Sidewalls (Medianeras) 5 out of 5: This delightful and raw Argentine foreign film has the essentials of a believable romantic-comedy drama. It is based in a chic urban setting of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and races through the story of star-crossed lovers who are destined to meet, but not until the end of the film. The two protagonists, Martin and Mariana, wonderfully represent the emotionally damaged masses out there that continue to seek love while also maneuvering through their everyday lives. Sidewalls is both intellectually stimulating and artfully romantic, while also allowing the audience to experience some of the most beautiful elements of Argentine culture; language, architecture, and a South American romanticism that is utterly infectious.
The Black Donnellys 4.2 out of 5: Although this TV series was only a one season wonder, The Black Donnellys stands supreme in the world of TV series drama. With beautifully momentous storytelling that delves into the underground world of the Irish mafia in New York City, the audience is taken on a journey of crime with four brothers who are inevitably caught up in its allure and danger. Moral boundaries are crossed as family loyalty greys the paradoxical line separating right and wrong, depicting very different purposes and instigators with regards to the characters of the four brothers. The proverbial descent into the archetype of good men destined to fall, The Black Donnellys hits many cinematic positives even though the show only lasted for one season.
End of Watch 4.5 out of 5: One of the most skillfully filmed cop movies of the recent generation, Jake Gyllenhaal ventures deep into his acting core to bring out his best. Filmed in a documentary style that brings a different element to the emotions evoked by its way of storytelling, audiences are guaranteed a stimulating cop drama. The storyline follows the daily hustle of two young Los Angeles police officers who unwittingly start a battle with a crime syndicate that is much more powerful than they may be able to handle. There have been many attempts at a cop film such as this, but all have fallen short in comparison to this instant classic that reminds the audience that police officers are just as much individuals as they are heroes.
Bronson 4.7 out of 5: A thrilling biopic of the most violent inmate in British history, Michael Peterson, and his life of solitary confinement that leads him to embrace his alter ego of Charles Bronson. The quintessential brilliance of this film is the depiction of Charles Bronson by rising actor Tom Hardy. From quick switches in and out between the disturbed man attempting to understand the purpose of his life to the alter ego, which eventually takes over, the versatility of Tom Hardy is astounding. The violence is gut wrenching but altogether appropriate for the sake of pushing the story, as the audience will not only get the chance to see some excellence in filming but also master class performances. Performances that include a hilarious and heartbreaking soliloquy on stage asides by Tom Hardy as he portrays the troubled mind of one of the most complicated and destructive men in British history.
The Intouchables 5 out of 5: This film is a French masterpiece. An enthralling foreign film that headlines the idea that friendship can demolish the boundaries of social class and race, doing so in a very humanistic fashion. The Intouchables is about a French aristocrat who becomes a quadriplegic after a horrendous paragliding accident, and his relationship with his volatile and rambunctious African immigrant caretaker from the projects. If there were any movie that will undoubtedly restore your faith in humanity, this would be it. The portrayal of friendship encapsulates the importance of vulnerability in creating trust and truth between individuals, providing some of the most wonderfully appropriate tear-jerker scenes that connect the audience not only to the film, but to the best attributes of human emotion within themselves.