Category Archives: Action/Thriller

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Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Movie Review

It wouldn’t be surprising if you only know of the film Roman J. Israel, Esq. because the poster features the back of Denzel Washington’s head. It’s understandable. It’s not as if the name is particularly catchy. But Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the second directorial feature from Dan Gilroy, the man behind Nightcrawler and the scripts of such films as The Fall and Bourne Legacy.

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For someone who appreciated Nightcrawler, it is not unreasonable to anticipate good things from Gilroy’s follow up. Don’t be fooled. Roman J. Israel, Esq.—and I only keep reiterating the name because we are reminded of it time and time again in the film—is not Continue reading Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Movie Review

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Justice League (2017) Movie Review

The headline way to start this review is to say something along the lines of “Justice League is a garbled mess of a film with no notion of subtlety.” It wouldn’t be a false statement.

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But there are redeeming qualities to the latest DC film, coming to us by way of Zack Snyder with some re-shoots done by Joss Whedon. There is a Continue reading Justice League (2017) Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review

In Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh directs Kenneth Branagh as Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot. The film informs us of his reputation by opening with Poirot solving a crime in front of an abundant crowd, as if he is the main attraction at a circus. In case this was not enough—and because the script felt the need to address its own ludicrous facial hair creation—Daisy Ridley’s Mary Debenham recites her first line in the film thusly:

“I know your mustache…from the papers!”

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When the plot of the film begins in earnest—in which a mobster criminal (Johnny Depp) hiding on the train is Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok is a messy film. It’s main villain Hela (played with scenery-chewing glee by Cate Blanchett) is side-lined for most of the film. As is Asgard, the place that is in mortal danger from the Goddess of Death that is Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) sister.

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Do not be fooled. This is the main conflict of the film’s plot. Although, for the most part, Thor and pals are relegated to another world entirely.

Thor and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are left stranded on this planet, Sakaar, but they are stranded in Continue reading Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Movie Review

Suburbicon (2017) Movie Review

There is a moment in Suburbicon when you realize that the closest comparison to other Coen brother films is Blood Simple, in that it is bleak with few characters to latch onto and identify with. It is at this moment, when you realize that this is not so much a dark comedy as it is merely a dark movie, that it becomes very hard to continue investing yourself in the antics.

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The film focuses on a family man named Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) and his son, who are victim to a home invasion in the faux-idyllic, nebulous ’50s neighborhood aptly-named Suburbicon. You don’t know Continue reading Suburbicon (2017) Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) Movie Review

With a title like Brawl in Cell Block 99, one might think that S. Craig Zahler’s second directorial effort is an exploitation film filled with B-movie action. There are elements in the script and set pieces that signal toward grindhouse action, sure, but Brawl in Cell Block 99 is more than just a B-movie. It is a clever, exploitation action pastiche.

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Following Zahler’s first film, Bone Tomahawk, which seamlessly blended genres without sacrificing the artistic beauty or history of those genres, it is no surprise that Continue reading Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) Movie Review

The Snowman (2017) Movie Review

Crime novel adaptations to the screen seem to not be faring too well. Last year’s The Girl on the Train is the most recent example, but now we have The Snowman to take up the mantle. Let’s just hope that Murder on the Orient Express does some justice to its source material and to the medium of cinema.

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Wait…something’s not right here

The Snowman begins in a flashback, in which a child witnesses the abuse of his mother at the hands of a police officer. This flashback establishes our killer, but it doesn’t Continue reading The Snowman (2017) Movie Review