Friday, 3 January 2014

2013 - A Year In Film In 140 Characters Or Less

2013 is like so last year already! But for my own benefit more than anything else, here's all my mini-reviews I published on my Twitter account for films I saw last year handily gathered together in one place. This is by no means every film I saw, but just the titles which I felt compelled to post a succinct '140 characters or less' verdict upon. For the full list of films I saw and logged in 2013 click this link for my Letterboxd Film Diary 2013. For my latest Twitter reviews you can follow me here: @M_R_Movie.

In Alphabetical Order: 

2 Guns: Slick & snappy with whip sharp wisecracking chemistry between its leads & a deceptively complex plot. Feels like a Tony Scott joint.

13  Eerie: Unusual location aside it's pretty run of the mill splattery zombie fare. Seen a lot worse but nothing to distinguish it. Average.

100 Bloody Acres: Gore & guffaws in Ozploitation splatstick with inspired & unexpected character dynamics & gleeful gallows humour.

A Field In England: Kaleidoscopic cocktail of Ken Russell-like surrealism. A metaphysical monochrome mindfuck, defies convention or category.

After Earth: Ill-conceived & idiotic vanity project by the Smith dynasty. A dreary, nonsensical sci-fi slog devoid of logic or impact.

Aftershock: Lewd, crude, tasteless, relentlessly piles on the misery. It's The Impossible with added rape. Lowbrow, grim & trashy.

A Good Day To Die Hard: Not great, but not a complete disaster either, even if it's main fault is it's resolutely NOT a Die Hard film.

Ain't Them Bodies Saints: Feels like a film from another era, but its themes & emotions are timeless. A poignant rustic tale of sacrifice.

Alan Partridge-Alpha Papa: Faithfully maintains parochial naffness & excruciating awkwardness of the TV show. Hilarious. Radio Gravy.

Amer: Arcane, seductive, achingly artistic ode to eurosleaze surrealism & style. A feast for the senses, a famine for coherent narrative.

Antiviral: Conceptually rich, astute & grotesque. Totally nails the ideas-driven, metaphorical bio-shock of Cronenberg Snr's early work.

Apartment 143: Perfectly functional faux documentary that'd be lot more effective if we hadn't seen it all before in Paranormal Activity etc.

Bad Grandpa: Uneven clash of styles. Dramatic interplay between Knoxville & kid works better than the trailer spolied gags. Very hit & miss.

Bad Milo: Toilet humour meets body horror as corporate stress & anxiety manifests itself in demonic form. Crudely comical B-movie fatuity.

Banshee Chapter: From Beyond meets Fear & Loathing. Crazed compendium of conspiracy claptrap & Mkultra mad science. A fun narcotic nightmare.

Beautiful Creatures: A generic blend of romance & angst with oddly puritanical streak. Tends to get rather bogged down in its own mysticism.

Before Dawn: Interesting & intimate British zombie horror. An atmospheric slow-burning approach building increasingly bleak & brutal.

Beneath: Aquatic horror with hidden depths. It's a monster movie as metaphor for protagonists' downward spiral into moral decay & murder.

Big Ass Spider: Tongue in cheek creature feature that delivers on its absurd premise & is a film my inner 9 year old prefers to Pacific Rim!

Bounty Killer: Deliriously entertaining ode to VHS-era exploitation, Mad Max rip-offs, spaghetti westerns & Russ Meyer. B-movie nirvana!

Bullet To The Head: Clumsy, clichéd incredibly generic throwback action fodder that has all the hackneyed traits of a direct to DVD release.

Byzantium: Mature & melancholic, a haunting revisionist take on vampire lore & a poignant study of maternal blood ties & self-sacrifice.

Captain Phillips: From exhilarating boarding to white-knuckle hostage siege Greengrass milks every drop of nerve-shredding tension. Superb.

Carrie: Plenty of blood but very little soul. As an original film it would be bland & perfunctory, as a remake of a classic it's worthless.

CBGB: Flimsy, fanciful, factually inaccurate. Takes a literal comic book approach, lacks veracity but vitality of the music shines through.

