Fraley 2013 Movie Guide




“American Hustle” – David O. Russell reunites his favorite casts to tell delicious con artist tale

“12 Years a Slave” – True story of American slavery is hard to watch, but impossible to forget

“Her” – Joaquin Phoenix falls for Siri in most unique love story since “Harold & Maude”

“Gravity” – Alfonso Cuaron crafts a modern-day “2001” with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

“Short Term 12” – Two lovers run a facility for at-risk youth in South By Southwest winner

“Before Midnight” – Richard Linklater resumes tale of Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy, now in middle-age

“Fruitvale Station” – Brilliantly directed Sundance winner based on real-life racially charged shooting

“The Act of Killing” – Indonesian death squads re-enact their genocide in Oscar-nominated doc


3 1/2 STARS

“Prisoners” – Star-studded cast shines in a nail-biting crime thriller about child abduction

“Captain Phillips” – Tom Hanks shines as real-life hostage of 2009 Somali hijacking

“The Way, Way Back” – Hilarious coming of age story with a heel turn by Steve Carell

“Dallas Buyers Club” – McConaughey and Leto give award-worthy performances selling HIV drugs

“Philomena” – Judi Dench plays a former nun who goes searching for her long-lost son

“Blue is the Warmest Color” – Cannes Palme d’Or winner tracks the heartache of lesbian lovers

“Nebraska” – Bruce Dern goes on a father-son road trip to claim a sweepstakes prize

“The Butler” – Forest Whitaker & Oprah Winfrey shine in journey through Civil Rights Movement

“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Leo DiCaprio brings it in Scorsese’s excessive epic that’s an hour too long

“The Good Son” – Boxer Ray Mancini meets the fiancee and son of the man he killed in the ring

“Iron Man 3” – Action-packed threequel with buddy comedy from Shane Black (“Lethal Weapon”)

“Frozen” – Disney’s tale of sibling love teaches us to “Let it Go”

“The Spectacular Now” – Shailene Woodley sparkles with script by “(500) Days of Summer” writers

“Saving Mr. Banks” – Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson star in making-of tale of “Mary Poppins”



“The Great Gatsby” – Leo DiCaprio nails Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s lavish spectacle

“August: Osage County” – Dark family secrets revealed by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts

“Blue Jasmine” – Cate Blanchett shines as Woody Allen continues to carve his prolific place in history

“Rush” – Ron Howard chronicles real-life racing rivalry between James Hunt and Nika Lauda

“42” – The Jackie Robinson story comes to life with Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey

“All is Lost” – Robert Redford gives one-man, silent performance lost at sea

“Side Effects” – Smart, pill- popping psycho-thriller by Steven Soderbergh

“Enough Said” – James Gandolfini gives final performance romancing Julia Louis Dreyfus

“World War Z” – Popcorn thrills abound in adaptation of Max Brooks zombie novel

“Inside Llewyn Davis” – Oscar Isaac shines in Coen Brothers’ bleak tale of ’60s folk music

“The Book Thief” – A young girl teaches a Jewish refugee to read during WWII

“This is the End” – Hollywood jokers play themselves in very funny apocalyptic comedy

“The Kings of Summer” – Indie fav about a group of boys who build a house in the woods

“Mud” – Matthew McConaughey plays an almost mythical drifter in coming-of-age tale

“The Great Beauty” – Italian art-house flick won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language flick

“Star Trek: Into Darkness” – J.J. Abrams helms a solid follow-up to his 2009 “Star Trek” reboot

“In a World” – Lake Bell is a triple threat in spoof of movie trailer world

“The Conjuring” – Stylish, well-acted horror, but not as memorable as the other flicks it homages

“Lone Survivor” – Peter Berg directs intense real-life account of botched Navy SEAL mission

“Hunger Games: Catching Fire” – Jennifer Lawrence returns for Round 2 of “The Hunger Games”

“Anchorman 2” – Burgundy’s return = “60 percent of the time it works every time”

“The Lone Ranger” – Johnny Depp’s Tonto tale isn’t for kids, but works as a dark action comedy


2 1/2 STARS

“Blue Caprice” – D.C. Sniper script plays loose with facts, but masterfully directed like “In Cold Blood”

“Now You See Me” – Magician heist caper starts strong, finishes weak

“Man of Steel” – Superman reboot offers great action, but not enough Lois & Clark

“Oz: The Great and Powerful” – James Franco snarky in an otherwise clever origin story

“Fast & Furious 6” – Funny banter and fast cars, but not as good as “Fast Five”

“Thor: The Dark World” – Thor sequel falls short of the Marvel Phase 2 bar set by “Iron Man 3”

“Olympus Has Fallen” – Gerard Butler kicks terrorist butt in over-the-top White House attack

“Jobs” – Steve Jobs biopic follows career highlights but fails to explore personal life

“Carrie” – Remake pales in comparison to 1976 classic, but poignant take on cyber bullying



“The Purge” – Clever horror premise wasted as murder is legal for one day a year

“Gangster Squad” – Star-studded cast in ill-timed shoot-em-up flick

“White House Down” – Tatum & Foxx mine laughs, but film pales to “Olympus ”

“The Big Wedding” – French farce remake borrows from too many past wedding flicks


1 1/2 STARS

“The Hangover: Part III” – Funny franchise suffers from too much Mr. Chow

“A Good Day to Die Hard” – Franchise moves to Russia but gives us little reason to care



“The Wizard of Oz 3D” – The 3D upgrade of the 1939 classic is a horse of a different color

“Jurassic Park 3D” – Steven Spielberg’s prehistoric blockbuster revived from fossilized amber


Review from Past Years:








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