the cranky critic (R)  is a registered trademark of chuck schwartz
Reviews since 1996:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do    

DONATE to support the site

buy movie posters allposters
Buy Movie Posters

Books DVDs Kindle eBooks

buy Cranky gear!
Buy Cranky stuff

CRANKY SEZ: Now we write and play catch up on what we missed. And screen some of the films other critics are screaming about as the best of the year . . . and find that they are not. Cranky's Best of 2014, our twentieth year of list as it turns out, comes to you on Christmas Day.

WALLPAPERS:Images from Exodus: Gods and Kings and lots more from The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies are up.

THE ONLY AWARDS THAT COUNT: are those issued by the New York Film Critics Online, of which Cranky is a founding member. Boyhood was the big winner this year (Best Picture, Director Richard Linklater and Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette ) matched only by Birdman (Ensemble Cast, Screenplay, Cinematography). Eddie Redmayne took Best Actor for The Theory of Everything (we toldja so....) and Best Actress honors went to Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night . . . a film no reader of this site will ever see as it is a French language indie; Belgium's nominee for the Best Foreign Picture in this year's Academy Awards. Cranky would have made a big stink about this at the voting but my legs stopped working and I wasn't able to attend (which is what happened when the films screened back in October). Personally, we still root for Redmayne's co-star Felicity Jones. The complete list of honorees is here.

THE ONLY WEBSITE THAT COUNTS: <g> is this one, of course. On this site, compiled over the last twenty years, are thousands of reviews and downloadable posters and wallpaper sized images. It takes hard cash to run this site, readers. All we ask is a donation equivalent to the price of a movie ticket -- the link is at the upper left of this page -- which, if only 1% of the six million viewers we have were to do, we'd never have to ask for another penny. If we've steered you right even twice; or if you come back just to grab freebies, you probably spend more money to get your morning coffee than the measly $15 donation we ask of you. Please support the site! (Thanks Dottie and William . . . just the first donors, we hope)

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: No surprise, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies easily took Top Position with its Wednesday opening boosting its $56.2 millions to a gross weekly total of $90.6 millions. The film easily hammered the two other big studio openers, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb ($17.3 millions) and Annie (2014) ($16.3 millions). Last week's top two dropped accordingly, Exodus: Gods and Kings ($8.1 millions/ $38.9 millions) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 ($7.8 millions/ $289.2 millions) at the bottom of the Top Five. THE REST OF THE BEST: Wild ($4.2 millions/ $7.2 millions) rises from Tenth to Sixth; Top Five ($3.6 millions/ $12.5 millions), Big Hero 6 ($3.6 millions/ $190.4 millions) and Penguins of Madagascar ($3.5 millions/ $64.2 millions) all begin their fall frm grace and an Indian film called P.K. ($3.5 millions) squeaks into Tenth.

-------------------- New Releases --------------------

We're not sure what this Annie is going to be . . . Cranky was flat on his back from the passing effects of a nor'easter when the film screened. We also missed the film to the right.

We will play catch up at a screening on Christmas Eve

Night at the Museum The Secret of the Tomb

Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb is Ben Stiller's fourth and final outing as the night guard who really loves his job . . . for more unfortunate reasons it is also star Robin Williams final film performance.

We will play catch up.


The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg as a college professor with a wee blackjack problem, and John Goodman as the loan shark more than willing to make that wee problem into a deadly one. A really good sit.


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is more rightly Part Two of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Six months from now you will be able to sit and watch the whole megillah from its intolerable start to its action packed finish. There is no need for a review -- everyone is going to go see it, even if just to finish out the story -- so we've built a couple of dozen wallpaper sized images for y'all to download. Click an image or Start here

Song of the Sea

Based on an Irish legend of a race called the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells of a brother and sister who must journey across land to get back to their home in the sea. The animation was far too cartoon-y for us and the story failed to hold our attention. Even a 'toonhead can be let down.

