We don’t rate movies based just on their artistic value or blockbuster power. Review the ManCave Rating System to better understand our specially-tailored criteria. Click here.
Remember that you’re getting movie & TV advice from regular guys with regular lives. The fact that we’re not sitting in front of our computers and TVs all day also means that we don’t have time to review every movie ever made. While this list will continue to grow as fast as we can continue to watch and review movies & TV, we apologize in advance for those we did not get to yet. Rather than relying on it as an exhaustive encyclopedia of movies & TV, though, we hope that you will simply use this list as a source for good suggestions of what to watch or stay away from.
Reviews are organized in reverse chronological order by the date the review was created. However, you can also check out reviews for particular genres by using the “Categories” drop-down box at the bottom of the page. Also, you can use the “Search” box (also at the bottom of the page) to find a particular movie/show.
Plot Summary: A practical joke goes murderously awry for a trio of teen queens who are desperate to cover up their crime.
Director & Writer: Darren Stein
Stars: Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart, Julie Benz
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) Not bad for what it is: a tongue-in-cheek high school story about privileged teen white girls. While I couldn’t relate, it wasn’t boring. The editing and cinematography were key. Too much overacting, though, especially from McGowan. Love that Noxzema girl, though!
Plot Summary: Based on the failed June 28, 2005, mission “Operation Red Wings.” Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.
Director: Peter Berg
Writers: Peter Berg, Marcus Luttrell (book), Patrick Robinson (book)
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch
Serious Jest: (Must Own) When I was still on active duty in the Marine Corps, a situation involving a recon team, an isolated mountaintop, a targeted Afghani warlord, and a couple of innocent goatherders was posed to us as the perfect ethical dilemma. A room full of officers wrestled with the theoretical frying pan and fire…self-preservation (or, more importantly, the safety of their Marines) vs. morality. I knew then that I had to read Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. I was not disappointed. I couldn’t put that book down, and I recommended it to anyone who would listen.
I’ve said this before many times, and I’ll say it again: I love sports and movies, but my heroes aren’t athletes or actors. I was fortunate enough to serve this great Country alongside my heroes. When I heard that this movie was being made, I couldn’t wait to see what a team of talented filmmakers dedicated to bringing proper glory to the brave men of Operation Red Wings could do with this amazing story.
Again, I was not disappointed. As a pure action flick, this film is top-notch. But it’s more than that. It’s a glimpse at what some patriotic, determined men and women do for other Americans (and, more importantly, for each other), in far off lands, under uncomfortable conditions, for a mediocre paycheck and little recognition.
It took some effort for me not to get choked up during this film. Afterwards, my girlfriend marveled, “It’s amazing how much the human body can take.” I agreed, and added, “Even moreso, the human mind.” Make this the next film you watch, especially if you need to get motivated to do anything remotely tough.
What would you do in the situation involving the goat herders? I always say that if the first time you consider an ethical scenario is the moment that you’re facing it, you’re much more likely to compromise your moral code.
Plot Summary: Rambo parody in which Topper Harley leads a rescue team into Iraq to save Iraqi war prisoners and all of their previous rescue teams.
Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Lloyd Bridges, Valeria Golino
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) Boy, some movies really seemed better when I was younger. I was a teenager when I first saw this film. I mean, I can still appreciate a slapstick, stream-of-consciousness flick like the next guy, but I’m mature enough now to see that the jokes in this one were often lazy and mediocre. Then again, some of them may have been more relevant in the 90s, like when Saddam Hussein has a clapper installed in his bedroom. By the way, tell me Jerry Haleva isn’t a dead ringer (Why yes, that is a pun!) for Hussein!
On the other hand, this movie is also a reminder that Sheen really was a wizard-king who drank tiger blood. I found myself cheering for him to finish with both of his leading ladies in the end (Another pun! How fun!), at the same time…now that’s bi-WINNING! However, if I had to pick only one of the two to receive the Adonis DNA, I’d have to go with Brenda Bakke. Wow, was she hot!
Plot Summary: On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.
Stars: Russell Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu
Serious Jest: (Must Own) Imagine a legitimate old-school kung-fu flick with various interesting characters, masterfully executed stunts, beautiful landscapes, a knocking hip-hop soundtrack, skillful camera work on high-tech equipment, and proper special effects. The RZA did an amazing job putting this one together. Also, I can’t think of anyone who would have played Liu’s role better than her. I appreciate the homages to the classics, as well. I will be watching this one again, probably more than once.
Plot Summary: A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.
Director: David Anspaugh
Writer: Angelo Pizzo
Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) This film is timeless in the sense that it could very well take place today, rather than in the 1950s. I’m a sucker for sports movies, so I was entertained, even if the movie is often predictable and without a real unique aspect (although I realize that it was probably more unique in the 1980s).
Plot Summary: In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
Director & Writer: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) A cross between Total Recall and RoboCop, this film is entertaining and has enough of its own spin to make it a more-enjoyable alternative to the Total Recall remake. The acting is good and the special-effects are appropriate. The action scenes will hold your attention but are not mind-blowing by any means. I’d recommend this flick as a decent rental for a night in, but I wouldn’t call it a Must See.
Plot Summary: A love story between influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho (1960) in 1959.
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Writers: John J. McLaughlin (screenplay), Stephen Rebello (book)
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) A first-rate cast executes an interesting dramatization of the making of a first-rate movie, while I wonder if the director was nervous about living up to the hype of making a movie about the movie-making process of a first-rate director. So meta.
Plot Summary: Nicolas Winding Refn‘s vivid and unflinching biopic delves into the life of Britain’s most notorious prisoner, Charlie Bronson — who’s been jailed for nearly 35 years — and attempts to dissect the real man behind the deranged persona.
Cast: Tom Hardy, Matt King, James Lance, Kelly Adams, Amanda Burton, Katy Barker
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) A creative, artistic, and interesting way to tell Bronson’s story. The soundtrack and camera work very-appropriately compliment the tone and pace of the film.
I am not that interested in the movie’s subject matter, as Bronson appears to be a truly ridiculous manchild who perhaps could have found a better place in this world (and maybe even more happiness) as an MMA fighter or military man, were it not for a willfully uncontrolled mean streak (not a lack of discipline, though, as he seems to be able to focus and dedicate his energies to what he actually sets his sights upon). So, in that sense, the film leaves me annoyed at its protagonist…but never bored. This flick is like the first half of A Clockwork Orange, but without the rape.
Also, I am even more convinced that Hardy is one of the best actors of our time. His performance is nothing short of masterful. According to IMDB, Refn was not allowed to meet Bronson in person since Refn is not from Britain, but was allowed to have two phone calls with him. Hardy, however, met with Bronson several times, and the two became good friends (although another IMDB post says they only met on two occasions). Bronson was impressed with how Hardy managed to get just as muscular as he was and how well he could mimic his own personality and voice. Bronson has stated that he believes Hardy was the only person who could play him. “Ladies, and gentlemen in ladies’ attire,” if you want to see Hardy’s dick, here’s your chance. It seems that Bronson loves to fight naked and greased up. Fellas, you can admire that bad-ass moustache, which, also according to IMDB, was actually Bronson’s moustache that he shaved off so that it could be made into a loose-moustache for Hardy to wear.