Meet the Movie Reviewers

Get to know the reviewers! Learn about what we love to watch, then discover something new on our Shows 'n Tunes blog with movie, TV show, and music reviews. Coming soon: personalized movie/TV show recommendations!

billBill is a circulation page who enjoys older movies from the late 1930s through the mid-1960s, particularlu westerns, film noir, sci-fi, adventure, fantasy, historical films, films based on classical literature, biographical films, Disney films, comedy films, musicals and holidays films. When selecting a film, he prefers to review films that are not very well known but have much to offer to an audience such as Night of the Hunter, The Bad Seed, and Suddenly. Most of the films he chooses to review are movies he has seen many times and expects to watch again. Some of his favorite film stars from this era are Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Barbara Stanwyck, Katherine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Glenn Ford, Clint Eastwood, and Bob Hope. He also very much enjoys Hitchcock films and the James Bond films. Bill has reviewed newer films and will continue to do so.

In addition to movies, Bill enjoys television shows from the “Golden Era,” the 1950s and 60s. Some of his favorites from this era are Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Rawhide, Bonanza, Disneyland, Perry Mason, Dragnet, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, Thriller, Star Trek, and Leave it to Beaver. From later eras he has enjoyed Columbo, The Rockford Files, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Murder She Wrote, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Community. He also enjoys television shows from the BBC such as Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Keeping Up Appearances, The Vicar of Dibley, All Creatures Great & Small, Cadfael, Poirot, and Midsomer Murders.

My Latest Reviews

  • Based on Lee Child’s book One Shot, Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) travels across the USA and always runs into some very dangerous people who have killed innocent people and are planning to do more until Reacher stops them. In the movie as well as the book, James Barr is accused of killing five random people […]

  • This 2013 retelling of the origin of Superman is superb. Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill as Superman and Clark Kent, and he is outstanding. Amy Adams gives a fine performance as Lois Lane. If you are looking for action, there is plenty of it. And the special effects should get at least an Oscar […]

debbieDebbie says... My first movie passion was musicals. My first crush was Gene Kelly, so any movie with him dancing is a must. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies are the tops for their intricate, effortless dancing, the witty dialogue, screwball plots, and Ginger’s beautiful gowns. One of my favorite musicals is the delightful Love Me Tonight with Maurice Chavalier and Jeanette MacDonald. There probably isn’t a musical actor I am not familiar with and couldn’t recommend movies for.1930s and early forties screwball comedies are the best. Two of my all time favorites are The Awful Truth with Irene Dunne and The More the Merrier with Jean Arthur. I like the movies with some of the now lesser known actresses. I know these movies backwards and forwards.I actually love movies from the 1930s from gangsters, to Busby Berkley, to the Marx Brothers.A richly photographed movie with good character development, clever dialogue, and interesting use of music and visuals can be watched again and again with something new to discover each time. Movies that fit the bill for me: Ride the High Country, L.A. Confidential, Vertigo, and Pleasantville.

My Latest Reviews

  • A Baltimore squad room in the 1990s was the setting for this gritty urban crime drama. City and police politics and the seen-better-days streets and docks of the city make an involving backdrop for the ongoing cases and personal lives of the homicide detectives. Passing through the squad room over the seven seasons of Homicide: […]

  • L.A. Confidential captures the feel of a classic film noir without being just a copy. The feeling for 1950s Southern California drips from the screen, the music perfectly captures the mood of each scene, and the acting is terrific. Three L.A. cops become enemies when they are involved in a scandal later dubbed “Bloody Christmas.” […]

deniseDenise says... Like most people, I like to watch all types of movies, depending on my mood at the time. However, when thinking about some of my favorite movies, they tend to be mostly dramas or thrillers. I especially enjoy inspirational, thought-provoking films based on real people or events, or movies with interesting characters and engaging, believable story lines. I also love when movies have unexpected plot twists (the element of surprise). Of course, a good comedy is always enjoyable.Who can’t use a good laugh sometimes?

