Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Archive for the ‘2013 reviews’ Category


August 10, 2014

Nebraska is the third film of Alexander Payne that I’ve seen.  The first was Sideways which is an enjoyable film which really focused on having realistic, flawed characters.  And while I liked Sideways well enough, I really loved The Descendants which felt very genuine and grounded in a certain realism, while also being immensely watchable.  […]


May 18, 2014

This movie has no relevance to modern day life. Its the story of a man who falls in love with his computer program, but its really about how are society is becoming more withdrawn into the virtual world we have created and how we are choosing artificial relationships over true human interaction. Nope, no relevance […]

Saving Mr. Banks

April 23, 2014

Going into Saving Mr. Banks, I was wary of the Disney machine taking over, making this a predictable schmaltz-fest.  And while there certainly was some of that, the better parts of the story rose above it. In Saving Mr. Banks we see the story of P.V. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, and the struggle […]

Dallas Buyer’s Club

March 29, 2014

This story of a tough rodeo man who contracts HIV and begins smuggling AIDS medicine into the states to sell it to other patients is pretty straight forward but captivating nonetheless. Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodriff, who is certainly a strong lead character and proves to be deeper than he originally seems. At the beginning […]

12 Years a Slave

March 16, 2014

12 Years a Slave is a movie that its hard not to compare to Schindler’s List. They both tackle two relatively recent human atrocities while also attempting to be a watchable and memorable film. And while the two movies are certainly different in story structure, I believe that 12 Years a Slave still succeeds in […]

My Top Ten Films of 2013

February 8, 2014

10. Prisoners I liked Prisoners a lot more than I thought I would.  Its one of those engrossing thrillers which is rarely pulled off well,  The mystery was one that was easy to get wrapped up in and the acting is top notch, especially by Jackson.  Its dark and brooding to be sure, but sometimes […]

The Wolf of Wall Street

January 25, 2014

This movie is insane! And as a result hilarious. Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street is the story of a stock broker who gets rich young, builds his own company, and eventually implodes. Its a typical rise and fall tale, with no holds barred. Seriously, none. This isn’t some stodgy crime drama, this is a roller […]

American Hustle

January 18, 2014

I’ll be honest and say that I went into this movie with very low expectations. I find David O’Russell to be one of those over-hyped directors that just doesn’t do anything for me. I found The Fighter an annoying affair and was let down by the hype surrounding Silver Linings Playbook. The trailers and posters […]

My Top 5 Worst Films of 2013

December 30, 2013

Once again, a disclaimer that since I don’t actively seek out bad movies, this is not going to be a definitive list.  Its simply the worst of the movies I’ve seen.  But that said, there were some pretty bad ones this year.  I could have easily made a top ten list for this category if […]

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

December 29, 2013

There are many places I could start this review. Fr example, I could start it talking about the scene where Ron Burgundy is being chased by a shark. But why don’t I start at the beginning? We pick up the story with Ron and Veronica married and living in New York. (And they have a […]

Upstream Color

December 29, 2013

Upstream Color is the second effort from Shane Carruth, director of the time travel indie hit Primer, and I’ll be using Primer as a touchstone for most of this review.  Both films involve a woven tapestry of complex ideas which require a lot of deciphering and puzzling by the audience.  In  Primer it was the […]

Captain Phillips

December 27, 2013

Being based on a true story is not necessarily a bonus for any film, nor is it a requirement to make a film better. However, in some circumstances, it does help, such as here in Captain Phillips where director Paul Greengrass strives hard for a strong sense of realism. This is a movie that is […]

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

December 21, 2013

I went into Desolation of Smaug with caution. After all, Unexpected Journey let me down quite a lot. There were a lot of problems I was worried would carry over. Some did, but some were fixed, making this a solid effort at an epic fantasy, even though it still pales in comparison to its big […]

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

December 3, 2013

Caching Fire, the sequel to last year’s March hit The Hunger Games, is a pretty decent follow up. It really does feel like just a continuation of the story but with its own narrative, much like the Harry Potter films did. And like the Harry Potter films, the quality is proving to be pretty consistent. […]

The World’s End

November 23, 2013

The World’s End is a fun, British romp about beer and robots. So already hats a pretty good premise, but as Edgar Wright is wont to do, as a bonus we also get great characters, sharp humour, and just a dab of social commentary. In World’s End, Gary gets his high school buddies together for […]