Still Alice

Still Alice (ltd) stars Julianne Moore as a Columbia University professor diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers Disease. With Alec Baldwin as her husband and Kristen Stewart as a daughter on the west coast the film gently documents the character's decline. Moore's performance will break your heart. As serious films go, this one is magnificent . . . and you won't get to see it until January. Now trolling for nominations.

Exodus Gods and Kings

Exodus Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses . . . if we need to tell you the story, shame on you . . . with Joel Edgerton as Pharoah and Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley in supporting roles. There's also an interesting choice for the One who isn't called God. We're glad director Ridley Scott has kept relatively close to the original story.(or maybe we should thank writer Steve Zallian) for an OK sit.


A number of events, badly revealed in flashback form, spur a young woman (Reese Witherspoon) -- an ex-alcholic and former sex addict -- to walk the thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, by which she intends to detox. Said travels begin at the southern edge of the Mohave Desert and end at the Canadian border. There are not enough revelations in the aforementioned flashbacks to make Wild into an interesting film. Unless you've read the book, avoid the film, which is Ms. Witherspoon's cry for Oscar®.

The Theory of Everything

Every once in a while we close the books early: if The Theory of Everything, tells the story of Dr. Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his love turned wife Jane (Felicity Jones), as they face (his) last two years of life with working legs. She starts a family. He solves the Physics of Time. One of the best of the year.

The Theory of Everything trailer here

Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is one of two films that could get star Benedict Cumberbatch best actor nominations, if not an award. This one tells the "true" story of a WWII codebreaking machine called Enigma and how its use helped win that war. Assuredly, one of the best films of the year. Cranky's movie review


The music world according to Whiplash: Rock drumming isn't music. Jazz drumming is and, if you're not as willing to take the kind of abuse you are willing to inflict on your instrument, you'll never make it as a pro. J.K. Simmons abuses. Miles Teller takes it. TV's Paul Reiser co-stars as the failure of the kid's dad. Kid doesn't want to be a failure which is why he takes it so prepare yourselves -- the abuse is verbal and hard core. Nominations will follow.

Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice, from ace film-maker Paul Thomas Anderson stars Joaquin Phoenix as a stoner P.I. in late 1960's Los Angeles. Thomas Pynchon may have written a great novel but the film is terrible.

Top Five

Top Five stars comedian Chris Rock in something Paramount didn't screen as part of its Awards wannabe shows. If you're young enough to rank Rock as one of the funniest persons ever, the general consensus is that this is funny.

mr. turner

Mr. Turner (ltd) is writer/ director Mike Leigh's biographical painting (a virtual landscape) of the latter part of the life of famed nineteenth century painter J. M. W. Turner -- Joseph Mallard William -- for the anal retentive reader and a name that is important to the tale of a man whose memory is beginning to crack just as he sees the technological future that will make his famed landscapes obsolete. Leigh tries to create a painting of his film, one requiring you to sit still and concentrate and slowly understand and get under its skin and ... yeah... zzzz Timothy Spall makes his stand for nominations but the overall piece is plodding and dull. Just like most of the nineteenth century.



Foxcatcher is a film that will re-define the word "creepy" for a new generation Formerly comic actor Steve Carrell goes strictly dramatic as an exceedingly wealthy middle aged man determined to restore the U.S. Men's Olympic Wrestling team to its former glory. He will teach the true meaning of Greco-Roman wrestling even if he has to get all touchy-feely to do it. His focus is on two brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), one who figures it out and one who, maybe, doesn't want to figure it out. Carrell wants Oscar. He'll get a nomination.

Big Hero Six

A boy and his older brother's robot take on the mysterious killer of latter human in Big Hero Six. It's an adequate animated film, though two deaths early on make us warn readers not to bring six year old kidlets to the film. . The cute moments outweigh the creepy but, ultimately, the film is a rental offering.