Movies I’ve Especially Enjoyed: Crash, The Sixth Sense, Primal Fear, American History X, The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, The Shawshank Redemption, My Cousin Vinny, Moonstruck, Something's Gotta Give  

Movies Based on Truth That I Like: Argo, Freedom Writers, The Blind Side, A Beautiful Mind, Life is Beautiful, Pursuit of Happyness, Coach Carter

My Latest Reviews

  • One actor whose films I’m always anxious to watch is Edward Norton. He is so gifted and versatile. The characters he plays are often intense and/or troubled, and always captivating and true-to-life. My favorite films are American History X (1998) and Primal Fear (1996), although I’ve also enjoyed many others. Here’s a selection of some […]

  • Lie to Me. Seasons 1 & 2 (2009-2010) This is a really interesting show about a guy who is a “deception specialist.” That is, he reads people’s facial expressions and body language to determine if they’re lying or telling the truth. He is hired by local and federal law enforcement agencies to help solve a […]

jennieferaJennifer enjoys lighthearted, feel-good tales. She watches romantic comedies, action-adventure films, sports dramas, and the occasional suspense movie (as long as it’s not too scary). Favorites include Argo, The American President, The Blind Side, Father of the Bride, Fever Pitch, The Proposal, Remember the Titans, and Love, Actually. She gets invested in the lives of characters and appreciates snappy dialogue, so favorite TV shows include Bones, Chuck, Friends, and Sports Night. She often revisits the engaging characters and fantastical storyline of the eight Harry Potter films. Like Jez, Jennifer is a fan of animated Disney films, especially The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, and Tangled (and the non-Disney Anastasia).

My Latest Reviews

  • Before The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin created Sports Night. My only complaint for the snappy series is that it only lasted two seasons…but what an entertaining 45 episodes. Sports Night focuses on a group that produces a lives sports newscast, much like ESPN’s SportsCenter. The snappy, rapid-fire dialogue, the witty banter, and the entertaining cast […]

  • In this female buddy comedy, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy deliver laugh-out-loud performances. In The Heat, a drug case forces a straight-laced FBI agent to pair up with a rough-around-the-edges Boston cop. The two hours will fly by as you enjoy the complementary antics of two comedic stars (plus the great supporting cast).

Jez_profile_picture2013Jez is a Reader’s Advisory Assistant and enjoys fantasy, science fiction, musicals, comedies, and dramas. She enjoys action movies, especially superhero films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, The Avengers). With any genre, Jez enjoys watching a film that makes her think and keeps her on her toes (Inception, Now You See Me) or films that rework common film tropes or tell an old story in a new way (Snow White and the Huntsman). She also likes to watch light, romantic comedies for a few good laughs. Similarly, she loves watching Disney movies, with The Princess and the Frog and Lilo & Stitch being at the top of the list of her favorites, along with The King’s Speech, Singin’ in the Rain, and The Holiday.

My Latest Reviews

  • Based on the book series of the same name by C.S. Forester, this period drama miniseries follows young naval officer Horatio Hornblower (played by Ioan Gruffudd) from midshipman to third lieutenant. Unlike most men in his service, Hornblower takes big risks and uses his wits to stop the enemy at every turn. Set during the […]

  • When a team of illusionists, calling themselves The Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco), begin pulling off a series of elaborate heists, FBI agent Dylan Rhoades (Mark Ruffalo) teams up with Interpol agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) to crack the case before their next hit. The visual aspects of the illusions […]

joanJoan says... My life leaves little time for movies. When I do make the time, I often revert to old favorites. My taste is eclectic. If I had to choose a genre, it would probably be romantic comedy from any era. I also enjoy a good Alfred Hitchcock suspense flick, especially those starring Cary Grant.

I am fascinated by the concept of time travel. It doesn’t seem to matter if the film involves history, suspense, romance, or a combination of all three. Some favorites include Peggy Sue Got Married, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Philadelphia Experiment, The Final Countdown, Time After Time, Somewhere in Time, and of course, the whole Back to the Future phenomenon.

If I need a true escape, I might choose just about any old Christmas movie, a classic musical like The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, 1776, or A Chorus Line, or the totally ridiculous, like Mr. Bean’s 1997 Bean.

