Archive for the Must See! Category

The Dirties

Posted in Must See! with tags , , , , , , , on August 20, 2014 by moviesaccordingtodes

MV5BMjk5OTcyNDQ3M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTk3NDgyMDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Release Date: January, 2013

Plot Outline: Two friends that endure daily bullying jokingly talk about killing their classmates…but one is not joking.

Rating: 4/5

Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! The Dirties…For such a long time I was completely speechless. This film is incredibly powerful and intense. I thought about this film for weeks after watching it. What a masterpiece this was. It was incredibly well made. It was emotional, frustrating, and angering. I laughed, I cried, I stayed up at night thinking about it.

This is a film that takes the typical villain and makes him a victim from our perspective. We see things from the perspective of a killer. Only he isn’t quite so cold blooded. The Dirties tells the often ignored story of two teens that are bullied so badly in school everyday that they fantasize about killing their bullies. Bullying is a serious issue that is allowed to go on in the American school system. Sometimes the effects of bullying leave someone dead, whether by suicide or murder. Though this is fictional, this film gives us a good look at bullying that occurs in schools every single day.

Not only was this story line fantastic, the acting was phenomenal, and the editing was great.

The Dirties is definitely a must see!

If you liked this, see: Bang, Bang, You’re Dead starring Ben Foster

Short Term 12

Posted in Must See! on August 16, 2014 by moviesaccordingtodes

download (1)Release Date: August 23rd, 2013

Plot Outline: A woman in charge of a group home has to deal with her past demons while trying to help the teenagers in the group home battle theirs as well.

Rating: 4.5/5

Wow! What an emotional roller-coaster of a drama! I was so involved with this film that nothing else in the world existed. Everything about this film was phenomenal! The acting, the story line, the dialogue, the characters, the relationships, the music…everything was great.

Everyone I know that has seen this film absolutely loved it. I highly recommend this to everyone. It was unique and heart felt and genuine. Each character had their own set of issues that they were trying to survive through and I couldn’t help but root for every single one of them. It was very emotional and beautiful to watch. You will laugh, you will cry, you will smile, you will think about Short Term 12 for a long time after seeing it.

If you like this, see: Manic starring Don Cheadle and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Crazies

Posted in Must See! on April 5, 2011 by moviesaccordingtodes

Release Date: February 26th 2010

Plot Outline: The members of a small town in Iowa start going crazy due to mysterious toxins in their water supply.

The Crazies was soooo good. Surprisingly I have no complaints about it! For once I only have good things to say. Shocking, I know. But I do always love zombie type movies. It’s hard for me not to like them…but not impossible.

The Crazies got right down to it. Within the first few minutes of the movie opening we get some action. It was fast paced which I always appreciated.

The Crazies reminded me of Quarantine but on a much larger scale. Instead of being cooped up in a building this zombie apocalypse type event took place in a town. The Crazies was an absolute fantastic thriller. The entire movie was suspenseful and it contained many shocking moments. I won’t lie; I jumped and yelped out loud quite a few times. Granted, I did watch this alone in my room with the lights off.

What I loved about The Crazies was that it wasn’t just about zombies or action. It had many realistic aspects to it.

We get into the human rights issues of how the government can at times hurt its people instead of help them. It all comes down to power and selfishness. We see this throughout the film.

The Crazies felt real. If a zombie apocalypse happened I feel like this would be what it was like. The emotions of desperation, the suspense, and the fear all felt so real thanks to the realistic events and good acting.

I loved how real the relationships in this movie were. We see some characters really trying to stick together and the sacrifices they make for each other’s well being. And on the opposite spectrum we see how some characters are selfish and will do anything to survive, including leaving loved ones behind. And some lines were really thought provoking. Example: “Don’t ask me why I can’t leave my wife and I won’t ask you why you can.” It forces you to put yourself in their situation and really think about what you would do.

I was so impressed with every aspect of the film. Even the music was perfect. It was eerie and successfully set up the mood.

And the ending! Ohhhh, the ending. It was perfection. I don’t think it could have ended any better.

Basically, see The Crazies! It was such a well done zombie/illness film.


