Josh Tyler
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Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher wants to be Bad Santa but it’s afraid to go as far as Billy Bob Thornton’s gleeful middle finger to holidays and proper treatment of children. So it ends up trapped in a nowhere middle-ground, somewhere between Bad Santa and the equally hilarious but family friendly Jack Black movie School of Rock. Both of those movies had somewhere to go and a way to get there, but Bad Teacher doesn’t know where it’s going.

Thor 3D

Thor is Marvel Studios’ best movie so far. Chris Hemsworth is utterly convincing as Thor, a born fighter with a heart of gold and the film’s anchored by firm performances from talented actors like Portman, Hopkins, Skellan Skarsgaard as a father figure for Jane, and Idris Elba as Asgard’s fiery-eyed guardian in supporting roles. This is exactly the sort of movie you’d want to kick off the summer.


Paul Feig’s film has gambled on women, assuming that female moviegoers are sick of being reduced to man-starved, materialistic shopaholics by Hollywood, and want to see a mainstream comedy which gives them a chance to live and breathe as honest to god, funny, interesting people with their own point of view. Ladies, it’s up to you.

Your Highness

Your Highness is so gleefully R-rated, so utterly unapologetic for being what it is, and so completely original, you can forgive it for being incapable of becoming anything more than a series of one-note sex jokes crammed in between quick-cut action sequences and a wickedly weird, fantasy movie plot.


In this imagined version of intelligence, if only Albert Einstein had been smarter he’d have done something about that unruly mustache. In the world of Limitless true genius is The Fonz, wearing leather jackets, riding around on motorcycles, and getting whatever he wants out of life by simply being cooler than everyone else.

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch is not one of the worst movies of the year, it’s three of the worst slapped together on a single reel. The first film takes place in an insane asylum, where a girl has been wrongfully committed and faces the prospect of a lobotomy. That doesn’t go anywhere. Neither does anything else.

Take Me Home Tonight

Part perfect casting and part brilliant directing, Take Me Home Tonight finds a way to overcome some of the obstacles in its way to deliver an R-rated 80s movie that’s more than just another period-piece raunch comedy. It’s a movie so utterly earnest and well-meaning, that no matter what you think about the 80s, it’s hard not to walk out feeling totally rad to the max.

Battle: Los Angeles

Individual action sequences are well staged, though crafted in a way that probably saved the movie a lot of money on budget since alien soldiers are almost never seen up close, and always pictured far away, hiding behind things and firing at their human enemies. Still, there’s tension there. It’s everything motivating those scenes, the characters the plot moves around, that are ludicrous.

Hall Pass

Hall Pass is about and for a certain type of woman, the type of woman who believes that the way she thinks about sex is the only correct way; the type of woman who thinks her husband should be forced to like sex in the same way she likes it, the type of woman who prefers to live in a bubble of rom-com ignorance, rather than embrace the differences between men and women as part of human nature.


In Rango Verbinski re-teams with Johnny Depp, this time for an animated movie which in theory, is geared towards kids, but in practice ends up taking the Pirates of the Caribbean approach by combining a skewed view of the macabre with the wry, snarky wit of Depp voicing the film’s hero. It’s something no other computer animated movie has ever really attempted before, let alone pulled off.

Cedar Rapids

We can’t all live on Broadway and Tim Lippe is one of those contended millions who never wants to. The great thing about Cedar Rapids is that the part of him which doesn’t mind staying home and not only being happy with that, but finding nobility in it, isn’t going to change, even as a single weekend spent in the big world of schmoozing with fellow insurance agents lights a fire inside him.

Just Go With It

There’s a lot of romance and ridiculous going on in this movie but if you really boil it down to its most basic elements what it’s about is this: What if a bunch of normal people were forced to spend an entire vacation in Hawaii engaged in some sort of improv? They’d probably be forced to just go with it. Hey, there’s your title.

No Strings Attached

Somewhere hidden inside No Strings Attached is a thoughtful and complicated film about the way truly brilliant people too often over-intellectualize their lives. Natalie Portman plays Emma, a high-IQ up and coming doctor who’s spent her entire life applying the cold logic which serves her so well everywhere else, to the matters of love.

The Mechanic

The Mechanic is a typical Jason Statham movie in almost every conceivable way. It contains a few capably executed explosions, but nothing that’s likely to end up on anybody’s best fireballs of the year list. It stages a few entertaining fight scenes, involving both gunplay and fisticuffs, but the action never reaches a level that’ll impress anyone who’s seen a Bourne film.

The Green Hornet

Gondry’s vision is a perfect fit with the comedic tone of the script, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Their film is as much a comedy as it is an action movie, actually it’s better than that, it’s one of the all too rare modern movies which manages to be both.

The Tourist

The Tourist nearly works as a slow-paced, romantic drama. Unfortunately this isn’t a slow-paced, romantic drama; it’s supposed to be some kind of action-thriller. But the script is as light on action as it is on thrills and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's movie crawls by at a snail’s pace, relying on star chemistry and beautiful backdrops to keep you interested.

Tron: Legacy 3D

Back in 1983 Tron first sucked me in with pretty lights, but later in life I’d discover so much more to it beneath the surface. Tron: Legacy though? If it had been this movie I’d seen my 6-year-old reaction, initially, would have been the same. But within a couple of years my interest would have faded and I’d have soon recognized Tron: Legacy for what it really is. It’s not much more than pretty lights, but oh those lights.

Black Swan

Aronofsky’s movie is in love with and driven by the price of perfection. Equal parts psychological drama and mad horror thriller, Black Swan is a pressure cooker with one, fragile girl stuck at the center. Once she starts spinning, you won’t be able to look away.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Before this, Harry Potter made an effort to include casual fans in the fun, but now at the end, it seems clear these last two movies are going to be made almost exclusively for serious Potter lovers. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 that philosophy hasn’t resulted in great filmmaking.


In theory Faster is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s return to the violent, gritty, action movies he should have been doing all along. Faster is violent and gritty but, when it comes to action, there’s just not a lot of it.

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