Cloud Atlas: A sprawling cinematic conundrum, epic in scope, endless visionary ambition, a multiplicity of ideas unified by theme of freedom.

Come Out And Play: Almost identikit remake of Who Can Kill A Child. Effective if you’ve not seen original, pointless & derivative if you have.

Community: Reactionary urban slum set horror lazily exploits Daily Mail derived phobias of feral youths, drugs & an evil underclass. Grim.

Contracted: Grisly cautionary tale plays out as body horror with a knowing black-toothed grin, escalates towards a gross & inspired payoff.

Crawlspace: A so-so subterranean shocker with over-familiar B movie plot used in endless other STV cheapies (Shadowzone, Mindripper etc).

Curse Of Chucky: Savvy & sprightly series reboot, goes back to basics whilst cleverly ingraining itself in previously explored mythology.

Dark Skies: Somewhat predictable Paranormal Activity meets Communion crossbreed, but manages to maintain an effective sense of creepy unease.

Dark Touch: Celtic twist on Carrie, concerned with the ongoing trauma of child abuse & the scars inflicted. Oppressive & terribly earnest.

Dark Tourist: Intense, gritty road trip into a psychotic abyss. Somber, brooding & austere with extremely fine performances through.

Django Unchained: The best & worst of Tarantino - superb performances, dazzling setpieces & sizzling dialogue yet overlong & self-indulgent.

Drinking Buddies: The complex rules of attraction & dynamics of relationships. A leisurely, organic, but incredibly slight slice of life.

Elysium: Bold & ambitious in scope & design. It’s a captivating class-war with cyberpunk trimmings, which doesn't quite fulfill its potential.

Escape From Tomorrow: Its desire to be incongruous is a bit forced, but cultivates a sinister sense of decay beneath outwardly shiny facade.

Escape Plan: Solidly entertaining & well-structured thriller, with surprising amount of character & chemistry amidst its retro action beats.

Europa Report: Technically impressive low budget space oddity, but yields few surprises & definitely suffers from being seen after Gravity.

Evil Dead: Different tonally & stylistically to original, but refreshingly hardcore & unsanitised. Ferocious, full on, but crucially no fun.

Filth: A full-on affront to decency & good taste through a hyper reality descent into depravity & delirium. A career-best McAvoy is immense.

Flight: Terrifically tense crash sequence & raw powerhouse performance from Washington get lost in a meandering moral & emotional conflict.

Frankenstein's Army: Threadbare, episodic plot enriched by succession of brilliantly grotesque steampunk creature designs. Fun if throwaway.

Fright Night 2: Strictly 2nd division bloodsucker bilge, but has great cell animation sequence midway through. Pity whole film wasn't so.

Gallowwalkers: Makes not an iota of sense, but has skewed style to burn. A bloodthirsty & brilliantly bonkers ode to Leone & Jodorowsky.

Gambit: More farcical than farce. A charmless, witless, messy misfire of grating accents, risible racial stereotypes & outdated slapstick.

Gangster Squad: Big on brutality, slight on substance. Almost comic book in approach. Stylish & superficial, enjoyable despite shallowness.

Getaway: A dumb, directionless, dismal misfire in the form of one elongated car chase sequence which revs up tedium instead of tension.

G.I.Joe-Retaliation: A series of setpieces of varying spectacle loosely linked by a frequently absurd plot that teeters towards incoherence.

Going To Pieces: Nothing profound or academic, but comprehensive slasher doc covering classics & minor titles with abundance of great clips.

Good Vibrations: Evocative, uplifting, buzzing with maverick energy. Music as a unifying force against a backdrop of chaos & conflict. Magical.

Gravity: Visually astonishing. Emotionally sapping. Technically revolutionary. Cinema as a pure immersive experience. Believe the hype!

Hammer Of The Gods: Makes most of its modest budget but it's a plodding, ponderous journey into the Heart Of Darkness. Valhalla Snoozing.
Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters: Brash, boisterous, camp, ill-disciplined & wildly misjudged, yet a thoroughly undemanding brainless blast.

