Everyone waits until the year is over to compile their “Best of whatever year” movie lists. This has become a mundane practice. Time for a bit of a change, kids.

The Hunger Games shattered a number of box office records and the majority of fans and critics seem to adore it. So while it’s tough to ignore what this flick is accomplishing right now, can the content match up with the recent accolades?

Also, a few limited releases from IFC Films in Brake and 4:44 Last Day on Earth land on complete opposite ends of the spectrum in the latest rankings.

The new releases for the respective week will have a capsule review at the end of the column. A new poll comes out every Monday. Here’s how things are shaking up so far in 2012:

1. Chronicle
2. Red Tails
3. The Grey
4. Game Change
5. The Secret World of Arrietty
6. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
7. Friends with Kids
8. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
9. Big Miracle
10. 21 Jump Street
11. Brake
12. This Means War
13. Gone
14. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
15. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
16. The Hunger Games
17. John Carter
18. Underworld: Awakening
19. The Devil Inside
20. Project X
21. Silent House
22. The Woman in Black
23. The Vow
24. Man on a Ledge
25. Contraband
26. Act of Valor
27. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
28. Safe House
29. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
30. Kill List
31. Haywire
32. A Thousand Words
33. Joyful Noise
34. Wanderlust

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre.

The Hunger Games

Unless you read the books and can fill in the blanks yourself, this provocative subject matter ends up feeling vague and lifeless when it had the potential to be a gripping emotional piece of cinema. Jennifer Lawrence is a pleasure to watch – for multiple reasons (wink, wink) – but the technical mechanics hamper this saga.


(Read the full review)

4:44 Last Day on Earth

There’s flashes of subtle brilliance in this existential drama yet the competent acting and intriguing topic are dragged out way too long. The idea here would have resonated more as short film rather than a full-length feature.

Releasing this Friday: Wrath of the Titans and Mirror, Mirror



Speechless about the ranking of The Hunger Games

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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