There are marches for peace and war, parades and dimes, equal rights and other important fights.  If the title is to be trusted, one march is the most authentic.  To determine the best, we need to assemble evaluation criteria for what makes the most bona fide strut.  Then we’ll apply it to history’s most iconic marchers starting with the Romans; but not Caesar, who’ll be too busy steering clear of The Ides Of March (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“This taut cautionary tale explores the dark side of American politics. And leaves the viewer to wonder – if anyone’s still wondering – is there a bright side?” Philadelphia Inquirer Steven Rea

Is it a thriller laced with pessimism or political disillusion packaged as entertainment?

“We can’t be meant to treat this as a thriller, because a few plot twists don’t hold up as soon as they’re scrutinized.  Ides can’t be said to enlighten any but the naive, and it’s not likely to shock us into positive political action, So what pleasure can we get from this movie? Quite a bit, as it happens.” Charlotte Observer Lawrence Toppman

Don’t you just love conversations with yourself? Oh yes, certainly.

“That’s one of the puzzles of this piece. You’d think a film with talent to burn – would provide some electrifying encounters at the very least. No such luck. Words fly, some of them medium-witty, but lightning doesn’t strike.” Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern


“This is a deeply cynical movie and, in that cynicism, it finds truth.” ReelViews James Berardinelli

At the far end of cynicism lies truth.  If that sounds right, does that mean the far end of belief is hypocrisy?

“A harsh self-examination of the cynicism that has crept into every cranny of the political landscape. As such, it’s absolutely a story of our times.”  Portland Oregonian Marc Mohan

A story of our times = story-time.  Isn’t that generally The Way (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic)?

“Open yourself up to this thoughtful, moving personal adventure and you’re in for a uniquely memorable experience.” Peter Travers Rolling Stone

Thoughtful, moving, memorable – that’s a trifecta of promotional stock phrases.  But if you look closer at the words, they only promise to make you pay attention, squirm, and remember something.  Maybe.

“There is nothing terribly spiritual about the journey for any of these people, and yet the sheer arduousness of the trek, the beauty of the countryside, and the personal revelations that ensue all combine to create a transcendent haze.” Peter Rainer Christian Science Monitor

Transcendent haze could be the mental fog caused by perplexing thoughts or it could be bong smoke.  If it’s the second option, they should have titled this movie The Waaaaaaaaaay!

“”The Way” does not have a moneymaking bone in its body, and I mean that in a good way.” Gary Thompson Philadelphia Daily News

No money bones means no diamond dentures either

“It’s sincere and sporadically beautiful, producing an authentic sense of passage for the pilgrimage. Estevez truly captures the steps of catharsis, and he was pretty smart to ask his dad to join him on the tour.” Brian Orndorf

Uh oh.  If Emilo is the new favorite son, does that mean the brothers will trade surnames?  Emilo Sheen is okay, but Charlie Estevez sounds like a Spanish game show host. Whenever first-last names are deliberately mismatched the result is a fake-sounding alias, like Bob Hitler or Mickey Bin Laden.

“A heartfelt project, scrappy and engaging, The Way has its way with audiences despite, not because of, its sentimental excess.” Philadelphia Inquirer Steven Rea

And if you like heartfelt, scrappy and engaging films, but with monumental excess, consider the boxing robots of Real Steal (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“The movie really comes to life during the marvelous boxing sequences, which are often drop-dead exciting.” Randy Cordova Arizona Republic

The only people who want the film to live up to that promise are those with a death wish.

“A ‘Robo-Rocky’-like mash-up full of ‘rock-’em/sock-’em’ action, Shawn Levy’s Real Steel reimagines the father/son boxing melodrama The Champ (1931, 1979) for the gamer generation… and it damn near pulls it off.” Simon Foster

Halfway to damn near

“Real Steel is my kind of action movie. The story is engaging, the characters are fun and the robots are freaking cool.” Matthew Toomey ABC Radio Brisbane

Freaking-A!  Please excuse the tangent, but do you ever feel like censorship is a social delusion?  Profanity exists because people need to be able to say something inappropriate when they’re upset. I write WTF and you hear the F-bomb in your head, but the acronym isn’t profane because the bomb is never dropped.  It works the same with S-bullets – unless you want to argue that BS means something other than bullshit.

“The movie isn’t very different from that Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots game: easy to sell in TV ads and soon stash away in the closet.” Steve Persall St. Petersburg Times

To achieve this effect with a human boxer, kick them in the joystick

“Real Steel, a heartwarming sci-fi sports movie about a father and son who reunite through robot boxing, testifies to the formidable power of ridiculousness.” Forrest Wickman Slate

King Sheep believes in the power of ridiculousness except when yellow neon retro-cannibals are involved