S - SE

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S.W.A.T. [2003] Sacrifice [2016] Sacrifice! [1972]
Sadako vs. Kayako [2016]
Safety Not Guaranteed [2012] Saint [2010] The St. Valentine's Day Massacre [1967]
Saints and Soldiers [2003] Salt [2010] Saltburn [2023]
The Salton Sea [2002] Sam Was Here [2016] Samsara [2011]
Sanitarium [2013] Sanatorium [2013] Savage [2018]
Saving Private Ryan [1998] Saw [2004] Saw II [2005]
Saw III [2006] Saw IV [2007] Saw V [2008]
Saw VI [2009] Saw VII: The Final Chapter 3D [2010] Saw X [2023]
The School for Good and Evil [2022] The Scorpion King [2002] The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior [2008]
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption [2012] The Scorpion King 5: Book of Souls [2018] Scream of Fear [1961]
Scream of the Banshee [2011] Screamers [1995] Screamers 2: The Hunting [2009]
The Sea Beast [2022] Searching [2018] Seconds Apart [2011]
The Secret Life of Pets [2016] The Secret Life of Pets 2 [2019] Secret Reunion [2010]
Security [2017] Sequence Break [2017] Serenity [2005]
Se7en [1995] The Seventh Day [2021] Sexy Beast [2000]

Safety Not Guaranteed [2012]


A magazine reporter and 2 interns investigate an ad asking for a partner to travel through time with. Entirely picked at random, this turned out to be quite a delightful comedy with stellar, fully realized characters (Aubrey Plaza is awesome), crisp, witty dialog and fabulous story writing that basically turns this film into a rom com but not in the traditional sense so don't let that dissuade you. The ending was a surprise, actually, and, even though many may be disappointed there's no 'follow up', my wife and I thought it was perfect. Very entertaining! Good 'date' movie.

Saltburn [2023]


An awkward Oxford student becomes friends with a very popular guy who invites him to stay at Saltburn ..a family estate full of people taking dysfunctional to a whole new level. But what's really going on? This is a weird film where the characters have become so decadent, self absorbed and sexually ambiguous, they freely and easily indulge in shocking and disturbing behavior that makes the viewer cringe. I figured out the twist long before it got there and not giving a larger role to Carey Mulligan's Penelope was criminal. But boy, what an experience this was.

S.W.A.T. [2003]


A new S.W.A.T. team is put to the ultimate test when they're assigned to transport a gangster that's offering a $100 million reward to anyone who can free him. Full of familiar faces, this was an overall fun, exciting and thoroughly entertaining film with its highlights being the likable characters full of charisma and humorous. well-written banter and some pretty decent action sequences. Little too much time spent on the set up, nothing new story-wise and no surprises, but it works quite well as escapist, matinee fare worthy of a tub of popcorn and a hot dog. Good stuff!

The Sea Beast [2022]


In a world of seafaring hunters at war with sea monsters, everyone is after the monstrous Red Bluster but a young girl questions why there's a war at all. Although a familiar story, this one is handled extremely well with stunning animation and fully realized characters. Although this has plenty of humorous moments and delightfully colorful characters, this is not so much a comedy as it is a grand fantasy adventure. So, if you're looking for laughs, you'll get a few but you'll also get some pretty dark moments, as well. Overall, excellent entertainment!

Savage [2018]

aka Xue bao

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In the desolate country around Baekdu Mountain in China, a cop searches for gold thieves who killed his partner. This Chinese cat-and-mouse affair, with lots of twists and turns, is a rather relaxed thriller never quite achieving the right thrill level. There were times when it appeared to be heading for that big moment but it always seemed to fall short. The biggest star is the unrelenting and horrifically savage environment which was utilized very well. Acting was great and it's a very well made film that I liked but not as exciting as one would expect for this type of story.

The School for Good and Evil [2022]


Two lifelong friends are taken to a school to become heroes or villains so as to create new fairy tales. But an evil and manipulative presence plans to destroy everything. I initially didn't care much for the characters so the first 40 minutes of setup didn't really engage me. It did get better, though ...although there were some characters I never did like. It all seemed rather lackluster for a supposed fantasy epic with a minimum of fantasy and more a philosophical treatise on friendship. Pacing was good for a long film. Ok for kids save a couple swear words.

Saw [2004]

Two men find themselves chained up in an abandoned industrial bathroom, with a dead body on the floor, and are forced to play a deadly game. Kicking off the Saw franchise (my favorite series of horror films), this 1st film by Leigh Whannell (Insidious, Upgrade) and James Wan (The Conjuring, Aquaman) is a horror masterpiece of brilliantly woven construction that leaves the viewer wondering until the end. Then it presents arguably the most twisted and profound ending of any movie ever made. First time I saw it, I was speechless for an hour. The Best!!

