Film Reviews for Sophisticated Cinephiles

A movie review podcast hosted by Hollywood critics, Les Roberts and Ann Elder. Each episode contains an in depth analysis of a chosen film. Les and Ann's Hollywood experience gives them the insight to discuss plot, script, casting, and whatever else you might want to know!

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"A Bigger Splash"

While Les prefered the film for it’s interesting casting choices, Ann disagreed and concluded it wasn’t such a big splash after all.
Listen to "A Bigger Splash"

"Now You See Me 2"

Ann and Les agreed that the all-star cast and epic stunt sequences made for a delightful, feel-good show.
Listen to "Now You See Me 2"

"Indignation"

Ann and Les agreed this film masterfully captured the 50’s era tribulations, featuring outstanding actors who perfectly depicted the stirring emotions of this time period.
Listen to "Indignation"

"Blade Runner 2049"

Despite the epic sci-fi adventure and stunning visual effects, Ann and Les felt the emotionless characters held back the picture from being a true masterpiece...
Listen to "Blade Runner 2049"

"Battle of the Sexes"

Ann and Les had their own battle of the sexes during this review; Les proclaimed Emma Stone’s brilliant performance while Ann thought the story lacked class.
Listen to "Battle of the Sexes"

"Home Again"

The only thing Ann and Les had in common when reviewing this rom-com, was their adoration for Reese Witherspoon.
Listen to "Home Again"

"American Made"

Ann’s appreciation for Tom Cruise as an actor outshone Les’ opposition of the flaws found in the movie’s storytelling
Listen to "American Made"

"Logan"

Ann’s distaste for violence was a strong argument against Les’ admiration for this continuation of the X-Men action saga
Listen to "Logan"

"Sully"

Ann and Les agreed that this was ​an extraordinary story but not a very extraordinary or exciting film to watch.
Listen to "Sully"

"It"

While Ann loved the family-friendly approach of this horror flick, Les thought the clichés of haunted houses dragged on for too long.
Listen to "It"

"42"

Ann & Les were moved by the beautiful tribute to Jackie Robinson's life, struggles, and triumphs in the game of baseball and beyond.
Listen to "42"

The Saphires

Ann and Les adore these strong, beautiful women and the inspiring story they tell.
Listen to The Saphires

"The Accountant"

Our reviewers were thrilled with the performance by Ben Affleck, who vastly improved since his role in Batman.
Listen to "The Accountant"

"The Place Beyond the Pines"

Ann and Les couldn't find anything to pine about in this film!
Listen to "The Place Beyond the Pines"

"Mr. Holmes"

Ann and Les adore this film that shows the personality of Sherlock, an aspect sometimes forgotten over the years.
Listen to "Mr. Holmes"

"Bernie"

Ann and Les adored this dark comedy which features gritty, real citizens from Bernie's hometown.
Listen to "Bernie"

"Albert Nobbs"

Ann and Les were not impressed by the eerie, emotionless performance of the lead.
Listen to "Albert Nobbs"

"Horrible Bosses"

The lead actors had great timing, great chemistry and really worked well together. However, their humor was too vulgar for Ann's tastes which ruined the film for her.
Listen to "Horrible Bosses"

"No Strings Attached"

While Ann did not find this rom-com to be either romantic or comedic, Les disagreed with her on both accounts.
Listen to "No Strings Attached"

"Doctor Strange"

While Ann and Les were blown away by the amazing special effects in this film, the confusing plot left something to be desired for Les.
Listen to "Doctor Strange"

"Allied"

Les & Ann's high expectations for this brilliant team of director and performers were seriously disappointed.
Listen to "Allied"

"The Founder"

Ann and Les thought this movie was a lot of fun and gave a lot of insight into the fast food industry in America and the man behind McDonald's.
Listen to "The Founder"

"Beauty and the Beast"

