Joel has written 61 reviews for films rated ★★★ during 2015.

  • Turbo Kid

    Turbo Kid

    ★★★

    A midnight movie in almost every way, Turbo Kid is a film that feels like one those from childhood amped up with tons and tons of blood. The acting may not be that great(although I did dig Michael Ironside as the villain), simple set design and insane looking wardrobe decisions that made the post apocalyptic world seem like run of the mill fare, the story ideas seem too over the top at times and wacky performances from a bunch of…

  • The Intern

    The Intern

    ★★★

    The Intern is about a retired business man/widower (Robert De Niro) taking an internship at a fashion website company to try and stay relevant. Playing alongside him is the young owner of said company (Anne Hathaway). The two play well off each other in a very unorthodox way and it's great to De Niro in a role where he's not just walking through every scene but having fun in the role.
    The film doesn't really get to in depth with…

  • Woodlawn

    Woodlawn

    ★★★

    The story of a football team that brought a city together thanks to their strength of embracing religious faith and race and becoming a strong example and a football team to be reckoned with, Woodlawn is a film with an inspirational story that may be held back a little by some by the numbers dramatic story elements and less than compelling acting from someone of the actors-including including some villains that feel kind of like cartoon villains as opposed to…

  • American Ultra

    American Ultra

    ★★★

    Max Landis won't like this but American Ultra is a fun premise that is poorly executed thanks to a storyline that takes too long to get to anything exciting and a rather dull protagonist. The story of a stoner who is secretly a sleeper agent is reawakened and now everyone is after him. Jesse Eisenberg plays Mike the stoner and he fills his role well and plays well off his girlfriend Phoebe played by Kristen Stewart in another good role…

  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl

    The Diary of a Teenage Girl

    ★★★

    The honest look at a young girl dealing with her sexuality in a coming of age story that is ingrained in the genre while also breaking away from the genre(thanks to a unique story that takes an honest look at a young woman's relationship with an older man without condoning or approving of said relationship) and connecting with the powerful story thanks to the great performance newcomer actress Bel Powley brings to the film. The infusion of creative art is…

  • Shaun the Sheep Movie

    Shaun the Sheep Movie

    ★★★

    A great animated story from the people that gave us Wallace & Gromit about a group of sheep that must journey into the big city to bring their owner back. The genius of the film is that it can take nonspeaking characters, give them character and development. The humor bordered on being too silly at times, but also has great sight gags and parodies of things adults will gravitate more towards-all without saying a word.
    That being said, the sheep did…

  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

    ★★★

    Based on the 60's T.V show of the same name, Man from UNCLE follows a CIA operative Napoleon Solo(Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) during the Cold War to take down a criminal syndicate. Cavill and Hammer actually work well together and is Hammer's best acting role in recent history. Alicia Vikander also brings a great dynamic to her role as well and she works well off the two leads. Hugh Grant is great addition to the…

  • Southpaw

    Southpaw

    ★★★

    Jake Gyllenhaal brings a great performance to a rather stereotypical boxing redemption story that had the writer of Sons Of Anarchy, Kurt Sutter, bringing his writing prowess to the film. Gyllenhaal has great chemistry with his wife, Rachel Adams, but the trailer decides to spoil her fate before anyone got to see the film in theaters. His chemistry with his daughter could have been explored so much better and felt so bland. Forest Whitaker stole the show anytime he was…

  • Irrational Man

    Irrational Man

    ★★★

    Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone and Parker Posey all bring great performances to the film and the chemistry they share with each other is undeniable. However, the film feels more like retread from Woody Allen. The dialogue is great in the film, as is every picture Allen is attached to, but its just a culmination of a lot of Allen's other films and the films rather generic as a result. The story felt bland to me and I kept waiting for…

  • Cop Car

    Cop Car

    ★★★

    Cop Car follows the story of two kids(Hays Wellford and James Freedson Jackson) who find a cop car and go on a joy ride prompting a chase from a shifty cop(Kevin Bacon). The concept seems fun at first and the two children actors are great in their role. The concept just gets stretched out thin and makes for a poorly paced film with the most compelling action not coming till the climax. A small film leading up to the outlandish…

  • The Age of Adaline

    The Age of Adaline

    ★★★

    Age of Adaline tells the story of Adaline Bowmen(Blake Lively), a woman that survives a freak accident to find out she can never age. Adaline is an intriguing character but the story relies too heavily on exposition to tell the story of how she gained her immortality(and goes into heavy detail to appease the fans that need the scientific facts of her situation I guess).
    Age Of Adaline tackles the fear of never being able to grow old with someone…

  • Entourage

    Entourage

    ★★★

    The boys-Vincent Chase(Adrian Grenier), Johnny "Drama" Chase(Kevin Dillon), Eric Murphy(Kevin Connolly), Turtle(Jerry Ferrara) and Ari Gold(Jeremy Piven) along with so much of the cameos that were infused into the show that may have been too much to throw into a two hour film with many of the cameos feeling shoved into the narrative and serving no other real purpose.
    Entourage feels like two episodes of the show put together and much like the show, everyone gets their own story arcs…