1. The Godfather 8.5/10
Stars: Marlon Brando and Al Pacino
Some fine cinematography and strong performances make this classic an engrossing movie to watch. Brando and Pacino are excellent in their roles as the eponymous Godfather and his son and heir.
2. Barnum 7.5/10
Stars: Michael Crawford and Eileen Battye
A made for TV recording of the musical about P.T. Barnum with a wonderful performance by Crawford in the title role. The staging is very good and the musical is well-written. Worth watching if you like musicals.
3. Runner Runner 7/10
Stars: Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake
While not likely to win any awards this movie is enjoyable viewing with good performances by Affleck and Timberlake. The script is a little predictable but there is some good dialogue.
4. Side Effects 7/10
Stars: Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum
Mara delivers her usual strong performance in the lead role of this crime drama. Tatum is also good but special mention should be given to Jude Law who provides us with an excellent portrayal of the psychiatrist whose life is torn apart by the events.
5. The Terminal 7.5/10
Stars: Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones
A really great performance by Hanks who really gives of his all in the portrayal of the Eastern European who becomes displaced and is forced to live in the airport terminal. A strong performance, too, by Stanley Tucci, the airport supervisor.
6. 21 Jump Street 5.5/10
Stars: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum
An average comedy about young undercover cops with a predictable story line. Cameos by Johnny Depp, Peter deLuise and Holly Robinson from the 1980s tv show of the same name are a good reason to persevere.
7. 3 Ninjas 6/10
Stars: Victor Wong and Michael Treanor
This is a good movie for children, with comedic moments that seem to echo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a lot of other shows of the 80s. The young stars are high energy amd the movie has some entertaining moments.
8. Rush 7/10
Stars” Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth
A good high-adrenalin biopic that traces the competition between Formula 1 drivers Nicki Lauda and James Hunt. Bruhl and Hemsworth give strong performances in their depiction of the elite sportsmen.
9. Gravity 8/10
Stars: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
A heart-stopping movie with excellent performances by Clooney and Bullock. The cinematography is excellent and the movie covers the story in exactly the right amount of time with no wasted moments.
10. Celeste and Jesse Forever 7/10
Stars: Rashida Jones and Adam Sandberg
A bittersweet movie about a couple whose marriage is ending. Jones and Sandberg give poignant performances as the estranged couple who want to remain friends beyond their divorce. Also note-worthy are Chris Messina and Elijah Wood.
11. Adam 7/10
Stars: Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne
A good representation of the challenges faced by those who were born with Asperger’s Syndrome. Dancy does a great job representing the difficulties that social interactions can pose for those with Asperger’s. A sweet and engaging movie.
12. People Like Us 3/10
Stars: Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks
With a cast that always delivers, I expected this to be better. The plot moved far to slowly yo keep me interested and although Pine and Banks tried hard, the most engaging character was that of Josh, played by Michael Paul D’Addrio.
Stars: Matt Lanter and Francia Rasia
An inspirational sporting movie about ice skaters. Not a great movie but entertaining nonetheless. Some really good figure-skating routines make it worth watching if you like that sport.
14. December Boys 6/10
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe and Teresa Palmer
A little slow-moving but still has some merit. The young cast worked well together and the more seasoned actors like Jack Thompson helped to provide balance. Some lovely shots of Australian scenery to round it off.
15. Groundhog Day 8/10
Stars: Bill Murray and Andy MacDowell
This movie has one of Murray’s best performances. The story, though a little predictable is fun and entertaining. MacDowell provided a good balance and the other cast members give good performances.
16. Pretty in Pink 8/10
Stars: Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy
One of the Brat Pack movies of the 90s with good performances by Ringwald and McCarthy as well as supporting cast member James Spader. But by far the best performance was by Jon Cryer.
17. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 8/10
Stars: Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck
Always fun to watch, this is one of the classic 80s films that provides entertainment to all generations. Good performances by the cast and a great script make it funny and engaging.
18. Diana 5.5/10
Stars: Naomi Watts and Naveen Andrews
Watts did a really good job of portraying the late Princess of Wales. However a slow-moving script detracted from this. Far too long was spent on the last chapter, with Dodi Fayed. Around 30 minutes too long.
19. Dear John 5/10
Stars: Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried
There was a lot of potential for this movie to be good but sadly it moved far too slowly and predictably towards its ending. The cast tried hard but it was too drawn out.
20. Mommy Dearest 7/10
Stars: Faye Dunaway and Diana Scarwid
Dunaway gives a strong performance in her portrayal of Joan Crawford in this adaptation of Christina Crawford’s story of the uneasy mother-daughter relationship. Dunaway is suitably irrational and Scarwid also gives a good performance as the adult Christina. Good performance also by Mara Hobel as the child Christina.
21. 2 Guns 7/10
Stars: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg
A funny action movie with good performances by Wahlberg and Washington. Loved the touches of humour and also the small plot twists kept me interested.
22. A Fantastic Fear of Everything 4.5/10
Stars: Simon Pegg and Alan Drake
Not one of Pegg’s better movies this film will possibly become a cult classic in years to come because of its quirky, dark humour, but I found it confusing and not really engaging.
23. Anchors Aweigh 8/10
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Kathryn Grayson
Any music with Sinatra, Kelly or Grayson is guaranteed to be good. This one has all three and is fun, entertaining and has some great musical numbers.
24. On the Town 8.5/10
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Betty Garrett
This movie has lots of laughs and some great songs. Garrett’s timing is excellent and every scene she is in is superb. The Kelly/Sinatra pairing is good, as expected, and Ann Miller brings grace and elegance to her role.
25. Anything Goes 8/10
Stars: Bing Crosby and Donald O’Connor
Lots of laughs and some really good musical numbers. O’Connor and Crosby bring their usual flair to their roles. Mitzi Gaynor and Zizi Jeanmaire provide the perfect balance and energy.
26. Captain Phillips 8.5/10
Stars: Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi
A great movie with some good edge-of-the-seat moments. Hanks gives another outstanding performance and the final scene is one of his best ever.
27. Dirty Dancing 8/10
Stars: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey
This movie is always worth watching if only for the great dance moments. Swayze and Grey are good and there are some iconic lines in this movie. Strong performances by the whole cast.
28. Dr Horrible’s Sing-along Blog 8.5/10
Stars: Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion
A funny. highly entertaining musical will all the hallmarks of the talented Josh Whedon. Great dialogue, clever direction and a strong cast make this an enjoyable movie.
29. Evita 7/10
Stars: Madonna and Antonio Banderas
The music is good and some of the scenes are excellent but I felt that there were times where the movie did not do justice to the musical. Some nice cinematography gives a positive feel.
30. Fame 8/10
Stars: Irene Cara and Lee Curreri
Never a dull moment in this 80s classic. There’s lots of great scenes, not just in terms of song and dance, but also drama. Paul McCrane is excellent as Montgomery McNeil.
31. Prisoners 8.5/10
Stars: Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal
This movie is grippingly excellent. Jackman and Gyllenhaal are superb and there is also strong performances by Melissa Leo, Viola Davis and Maria Bello.