Penguins of Madagascar

We greatly enjoyed The Penguins of Madagascar, which brings new birds into the series and gets the whole thing back on track. The film is funny, it's story is great and, once you take the kidlets to the movies, you can put backgrounds from the film on to their machines. click here

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2 is really Horrible. If you haven't seen the first one, rent it. Without that background, only half the film is understandable. Three inept dudes (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) who got their boss (Kevin Spacey) thrown in jail last time out, decide to start their own biz. How that turns into kidnapping will be left for you fans to discover. Jennifer Aniston has very little to do other than to look good in lingerie, which she does very well.

the sheik

Now on VOD (that means your cable supplier or itunes user) is The Sheik, certainly the most entertaining documentary of this year. Documenting the rise fall, plummet and resurrection via Twitter of the WWF/ WWE once world champion "Iron Sheik" -- if you watched TV in the 80s you know him well -- those thinking to watch his life story with their kiddies beware, the f-bomb flies a lot. As we moved into end of awards season, this is the best of the (admittedly) few that we've screened. If you flat out trust us, buy it from Amazon

the mule

The Mule, an Australian film with accents so thick even a knife couldn't cut through 'em. In it, a naive man attempts to smuggle 20 condoms packed with heroin, from a supplier in Bangkok to a dealer back home. Said dealer isn't the smuggler's usual connection -- which pisses off said connection. In the middle is Australian Customs, which quarantines the mule, suspecting what is essentially the truth. The film doesn't deliver the suspense you would infer from our description.

Alexander No Good Horrible Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day based on the novel Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day will please any parent whose kids have read or grew up reading (and are still young enough to be interested in) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. That's not us but Cranky's movie review is here anyway.


Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey as an astronaut searching out a new planet on which to seed a new Earth. Or serve as sanctuary for refugees from the old, dying earth. The film offers both possibilities and then dives head first into explaining time shifts and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Until the final two minutes the film is a slow, steady and good sit. What we thought was supposed to be happening in those two minutes was not what we saw on screen.

The Judge

The Judge stars Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall as father and son who haven't spoken in twenty years, both members of the legal profession and one on trial for murder.

Oh, you can figure it out. Getting through the setup is a grind but the back end lets both actors set off their own kind of fireworks. Film buffs see this. Everyone else wait and rent.

Dumb and Dumber To

Harry and Lloyd are back in Dumb & Dumber To starring Jim Carrey as one of 'em and Jeff Daniels as the other. You know if it's to your taste from the first one. So not funny to yours Cranky that we passed. Apparently, the word of mouth is that this number two is, well, number two. That and short of jokes, as well.

WALLPAPERS: The Batmobile joins the few decent images from 2016's Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Click the links. Scroll down for other movie image links.

TRAILERS:   Loitering with Intent -- Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 -- Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb -- Inside Out -- Boyhood -- Unbroken -- Terminator Genisys -- Still Alice -- Exodus: Gods and Kings -- Inherent Vice -- The Theory of Everything -- Witching Bitching -- Spanish Lake -- The Signal -- Home -- Rage -- The Trip to Italy -- The Congress -- Goodbye World -- The Olivia Experiment -- Frontera -- If I Stay -- Step Up: All In -- School Dance -- The Kill Team -- The Sacrament -- Wish I Was Here -- Obvious Child -- Words and Pictures -- Alive Inside


Jurassic World -- Lap Dance -- A Merry Friggin' Christmas -- Space Station 76 -- Sin City A Dame To Kill For (red band) -- The Expendables 3 -- 50 Shades of Grey -- Frontera -- What If -- Into the Woods -- Catch Hell -- Guardians of the Galaxy -- Land Ho! -- 4 Minute Mile -- The Prince -- Hercules -- Cantinflas -- Night at the Museum (2014) -- The Longest Week -- Ouija -- War Story -- The BoxTrolls -- Hide Your Smiling Faces --Perfect Sisters -- A Night in Old Mexico -- Gold Frapp Tales of Us

Palo Alto -- Only Lovers Left Alive -- Stage Fright -- Moms Night Out -- Alien Abduction -- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- Lucy -- Ant Boy -- Fractured -- Jinn -- The Drop -- Liars All -- Bad Words -- 10 Rules for Sleeping Around --13 Sins -- 50 to 1 -- Cheap Thrill -- Odd Thomas -- Sparks -- Nurse 3D -- Best Man Down -- Best Night Ever -- Beyond Outrage -- Need for Speed -- Big Bad Wolves -- The Pretty One -- Cheap Thrills

