Category Archives: Action/Thriller

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The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Movie Review

Joe Cornish’s follow-up to his 2011 critical darling Attack the Block is something completely different. Both Block and The Kid Who Would Be King focus on the plight of British youth, but Block is a hoodie horror deconstruction mixed with a shlock homage to B-movie creature features. The Kid Who Would Be King, on the other hand, is a family friendly action adventure in the style of Arthurian legend.

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That is, rather, that Arthurian legend drops itself into the life of a modern day boy named Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis). After fleeing from a pair of schoolyard bullies (Tom Taylor and Rhianna Dorris), Alex finds himself Continue reading The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Movie Review

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Glass (2019) Movie Review

M. Night Shyamalan has created a comic book world completely divorced from real-world comic books, yet all he wants to do in Glass is fit into the canon of superhero comics. The exposition often harps on, among many other things, comics—their origins, their narrative formulae, their character construction.

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Glass is a superhero film, in that it recenters Shyamalan’s Split into a superhero versus arch-villain plotline, in which James McAvoy’s multiple personality super villain “The Horde” is Continue reading Glass (2019) Movie Review

Escape Room (2019) Movie Review

“Try doing one thing that scares you over break,” says a college professor to Zoey (Taylor Russell) after completing one of those let’s-open-our-movie-with-a-class-scene lectures. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones where the teacher is somehow talking about the exact thing the movie is about, or otherwise is planting a piece of crucial information in the student’s head. The ones that never actually feel like they are real classroom discussions.

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This is the start of Escape Room, a film about the trendy entertainment exhibits where groups of people are trapped inside a room and must find clues and solve puzzles to get out. But the danger of Continue reading Escape Room (2019) Movie Review

Widows (2018) Movie Review

Steve McQueen is achieving something rare in modern filmmaking: he is a known-name director who does not adhere to auteur theory. With four feature films under his belt, McQueen has ventured into multiple genres, engaging with them using different filmmaking styles.

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In Widows, his latest, he takes on the heist genre. With shades of Continue reading Widows (2018) Movie Review

Creed II (2018) Movie Review

Ryan Coogler’s 2015 Creed successfully revitalized the Rocky franchise in almost every way. It satisfied the modern industry requirements for a soft reboot, thereby being the most accessible to mainstream audiences and maximizing financial security. It pivoted Sylvester Stallone’s role from aging fighter to aging mentor, netting him a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination as a result. It harnessed the inherent swagger and star power of Michael B. Jordan. It zapped life into the visual display of two men boxing each other to a bloody pulp. It was an undeniable crowd-pleaser.

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Creed II loses Coogler, and it loses a portion of its energy as a result. Steven Caple Jr. was given a tough task filling those shoes, especially Continue reading Creed II (2018) Movie Review

Overlord (2018) Movie Review

On June 6, 1944,  the dawn of D-Day, a plane of American soldiers are crossing over enemy lines with a crucial assignment: take down a German bunker sited under a church tower so the military fly boys can give cover to the boats landing on the beaches. As we learn this mission, sitting in the rattling confines of the flyer where characters’ voices are muffled under the constant thrum of the war around them, the plane is shot out of the air. The few survivors must pick up the pieces of the fractured mission and carry on, knowing that failure to set explosives on the tower could mean the failure of the entire D-Day operation.

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Oh, and there are Nazi zombies, as well.

Overlord, the new film from Julius Avery and produced by J.J. Abrams, takes the concept of insidious WWII Mengele-inspired experimentation and broadens it to horror genre extremes. B-movie horror extremes, in particular.

Now, to call this Continue reading Overlord (2018) Movie Review

Outlaw King (2018) Movie Review

David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King, dictating a semi-historical retelling of the leg of the Scottish War for Independence led by Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine), presents itself as a modern update of Braveheart. Picking up the thread where William Wallace’s uprising ends (we see a limb of Wallace’s quartered body hanging as an instigator for Robert the Bruce’s rebellion), Mackenzie commits to a similar level of visceral bloodshed that Gibson did in his 1995 film.

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Opening with an impressively-staged, swirling long take, we meet the composed yet quarrelsome Bruce, who immediately falls into a duel with the Prince of Wales (Billy Howle) after Continue reading Outlaw King (2018) Movie Review