Sunshine Cleaning

Posted in Must See! on March 22, 2011 by moviesaccordingtodes

Release Date: March 27th 2009

Plot Outline: Rose (Amy Adams) decides to open a biohazard removal business in order to raise money for her troubled son’s tuition for private school.

Sunshine Cleaning was something else; it was incredible and so enjoyable to watch. It unleashed so much emotion. I couldn’t believe it. I was so beyond impressed by the plot, the acting, and the characters…everything. It was an incredible movie all around. It was truly a phenomenal film. I bought it right away.

Sunshine Cleaning surrounds Rose (Amy Adams) and her hopeless, less than fantastic life. Rose is a woman in love with a married man who only uses her for sex; she has no money and is raising a son and caring for her father (Alan Arkin) with the help of her younger sister (Emily Blunt). Rose has many ghosts that haunt her from her past, one of which was finding her mother dead from suicide. Rose’s life is a mess to say the least.

You can’t help but pity and want to help her. She is so caring and loving and beautiful that you just want good things for her but her life is terrible. You feel hopeless for Rose but she isn’t. She has big dreams and is determined to make them reality. She struggles with moving on and pushing forward but she manages to do it with the help of her son sister, and quirky father.

Sunshine Cleaning contained a really great message. Push forward, take control of your life, and live your life to its fullest potential. The only person in control of your life is you. Change is possible. It contained all of these great, inspiring messages.

Sunshine Cleaning was full of inspiration and hope even when nothing seems to be going right and all your hopes, dreams, and goals are crumbling around you. I feel like it is something everyone can relate to from at least one point in his or her lives.

I simply cannot say enough positive things about this movie. I highly, HIGHLY recommend seeing Sunshine Cleaning. Just buy it. It’s a movie everyone should see and own. Writing this is making me want to re-watch it now.


My Favorite Alien/Monster/Disease/Epidemic/Zombie Movies!

Posted in Lists, Must See! on August 13, 2010 by moviesaccordingtodes

These are some of my favorite alien/disease/epidemic/zombie movies so far. I will add as I think of them. Oh, they are in no particular order at all.

See them. Love them!

Dawn of the Dead. March 19th 2004.

A group of people hide out in a mall during a zombie take over

The Signal. January 22nd 2007.

Technology causes people to become angry and violent.

Carriers. September 4th 2009.

Four friends try to escape a viral pandemic but soon learn they are just as dangerous and deadly as the virus itself.

Invasion. August 17th 2007.

An alien invasion takes over your body while you are asleep. Everyone is fighting for their lives. Fighting to stay awake.

Blindness.October 3rd 2008.

The world is over taken by blindness. What is everyone willing to do to survive?

Quarantine. October 10th 2008.

A group of people are quarantined inside a building by the CDC when a virus breaks out that turns humans into violent zombie like creatures.

Cloverfield. January 18th 2008.

An alien attack begins in NYC.

28 Days Later. June 27th 2003.

A handful of survivors struggle to stay alive after they discover the world has been over taken by zombies.

28 Weeks Later. May 11th 2007.

The US Army helps to secure a small sanctuary in London and plan to repopulate the earth but things don’t according to plan when zombies interfere.

The Crazies. February 26th 2010.

A small Iowa town suffers a zombie like attack after their water supply was contaminated.


Posted in Must See! on July 26, 2010 by moviesaccordingtodes

Release Date: July 16th 2010

Plot Outline: By entering dreams, two highly skilled men (Dicaprio and Gordon-Levitt) are able to steal ideas. They are put to the test when they must execute their toughest job yet, Inception.

After hearing the non-stop raves about Inception, after seeing every Facebook status stating how amazing Inception was and to go see it now, not to mention starring the incredible Leonardo Dicaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt I had to go see Inception ASAP. Which unfortunately was a week after the release date. It was worth the wait.

I can’t say much about Inception without risk of giving things away. So here is all I am willing to share:

Inception was absolutely amazing. It shocked me at how good it was. It was everything I hoped it would be and more!
It had a hole proof, fascinating plot, it had drama, emotion, and an abstract idea, fantastic acting (from each and every actor), striking visuals, in depth character development, love, comedy, suspense… It was everything a movie was meant to be.

And the ending! Oh, the ending…it was perfect. The perfect ending! It ended just how I hoped it would.

It was over 2 hours and keeps you wanting more. You still think about it days later.