Ann and Les loved the direction, score, and lead performers in the rendition of the old fairy tale even though it wasn't quite as brilliant as they had hoped.
Listen to "Beauty and the Beast"

"Patriots Day"

Les thought that Mark Wahlberg was absolutely terrific in this film, and Ann thought that they did a phenomenal job with such a tough story to tell.
Listen to "Patriots Day"

"Get Out"

Ann & Les were fascinated with the way this movie combined horror and comedy.
Listen to "Get Out"

"Gifted"

Ann & Les adore this film that will tug at your heartstrings.
Listen to "Gifted"

"Moonlight"

Les thought this film was overhyped, but Ann found valuable lessons in the story.
Listen to "Moonlight"

"Trainwreck"

Ann and Les thought this raunchy comedy showed intelligence and honesty. They loved the supporting role of LeBron James (played by himself).
Listen to "Trainwreck"

"Public Enemies"

Ann did not like the way Johnny Depp played his role, and both she and Les had much higher expectations for this film.
Listen to "Public Enemies"

"The Men Who Stare at Goats"

This movie is goofy and quirky, but the eccentricity begins to grate on the nerves after a bit.
Listen to "The Men Who Stare at Goats"

"Blue Jasmine"

Cate Blanchett's performance makes this film unmissable - another Woody Allen success!
Listen to "Blue Jasmine"

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Ann and Les were both absolutely riveted with this original and unconventional mystery film.
Listen to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

"Being Flynn"

Robert De Niro lives up to expectations in his performance, but the overall film was still lacking.
Listen to "Being Flynn"

"Mamma Mia!"

Although not the best musical they've ever seen, Ann & Les agree that "Mamma Mia!" was both fun and catchy.
Listen to "Mamma Mia!"

"Hanna"

Les found this movie to be "terrifically suspenseful," and Ann thought it was very creative and original, with "brilliant moments of small discoveries."
Listen to "Hanna"

"Hugo"

While the 3D and visual execution of this film blew Ann & Les away, the actors and finished storyline were a little underwhelming.
Listen to "Hugo"

"Birdman"

Ann & Les loved the camera work, direction and mood of this film. It's artistic and brilliant!
Listen to "Birdman"

"What to Expect When You're Expecting"

Ann and Les agreed that this was a sweet, entertaining movie that handled pregnancy tastefully, although it was not a great movie.
Listen to "What to Expect When You're Expecting"

"Prometheus"

Ann and Les detested this film; it seemed like a cheap reinvention of Alien that went horribly wrong.
Listen to "Prometheus"

"Moonrise Kingdom"

Les loved the whimsy and romance of this film, but Ann thought it was a bit of a stretch the whole way through.
Listen to "Moonrise Kingdom"

"Adam"

Ann says that this film is honest, but almost too much so. She and Les like the offbeat and upbeat tone at points, but it's a little bit too much overall.
Listen to "Adam"

"Taking Woodstock"

Ann & Les hated this "stale" film that overused '70s speak like "psychedelic" and "groovy" until it became cliché.​
Listen to "Taking Woodstock"

"Argo"

Ann says the movie succeeds as good "popcorn entertainment," but it is not very true to the real life happenings and is not an altogether exceptional film.
Listen to "Argo"

"Soul Surfer"

Ann and Les think this film is great for young girls, but it's a little heavy-handed with the morals and will likely seem cheesy for adults.
Listen to "Soul Surfer"

"Tangled"

While this is definitely a kids' movie, the whole family will have fun watching it together - boys and girls!
Listen to "Tangled"

"Julie and Julia"

The casting and storyline make this film "cute, smart, and gloriously entertaining..."
Listen to "Julie and Julia"

"The Informant!"

Ann & Les love seeing Matt Damon in an atypical role, which they call it "one of his best performances."
Listen to "The Informant!"