Hatchet 3: Absurd levels of gore & viscera as this plays it largely for laughs. This series has descended into self-parody in record time.

Haunter: Absorbing twist on ghost story which comes at its subject from an unusual angle. Too many ideas to sustain tension but a worthy try.

Here Comes The Devil: A simmering intensity & unsettling undercurrent of chilling unease. Eerie & unusual with a powerful dramatic core.

Hitchcock: Lightweight & unfocused, neither a biopic, filmmaking insight or psychological study it borders on dreary soap opera.

House At The End Of Street: As formulaic, predictable & underwhelming as feared. By the numbers teen drama with diluted horror undertones.

Hummingbird: Statham flexes acting chops in a film of emotional & physical bruises. An urban redemption tale played out in Western clichés.

Hypothermia: A total throwback to 80’s style VHS-era men in rubber suit monster movies. Dumb, gory but nostalgic fun.

Insidious Chapter 2: Bland & by the numbers, bereft of scares & surprises, indistinguishable from any other mainstream horror for the masses.

In Their Skin: Strong opening, creepy build-up descends into formulaic home invasion horror cliché. Well played, some menace but unremarkable.

Iron Man 3: A Shane Black film 1st. Marvel film 2nd. Smart, slick, sarcastic. Best of series & underlines how plodding Favreau's films were.

It's In The Blood: Superior indie with real artistic prowess, gradually unravels layers of psychological torment used as metaphorical horror.

Jack Reacher: Modestly complex & engaging thriller hampered by fact Cruise is totally miscast. Herzog’s oddball villain dominates proceedings.

Jack The Giant Slayer: Devoid of camp lunacy of H&G Witch Hunters this feels languid, laborious & crucially lacking in fantasy or adventure.

Jug Face: Bizarro backwoods grotesquery with askew air of rustic ritualistic oddness. Crazier than a moonshine-addled a good way.

Kick Ass 2: Lacks vitality & freshness of original. Rather uneven in tone & more mean-spirited, but there's still some solid material here.

Killing Season: Ham-fisted polemic on the horrors & futility of war, in guise of repetitive survivalist yarn with sadism & silly accents.

Killing Them Softly: Bleak & brooding 70s inspired crime movie, which uses recession as a backdrop to decay & downward spiral in the mob.

Kiss Of The Damned: Radiates with sensual opulence of classic Gothic euro-horror. Sleazy, stylish, dripping with decadence & a great score.

Lincoln: Worthy, wordy & earnest. Stylistically subdued. Great performances but reliance on drawn out dialogue renders pacing arthritic.

Lovelace: Seyfried & Sarsgaard excel in a strangely skewed & somewhat passive biopic which struggles to find a tonal or moral standpoint.

Machete Kills: A lazy, disorderly, disappointing sequel - little more than a rambling series of cameos, CGI splatter & repetitive setpieces.

Mama: Serviceable shocker if hardly groundbreaking. The dark fairytale elements work best. Chastain adds touch of quality to proceedings.

Man Of Steel: An unruly cacophony of styles & themes. Moments of reflection & brilliance lost in an orgy of excess & destruction.

McCullin: Eloquent, enlightening, harrowing. A 'conscience with a camera', a life in pictures exposing raw truth of war, famine & poverty.

Mimesis Night Of Living Dead: Great concept, largely under-explored & sadly mishandled in clumsy attempt at cine-literate post-modern horror.

Mud: Superb Southern rites of passage fable, rich in character & detail. Beautifully portrays fragility & complexity of trust & companionship.

No One Lives: Plays in clichés, but subverts them brilliantly. A full-throttle gory exploitation film of rare invention & savage wit. Superb.

Nothing Left To Fear: Slowburn smalltown paranoia incrementally edges towards full-on ritualistic demonic horror. Watchable nonsense.

Now You See Me: Energetic & entertaining heist movie with a few tricks up its sleeve. However like its subject it's all show & no substance.