Kids For Cash -- Open Grave -- Brightest Star -- 22 -- -- Walking With the Enemy -- The Protector 2 -- Hercules -- Mistaken for Strangers -- Leave the World Behind -- Earth to Echo -- Finding Vivian Maier -- Edge of Tomorrow -- Jupiter Ascending -- Goodbye World -- Ida -- Beneath the Harvest Sky -- Home -- Borgman -- Wolf Creek 2 -- Rob the Mob -- Persecuted -- Rowdy -- Poseidon Rex -- Walk of Shame -- We are the Best -- No God No Master -- Begin Again

Help yourself to lots of images from . . .

Guardians of the Galaxy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtes
Batman vs Superman
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
Beauty and the Beast
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: First Avenger
Cars 2
Conan the Barbarian
Dark Knight Rises

Despicable Me 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Lion King
Man of Steel (Superman)
Red Riding Hood
Rio 2

The Smurfs
Sherlock Holmes

Transformers 3
Winnie the Pooh
The Wolverine


Dallas Buyer's Club -- Last Vegas -- Rush -- Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs 2 -- Jackass: Bad Grandpa -- All is Lost -- Best Man Holiday -- Ender's Game -- Dark Knight Rises -- Less -- Ted -- Amazing Spider-Man -- Prometheus --- Madagascar 3 -- Men in Black 3 -- Magic Mike -- Snow White Huntsman --The Avengers -- Amazing Spider-Man -- The Artist -- Three Stooges -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- The Muppets -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close -- Alvin + Chipmunks Chipwrecked -- War Horse -- We Bought a Zoo -- Fast Five-- Bridesmaids (unrated) -- Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance -- Thor -- X-Men First Class -- Rio -- Rango -- Unstoppable -- For Colored Girls -- Life As We Know It -- Red -- The American -- The A-Team -- Avatar -- Dinner for Schmucks -- Machete -- Zombieland

Dallas Buyer's Club -- Last Vegas -- Rush -- Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs 2 -- Jackass: Bad Grandpa -- All is Lost -- Best Man Holiday -- Ender's Game -- Ted (unrated) -- Les Miserables -- Prometheus -- Madagascar 3 -- Men in Black 3 -- Magic Mike -- Titanic -- Jaws -- Star Wars IV-VI -- Twilight Saga: New Moon -- James Bond collection -- Snow White Huntsman -- The Avengers -- Amazing Spider-Man -- Singing in the Rain -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- Casablanca 70th anniv -- South Park season 15 -- The Descendants -- Adventures of Tin Tin -- My Week With Marilyn -- Melancholia -- The Muppets -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Alvin + Chipmunks Chipwrecked -- Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt 1 SE -- Super 8 -- X-Men First Class -- Big Lebowski -- Star Wars Saga I-VI -- Sucker Punch -- Lord of the Rings Trilogy -- Super -- Unstoppable -- Red -- The American -- The A-Team -- Legacy -- Legendary -- Machete -- Wall Street Money Never Sleeps -- Toy Story 3 -- Kick-Ass

