Rating scale: 1, don't bother; 2, see if you get the chance; 3, definitely see
1. The Joneses: 2
Entertaining, and fun at first, as an interesting take on a family drama. Then turns darker, and the ending didn't do much for me.
2. 13 Assassins: 3
Excellent. Like a modern 7 Samurai.
3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: 2
Excellent acting, but like much of LeCarre's stuff, I found the reveal to be more like "oh, that guy (shrug)" than "OH, that guy!" Benedict Cumberbatch was awesome, and Gary Oldman was too, as ususal.
4. Brick: 3
Interesting noir set at a SoCal high school. Very well done on a shoestring budget.
5. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil: 3
Hilarious, probably my favorite of this year. Tucker's and Dale's descriptions of the deaths of the two college students just destroyed me with laughter.
6. The Italian Job (1969): 1
Though Michael Caine is great, I just couldn't get past the very 60s vibe of the movie. Reminds me exactly of the equally painful cinematography/music/approach of Ocean's 12.
7. The Escapist: 2
Interesting, well acted, but just not great.
8. The Fighter: 2
A good biopic/fight movie, but "Warrior" was better and similar.
9. The Good, The Bad, The Weird: 2
A Chinese take on "The Good the Bad and the Ugly". Fun with decent action pieces. The film would have been great except the final chase was not as well done as the rest, and I didn't feel there was any real tension/animosity between "The Good" and "The Weird" to make the Mexican standoff at the end any good at all.
10. Hot Tub Time Machine: 2
Some fun; time travel can be entertaining, but overall nothing special here.
11. Morning Glory: 3
Funny, with good performances from the whole cast (Harrison Ford actually impresses for once in a long while), and McAdams is very charismatic (and beautiful).
12. Bronson: 1
Interesting. Tom Hardy is great, but the film just didn't get me like I expected based on all the praise I have seen.
13. Harry Brown: 2
Michael Caine revenge movie. Well done, but not top tier.
14. Shutter Island: 2
Like Bronson, I went in expecting a lot based on comments of others. I don't know if the twist is supposed to be figured out as you are watching it, but I figured out where the movie was going and instead of feeling the tension/dramatic irony of knowing more than the character I was really just frustrated watching him catch up. And what is with Mark Ruffalo's character's non-action at the end???
15. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: 2
A pretty good performance from Nicolas cage. Overall only a decent movie.
16. Exam: 2
Very well done with a good premise and setup. Like many such "characters vs. each other" movies, some actions are over-the-top unrealistic, and the logic contortions that are needed to explain the story at the end are almost unsupportable.
17. Haywire: 2
A decent action movie. Gina is hot and very capable of carrying the action. The acting mostly came from a good supporting cast. All done in a very Soderberg style. (Come to think of it, very similar to Ocean's 12, but with better visual and music choices.)
18. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: 2
Dissapointing, again compared to what I had heard about it. The action is good. The story around Kurt Hendricks makes no sense (does Ethan know him or not?), and Jeremy Renner's character's story/backstory makes little sense and is paper thin. I think a lot of editing (and maybe some last minute major script rewrites) gutted a lot of this movie.