Saw II [2005]

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A group of people must play a game in an escape-proof house along with the son of a corrupt police detective who must play a different game to save his son. The elaborate and intricate story line presents a tale of adrenaline filled tension that doesn't stop. Tobin Bell and Donnie Wahlberg are exceptional as they spend most of the movie in a battle of wits that's intriguing and torturous in equal measure. And, rather than try to top the 1st film with a profound twist, they gave us two that are almost as good ...one of which brings us right back to the first film. Bravo!

Saw III [2006]

Several interlocking games are played as Jigsaw kidnaps a doctor and forces her to keep him alive until the completion of a game ...but it may not be what you think. This is by far the most teeth gnashing, cringe inducing, pucker up film in the franchise with a constant assault of savage and brutal scenarios that many will find unpleasant to sit through... it's tough on me and I'm pretty hard core. Be that as it may, it is a brilliantly twisted tale that takes you to several places only to jerk you around with multiple twists that will leave you reeling. Fantastic!

Saw IV [2007]

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When two cops go missing, and all his other partners have been killed, it's up to one officer to save them ...or not. Remember, just follow the rules and everything will be OK. Add two FBI agents getting involved and you have another incredibly elaborate game of wild traps and mind twisting torture. Even though this is the 4th film in the franchise, it still earns a spot on the profoundly twisted film list for its shocking climax. If you haven't seen the first 3, you probably won't get much of what's going on. You need to see them all, to get the most out of it. So, go do it.

Saw V [2008]

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Although obsessed FBI Special Agent Strahm has found Jigsaw's body, he knows there are accomplices continuing Jigsaw's work and he's determine to find them ...even if it kills him. Just remember to follow the rules. A well presented and manipulative cat and mouse story, as well as a brand new game and the usual twisted ending, makes this a fitting addition to the overall story. Providing a ton of backstory that continues to link everything together into a complex web of events that will continue long after Jigsaw's demise. I just love the Saw films.

Saw VI [2009]

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While Jigsaw's former health insurance carrier, who wouldn't cover his cancer treatment, is forced to play a game, the FBI is busy trying to figure out what happen to one of their agents and who the accomplice is that's continuing Jigsaw's games. Another fine addition to the overall story if you're following along. Probably isn't well liked among those who haven't seen the previous 5 films ...lots of tie-ins and back story that isn't there. But the games are gnarly, the reveals provide lots of surprises and presents the usual twisted ending. Excellent morbid fun!

Saw 3D [2010]

aka Saw VII: The Final Chapter

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Jigsaw's accomplice has been revealed and, surviving an attempt on his life, proceeds to kill everybody. Meanwhile, a man who pretended to be a Jigsaw survivor, and make a fortune from it, must play a game to save his wife and all those who protected his lies. This one is pretty much slaughter and torture porn with a high cringe level and a tremendous body count and it's really not going look like much beyond that if you haven't seen the previous films. For fans of the series, though, it's a snug fit and provides quite a few surprises. 3D was wasted.

Saw X [2023]


Sometime between Saw and Saw II, John Kramer went to a cancer specialist in Mexico for a potential cure and got totally conned. My, my... shouldn't mess with John like that. It was really fun and nostalgic to see Kramer as the lead character again, as opposed to just appearing in flashbacks. Also cool to see some of the old accomplices from way back when. The games weren't as extensive or elaborate as we've come to know them but, for something Jigsaw just put together in a hurry, they're actually pretty impressive. Still absolutely love this franchise.

The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior [2008]


Although the 2nd Scorpion King film, it's the King's origin story where he has to find a great weapon to destroy King Sargon who killed his father and is a tyrant to his people. The straight to video feature comes off like a made-for-TV after school special loaded with dime-store philosophy, silly acting and cheesy dialog. Regardless, it was generally entertaining and relatively painless to sit through ...certainly not as bad as the ratings indicate. Best role I've seen Randy Couture in but I don't know if that means much. Your kids will like it.

The Scorpion King [2002]


Memnon and his sorceress is laying waste to all the other tribes and Mathayus has been hired to kill the sorceress but plans change. The first of the scorpion king movies, but 2nd in the timeline. Nothing we haven't seen before in a solidly PG-13 adventure but it's done very well with a bit of camp and perhaps too much comic relief. But that's what we've come to expect in the Scorpion King / Mummy films. The characters were colorful, lots of fighting and overall, good entertainment.

