Out of the Furnace is an understatedly powerful drama that’s almost impossible to resist and even more difficult to ignore. It is magnificently acted, especially by Bale, Affleck, Harrelson and Sam Shepard (playing the Baze boys’ uncle) and is filled with astonishing moments of barren beauty and visceral power that speaks to the story’s core elements, more often than not without any words at all.
This isn’t just the year’s best animated film, it’s one of 2013’s finest motion pictures period, and as someone who has already seen, and loved, it twice I cannot wait to head out to the theatre and see it again before happily adding it to my personal library when it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray a few months hence.
For all its imbalances, even with the absurd nature of the premise that compels events forward, their relationship is entirely real, the simple triumph of saying, “I love you,” a victory all of us can relate to, making Nebraska (2013) a father-son saga of perseverance and commitment worthy of celebration.
Philomena isn’t out to change the world or do something flashy, different and new; it doesn’t want to offer up a litany of unexpected surprises or shocking plot turns. What it is interested in doing, and what it does extremely well, is bring this simple story of redemption, discovery and, ultimately, triumph to life in a way that is emotionally affecting without feeling melodramatic or mawkish.
Thing is, Lawrence doesn’t allow herself to go over the top into cartoonish histrionics, holding her own in every scene no matter what’s going on or who it is she’s sharing the frame with. The last image is all about her, the film closing on a fantastic transformative sight that showcases all who Katniss has been with all she is about to be become.
[The] only reason Thor: The Dark World exists is to start putting in place the building blocks leading to both Guardians of the Galaxy and 2015’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s the teaser leading to the epic conclusion, little things like character development and honest human emotions unimportant just as long as the seeds for coming chapters are cunningly sown.
This is one of those rare instances where I feel like [Dallas Buyers Club] is one of those movies that, do not just live up to the hype, but also exceed it, making Vallée’s based-on-fact stunner one of the best films I’ll watch this, or in any other, year.
Ender’s Game looks incredible, and the cast does their collective best, but the bad taste left in my mouth after it came to an end was unavoidably loathsome.
It’s hard to imagine a movie will look into this heart of American darkness with more meticulous an eye anytime soon, McQueen latching onto Northup’s story refusing to allow it to lapse into melodrama or treacle. His filmmaking acumen is beyond reproach, the technical aspects never overshadowing the human story every piece augmenting the next allowing the story to bloom and blossom as it likely wouldn’t have otherwise.