Katey Rich
Former Contributor

WRITTEN BY Katey Rich

The Lucky Ones

Not particularly dark and with no political ax to grind-- none of the characters seem to regret having served-- The Lucky Ones wants to be a road movie that happens to be about Iraq veterans. By largely ignoring the central fact of its characters' lives, though, it becomes a road movie with no purpose, and a war drama with no bite...

The Amazing Spider-Man

Like most teenagers his age, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. In his journey to put the pieces of his past together he uncovers a secret that his father held... a secret that will ultimately shape his destiny as Spider-Man. This is the first in a series of movies that tells a different side of the Peter Parker story. On July 3rd, 2012 the untold story begins.

The Dark Knight Rises

No one goes into a superhero's movie to explore the world he lives in, but Nolan dares us to do it anyway, and his willingness to challenge his own genre makes The Dark Knight Rises, like all of his Batman films, unmissable.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.

Prometheus

It's clear that Prometheus never intended to concretely answer many of the big notions it brings up, but much like he did for the end of Lost, Lindelof settles on feeble spiritual ideas as his story's resolution, without the audience's attachment to the characters this time to bolster them

Lola Versus

In the spirit of saying something nice about a small indie movie that's ultimately not harming anybody, let's stop again to praise Gerwig, who somehow manages to be both stunningly beautiful and an accessible, and occasionally very odd, onscreen presence. She flings herself gamely into Lola's downward spiral, in an unglamorous and un-self-conscious way

Snow White And The Huntsman

In Snow White and the Huntsman, a series of characters insist over and over again that the titular princess is "very special" or "the one" or "the only one who can save us;" it's a classic instance of telling instead of showing that reveals a lot about this glossy but unsatisfying fairy tale revision

Battleship

Battleship isn't the longest or dumbest blockbuster to ever exist, but so soon after bar-raising spectacle of The Avengers, maybe the most pointless.

The Five-Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement, which runs longer than two hours and invites all kinds of bitter jokes about the title, is another collaboration between writer/director Nicholas Stoller and writer/star Jason Segel in which they seem to have written and shot a movie that is four hours long, then awkwardly stuffed it into a still-overlong two-hour frame

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Madden is skilled with telling big ensemble stories, and Marigold Hotel may feel fluffy and breezy until you suddenly realize you're genuinely invested in these characters and their second lease on life. Madden and his gifted cast take this glossy, formulaic Indian vacation and invest it with heart and honesty

The Dictator

Eventually The Dictator feels stuck spinning its wheels, with a character who can't really develop and a story that won't go anywhere surprising. There's enough good material in there to earn some laughs, but so many of them seem compromised or on the verge of something even better

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's second explicitly child-scaled film after The Fantastic Mr. Fox, but instead of puppets this time he has two child actors (Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman) who aren't quite as capable of capturing the repressed emotions and inner turmoil that mark most of Anderson's characters

Sound Of My Voice

It's a tiny, incisive movie that worms its way inside you and devours, expertly building tension and dread as it navigates the audience through its central mystery. Focused on its razor-sharp execution and ideas rather than its characters, the movie is more of an intellectual wallop than an emotional one, but when it quite deliberately ends on a cliffhanger, you have no choice but to ask for more

Safe

There's so little of interest happening in Safe, a dull retread of most lone-man-on-a-mission action movies of the last 30 years, that I found myself constantly reflecting on how this kind of day would play out in real life. After the passengers on the D train watched Statham's Luke Wright dispatch a bunch of Russian gangsters, would they really stand by after he pulled out his gun?

Lockout

With a plot cribbed so closely from Escape From New York and such a frequent disregard for character motivation, logic or even the laws of gravity, Lockout is pure schlock in the usual Besson mode, but it never picks up enough steam to turn into something outrageous and great. Pearce's performance is both things

Pirates! Band of Misfits

The goofy energy ought to appeal to the silly side of every age group, but with Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria as major characters and cameos from The Elephant Man and Jane Austen, there's also surprising amount of historical texture for something so nutty.

Chimpanzee

For all of Chimpanzee's faults as a people-pleasing Disney "documentary" hellbent on building a kid-friendly narrative, it contains enough stunning footage of the chimps and their jungle habitat to remain engrossing, even while it's insulting your intelligence

Think Like a Man

Think Like A Man sets up easy sides in its game of love, then spends two hours pretending it's difficult to reconcile the two. As in any rom-com, no one's actual relationship is like this, but that doesn't mean we can't continue taking some very guilty pleasure in watching it all play out anyway.

Wrath of the Titans

Just about everything is improved this time around, from Sam Worthington's more forgiving haircut to Toby Kebbell and Rosamund Pike in snappy supporting roles to the effects and 3D, both of which are a little fantasy-movie-generic but are at least not objectively bad this time. The plot is dead simpl

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods is a genre exercise at heart, and though it has the potential for real greatness-- at certain points you might think Goddard could take this story anywhere-- it settles for ultimate audience satisfaction, which is pretty close to greatness anyway. It's so, so much fun to watch with an audience

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