Oblivion: Compelling ideas-driven SF, diluted slightly by blockbuster action trappings. Flawed, but looks amazing & has good stuff in there.

Odd Thomas: Vivid, imaginative, quirky & creative. Director Sommers still has tendency to throw too much into mix, but it's huge fun.

Olympus Has Fallen: Idiotic, jingoistic, relentlessly violent, yet unashamedly entertaining. A maelstrom of machismo & head-stabbings.

Only God Forgives: Cooler than an ice sculpture of James Dean. An abstract neon cocktail of simmering sleaze & unflinching brutality.

Outcast: Wonderfully idiosyncratic Celtic creature feature. A culture clash of gritty urban realism & black magic ritualistic weirdness.

Oz The Great & Powerful: Raimi excels with darker elements, but it's a sprawling sugar rush, lavish visuals masking the lack of substance.

Pacific Rim: Nonsensical science, risible cliché-driven dialogue, disorientating action. Partially redeemed by sheer scale, scope & spectacle.

Pain & Gain: Bay's vulgar excesses on steroids. Loud, prejudical, over-stylised & devoid of subtlety. Monumentally crass, hateful horseshit.

Parkland: Overwrought drama that captures solemnity of events on various directly involved & peripheral figures. Forgoes momentum for grief.

Paranormal Diaries Clophill: Concept of mixing fact & faux documentary footage is intriguing but the execution lacks focus or credibility.

Parker: Statham's charisma & surprisingly star-studded support elevate this above what is a fairly conventional if over-convoluted thriller.

Passion: Subdued stereotypical sleaze-lite. Incredibly televisual & takes an age for De Palma's customary artistic flair to kick in. Average.

Pawn: Structurally complex, dramatically intense low budget heist/siege film with surprisingly starry, eclectic cast. Nothing new, but not bad.

Pawn Shop Chronicles: Pulp Fiction meets My Name Is Earl by way of Creepshow! A series of lurid vignettes in a crazed, uncategorizable film.

Phantom: A mournful, terrific Ed Harris dominates this laudable, tense Cold War drama, which succeeds despite raw speculation of its story.

Premium Rush: Kinetic, two wheeled twist on action formula. Routine plot, but fine stuntwork & scene-stealing Shannon elevate proceedings.

Prince Avalanche: Quirky & whimsical with nicely observed bickering chemistry between leads, but it's very flimsy & doesn't amount to much.

Prisoners: A powerful parable in the guise of police procedural. A bleak study of guilt & vengeance, brooding & intense despite its length.

Red 2: Globe-trotting geriatric dynamics lack focus or originality & there's an almost Woo-like gun fetishism in star-studded so-so sequel.

Red Dawn: Bland, brainless & banal reboot, attempts to mask over its inherent stupidity & soulless void of a script with relentless action.

Red Lights: Rather too pedestrian & ponderous for its own good, but mashes genres well, great cast & builds impressively toward its climax.

Resolution: Low on budget, but full of creativity. A slow-burning surreal puzzle that eschews conventional structure & warps expectations.

Robot & Frank: Charming & engaging sci-fi drama mixing gentle comedic moments with genuine pathos & touching sentiment. Langella is superb.

Riddick: Strangely low-key series reboot which is keen to emphasise anti-hero elements in a slow-paced, ill-judged, non-event of a movie.

R.I.P.D: Bridges' gruff charm elevates an otherwise derivative & uneven film, which though flawed is undeserving of box-office bomb status.

Runner Runner: Slick, superficial, entirely predictable. The twists are telegraphed, the plot bereft of intrigue. Affleck is on autopilot.

Rush: Its central rivalry veers towards caricature, but evocative detail captures peril & madness of period & race sequences are exhilarating.

Sawney-Flesh Of Man: Scottish splatterfest - lurid, pulpy, gleefully grisly, it's Wrong Turn played out beneath granite skies. Morbid fun.

Seven Psychopaths: Strives for Charlie Kaufman style smarts with partial success, retains acerbic wit & quirky characterisation of In Bruges.