The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption [2012]


The Scorpion King is no longer king after losing his empire and love. Now a mercenary for hire, he's caught in the middle of a war between Ramusan, caretaker of the Book of the Dead, and Talus, the guy who wants it. The 3.x rating on IMDb surprises me. It's obviously a low-budget knock off with their idea of warfare as, get some extras, put them in uniform, have them run around, look menacing, throw in a pair of elephants and we're good. But it works! It's amusing, entertaining, with colorful characters, and suitable for the entire family. Kids will love it!

The Salton Sea [2002]

Tom Van Allen / Danny Parker - tweeker, dealer, confidential informant, avenger, and trumpet player. Val Kilmer is spectacular as a man who's twisted journey takes one turn after another. Vincent D'Onofrio is awesome as the totally psycho drug dealer. The director, D.J. Caruso, gave everyone total freedom with their parts giving the characters a realism that's hard to find these days. A film noir that seamlessly moves between serious and humorous, a clever story that all starts with the tragedy at the Salton Sea. Brilliant!

Secret Reunion [2010]

aka Ui-hyeong-je

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A cop, who loses his job over a botched attempt to capture an assassin known as the Shadow, and an associate of the Shadow, gone into hiding from the Shadow, team up ...each knowing who the other is but believing the other doesn't know. Yes, they were that inept. Sounds more complicated than it is but, who cares. After a rather serious, violent, exciting and auspicious beginning, the film went into a huge ponderous stall that lasted until the unbelievable and overly sentimental ending. Had its moments but mostly I was bored.

Sexy Beast [2000]


An ex-heist man's refusal to go on another job causes a few problems. This argument over doing the job or not goes on for the first hour of the film in long scenes of vulgar dialogue. The rest of the film deals with the results of this discussion which climax into ...well, nothing really. It ends the same way it starts. The acting was good and the movie has good ratings and a cult following but I just don't see the appeal of watching a bunch of unlikable characters treating each other like hell ...and taking their time doing it.

Searching [2018]

A man tries to find his missing daughter by searching through her computer realizing he knows very little about her life. A excellently portrayed story presented vicariously through computer screens depicting an extremely realistic view of what a father may do with a computer as his only resource. Being a computer geek myself, I found no logic gaps in the way things played out and the emotions of the characters were genuine and heart wrenching. Throw in a double surprise twist ending and I was thoroughly entertained. Bravo!

Saint [2010]

aka Sint

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If Dec. 5 falls on a full moon, St. Nick and his horde of dead elves will kill everyone in Amsterdam. I'm split on this one. The action and scare scenes were quite humorous and entertaining with some absolutely wonderful gags. The parts in between, however, were lacking humor and just sort of lifeless making you want to get to the next action sequence. Good for an evening's entertainment, though, and watch a native language version with subtitles. As you'll note in the trailer, the English dubbing is not the best I've heard.

Sanatorium [2013]

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Basically, a Grave Encounters clone with a pinch of Blair Witch mythos about a paranormal research group investigating an old, deserted sanatorium. Found footage format which is just like watching an episode of Ghost Hunters, except the ghosts bite back in a big way. Well made with some good scares and a lot of 'out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye' stuff but nothing really new to add to the genre.

Saints and Soldiers [2003]

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5 soldiers, trapped behind enemy lines in the Ardennes, must travel 20 miles to a town. 'Based on a true story' only applies to the opening. The rest is religious propaganda. And they did a boring job of it. Mostly walking and long scenes of dialogue about beliefs in God for 3/4 of the film then some unrealistic warfare scenes then an atheist Medic finds God and gives aid to a Nazi soldier he saw slaughter dozens of American prisoners. Seriously? I'm supposed to find that inspirational? I'm sorry ...my pragmatism is showing.

The Scorpion King 5: Book of Souls [2018]


The Scorpion King is brought out of retirement to find a Book of Souls to destroy a sword called the Fang of Aribus being wielded by an evil warlord. Surprisingly, I really liked this one. Zach McGowan was a complete natural as a barbarian making the character very real. In fact, everyone did a good job for a low-budget adventure. The only thing I didn't like was the golem ...not serious enough and using it for comedy relief was a big mistake. But, overall, good old exciting, escapist fun ...just don't expect too much from it. I'll take a popcorn and a soda, please!