----------------------------------------- DVDs FOR SALE -----------------------------------------

Flight -- Perks of Being A Wallflower -- Zero Dark Thirty -- Wreck-It Ralph -- End of Watch -- The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo -- Hop -- Footloose (2011) -- Hugo -- Tower Heist -- Jack and Jill -- Tower Heist -- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- The Three Musketeers (2011) --My Week With Marilyn -- Abduction -- Contraband -- The Iron Lady -- Angels & Demons -- Joyful Noise -- The Rum Diary -- The Bodyguard -- Moneyball --   Cowboys & Aliens --Insidious -- Red Riding Hood -- True Grit -- Academy Award winning films -- Avatar -- Batman Begins -- Blade Runner -- Clash of the Titans -- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon -- The Hangover -- Harry Potter 1-6 box set -- Harry Potter Half-Blood Prince -- He's Just Not That Into You -- How to Train Your Dragon -- Incredible HULK -- The Hurt Locker -- Ice Age 1 & 2 set -- Indiana Jones trilogy -- Indy/ Crystal Skull -- Inglorious Basterds -- Iron Man -- Iron Man 2 -- Ultimate James Bond v1 -- Ultimate James Bond DVD v2 -- Ultimate James Bond   v3 -- Ultimate James Bond DVD v4 -- Juno -- Jurassic Park box set -- Karate Kid -- Kick Ass -- Lawrence of Arabia -- The Last Airbender -- Night at Museum -- 9 -- Paranormal Activity -- Passion of the Christ -- Ratatouille-- Resident Evil Afterlife -- The Runaways -- Scott Pilgrim -- Sherlock Holmes -- Shrek 1-3 trilogy -- Sin City -- Simpsons Movie -- Slumdog Millionaire -- Spider-Man Trilogy -- Star Trek I - VI box set -- Star Trek 2010 (1 disk) -- Star Wars Trilogy (1-3) -- Star Wars Trilogy (4-6) -- Terminator Salvation -- The Town -- Toy Story 3 -- Twilight -- Twilight: New Moon -- Twilight Saga Eclipse -- Twilight Breaking Dawn pt. 1 -- -- Up -- Wall-E -- Wall Street Money Never Sleeps -- Who is Harry Nilsson? -- Woodstock 49th anniv -- The Wrestler -- X-Men Trilogy -- X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- X-Men Trilogy

---------------------------------- BLU-RAY DISCS FOR SALE ----------------------------------
The Artist -- Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol -- Spawn -- The Hunger Games -- Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows -- JAWS -- 21 Jump Street -- Singing in the Rain 60th Anniv) -- The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, Happy Feet Two, Footloose (2011), Tower Heist, Angels and Demons, The Rum Diary, Abduction, The Bodyguard, Moneyball, Captain America, Thor Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, The Adventures of Tintin, Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) -- Lord of the Rings Extended Edition -- The Matrix box set -- Men in Black -- Alice in Wonderland (2010) -- Avatar -- Batman Begins -- The Dark Knight -- Blade Runner -- The Bourne Trilogy set -- Braveheart -- Breakfast Club -- Chronicles of Narnia -- Clash of the Titans -- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon -- Fifth Element -- Forrest Gump -- Ghostbusters -- Ghost Rider-- Gladiator -- Goodfellas -- The Hangover -- The Hurt Locker -- Inglorious Basterds-- Hellboy -- Harry Potter years 1-6 -- HP: Order of Phoenix -- Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince -- Iron Man -- Iron Man 2 -- James Bond Ultimate ed v1 -- James Bond Ultimate ed v2 -- James Bond Ultimate ed v3 -- Julie & Julia -- Juno -- Kill Bill 1 & 2 -- Kung Fu Panda -- Live Free or Die Hard -- Michael Jackson This is It --   Ocean's 11 12 13 set -- Passion of the Christ --  Pirates: Dead Man's Chest -- Pirates: At World's End -- Rambo box set -- Sherlock Holmes -- Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows -- Shine a Light (Stones Live) -- Silence of the Lambs -- Sleeping Beauty -- Spider-Man Trilogy HD -- Star Trek films set -- Star Trek (2009) -- Star Wars box (1-3) -- Star Wars box (4-6) -- Superman Batman Apocalypse -- Terminator -- Terminator 2 -- Terminator Salvation -- Top Gun -- Total Recall -- Transformers SE -- Twilight -- Twilight: New Moon -- Twilight: Eclipse -- Twilight Breaking Dawn pt. 1 -- Up -- Wall-E -- Watchmen -- Wizard of Oz -- Wonder Woman -- Woodstock 40th anniv -- The Wrestler -- Wolverine -- X-Men Trilogy
buy Cranky gear!
Buy Cranky stuff
buy movie posters allposters
Buy Movie Posters
Books DVDs Kindle eBooks

dvd empire

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of and this site is Copyright © 1994 - 2014 Chuck Schwartz. All Rights Reserved.
Images used on the site are ©™® their individual owners and used with permission.
Academy Award™(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.