"Green Lantern"

Ann & Les can't figure out how they spent $150M making this film; the special effects look cheap, as does the rest of the film.
Listen to "Green Lantern"

"Warrior"

This film does something Ann hasn't seen in years: "it has two protagonists, but you're rooting for both."
Listen to "Warrior"

"Jackie"

Ann and Les were thoroughly disappointed by this depiction of an American icon; they thought the film made this strong woman appear weak and unadmirable.
Listen to "Jackie"

"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Although raunchy, Ann and Les found this movie to be terribly funny and entertaining, and they thought Leonardo DiCaprio was just wonderful as the lead.
Listen to "The Wolf of Wall Street"

"Kill the Irishman"

While Les enjoyed seeing the life of a local legend up on screen, Ann said that even the Cleveland setting wasn't enough to save this cinematic disaster.
Listen to "Kill the Irishman"

"The American"

Les thinks this is a brilliant psychological thriller, but to Ann it is a cheap Action film.
Listen to "The American"

"Shrek Forever After"

Ann loved how the writers threw in lots of grown-up jokes, and Les thoroughly enjoyed himself watching the final Shrek movie.
Listen to "Shrek Forever After"

"Brooklyn"

Ann and Les thought this was a beautifully made movie full of charm and wonderful acting.
Listen to "Brooklyn"

"Dinner for Schmucks"

Ann thought that the characters in this movie were unrealistic and unfunny. Les did find some scenes to be funny, although the actual dinner party was not one of them.
Listen to "Dinner for Schmucks"

"Incendies"

Ann and Les thought this was a classic piece of filmmaking, and they found it both touching and intellectually entertaining.
Listen to "Incendies"

"Extract"

The performances of Bateman and Kunis were excellent, but they can't fully make up for the director's flaws.​​
Listen to "Extract"

"In the Loop"

Les and Ann adore the sophisticated British humor of this political film.
Listen to "In the Loop"

"Hidden Figures"

The courage of three real American women, reflected by brilliant performances in this film, moved Ann and Les to tears several times.
Listen to "Hidden Figures"

"La La Land"

Ann and Les absolutely loved this charming and romantic original musical, which Les thought was the most entertaining movie he's seen in years.
Listen to "La La Land"

"Lion"

Although Ann and Les thought that the movie went downhill during the second half, they loved the scenes with the young boy in the first half.
Listen to "Lion"

The Annual Oscars Show: Predictions for the 89th Academy Awards with Ann and Les

Our experienced Hollywood critics discuss the Oscars nominations this year. For each of the 5 main categories, they choose who SHOULD win, and who WILL win.
Listen to The Annual Oscars Show: Predictions for the 89th Academy Awards with Ann and Les

"Miss Sloane"

Ann and Les were very excited by this political thriller and thought that Jessica Chastain "played this role to perfection."
Listen to "Miss Sloane"

"The Artist"

Ann and Les love this "masterpiece" which reminds them of classic Hollywood films such as "Singing in the Rain" and "Sunset Boulevard."
Listen to "The Artist"

"Valentine's Day"

Despite its great ensemble cast, Ann and Les did not find this romantic comedy to be either romantic or comedic.
Listen to "Valentine's Day"

"Manchester by the Sea"

Although they liked the acting, Ann and Les found this movie to be extremely depressing without any uplifting moment.
Listen to "Manchester by the Sea"

"The Time Traveler's Wife"

Ann thought this movie was confusing and messy, and Les thought it did not live up to the "magic" of the book.
Listen to "The Time Traveler's Wife"

"The Blind Side"

For Ann and Les, The Blind Side was a little too obvious with its Christian message, telling them what to think instead of ​showing ​them.​
Listen to "The Blind Side"

"Leap Year"

Ann loves this film because it reminds her of the innocent romantic comedies of the 1940's.
Listen to "Leap Year"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

Les and Ann absolutely adored this heart-wrenching story with a beautiful ending.
Listen to "Slumdog Millionaire"

"Nocturnal Animals"

