 

The Pool 

Momma's Man 

Le Mépris (Contempt) 

Aanrijding in Moscou (Moscow, Belgium) 

Top 49 Movies in Year 2007

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

The Bourne Ultimatum 

No Country for Old Men 

Knocked Up 


There Will Be Blood 




Hot Fuzz 

The Simpsons Movie 

Michael Clayton 

Gone Baby Gone 


Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) 

Rescue Dawn 



Gwoemul (The Host) 

Away from Her 

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 

The Counterfeiters 

The Band's Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret) 

In the Shadow of the Moon 

Encounters at the End of the World 

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters 

No End in Sight 

The Italian 

Taxi to the Dark Side 

This Is England 

U2 3D 

My Winnipeg 

My Kid Could Paint That 

Killer of Sheep: The Charles Burnett Collection 

God Grew Tired Of Us 

Ten Canoes 

An Unreasonable Man 

Lake of Fire 

The Devil Came on Horseback 

Up the Yangtze 

La Graine et le Mulet (The Secret of the Grain) (Couscous) 

Must Read After My Death 

For the Bible Tells Me So 


Triad Election (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai) 

A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest) 


Shotgun Stories 

Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams (Esma's Secret - Grbavica) 

The Life of Reilly 

Top 34 Movies in Year 2006

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

The Departed 

Casino Royale 

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan 

Children of Men 

Pan's Labyrinth 

Little Miss Sunshine 

United 93 

Letters from Iwo Jima 

The Queen 


An Inconvenient Truth 

Half Nelson 

The Lives of Others 

Dave Chappelle's Block Party 


Ne le Dis à Personne (Tell No One) 

Neil Young: Heart of Gold 


The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lazarescu) 

Duck Season (Temporada de patos) 

Deliver Us From Evil 


Iraq in Fragments 

The War Tapes 

49 Up 


Deep Water 

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple 

Mountain Patrol: Kekexili 


Still Life (Sanxia Haoren) 

Stephanie Daley 

Brand Upon the Brain! 

Blame It on Fidel (La Faute a Fidel) 

Top 21 Movies in Year 2005

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

Good Night, And Good Luck 

Kung Fu Hustle 


March of the Penguins 

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 

The Squid and the Whale 


Grizzly Man 

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story 

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill 


Head-On (Gegen die Wand) 



Travellers & Magicians 

Ballets Russes 

Darwin's Nightmare 

New York Doll 

Up for Grabs 

After Innocence 

Top 42 Movies in Year 2004

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

Spider-Man 2 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

Million Dollar Baby 

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind 

The Incredibles 




Shaun of the Dead 

Hotel Rwanda 

Before Sunset 

Super Size Me 

Vera Drake 

Maria Full of Grace 

Touching the Void 

Downfall (Der Untergang) 

Mean Creek 

Control Room 

The Corporation 

Good Bye, Lenin 

Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids 


The Story of the Weeping Camel 


Riding Giants 

Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai) 

My Architect: A Son's Journey 

Shaolin Soccer 

My Summer of Love 


The Agronomist 


The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei) 

End of the Century - The Story of the Ramones 

Since Otar Left 

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) 

La demoiselle d'honneur (The Bridesmaid) 

Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea 

Lost Boys of Sudan 

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut 

Last Life in the Universe 

James' Journey to Jerusalem 

Top 32 Movies in Year 2003

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 

Finding Nemo 

Lost In Translation 

School of Rock 

American Splendor 

Shattered Glass 

Cidade de Deus (City of God) 

The Station Agent 

Capturing the Friedmans 

The Magdalene Sisters 

Whale Rider 

The Triplets of Belleville 

The Fog of War - Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara 

Dirty Pretty Things 

Winged Migration (Le Peuple Migrateur) 

L' Homme du Train (The Man on the Train) 

Raising Victor Vargas 


Lost in La Mancha 

Io non ho paura (I'm Not Scared) 

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring 

Sweet Sixteen 

The Return (Vozvrashcheniye) 


Festival Express 

Bus 174 (Ônibus 174) 


The Best of Youth (La meglio gioventù) 

To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir) 

The Alien Saga 

Chavez: Inside the Coup (The Revolution Will Not Be Televised) 

Los Angeles Plays Itself 

Top 31 Movies in Year 2002

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 

Minority Report 


Catch Me If You Can 


About a Boy 

The Pianist 

Bowling for Columbine 


Talk to Her 

Monsoon Wedding 

The Kid Stays in the Picture 

Bloody Sunday 


Read My Lips (Sur mes lèvres) 

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner 

The Man Without a Past 

Nine Queens (Nueve reinas) 

Standing In The Shadows of Motown 

Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time 

Knafayim Shvurot (Broken Wings) 

Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs) 

The Trials of Henry Kissinger 

The Weather Underground 

Elsker dig for evigt (Open Hearts) 

Murderous Maids 

Alias Betty (Betty Fisher et autres histoires) (Betty Fisher and Other Stories) 



The Last Waltz 

The Girl From Paris (Une hirondelle a fait le printemps) 

Top 34 Movies in Year 2001

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 

Monsters, Inc. 

Spirited Away 

Ghost World 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 

In the Bedroom 

Y Tu Mamá También 

Spy Kids 

In the Mood for Love

The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo del diablo) 

Amores Perros 

Hedwig and the Angry Inch 

The Dish 

No Man's Land 

Dogtown and Z-Boys 

Iron Monkey 

With A Friend Like Harry 

Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) 

Time Out (L' Emploi du temps) 

Apocalypse Now Redux 

Together (Tillsammans) 

Sous le sable (Under the Sand) 

Last Resort 

The Endurance 

Divided We Fall 

The Circle (Dayereh) 

Lagaan - Once Upon a Time in India 

I'm Going Home 

Our Song 

Millennium Actress (Sennen joyû) 

Dinner Rush 

Eureka (Yûreka) 

Life And Debt 

Top 15 Movies in Year 2000

Added on by C. Maoxian.

At least 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, listed by number of reviews:


High Fidelity 


Cast Away 

Chicken Run 

Best in Show 

You Can Count On Me 

Yi Yi 

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg 

Dark Days 

The Taste of Others 



Aimée & Jaguar 

Not One Less (Yi ge dou bu neng shao)