1. In the Land of Blood and Honey - An admirable effort from writer/director, Angelina Jolie, but I can't help but feel that something was missing. The beginning is incredibly impactful, but the rest of the film left me feeling disappointed. Taking place during the Bosnian War, the film focuses on a love story between two people on opposite sides of the war. It's obviously a complicated relationship, to say the least, but it is also completely unrealistic. The chances that these two would meet not once, but twice during this violent conflict is practically impossible. As the film progresses, their motivation comes into question - Is she using him to guarantee her survival? Is he using her to maintain a part of his humanity? The ending is fucking brutal and intense, yet I still felt nothing for either of the characters. On a sidenote, I absolutely love the poster - how the blood splatter creates an outline of the two characters. It's really beautiful.
2. Contraband - First of all, why does Kate Beckinsale have blond hair? She's such a gorgeous woman that, of course, she still looks fantastic, but definitely a billion times better as a brunette. Second, I can't tell you how many times I have confused Giovanni Ribisi and Ben Foster. I love them both, but they are pretty much interchangeable in my eyes. Good thing Ribisi did this weird, indistinguishable accent so I didn't confuse their characters (anyone have any idea what that accent was supposed to be?). Third, this movie was fucking dumb. Period.
3. We Need to Talk About Kevin - Tilda Swinton is at her very best here, and that is saying a lot considering how amazing she has been in past performances. She was absolutely mesmerizing and I just can't fathom the fact that she was snubbed for an Oscar nomination (that she probably should have won). Ezra Miller was also fantastic (however, I met the kid before and I instantly received a very memorable, very eery and very creepy vibe from him - so I think it was just the product of perfect casting). Aside from the performances, the film was a bit underwhelming due in part to my extremely high expectations. I think my problem is with the narrative. Usually, I like when a story is non-linear, as this film was. The film is comprised of Eva's (Swinton) memories and the audience is supposed to put the pieces together. However, the story is pretty straightforward so there wasn't anything to put together. Still, the film is worth watching in all of it's unsettling glory.
4. Albert Nobbs - I didn't like this film at all. It's an interesting story, but that's about it. It hurts the film that the two characters that are pretending to be men are played by well known actresses (Glenn Close and Janet McTeer) because the "reveal" that they are actually women becomes pointless. I also think that the point of the film was missing. At least I didn't see any. I also didn't really understand why "Albert" was trying to force Helen (played by the lovely Mia Wasikowska) into a relationship that she clearly wasn't interested in. She was forcing her own unhappiness onto someone else, but we were still supposed to root for them? I think?