Ann and Les agree about most of the casting, but Les enjoyed the direction and storyline a little more than Ann did.
Listen to "Nocturnal Animals"

"Arrival"

Ann and Les agree that this movie was over-hyped, confusing, pretentious, and dull.
Listen to "Arrival"

"(500) Days of Summer"

While "not a love story," Ann and Les loved the very real, detailed nature of this relationship, which brought them many laughs.
Listen to "(500) Days of Summer"

"Water for Elephants"

The casting is the real "elephant in the room" according to our reviewers!
Listen to "Water for Elephants"

"Maggie's Plan"

Ann and Les say that this film is like "a bad Woody Allen movie."
Listen to "Maggie's Plan"

"The Light Between Oceans"

Ann was awed by the questions brought up in this film, but Les was a little uncomfortable with its thought-provoking nature.
Listen to "The Light Between Oceans"

"Letters to Juliet"

Ann and Les had mixed feelings about the casting, but they thought the plot had a cute premise over all.
Listen to "Letters to Juliet"

"Blue Valentine"

Ann loves the authenticity of the main characters, which Les calls "absolutely heartbreaking."
Listen to "Blue Valentine"

"The Sitter"

Les said that "this might be the worst film of the 21st century."
Listen to "The Sitter"

"The Big Short"

Ann and Les thought the financial aspects of this film were incredibly confusing, but the emotional impact of the end redeems it in part.
Listen to "The Big Short"

"Philomena"

Ann and Les adore the plot and casting of this film!
Listen to "Philomena"

"A Christmas Tale"

Ann and Les enjoyed many aspects of the film, but it was a little too long for their tastes.
Listen to "A Christmas Tale"

"Four Christmases"

Ann and Les agree that this was not a feel-good, funny holiday movie, although the relationship between the lead roles was a redeeming factor for Les.
Listen to "Four Christmases"

"Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day"

Ann & Les thought this film tried hard, but fell flat. Listen to their rebukes about casting, script and plot.
Listen to "Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day"

"The Tree of Life"

Ann and Les think director, Terrence Malick, tries far too hard to be artistic at the expense of a plot.
Listen to "The Tree of Life"

"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"

Ann thought that the world of Narnia was just as magical as ever, but Les found this sequel to be darker and less charming than the first Narnia film.
Listen to "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"

"Monte Carlo"

Les and Ann think this is a bright, clean, and giggly movie perfect for teen girls.
Listen to "Monte Carlo"

"Side Effects"

Ann thought this film did a brilliant job of integrating crime, thriller, comedy and exposé into one script.
Listen to "Side Effects"

"The Boss"

Les thinks that "Melissa McCarthy laughs are few and far between," and Ann laments that this is a disaster of a movie.
Listen to "The Boss"

"Hell or High Water"

Ann doesn't love Westerns, but she thinks this film reaches beyond the genre to please anyone. Les loves this as much as all Westerns!
Listen to "Hell or High Water"

"The Monuments Men"

Ann and Les thought George Clooney wavered between directing a comedy and drama. The result was a mess.
Listen to "The Monuments Men"

"Quartet"

Ann and Les loved Dustin Hoffman's first film as a director.
Listen to "Quartet"

"Oz: The Great and Powerful"

Ann and Les thought the acting and story of this "Wizard of Oz" prequel were pretty weak. However, they loved the beautiful CGI and camera work!
Listen to "Oz: The Great and Powerful"

"The Theory of Everything"

Ann and Les agree that what makes this film so wonderful is the performance of the two stars.
Listen to "The Theory of Everything"

"The Legend of Tarzan"

Ann and Les agree that "even the apes are dull" in the latest Tarzan installment.
Listen to "The Legend of Tarzan"

"The Hurt Locker"

Ann loved this film because it "sets aside politics and shows how soldiers will take care of one another."​
Listen to "The Hurt Locker"

"Lincoln"

Ann and Les thought the film was literate, human, and well-acted.
Listen to "Lincoln"