My Latest Reviews

  • This film took me by surprise. It’s black and white. Most of the action takes place in a small room with the same twelve people for 90 minutes. The story is so well written, well directed, and well acted that the viewer doesn’t mind its simplicity. In 12 Angry Men, the characters and plot evolve […]

  • Despite somewhat of an infomercial look and feel, The Living Matrix captures the viewer’s attention. The opening scene of a child with Cerebral Palsy tugs at one’s heartstrings. Anyone who has a chronic illness, disease, or an afflicted loved one is gently persuaded to continue listening to the success stories. Experts in their fields share […]

joeJoe says... My idea of a good movie is one that entertains me on more than one level. For instance, Sneakers is a great suspenseful movie which also makes me laugh out loud at times. The Princess Bride is a wonderful fantasy which for the most part is a comedy and yet has very powerful scenes dealing with revenge and even a little romance. I like Thank You for Smoking because it is a comedy that occasionally borders on the absurd and at other times makes me think.

A well written script is another feature which attracts me, as in Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story, or Cyrano de Bergerac, where there is clever dialogue. I like a good action film, too, especially if it creates that “on the edge of your seat” feeling, like in Speed or The Bourne Identity. A surprise ending, like in The Sixth Sense, is also a plus. When it comes to comedies, Dave and A Fish Called Wanda are right up my alley.

I’m also a sucker for Clint Eastwood movies, especially Unforgiven and The Outlaw Josey Wales. If I’m going out to the movies, I don’t generally seek out dramas, but two that I like are The Natural and Good Will Hunting. In a nutshell, I enjoy suspenseful movies that make me laugh at their witty dialogue until the surprise ending where I am blown away. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

My Latest Reviews

  • Despicable Me is a laugh out loud movie that you can watch even if you don’t have kids. Steve Carrell is perfect as the voice of Gru, a super villain scheming to steal the moon. What he doesn’t bargain on are three orphan girls who steal his heart. This is a very funny movie. And […]

  • Okay, if you like The Simpsons television show at all, you will laugh out loud at the movie more or less all the way to the end. It’s basically a supersized version of the TV show, and it even has moments that touch your heart (in a Simpsons’ sort of way). In The Simpsons Movie, […]

marykMary K. watches a variety of movies, but especially enjoys older films that are considered classics in their genre. Suspense and film noir movies are her go to standards, and she enjoys re-watching classics such as Casablanca, The Big Sleep, Rear Window, and North by Northwest. She enjoys TV mystery series such as Montalbano, Inspector Morse, Cadfael, and The Rockford Files. Mary also watches fantasy and adventure films such as Back to the Future, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and some foreign films.

 My Latest Reviews

  •  Lincoln lives up to reputation as an outstanding historical drama. Director Steven Spielberg reveals the personal and political struggles that Lincoln faced during the last four months of his final presidential term. Lincoln was determined to have Congress pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, thereby guaranteeing the abolishment of slavery. The film vividly recreates […]

  • A new version of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan will be released on Christmas 2012. I loved reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel on which the movies are based—one of the few “assigned” readings I enjoyed in high school. I don’t think the film lived up to the novel, but it does […]

 marypMary P. says... I like it all. Really, I do. I love old actors, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor among others, and I love the new actors, Colin Farrell, Amy Adams, and many more.

I won’t pass up a British or Irish film and I’m always on the lookout for a new foreign film. Comedies and action flicks rate high but I’m not opposed to a good tearjerker. Faves of all time: Rebecca, Mrs. Miniver, Red, Argo, Austin Powers, Sink the Bismarck!, and The Haunting just to name a few.

 My Latest Reviews

  • This is the story of the healing power of music. It has the power to unlock long forgotten memories and feelings no matter what age. Great actors: Terence Stamp plays Arthur, the curmudgeon husband, and Vanessa Redgrave plays his ailing goodhearted wife, Marion. They have one son who mother cherishes and father disdains. Marion sings […]

  • To delve into the mind or psyche of a serial killer is gruesome. The TV series The Fall follows a serial killer/husband/father who has targeted his next victim in Belfast. The show is riveting. Gillian Anderson is superb as the British detective summoned to Belfast to solve a high profile murder. She concludes that there […]

marysMary S. says... I watch a variety of movies for entertainment. Primarily, I enjoy comedies that aren’t too crude, romantic comedies that aren’t too predictable, family movies, dramas especially those based on true stories, suspense especially those written by David Mamet and those directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and some foreign movies. Usually, I watch movies when they are released or come out on DVD, but around the holidays I love watching old classic movies. I am entertained by animated movies, especially those by Hayao Miyazaki and Disney.