Sharknado: Embarrassingly inept on every conceivable artistic & technical level. Many "so bad they're good" cult films exist, this isn't one!

Side By Side: Vital & infomative. Works as technical deconstruction & ode to cinematic evolution. Balanced, unbiased, essential for film fans.

Side Effects: Excellent malingering mystery, consistently confounding expectations & disguising plot directions. One of the year's best.

Sightseers: Twisted, tainted, surreal. Hilariously eccentric & oddball British subversion of U.S. road movies. Badlands in a caravan. Superb.

Silent Hill Revelation: A distillation of why video game adaptations don't work - incoherent & uninvolving. Soulless, senseless, scareless.

Silver Linings Playbook: Real chemistry between leads but quirky to point of irritation. Fails to resonate on a romantic or dramatic level.

Skinwalker Ranch: A barmy blend of found footage folly & X-Files alike crackpot conspiracy theories. Utter hokum, but entertainingly so.

Sleep Tight: Beautifully crafted & understated study of psychosis, obsession & infatuation. A superior suspenseful psychological shocker.

Snitch: Has plenty of dramatic meat amongst its muscular action, which leads to an often conflicting tonal compromise. Laudable but flawed.

Sound City: Fascinating & engaging, works as both a nostalgic rock history piece & study of demise of analogue studios as digital eclipses.

Sound Of My Voice: A total gem, stylistically minimalist, but enthralling, intriguing, utterly immersive & beautifully understated.

Spike Island: The Stone Roses career-defining gig proves an incidental backdrop to themes of friendship, family & euphoria & energy of youth.

Spring Breakers: A dayglo descent into hedonistic self-destruction & excess. A gaudy, nihilistic headrush. Superficial, shallow, stylish.

Springsteen & I: A candid,  passionate love letter  from a devout congregation. For tramps like us it’s a communal celebration of hero worship.

Star Trek Into Darkness: Everything you could ask for-action - spectacle, humour, emotion. Respectful without being over-reverential. Superb.

Static: A real under the radar gem. Exploits genre tropes with a subtle sleight of hand to deliver a surprising & emotionally impactful coda.

Stitches: Blackly comedic throwback splatterfest with graphic, wildly inventive gore, but none of delicious darkness of similar Psychoville.

Stoker: Delicious dark tale of family ties & infatuation, awash with cryptic, seductive symbolism. Furtive, sensual, sublimely shot & edited.

Stone Roses Made Of Stone: Subjective & smoothes over rough edges, but Meadows' fanboy affection is infectious & live footage is exhilarating.

Stranded: Shoddy sci-fi schlock which seems to derive inspiration from the likes of Inseminoid & Galaxy Of Terror rather than Alien(s).

Texas Chainsaw 3D:Void of inspiration & shocks, ridiculous backstory adds to the woes & Leatherface is diluted to point of being called Jed!

Tower Block: Generates decent tension & some shock value despite blatant plot holes, unlikely character arcs & credibility stretching story.

Thale: Compelling Nordic dark fairytale, subdued but with a sense of oppression & dread, balanced by an ethereal arthouse sensibility.

The Act Of Killing: As a concept - sort of entrapment & confessional via cinema it's astonishing. As a study of man's cruelty it's haunting.

The Battery: Essentially a two-hander travelogue, works wonders with zero budget but arrives at THE most drawn-out, patience-testing climax.

The Baytown Outlaws: Insignificant but intermittently entertaining southern fried action / crime comedy with decent characterisation.

The Bling Ring: Superficial satire employing vapid teen culture to condemn shallowness of celebrity. Makes Spring Breakers look profound.

The Call: Solid if formulaic sweaty-palmed suspense thriller, which strikes a balance midway between police procedural & psycho horror.

The Collection: Solid stylish splattery sequel. Nasty & nihilistic this ramps up the action & body count, but keeps pacing & duration brisk.

The Colony: Derivative it may be, but fully exploits potential of its bleak premise via well-crafted thrills & chills. A superior B movie.

The Conjuring: Refreshingly retro, succeeding via malevolent mood & expert manipulation of primal fears of things that go bump in night.