"12 Years a Slave"

Ann and Les thought the history of this film deserves a retelling, but the acting and direction in this film adaptation did not do it justice.​
Listen to "12 Years a Slave"

"Saving Mr. Banks" Earns a Spoonful of Sugar

Ann and Les give this one a rave review for the brilliant performance by Emma Thompson and for the charming story and script
Listen to "Saving Mr. Banks" Earns a Spoonful of Sugar

"Eye in the Sky"

Ann and Les thought this movie was thoughtful and thought-provoking.
Listen to "Eye in the Sky"

"Insidious"

Ann thought this film was far too tame, but Les jumped off the edge of his seat a few times.
Listen to "Insidious"

"Genius"

Ann and Les thought this premise had potential, but despised the focus and execution of the film.
Listen to "Genius"

"Inglourious Basterds"

Ann and Les love this atypical Tarantino film, which takes a unique approach to World War II.
Listen to "Inglourious Basterds"

"World War Z"

This "relatively bloodless" zombie film has the right amount of humor, horror and humanity for our reviewers
Listen to "World War Z"

"Identity Thief"

While Les found parts of this film entertaining, he thought it went a little over the top with its attempts at humor.​
Listen to "Identity Thief"

"Wild" is Mild

Ann & Les believe that Reese Witherspoon took on a role meant for someone tougher; they say she ruined an already dull script.
Listen to "Wild" is Mild

"Avatar" is Out of this World

Ann and Les loved the spectacular visuals which enhanced an already incredible story!
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"Self/Less" is Hopeless

Les was disappointed but thought this film was OK, so he says it's worth a viewing because of the interesting storyline.
Listen to "Self/Less" is Hopeless

"American Hustle" Stole the Show

Ann and Les adored the amazing, big name performances; the plot and script were also hilariously entertaining.
Listen to "American Hustle" Stole the Show

Not as Clear as "Knight and Day"

Les enjoyed the comic interludes in this movie and both he and Ann loved the way the actors worked together, but Ann thought the premise was a bit too ridiculous.
Listen to Not as Clear as "Knight and Day"

Push Play on "Silver Linings Playbook"

Ann and Les say that this film is a must-see; they love the writing, the direction and the brilliant performances of the cast!
Listen to Push Play on "Silver Linings Playbook"

"A Hologram for the King" is a Royal Flop

Ann still gives it a yellow despite a weak performance by Tom Hanks, but Les thought there were too many storylines for any merit.​
Listen to "A Hologram for the King" is a Royal Flop

Don't Be Wary of "The Ides of March"

Les and Ann loved the performances and casting, but they thought the script was lacking.
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"Million Dollar Arm" Hits a Triple

Ann says this film doesn't hit a home run, but she and Les both liked it enough to give it green lights.
Listen to "Million Dollar Arm" Hits a Triple

A Salute to "Free State of Jones"

Ann and Les loved the very patriotic script, which explores an untold part of our nation's history.
Listen to A Salute to "Free State of Jones"

"Megamind" is Super Dull

Ann and Les gave this a yellow light for kids, but a red light for adults. They thought the voice acting was dull as was the general storyline.
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The Stark "Iron Man 3"

Ann and Les thought this film was a vast improvement on the second of the trilogy, but they still thought it was brash and bombastic.
Listen to The Stark "Iron Man 3"

We "Crazy, Stupid, Love" This Movie

Ann and Les loved this RomCom which follows the romances of three different generations (even though they thought the ending got a little too cheesy).
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We're Not Lion about "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"

Ann and Les adored the humor and colorful animation that reminded them of "Fantasia."
Listen to We're Not Lion about "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"

Remembering 9/11 - "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Ann and Les liked the idea of paying tribute to the victims and families of 9/11, but they thought this film fell short of that goal.
Listen to Remembering 9/11 - "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

