The Movie Waffler Against the Grain: 10 Reviews We Got Wrong in 2014 (Mid-Year edition) | The Movie Waffler

Against the Grain: 10 Reviews We Got Wrong in 2014 (Mid-Year edition)

Here at TMW we're occasionally baffled by the praise heaped on movies we feel are undeserving, while other times we champion a movie only to see it trashed in the mainstream. Using the consensus of Rotten Tomatoes as a reference point, here are 10 examples from the first six months of 2014 where our evaluations differed wildly from the general consensus.

Click the pics for the full original review.

August: Osage County
RT says: "The sheer amount of acting going on in August: Osage County threatens to overwhelm, but when the actors involved are as talented as Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, it's difficult to complain."
TMW said: "August: Osage County is the latest slice of Cheddar Cheese Chekhov from the bizarrely acclaimed playwright Tracy Letts. Here he adapts his Pulitzer Prize winning play, resulting in a screenplay that's all play and no screen."

Dallas Buyers Club
RT says: "Dallas Buyers Club rests squarely on Matthew McConaughey's scrawny shoulders, and he carries the burden gracefully with what might be a career-best performance."
TMW said: "It seems American cinema is as uncomfortable dealing with homosexuals as it is Jews, Blacks and Native Americans, and so we get Dallas Buyer's Club, a "true" story about a subject that overwhelmingly affected the gay community yet has a straight lead character, and a "comically" homophobic one at that."

RT says: "Sweet, soulful, and smart, Spike Jonze's Her uses its just-barely-sci-fi scenario to impart wryly funny wisdom about the state of modern human relationships."
TMW said: "Perhaps Jonze truly has made a movie for those in love with their phones. His film is tailor made for "second screeners"; they can completely ignore the screen and follow its dull narrative while catching up on that important life they seem unable to put on hold for a film's running time."

RT says: "There's no arguing with its impressive production values, but Stalingrad should have devoted more attention to the screenplay and spent less on special effects-enhanced spectacle."
TMW said: "In a fight between these guys and the pretty boy surf dudes of Lone Survivor, my money's on this lot every day."

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
RT says: "Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards."
TMW said: "A few nights ago I watched a double bill of Filipino midget spy movies (don't ask) and looking back, despite their awfulness, they didn't make the basic storytelling errors you'll find here."

Brick Mansions
RT says: "Choppily edited and largely bereft of plot, Brick Mansions wastes a likable cast on a pointless remake of the far more entertaining District B13."
TMW said: "Brick Mansions is a whole lot of fun, even if it is for all the wrong reasons."

The Canyons
RT says: "Oppressively misanthropic and ineptly made, The Canyons serves as a sour footnote in Paul Schrader's career -- but it does feature some decent late-period work from Lindsay Lohan."
TMW said: "In critiquing modern visual art, Schrader may well have ironically advanced it, by creating the first film as GIF."

Venus in Fur
RT says: "Provocative, funny, and brilliantly acted, Venus in Fur finds Roman Polanski in top late-period form."
TMW said: "As filmed plays go, this is one of the laziest."

22 Jump Street
RT says: "Boasting even more of the bromantic chemistry between its stars -- and even more of the goofy, good-natured humor that made its predecessor so much fun -- 22 Jump Street is the rare sequel that improves upon the original."
TMW said: "'Maybe we weren't meant to do this again,' Hill remarks at one point, but rather than laugh along at such a knowing line, we can only agree wholeheartedly with the statement."

RT says: "Epic in technical scale but breathlessly intimate in narrative scope, Boyhood is a sprawling investigation of the human condition."
TMW said: "While it's intriguing to watch the time-lapse physical development of Coltrane, like thumbing through a photo album in a stranger's dusty attic, there's little else to keep us hooked."