Possibly the best month of movies since I started the Movie of the Month feature. had they come out last year Birdman, Whiplash, Ex Machina and Kingsman would all have made my top ten.
Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance): An actor once famous for playing a superhero plays an actor once famous for playing a superhero. I fully expect Michael Keaton to win the best actor Oscar. Probably director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s best film to date.
Into the Woods: Adaptation of Stephen Sondheim musical where The Brothers Grimm characters trip over each other in the woods. Surprisingly enjoyable for a musical but lacking the depth I was promised by fans of the stage version. Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick are great, Johnny Depp is terrible, Meryl Streep is okay but not worthy of an Oscar nomination.
Taken 3: Plot spoiler (not really its in the trailer) Famke Janssen’s character is killed in the first act, she probably insisted on this so she wouldn’t have to make a fourth film. Not as bad as has been reported but offering nothing new to the franchise or genre.
American Sniper: A return to form for director Clint Eastwood. It has divided opinion being accused as being both flag waving propaganda and unpatriotic. For me it tells the story of a troubled man disturbed by his experiences told in such a way that it is open to interpretation. The fact it is promoting such debate is a good thing. With a box-office fast approaching $300million it is Eastwood’s highest-grossing film to date.
Whiplash: A young drummer a prestigious music school joins the band a of a demanding teacher/conductor Fletcher. One of the most intense films I have seen in years. I expect J.K. Simmons to pick up the best supporting actor Oscar.
Wild: The true story of Cheryl Strayed, a young woman who decided to walk the thousand-mile Pacific Crest Trail. We begin to understand her motivation through flashbacks as the film unfolds. Well constructed with great use of music and an excellent performance from Reese Witherspoon.
Kingsman: The Secret Service: Both a homage to and a parody of James Bond, it scores points for being fun, funny and clever. It is extremely violent and there are aspects of the plot that will dived opinion.