"Inception" is a Dream Come True

Ann and Les loved the story and direction of Christopher Nolan. They thought the performances were remarkable and were thoroughly entertained.
Listen to "Inception" is a Dream Come True

"Labor Day" is Laborious

Ann and Les despised the premise and execution of this film.
Listen to "Labor Day" is Laborious

"Draft Day" Earns a First Round Pick

Ann and Les loved this fictional but believable story about the Cleveland Browns.
Listen to "Draft Day" Earns a First Round Pick

The Great "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

Ann and Les absolutely loved this final, suspenseful episode in Harry's fight to preserve good.
Listen to The Great "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

The Humor in "Due Date" is Long Overdue

Les and Ann thought that this comedy was cheap, raunchy and obvious.
Listen to The Humor in "Due Date" is Long Overdue

"The Bourne Legacy:" The Legend Continues

Ann and Les loved Jeremy Renner as the new lead, but Les didn't think there was a strong enough plot to give it a green light.
Listen to "The Bourne Legacy:" The Legend Continues

"Anna Karenina:" Beautiful but Boring

Ann and Les thought that this was absolutely gorgeous cinematically, but it was not enough to save the dull story by Leo Tolstoy.
Listen to "Anna Karenina:" Beautiful but Boring

"Man of Steel" EsCapes Us

Ann and Les did not understand this prequel to the classic super hero story.
Listen to "Man of Steel" EsCapes Us

"The Revenant:" UnBearable or Masterpiece?

Les adored everything about this film, but Ann despised its length and brutality.
Listen to "The Revenant:" UnBearable or Masterpiece?

"The Homesman" Should Stay Home

Ann and Les couldn't stand the boring script and weird cameos, but they appreciated the performances by the two leads.
Listen to "The Homesman" Should Stay Home

"Mirror Mirror" Doesn't Reflect Much

​Ann and Les didn't hate this movie, but they thought it tried too hard to be hip...
Listen to "Mirror Mirror" Doesn't Reflect Much

The Adorable "Hello, My Name is Doris"

Ann adored this film, while Les enjoyed it with a few reservations.
Listen to The Adorable "Hello, My Name is Doris"

This Film Steals the "Spotlight"

Ann and Les loved many aspects of this 2015 film that won Best Screenplay at the Oscars.
Listen to This Film Steals the "Spotlight"

"Toy Story 3" Deserves the Buzz

​​Les and Ann thought the layers of humor satisfied both adults and children.
Listen to "Toy Story 3" Deserves the Buzz

"The Hunger Games" Left Us Starved

Les couldn't get enough of "The Hunger Games," but Ann says she felt "starved for entertainment."
Listen to "The Hunger Games" Left Us Starved

Top Hats Off to "Now You See Me"

Ann and Les love the good old fashioned illusion and heist elements of this film.
Listen to Top Hats Off to "Now You See Me"

The Aptly Titled "Les Miserables"

Contrary to common opinion, Ann & Les did not like this movie.
Listen to The Aptly Titled "Les Miserables"

The Joy of "Inside Out"

Our reviewers adored this children's film by Disney-Pixar!
Listen to The Joy of "Inside Out"

"Alice in Wonderland" or Alice in Slumberland?

This remake put Ann and Les to sleep!
Listen to "Alice in Wonderland" or Alice in Slumberland?

"The Campaign" Won Our Votes

​Ann and Les cast votes in favor of this hilarious cast!​
Listen to "The Campaign" Won Our Votes

Not Enough "Room"

Les thought this film was claustrophobic, but Ann couldn't get enough of "Room."
Listen to Not Enough "Room"

Not Jazzed About "The Great Gatsby"

Ann and Les criticize the film for destroying the beautiful writing and jazz music of the 1920's.
Listen to Not Jazzed About "The Great Gatsby"

"Jurassic World"

In this review, Ann and Les discuss the brilliant job of Trevorrow, a student of Spielberg, and his contribution to the Jurassic dynasty.
Listen to "Jurassic World"

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