The Conspiracy: Odd quasi-documentary, tries to cultivate sense of insidious paranoia & menace, but lacks momentum or any real surprises.

The Corridor: Slow-burning existential shocker that succeeds as strong character piece & disturbing study of escalating paranoia & dementia.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident: Builds escalating sense of unease, leading to an admittedly barking mad conclusion, but the journey there grips.

The East: Shares common ground with Sound Of My Voice but expands themes & ideological conscience. Full of ideas, many too underdeveloped.

The Family: Not particularly funny as a comedy & too lightweight as a drama, it's incredibly inconsequential given the talent involved.

The Frozen Ground: Clinical cat & mouse serial killer thriller. Solid if disposable. Cage better than of late, Hudgens the standout here.

The Great Gatsby: Luhrmann's more concerned with surface gloss than core themes of greed & corruption, but visually it's vibrant & audacious.

The Hangover Pt.3: Deviates from tired formula, now plays as more crime caper than comedy, but it's too little too late for this ugly series.

The Helpers: Unremarkable mix of Vacancy & Saw with unlikely revenge motivation. Characters so dumb death by torture is too good for them.

The Iceman: As cold & impassive as its titular hitman. Shannon nails the stark duality of his ruthless killer, but film lacks dramatic heft.

The Impossible: Takes a vast natural disaster & presents it as an intimate, emotionally traumatic family drama. Terrific performances by all.

The Kings Of Summer: Charming, whimsical, laugh out loud funny. A rare subtle teen movie that captures the awkwardness & complexity of youth.

The Last Days: Lyrical & emotionally-wrought apocalyptic drama, which for all its sincerity & striking imagery is rather sluggish & drab.

The Last Days On Mars: Mature & magnificently bleak, this really utilises grim isolation of its location. One of year's best genre indies.

The Last Exorcism Pt.2: A chilling opening sequence rapidly descends into a predictable, plodding litany of stock horror clichés. Poor.

The Last Stand: Riddled with plotholes & idiotic narrative, but has a strong ensemble supporting Arnie & delivers on the action big time.

The Last Will & Testament Of Rosalind Leigh: Has a fusty, archaic feel of a film from another era. Impressively builds from sleepy to creepy.

The Lone Ranger: An overlong, ill-disciplined, often spectacular, frequently deranged $200m folly with a charisma free lead & crackpot Depp.

The Look Of Love: A flawed but fascinating film of hedonistic highs & emotional lows. Fabulous attention to period detail & strong ensemble.

The Lords of Salem: Surreal Satanic stew, utterly all over place - banal, batty, beguiling & brilliant in parts. An unhinged ambitious oddity.

The Master: Enigmatic, hypnotic & remarkable performances, yet somehow aloof & meandering. The final act just fizzles out without impact.

The Numbers Station: Mundane & archaic in concept & approach, limited location & cast gives it a stage play sensibility. Cusack on autopilot.

The Pack: Gloriously grotesque Gallic gorefest. A macabre marriage of potently poetic horror imagery & grimly fiendish gallows humour.

The Paperboy: Idiosyncratic & incredibly uneven, a star-studded sleazefest masquerading as art. A garish, lurid but never dull trash curio.

The Place Beyond The Pines: Ambitious in scope & beautifully played, a mature study of fathers & sons & generational fate & destiny.

The Possession: Formulaic & unremarkable, notable mainly for the USP of its Jewish exorcism. A chilling MRI sequence is the highlight.

The Purge: Intriguing premise that largely forgoes social comment in favour of violent action. Works better as concept than the construct.

The Rise: Decent gritty urban Brit crime thriller, which unfurls via flashback to reveal a sort of Ocean's Eleven meets Shameless narrative.

The Seasoning House: Man is the monster in this well-made but relentlessly grim & oppressive film. Harrowing, haunting but very heavy-going.

The Signal: A blackly comedic & ultraviolent apocalyptic vision. Impressive indie that delivers social comment via a crescendo of carnage.