Basically, this movie was the greatest movie released in a very long time. Go see it now!


Posted in Must See! on June 15, 2010 by moviesaccordingtodes

Release Date: May 23rd 2003

Plot Outline: Because of his violent outbursts, Lyle is committed to the juvenile wing of the Northwood Mental Institution where he must attend group therapy sessions for troubled teens.

I loved Manic from the very moment it began, not only because I am in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt but also because it captivated me immediately.
It starts off as somewhat of a mystery. Lyle (Gordon-Levitt) is entered into the juvenile wing of a mental facility against his will.
We see him struggling and resisting security all the while we hear screams and a struggle in the background. We know this is why he is being put in the facility but we don’t exactly know what occurred.

The whole thing is just so intriguing. It is so emotional that you can’t help but get heavily involved in the story.

Lyle is a loveable character in a strange way. He is violent and has anger management issues but he is sad, pathetic, and jaded that you can’t really help but have some love for him. I found myself attached to each character, even the child molester and group therapy bully.

Just overwhelming emotion throughout the movie. We get right into the jaded, troubled characters and their sad lives. Each character is very unique they all have a lot of pain but display it and deal with it in very unique ways. They all keep the movie interesting.

I didn’t want Manic to end. I wasn’t sure how they were going to pull off the ending. It was great and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We got a glimpse into the characters lives and time in their therapy session. That’s how it ends. We just caught a glimpse.

The acting was more that impressive. You can tell that the actors really threw themselves into their role. They all became their character.

There wasn’t much character development just because we don’t gradually get into a story. We are thrown into all of their lives all at once. They are already developed and we are trying to keep up.

Forever Strong

Posted in Must See! on June 2, 2010 by moviesaccordingtodes

Date Released: September 26th 2008

Plot Outline: A Rugby player going down a bad path is put in a Juvenile Detention Center. He is allowed to play Rugby and begins going through an unexpected transformation.

As a part of one of my favorite genres, Forever Strong was truly powerful and absolutely captivating.

The movie states that it is based on true events. I did some research and couldn’t find anything about the characters. The information on the film stated that Forever Strong is actually based on events from several different lives and Rugby teams, not one particular story.

All in all it was a fantastic film. I was shocked that by the end of the movie I actually liked Sean Faris’ character, Rick Penning. He started out as an arrogant jock. I wasn’t aware that Penn Badgley was in this. I was sad to see him as such a creep but this definitely showed us that he can play more than the loveable goofball he plays on Gossip Girl.

I thought it was interesting that Forever Strong is about rugby but we barely ever see the games. It truly was about the boys as coach Larry Gelwix said, “I want you to be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field”. He worked hard at making their lives better and transforming boys into respectable men.

I highly, highly recommend Forever Strong! It leaves you feeling inspired and hopeful about life, wanting to be a better person, and wanting to better the relationship with your family. It’s a great family film.

The Girl Next Door vs. An American Crime

Posted in Must See! on April 21, 2010 by moviesaccordingtodes

Release Dates:

The Girl Next Door: October 3rd 2007

An American Crime: January 19th 2007

Plot Outline: Both films tell the horrifying true story of Sylvia Likens, a girl tortured to death by Gertrude Baniszewski, her children, and kids from the neighborhood in Indiana, 1965.

In The Girl Next Door, Slyvia Likens is played by Blythe Auffarth. In the film Slyvlia’s name is changed to Meg Loughlin. Meg and her sister, Susan Loughlin (Jenny Likens in reality) are left in the care of an aunt, Ruth (Gertrude Baniszewski in reality) and her three sons after their parents are killed in a car accident. The movie moves very quickly in revealing that something isn’t right in the household. Meg begs a neighborhood friend; David for food. She tells him that Ruth doesn’t let her eat and Meg has mysterious bruises on her body.

The situation quickly escalates; Meg is soon locked in the basement and tortured relentlessly by Ruth, her sons, and other kids from the neighborhood. She is starved, beaten, burned, branded, and raped. All the while Ruth is encouraging this behavior of the children. She even forces Meg’s sister Susan to harm Meg.

