Conan the Barbarian:
More: Apprentice Writer thought that any update of the Arnold Schwarzenegger atrocity would have to be an improvement. She thought wrong.
More: So, so sad! So, so well-acted! Every moment onscreen for Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams both is utterly believable, and utterly tragic, in this story of an everyday blue-collar couple struggling to be a family. The bewilderment and emotional pain of wife, husband, and child is so clear and so heartbreakingly everyday AW almost couldn't bear watching. She had to self-medicate with a feel-good fluffy movie immediately after.
More: AW approached this warily, feeling mistrustful of the mega-accolades surrounding this female-centric comedy. Happily she did end up liking it, though she could have done without the toilet humour that seems to have made up a large part of what audiences apparently felt made the film noteworthy. She liked Kristen Wiig as the protagonist, Rose Byrne as the stealth villain, and Melissa McCarthy as the ultimate girl-self-empowerer. The character she liked best, though, was Chris O'Dowd as the police officer. This was a surprise given how much AW loathed and despised his character in "The Crimson Petal and the White". An indication of his talent as an actor, and Ms. Wiig's talent in screenwriting.
Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows
More: Not quite as hugely entertaining as the original, perhaps because of ginormous expectations to live up to, but still roaring good fun.
Our Idiot Brother
More: Paul Rudd goes both out of character (who knew the ultimate clean-cut guy could do grunge and shleppy?) and at the same time stays even more intensively in character (the ultimate good guy who deserves happiness and to get the girl) in this comedy about family (as opposed, it should be noted, to "family comedy"). AW had some genuine laughs that outweighed the too-rushed-and-therefore-unsatisfying resolution.
No Strings Attached / Friends with Benefits
One: Snooze / Laugh
More: Two movies with the exact same premise hit the market at the same time: what are the chances? AW is interested in who stole from whom creatively purely to figure out whether the very clear loser/winner demarcation corresponds to creator/copycat roles. NSA suffers from complete lack of chemistry between the leads and complete lack of charm in the story, whereas FWB has both, and a funny little self-satirical story-in-story as icing on the cake.
What say you, Gentle Reader? Agree? Disagree? Share your popcorn views.