Rane has written 11 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2015.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★½

    A safe but steady pitch by J.J. that Rian Johnson will (hopefully) be able to knock out of the park. Full review to come.

  • Hitchcock/Truffaut

    Hitchcock/Truffaut

    ★★★½

    More essay film than documentary, Hitchcock/Truffaut exists more as a tribute to the former director's artistry (at the unfortunate expense of the latter) than any sort of documented conversation between the two. The analytical insights of Fincher, Scorsese, Linkater and other modern filmmakers are a cinephilic delight, but the stretch of time dedicated to two or three central Hitch films at the expense of the rest leaves the movie feeling oddly incohesive.

  • The Stanford Prison Experiment

    The Stanford Prison Experiment

    ★★★½

    Both oddly fascinating and deeply unsettling, THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT plays a lot with the concept of identity in how it can both flourish and disintegrate according to one's role with an established system. Understanding the literal translation of the story to fiction does little to make certain actions of the characters any more believable (particularly Ezra Miller's Prisoner 8612 and his supposed mental breakdown halfway through the film), and there's a false sense of accomplishment in the depiction of…

  • Straight Outta Compton

    Straight Outta Compton

    ★★★½

    A timely story worth telling, but flounders the emotional finale and lacks the stylistic flourish of Dr. Dre's many-referenced productions. One silver lining, however, is hidden in a truly ugly moment in the film that may finally kill off the dreaded "bye, Felisha."

  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible

    ★★★½

    Stealth and silliness abound. What the film earns with the tense, beautifully directed Langely break-in, it almost loses in a CGI implosion of a finale. Time has only improved upon the M:I formula, making this movie a less-than-substantive forerunner to the thriller-spy genre.

  • Furious 7

    Furious 7

    ★★★½

    I never imagined that Vin Diesel would be able to make me cry in a movie that didn't involve a giant space robot. I was wrong.

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL

    ★★★½

    Better, weirder and more fun than it has any right to be, MAGIC MIKE XXL drops all pretenses of narrative or conflict in favor of a weirdly honest, introspective road movie. Oh, and lots of male stripping. Can't forget the male stripping.

  • Spy

    Spy

    ★★★½

    Probably a better movie overall than a comedy.

  • White God

    White God

    ★★★½

    Wonderful storytelling, but it's literally Rise of the Planet of the Apes with dogs.

  • The Theory of Everything

    The Theory of Everything

    ★★★½

    An impressive Eddy Redmayne performance in an otherwise unimpressive film. An additional half-star for the occasional gorgeous shot.

  • Big Hero 6

    Big Hero 6

    Sleek animation and a charming, chubby robot save this movie from its rote, predictable narrative.