Screamers [1995]

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A war between the companies and the miners on a distant planet has led nearly to total devastation. The miners created small robotic killers called screamers and gave them the ability to replicate themselves. Well, they have ...with upgrades. I was quite pleasantly surprised with this film. There isn't anything really new here but it was tense with believable characters and the screamers were sufficiently threatening to keep the viewer on edge. The end was sort of sappy, cliche and expected but still a fun ride.

Screamers 2: The Hunting [2009]


Several years after the commander from the first film killed himself entering earth's orbit, earth receives a distress signal from Sirius 6B and launches a rescue mission. This is pretty standard fare for a low budget, direct-to-video sci fi with weak dialogue, bland acting and a story neither very complex nor original. The action was passable and despite it's faults, it was fair, escapist entertaining as long as one does not expect it to be anything more than that. The ending twist was expected and they went out of their way to make a bit too silly. I enjoyed it, though.

Serenity [2005]


I wasn't familiar with the series Firefly, before watching this film so, this movie, and its characters, were a completely new experience. The spaceship, Serenity, is composed of a group a pirates who have a girl on-board who is incredibly psychic, fights better than Mystique, and mentally, quite unstable. Chaos ensues. Absolutely excellent sci fi Western with Star Wars quality spec fx. I can see why Marvel picked up Joss Whedon, for serious MCU creative input and projects.

Seconds Apart [2011]

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The Bad Seed X 2, and reminiscent of Dead Ringers, this is a story of twins who telepathically create illusions with deadly results. Extremely well written, very well made and quite disturbing and insidious, this film features excellent performances by Edmund & Gary Entin (the twins), Orlando Jones (Detective Lampkin), and Samanta Droke (Eve). Another nice aspect of the film was that you knew a surprise was coming ...you just didn't know what. They didn't disappoint.

The Secret Life of Pets [2016]


An animated story of two dogs, Max & Duke, whose animosity towards each other gets them trapped outside in an adventure between their neighbor pets trying to find them and the 'flushed pets' who want to destroy them. This is a hysterically funny film that had my wife and I in stitches. Easily appreciated by those that have had pets all their lives and understands all the subtleties of their personalities. Works as an exciting and moving adventure, as well. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

The Secret Life of Pets 2 [2019]


Unlike the first film, which was basically one grand adventure, this one is broken down into 3 mini-adventures, led by the dogs, Max & Duke, the dog, Gidget, and the dog, Daisy & the rabbit, Snowball. These stories then converge for the big finale. But just like the first one, it is laugh-out-loud funny. Not as intricate but still obviously written for those that have spent their lives living with animals. The scenes with the cow imitating a dog and Chloe the cat on catnip had my wife and I rolling with laughter. Excellent entertainment.

Samsara [2011]

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Another view of the world, through sight and sound, of life, culture, nature and the earth in general ...sort of. I usually find these films hypnotic and fascinating, like Ron Fricke's previous film, Baraka, a visual masterpiece. This one, not so much. Although it did give us a wide variety of life and culture, it spent a significant amount of time on subjects like slaughterhouse production lines, abject poverty, human misery, and a segment of performance art that seemed wildly out-of-place. Fricke has a knack for vision but, in this case, that vision is mostly bleak.

Saving Private Ryan [1998]

A day after the D-Day invasion in Normandy, a captain is given orders to find a Private James Ryan, who, as a result of the war, has become the only living son of 4 brothers, and bring him home. By far, this is the most honest and brutal depiction of warfare ever made. Winner of 79 awards and nominated for 74 others, the acting is genuine and heartfelt, the action is terrifying and painful to watch and the experience can never be forgotten. Well worth the "Hall of Fame" tag.

Sacrifice [2016]

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A doctor stumbles across the desiccated body of a young woman in her backyard and begins to connect it to a local cult involving new births and sacrifice. Labeled as a horror movie but it's not. It's actually a fairly good conspiracy mystery with a nice story and performances and with an excellent twist ending. Not much more than what you'd expect but it was certainly good enough to hold my attention till the final credits.

Scream of Fear [1961]

aka Taste of Fear

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You gotta love innocuous movie titles like those that just throw words together like 'scream' or 'taste' and 'fear' without giving you a clue as to the movie's intent. This movie is basically your "let's drive the heir crazy to get her fortune" story but with some well handled surprises ...the surprise I saw coming concealed the one I did not. Good acting all around. It is somewhat slow and, at times, a bit wordy and redundant, but at only 80 mins, I'm not complaining and it was quite good entertainment.

Se7en [1995]

A serial killer is killing his victims in grotesque ways to mirror the seven deadly sins. David Fincher has made some fabulous films over the years but this early effort is arguably still his best. If it isn't the darkest, dirtiest, most disturbing and most intense serial killer movie ever made, it has to be in the top 10. Phenomenal story and performances by everyone and an ending that will rip your heart out. "WHAT'S IN THE BOX"?!?!?

