Reviews:Critical Darlings

I saw a lot of movies since the last time i posted reviews, but to make it easier i am going to divide them among probably 3 posts. In this one i will review movies that got a lot of critical claim(or at least good hype).

An Education – Most of the hype surrounding this move came from Carey Mulligans performance. Her performance imo lives up to the hype, portraying both the naivete and the intelligence of her character. For those unfamiliar with the plot, it is about Jenny(Carey), a teenage girl who falls for a much older man named David.

As one can guess, David is hiding something, although the reveal isn’t as dark as it could have been. While he is not the knight in shining armor she thinks he is, he isn’t just a simple perverted old man. But in a way, the romance isn’t the main part of the story, in my opinion anyways.

This is more a coming of age story, complete with overprotective parents and a teenage girl who just wants to find her independence. Not the most original premise, but i think it is reasonably well done in this film. I feel part of the reason she falls for David so easily is because he represents a chance to find that independence. The ending may feel a bit underwhelming for some, and perhaps could have been expanded a bit more, but she does i feel find her own way in the end. Worth a watch imo.


The Town – This is pretty much a combination of a love story and crime story. While the plot of a season criminal wanting to do one last job isn’t new, it still feels fresh in the film. Affleck uses a working class setting, which helps give the movie a unique, or at least unusual feel. LIke most crime stories, the movie makes you feel sympathy for characters who are not traditionally heroic, and the romance feels believable enough.

Overall, while its not the most original move released, its worth a watch.


Mother – For those who don’t know, this is a asian film about a mother who tries to prove her sons innocence after he is wrongly accused of murder. While the lead actress Hye-ja gives a amazing performance, bring to life both her characters vulnerability and strength, the rest of the cast do a great job with there roles.

I didn’t like the ending much. I’m not sure how to explain way without spoiling it, but it felt like a letdown to me. But i still recommend this, as i know there are those disagree with me on the ending and i liked most of the movie.


The Social network -One movie that needs no introduction, i’m guessing everybody has heard of this one. While the flashbacks in the movie are in chronological order(for the most part anyways), in the movie Mark is in the middle of 2 lawsuits. I think this setup works well for the story.

Mark in the movie seems to have difficulty paying attention, often seeming to stare into nowhere. Jessie is perfect in the role, capturing his characters eccentricities. The supporting cast also does a great job. Andrew garfield has been getting a lot of praise for his role as the friend turned enemy, which i think is deserved, but i think Justin Timberlakes performance was also impressive(i actually didn’t notice it was him on screen at first).

When he first started getting into movies, i didn’t take him seriously, but after seeing him in Alpha Dog and i feel he has proven he has some dramatic chops. Whether he had this talent all along or if he just spent some money on acting lessons(if he did, then its money well spent imo), he is on his way to becoming a fav actor of mine.


Winters Bone -I saw this one in a film class i took. The best description of this is a country noir. The big conspiracy here is the meth trade(With a dirty, rural setting to go along with it), with most of the characters involved in it in some way or another. The hero of the story, played by Jennifer Lawrence isn’t out to save the world, just her family. She has to find her missing father, or her family will lose there house. This is another movie with a much hyped about performance, from Jennifer Lawrence. While i don’t think i was as amazed with it as some people, i will say she gives a strong performance.

While i definitely think this is a good movie, this is a extremely slow moving film. This, combined with the double talk most of the characters use and the sparse use of music, means that you really have to pay attention otherwise you will have a hard time understanding it. This prevents me from giving it a strong recommendation. I think its worth a watch, but i found the pace a bit too slow for my tastes.

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14 Responses to Reviews:Critical Darlings

  1. I recently became a Carey Mulligan fan since Wall Street: MNS and Never Let Me Go. I haven’t heard of “An Education” but now will have to check it out. did you see NLMG? it stars both Mulligan AND Andrew Garfield.

    Glad you liked The Town! I thought it was very well done, and you’re right…a good mixture of true crime and love story!

    I have to check out Winter’s Bone too as I missed this one that received several noms for the golden globes. Nice bullet point summaries of the films you watched. Looks like you were busy with some watching!

    • I’m surprised you didn’t hear about “An Education” as i remember there being a lot of buzz for it when it came out. From the reviews i’ve read it seems like everyone agrees that Muligan was amazing in it, though the movie itself didn’t impress everyone. And NLMG is another movie i want to see, but i will have to wait for it to come out on dvd.

      And you can thank rtm for the bullet points(She helped me with the coding part)

      And when i looked at my list of movies to review i think there were about 10 in total(although 2 i saw already and decided to re-watch), so i decided it would be best to split them into three posts(One for the critically acclaimed ones, another for the older movies i watched, and another for the mostly unknown ones).

  2. rtm says:

    Hey looks like you did re-formatted the post, cool!

    @Scarlet – I’m hoping to see NLMG when it’s out on Netflix. I know it’s gonna be heartbreaking but the cast looks great!

  3. Dan says:

    It’s nice to see another review of Mother. I came across the film late last year and reviewed it for my site. Like you, I thought there was a lot to recommend about the film but there was still a bit lacking. But a good film to see if you fancy something a bit different. The woman who plays Mother is an excellent actress.

  4. Novroz says:

    Ah…your feeling toward mother is different to mine 😉
    I really like the ending…it was unpredictable and I never much a fan of happy ending.

    i have the town in my shelf…I will watch it once I bought a new DVD player (the old one is broken)

  5. Paolo says:

    I love that Winter’s Bone is being shown in classes now. Great and quite an original approach to film.

  6. Joel Burman says:

    Agree on Timberlake in the Social Network he is the biggest asset in that film here are my thoughts on it: http://www.joelburman.com/2010/11/the-social-network-what-am-i-missing/

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