The Sweeney: Partially successful update, slight of plot, solid of action, works best as a character study of Winstone's archaic machismo.

The Vatican Exorcisms: Po-faced, generic mockumentary mix of The Last Exorcism & The Rite. Startling physical contortions aside, v.dull.

The Way Way Back: A fine cast enrich an otherwise prosaic, indie-spirited coming of age dramedy which is hugely derivative of Adventureland.

The Wolverine: Less dynamic & frenetic than many other summer blockbusters. Well-judged balance of action & character. Better than expected.

The World's End: For a film about a pubcrawl this is strangely sober stuff. A lament to lost opportunity against a Midwich Cuckoos backdrop.

This Is The End: Treads very fine line between self-conscious & self-indulgent. Original idea, but as a comedy laughs are few & far between.

Thor-Dark World: As slick & stylish as we've come to expect from latter-day Marvel. Increased spectacle in a confident, accomplished sequel.

Trance: Dazzling, dizzying, dynamic. Its internal logic is flawed, but masked by Boyle's trademark flair.Shallow Grave for Inception age.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt2: Ends series on utterly bonkers high with orgiastic decapitation frenzy & climactic X-Men-alike showdown. A hoot.

Twixt: Largely told thru vivid dream sequences presented via striking luminescent monochrome with hints of sparse colour. Visually stunning.

UFO: An alien invasion of a Midlands housing estate portrayed via endless bickering, punch-ups & a baffling Jean Claude Van Damme cameo!

Under The Bed: Slow to get going, steadily builds impressive air of portentous dread, before becoming full-on 80s inspired creature feature.

Universal Soldier-Day Of Reckoning: Surreal, stylish, disorientating, abstract, crazed & insanely violent. I think that’s a recommendation!

Upstream Color: Like a jigsaw with wrong & missing pieces, just doesn't fit together & is a pointless challenge. Abstract chinstroker toss.

Vehicle 19: For a film which almost exclusively takes place inside a car, this travels nowhere fast. A dull, contrived, idiotic misfire.

VHS 2: Loses much of leery fratboy idiocy of first & is far more consistent & effective with format. Superior sequel in almost every respect.

Warm Bodies: Vibrant, witty, inventive. Creates its own spin on a tired subject, mixing genre elements expertly. Best teen movie in ages.

We Are The Night: A chic Euro 'Lost Girls' - Lensed with decadent, hedonistic pop video polish. Stylish, slick, sultry, but superficial.

We Are What We Are (2010): Smart & subdued, growing steadily sinister. Uses horror tropes to comment on poverty, desperation & dysfunction.

We Are What We Are: Lyrical, melancholic slice of pastoral American gothic infused with a solemn tragic tone. Mickle is a major genre talent.

Welcome To The Punch: Superior crime thriller. Top Brit cast excel in a complex & compelling story with slick, sterile, stylish sheen.

We're The Millers: The game cast is the trump card of an amiable comedy which largely shuns sentimentality. Will Poulter is the standout.

West Of Memphis: Exhaustive account of criminal injustice. Impactful & incredibly cinematic, Zodiac-like in-depth re-examination of case.

When The Lights Went Out: Evocative period design, uneven tone switching between mischief & malevolence. Engaging & effective ghost story.

Wild Country: Modest parochial monster movie with accents as strong as its splatter. Creaky creature FX when finally revealed. Cheap but fun.

Wither: Spirited Swedish splatter is a virtual carbon copy of The Evil Dead. Delivers gore by the bucket load but has little else of merit.

World War Z: Episodic in structure & at times uneven in tone, but plays out on an epic canvas & the action & spectacle is often breathtaking.

Would You Rather: Uncomfortable viewing, a gleefully sadistic mix of Clue & Saw, but with the harrowing intensity & cruelty of Compliance.

Wreck It Ralph: Beautifully animated, brisk & colourful but lacking the wry humour & post-modern deconstruction of best recent cartoons.

You're Next: It's no game-changer, but it's an inspired spin on the home invasion/slasher genre with tight direction & wickedly black humour.