I like movies that hold my attention, have a good story line, are uplifting, or thought provoking. I tend to watch all the Academy Award nominees unless they contain extreme violence or a disturbing subject. Favorite movies include Enchanted April, Dave, Hugo, The Usual Suspects, Body Heat, E.T., Moonstruck, Out of Africa, Top Gun, Babette’s Feast, A Fish Called Wanda, Babe, L.A. Confidential, and Home Alone.

My Latest Reviews

  • This entertaining, fast paced movie centers around four magicians, played by Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco, who are mysteriously brought together to perform a lavish act with amazing feats including pulling off elaborate heists. Are these thefts real or illusions? Early on Eisenberg’s character says, “The more you think you see […]

  • In this moving story, seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) determinedly tries to find her father in order to save the family home in the Missouri backwoods. For her exceptional, riveting performance, Lawrence received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Because her mother is incapacitated, Ree has been raising her younger […]

sallymSally says... When I watch a movie (and I am a strictly at-home viewer…don’t miss the theatre experience at all), I am very conscious of the settings and style used to tell a story. Film is telling a story visually. The look of a film should drive the narrative; for me, the production design provides that authenticity. Film noir is the perfect example of this. I am in love with computer generated imagery or CGI. Current filmmakers have become very adept in their ability to integrate CGI into film production.Tim Burton is my favorite filmmaker. And I have seen every movie Johnny Depp ever made! And yes that includes Dead Man.

My Latest Reviews

  • I watched Tender Mercies (1983) again, recently. It’s one of my favorite “little” movies. I realized as I watched it that Robert Duvall is one of those actors who make you forget you are watching someone performing a role. He has that special ability to make his characters real. His performances as Boo Radley in […]

  • Benedict Cumberbatch is the star of Sherlock, a BBC Masterpiece Mystery! and he has nailed it. The grouchy and steadfast Watson is deftly played by Martin Freeman. This series is Holmes in a non-Victorian setting, but it stays true to the character’s heritage of arrogance and braininess. Although the show is more typical of the […]

shirleyShirley says... Although I have wide-ranging interests in movies—drama, rom-com, some sci-fi, suspense (especially 1940s film noir), thrillers, and many high octane adventuresI especially enjoy classics with incomparable stars such as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart. You won’t catch me recommending raunchy comedies, most horror or vampire films. I’ve watched too many wonderful movies and couldn’t possibly name only a handful of favorites.

My Latest Reviews

  • James Garner and Sally Field star in Murphy’s Romance, a satisfying, intelligent romantic comedy about two very likeable people and their increasing affection for each other. Emma, a 30ish divorced mother of a teen, comes to a small town in hopes of starting a horse boarding business and meets Murphy, an older, widowed pharmacist. Their […]

  • You know the Western clichés— outlaw looking for revenge, doctor done in by “the drink,” prostitute with the heart of gold, smooth gambler, Monument Valley locale. This fine film set the standard. Stagecoach carries a motley group of characters en route to their destinies in Apache territory. John Wayne impresses as the outlaw; he, along […]

suzySuzy says... I watch a variety of movies from serious dramas to silly comedies. I like movies that make me laugh, make me think, or make me cry. I really enjoy romantic comedies and some of my favorites are The Break-Up, Definitely, Maybe, Waitress, and Silver Linings Playbook. Other movies I liked are City of God, Empire Records, Forrest Gump, Frida, and Great Expectations. I am also a dedicated fan of the television series The Good Wife, Homeland, and Parks and Recreation.

My Latest Reviews

  • This is a moving French film about the power of love and loss. Rust and Bone stars Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, a killer whale trainer and Matthias Schoenaerts as Alain, a single father struggling to keep it together. Stephanie and Alain meet one night and later form an unlikely bond after Stephanie suffers from a […]

  • One of my favorite albums Give Up by The Postal Service has been re-released as a tenth anniversary set. There are only two unearthed songs on the album, but they are fantastic. The rest of the album serves as reminder of how great Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello are together. Touring for the first time […]