Security [2017]


A three tour war veteran gets a job as night security for a mall. Meanwhile, a convoy of US Marshals are ambushed to kill a young girl who runs and makes it to the mall. Let the siege begin. Once again, we have a movie where a few fairly defenseless people have to survive an attack from numerous, highly professional thugs. Nothing new here but extremely well done. Antonio Banderas and Ben Kingsley as adversaries were an excellent match and, man ...can Ben deliver a line. Quite exciting despite the fact that it's predictable and somewhat contrived.

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre [1967]


Roger Corman at his best with this bio-pic about the title event. One of the most historically accurate films I've ever seen, complete with a narrator to fill in the names and dates of all the events and participants. If you haven't seen this Capone era masterpiece, you've really missed one of the best gangster films of all time.

Salt [2010]


Angelina Jolie is at the top of her game in this action thriller about her possibly being a Russian mole in the CIA. The story is complex and twisted leaving you to wonder who's side she's on from one moment to the next ...and her final kill is precious! The action is top notch with several gags I haven't seen before. Overall, very exciting and fun and left wide open for a sequel which, I guess, ain't coming. Pity.

Sequence Break [2017]


An arcade repairman runs into a mysterious circuit board that, when plugged in, alters his reality. Recalling glimpses of Videodrome and eXistenZ doesn't help this film out of it's sloppy presentation and lack of imagination. Concentrating far too much on a budding relationship between our two extremely likable protagonists (which made me care about them), they spent no time explaining anything. Perhaps they were afraid of being too technical or maybe they didn't have a clue either. In the end, it was incomprehensible and left me going, "I don't get it."

The Seventh Day [2021]

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An exorcism specialist, with 25 years of experience under his belt, gets teamed up with a new recruit from the exorcism academy. Sounds like a comedy buddy movie but it's dead serious ...and terribly slow. Despite that, there was something about it that compelled me to keep watching. Turned out to be a rather simple story with stereotypical dialog, a rather contrived story, and a fairly good twist but, overall, there really isn't much here. Not terrible, and it had its moments, but I would have liked to have spent the hour and a half doing something else.

Sam Was Here [2016]

aka Nemesis

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In the late 90s, a salesman ends up in the Mohave Desert and, inexplicably, becomes the focus of a manhunt ...oh, and there's a red dot in the sky. I was really enjoying this film as it continued to get more bizarre and complicated for our protagonist, who was portrayed expertly by Rusty Joiner with realistic behavior and understandable confusion and, considering he's the only person onscreen 95+% of the time, manages to keep our full attention. However, this movie screams for an explanation but its ambiguous ending leaves us going, "What?" That's cruel.

Sacrifice! [1972]

aka Man from Deep River / Il paese del sesso selvaggio


A photographer travels a bit too far up river into the jungle and runs into some natives who don't treat him well ...oh, and lots of naked women and a good deal of sex. An above average but typical 70's exploitation B-movie, using cannibalism and torture as a tagline to secure an audience ...of which, it has surprisingly little of both. It's a bit goofy with bad acting, worse dialog (at least half was spoken in a native language without subtitles) and not very good but I was quite entertained nonetheless. Remarkably well photographed, though. It's beautiful!

Sanitarium [2013]

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Reminiscent of Asylum, we have 3 stories centered around 3 patients at a sanitarium. I've usually found the best anthologies to have at least 5 stories ...4 minimum. Sitting down to watch this one, pushing two hours with only 3 stories, I was expecting it to be rather long-winded ...and, boy, was I right! The production was good, the acting was great and very dramatic with some familiar faces and the dialogue was well written and quite literate. But, the stories were simple, dull and ponderously slow. I felt like the kid in the car going, "Are we almost there yet?"

Scream of the Banshee [2011]

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An antiquities appraiser at a high school finds a banshee's head in a box. ...and the fun begins. A low-budget TV movie with chintzy effects and lame acting. However, it did have a few things going for it. It never resorted to making the principals do moronic things as a way of driving the story ...something I really appreciate. It had some intensely, cringe worthy visuals, and it moved along at a good steady pace ...I was never bored. Yeah, it's not a good film but I was entertained, nonetheless.

Sadako vs. Kayako [2016]


What would you expect from a film exploiting the success of Ringu and Ju-On by bringing the two cursed characters together to duke it out? Exactly this!! Mildly entertaining in its own goofy way.

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