The Girl Next Door is dark and depressing. The music suits the mood. It moves quickly and is very explicit and heart wrenching. I suggest that viewers watch with caution. We actually see the children and Ruth torture Meg, we see her being beaten and burned, and we see her bruises. Meg (Auffarth) is in awful shape; she looks run down and on the brink of death. She actually looks like someone that has been tortured for months.

The acting for this type of intense, serious film was impressive. The actors all really got into the role and portrayed this film with the seriousness of the situation. I was especially impressed because a majority of the actors were children.

It is a very difficult film to watch but I recommend it because it is based on a true story. I think it’s a story that needs to be told.

Ellen page plays Sylvia Likens in An American Crime. Gertrude Baniszewski is played by Catherine Keener. Sylvia’s parents work for the circus and travel often this is why her parents were desperate to leave Sylvia and her sister with the mother of children that Sylvia and Jenny met at church. It is arranged that they would stay there as long Gertrude was paid 20 dollars a week.

The movie starts off very slowly. Nothing odd occurs until about an hour into the film. It takes much time to build the awkwardness and uncomfortable mood of living in the Baniszewski household. The slow pace is accompanied by upbeat fun music for the 60’s. This is not at all appropriate for the mood or tone of the film.

Everything is perfectly normal until Gertrude’s check doesn’t arrive on time. She takes out her anger and frustration on Sylvia and Jenny. She takes them to the basement and begins to beat them. After this the beatings continue often and for any sort of reason. Ruth has convinced herself that Sylvia is a whore and strongly disapproves. She says that Sylvia must be punished until she learns her lesson. She locks her in the basement and allows children from the neighborhood to come over whenever they want and do whatever they want to Sylvia.

This film is not nearly as violent or explicit. We know that Sylvia is being tortured but we do not often witness this. It is often implied by the camera work, music, and screams of Sylvia.

The Girl Next Door VS An American Crime

Overall I liked The Girl Next Door much more. The acting was much better and the mood and music were much more appropriate for the type of intense film that it is. Because all of the events were visible and quite evident it was more emotional and easier to feel for Sylvia on a much deeper level.

Each film contained some facts about the Likens case but overall, An American Crime was most like the actual story. I appreciated that it contained many facts from the actual case. In the beginning of the film it states that most of the film comes directly from the transcript of the court.

Phoebe in Wonderland

Posted in Must See! on April 13, 2010 by moviesaccordingtodes

Date Released: March 6th 2009

Plot Outline: Phoebe in Wonderland surrounds the life of a little girl. We witness her struggles with her family, starring in the school play, and feeling different than everyone she knows.

I have to start off by saying that Elle Fanning is Incredible!!

Ok. Now that the facts have been stated…

Throughout the entire film we feel along with Phoebe’s suspicions that she is in fact different from other children. Something seems off and a bit odd for a child. OCD is rather obvious but there’s something more. We struggle along with her parents in trying to discover what really is going on with our adorable heroine.

The camera work was impressive. In one scene in particular, as the parents are fighting, phoebe and her sister are above them far off watching. The camera shows them in between the parents while they are fighting. We know their marital troubles involve the children and their priorities differ. They never seem to see eye to eye when it comes to their children, especially Phoebe.

Besides Phoebe’s family issues, I appreciated that we witness the discrimination Phoebe and her best friend, Jamie go through on a daily basis at school. Children attacking other children verbally, at times physically, and even out casting them is a real issue and I’m glad they made this movie as realistic as possible. Children go through a lot too and they really let us see that.

All of the emotion was well portrayed through the actors. Realistically portrayed, the struggles of a family especially if the family has a child with special needs. The strain on parents and on the sibling was made quite obvious and rang true to reality.

Among the incredible acting, plot, script, and camera work, the music was also impressive. It really backed up each and every moment with the desired feeling of the scene. It successfully strengthened the emotion in the scene.

Patricia Clarkson and felicity Hoffman are just jaw dropping. They are well-respected actresses for a reason and Phoebe in Wonderland proves that.

With an absolutely brilliant cast, Phoebe in Wonderland was nothing short of phenomenal. It is a sweet, inspiring drama. Complete with humor, a bit of mystery, and family dramas; Phoebe in Wonderland accomplished the ever sought after, ‘whole package’ film.  It was a new twist on an old tale. It was risky, but quite successful.


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