Nick Picks Flicks

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Featuring Nick's film reviews, Flickreel is an online movie magazine specializing in video-based articles. It covers all the latest film news, reviews, previews and trailers, alongside features which take a deeper look into the world of film.

All the top 10 lists Nick has scripted for, the 7th largest YouTube channel in the world throughout 2014.

Story Monsters Ink is a free, subscription-based magazine that gives parents and educators the latest news about award-winning and debut books, profiles on both renowned and newly published authors, upcoming book events, author presentations and more.
The Nerd Repository: providing the latest movie, TV and pop culture news and reviews.
Featuring Nick's film reviews, the East Valley Tribune serves the east suburbs of Phoenix, Ariz.
Phoenix Film Critics Society: Representing Arizona's Premier Film Critics

Nick's film review column at

A comic strip sadly inspired by the real life of Nick Spake.

Phoenix Children's Hospital's Camp Rainbow is for children who have, or have had cancer or a chronic blood disorder. Nick has acted as the camp's social media coordinator since 2014.
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About Nick Spake

At the age of fifteen, I launched, a website dedicated to the art of film. Since then, I have worked as a published film critic for Arizona State Press, Ahwatukee Foothills News, Nerd Repository, Film Festival Today, Arizona Filmmaker Magazine, and East Valley Tribune. Entertainment writing has also given me the opportunity to interview several big name celebrities, including Emma Stone, Chris Evans, J.J. Abrams, Emma Roberts, and various others. My life hit a roadblock in 2013 when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but I refused to let having cancer prevent me from writing film reviews and finishing college with a 4.0 GPA. In May 2013, I graduated from Arizona State University, achieving a BA in Theatre and a minor in communications. Teaching me just how precious life is, my disease further influenced me to reach out to others through my writing. Today, I'm happy to say that I am currently cancer free. As of September 2014, I have worked as a freelancer writer for, which recently surpassed 6 million subscribers on YouTube. This video content site has acted as a creative outlet for me to write top ten lists about movies, television, video games, and pretty much everything else. Out of the hundred scripts I've contributed to them so far, I'm primarily proud of the Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, Another Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials, and Top 10 Worst Movies of 2014. In 2015, I joined the Flickreel family as a a critic and columnist. I'm overjoyed to be on the team and can't wait to bring you all more movie reviews.

Rating Scale

5 Stars= It's Simply the Best

4 Stars= Totally Rocks

3 Stars= Rad

2 Stars= Bad

1 Star= Terrible 

Zero= Totally Sucks

Recent Blog Entries

American Made

Let's make American movies great again ***1/2

On its own, "American Made" is a riveting tale, but it wouldn’t have worked as a movie without the right actor to play Barry. Fortunately, Cruise is not only up to the task, but Liman is one of the few directors that knows how to use him.

Read more at Flickreel:

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

The ultimate culture clash ***1/2

The year needs more variety and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" is the kind of escapism audiences could use right now, especially if they’re going back to school.

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The Lego Ninjago Movie

So um... is this technically yellow face? ***1/2

As entertaining as "The Lego Ninjago Movie" is, it doesn’t quite reach the same heights as the previous two Lego films.

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What doesn't kill you... ****1/2

Green gives Gyllenhaal numerous balls to juggle as Jeff, from heartbreak, to uncertainty, to fear, to courage, to optimism. Nevertheless, Gyllenhaal never misses a beat in a film that finds an actor and director at their absolute best.

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Battle of the Sexes

The feelgood version of election 2016 ****

"Battle of the Sexes" revolves around an event take took place in 1973. The way directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris shoot this biopic is even reminiscent of the films that came out of that era. Yet, "Battle of the Sexes" is an incredibly relevant movie that America needs right now.

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What was that all about ****

While it’s a film that’s definitely going to divide audiences, one thing is for certain: there’s a lot to talk about here.

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Brad's Status

In a midlife crisis ***1/2

Over a decade ago, Ben Stiller starred opposite Jack Black in "Envy." As the title suggests, the entire movie was about Stiller’s character being envious of Black’s success. "Brad’s Status" finds Stiller in a similar role, although the film goes beyond simply telling jokes about dog poop.

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Does it float? ****

In the case of "It," the R rating services the story’s dark tone, violent imagery, and coming of age themes. The result is a version that’s scarier, deeper, and more visually interesting than the original.

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Crown Heights

20 years a prisoner ***1/2

Even if it only has a small impact, "Crown Heights" will have done its job if it resonates with at least one lawyer, judge, or juror that’ll decide the outside of a person’s life.

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Good Time

A feel bad movie that's somehow a good time ****1/2

Just as Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar a few years back, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Pattinson earned a Best Actor nomination for his riveting work here. Of course Pattinson isn’t the only reason why "Good Time" mustn’t be forgotten come awards season.

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The Hitman's Bodyguard

It's Deadpool meets Nick Fury, what went wrong? **

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is being marketed as an action comedy in the same vein as “Deadpool.” While the film has plenty of gratuitous action to go around, it’s surprisingly lacking in the comedy department. There are actually times when the movie doesn’t even seem sure if it wants to be a comedy. That’s not to say there are no funny moments whatsoever, but those scenes are overshadowed by routine car chases and shootouts that go on forever. If you sit down anticipating the next “Deadpool,” prepare to be disappointed. You shouldn’t expect the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston parody the poster promised either.


Samuel L. Jackson stars as the titular hitman, Darius Kincaid, who finds himself in Interpol custody along with his foulmouthed wife (Salma Hayek). Darius can get his better half pardoned if he testifies in court to incarcerate an Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman). When the villain sends his own hitman after Daris, Ryan Reynolds enters the mix as the titular bodyguard, Michael Bryce. It turns out these two share a complicated history, as Daris has tried to kill Michael on multiple occasions. Michael agrees to protect his adversary, however, in hopes of getting back in the good graces of his ex-girlfriend (Élodie Yung)


Reynolds and Jackson are two of the most charismatic actors around. To this movie’s credit, both share a likable chemistry and inject a fair deal of life into their scenes. Hayek and Yung also manage to score a few solid one-liners, excelling above just being the love interests. Unfortunately, long stretches of time pass without a single laugh. Unlike Edgar Wright and Paul Feig, who both know how to handle action and comedy, Patrick Hughes’ background is primarily action-oriented. His last film was “The Expendables 3” and “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” just feels like more of that old shtick.


Aside from having more explosions than jokes, the film can be downright unpleasant at times. The violence isn’t especially funny. If anything, it’s just gross and cringe-worthy. The bad guys are all killjoys without a funny bone in their bodies, which is becoming increasingly tiresome in action comedies. Hell, one of the first scenes involves a mother and child being brutally murdered. Doesn’t that just scream hilarity? Not since “Suicide Squad” has a film had a harder time deciding what it wants to be. Of course “Suicide Squad” was so all over the place that it was at least kind of intriguing to watch. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is simply forgettable.


It doesn’t help that the film essentially follows the same formula of every other buddy movie ever made. We all know that Michael and Darius aren’t going to like each other at first, but will inevitably become friends. It’s not a bad formula per se, but what matters is how the filmmakers execute it. Here, they’ve got the stars and a few interesting ideas, but the tone is impossible to get a grasp on. In short, “Midnight Run” it ain’t.