“The Mule” was a rather perplexing experience. Mainly because the tone was all over the place for so much of the picture.
Earl Stone, played by Clint Eastwood, is the main character of “The Mule.” He’s an older gentleman who had a successful career as a gardener. However, with the rise of the internet his business fell to pieces and his commitment to his job meant he was alienated from his family.
Wanting to still support his family, though, despite being pushed away for his absences, Earl looks for ways to find money and through a chance encounter, becomes a mule for a Mexican drug cartel. Because he’s a simple, nice old man who just likes listening to old tunes and follows the law, Earl actually becomes the perfect drug smuggler. However, the cartel operation as a whole comes under investigation by a federal agent named Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper).
Continue reading “REVIEW: Inconsistent tone causes ‘Mule’ to crash”
A trio of women going through grief are quickly forced into action in this new heist flick.
“Widows” takes place in an area of Chicago and follows a group of women, Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki). At the movie’s onset, the three have never met each other, but their husbands all work closely. However, their work includes pulling off criminal heists.
The film picks up with one of these jobs, helmed by Veronica’s husband Harry (Liam Neeson), going wrong and the whole crew getting killed. Not only does this put the three women in the grieving process, but the job their husbands attempted has left a sort of trail, putting them in danger. As a result, they decide to go through with a plan originally written up by Harry and pull off the heist to begin new lives.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Widows’ is a disappointing time at the theater.”
The latest gang/crime drama has released to theaters, but this one comes with a bit of a twist.
“White Boy Rick,” based on a true story, follows Rick Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt). Rick lives in Detroit with his father Richard (Matthew McConaughey), who sells firearms in poor neighborhoods. As this process continues, local and federal law enforcement agencies become aware of Richard’s dealings and look to put an end to it.
However, instead of arresting him, the FBI and local detectives give Richard an out by giving Rick the opportunity to be an undercover informant and make controlled drug deals. Rick takes the offer and begins to work undercover, but soon comes to terms with the dangers associated with the role.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘White Boy Rick’ dragged down by story, characters”
Legendary filmmaker Spike Lee has returned to the directors chair, this time to helm a crime/cop drama that’s actually based on a true story.
Taking place in the 1970s, “BlacKkKlansman” follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a recent addition to a police department in Colorado. As a rookie in the department, Ron initially works in the records division. However, he eventually convinces the chief to get a chance in undercover detective work.
After a short time in the new division, Ron ends up taking a chance by phone to call a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. In doing so, Ron is able to keep track of the local Klan’s strategies and if they’re seeking to do anything violent. To make the investigation even more effective, Ron works with Flip (Adam Driver), a fellow detective who takes Ron’s place during in-person meetings with the Klan.
Continue reading “REVIEW: While flawed, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is an engaging take on a wild true story”
I don’t know if anyone was really asking for a “Sicario” sequel, but I sure as hell won’t complain.
Denis Villeneuve, who directed the first picture, didn’t helm “Day of the Soldado.” Instead, Stefano Sollima enters the director role and did solid work in crafting a crime thriller. The movie picks up sometime after the events of the previous one, with tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border reaching a boiling point.
The reason for such intensity is because some cartels have allegedly started smuggling terrorists over the border. Following a terrorist attack in the heartland of America, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is recruited because of his experience on the border and is sent to throw the cartel system into chaos, and subsequently ruin their drug empires. To help, Graver once again teams up with the mercenary Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Sicario’ sequel is a (mostly) satisfying follow-up”
“Molly’s Game” is a film certainly filled with talent, both in its acting and writing. However, this isn’t necessarily a picture to go all in on.
The film tells two intertwined tales, both revolving around the same real life figure, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). One of them is about how Molly created a high-stakes poker game which led to large amounts of wealth and its own share of problems.
The other takes place in the ‘present day,’ where her game was exposed by authorities and she needs to build a legal defense. In doing the latter, Molly gets help from a lawyer named Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who becomes her legal counsel.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Molly’s Game’ Is Entertaining But Lacks Depth”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is listed as a comedy and the trailers definitely promote that aspect of the picture. However, there’s more going on in this movie than just humor.
As it’s title suggests, the film centers around three billboards near a rural town that call out the municipality’s chief of police for not solving a case. The person who ordered and paid for the signage is Mildred (Francess McDormand), a woman whose daughter was raped and murdered. At the film’s start, it’s been seven months since the murder and there have been no arrests and no leads in the case.
In response, Mildred takes aim at Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), for what she sees as incompetence and a lack of effort on behalf of the Police Department toward her daughter’s case. The response from the community starts to turn the small town of Ebbing upside down and in the process reveals numerous things about its inhabitants.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’ Powered By Strong Script, Acting”
There have been a lot of sequels lately that have revisited properties that were long left dormant, including “Jurassic World,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Creed.” This sequel to the 80s cult classic “Blade Runner,” though, might be the best one yet.
The new “Blade Runner” takes place 30 years after the original, hence the title. Replicants, the bioengineered humans that were featured in the original, are once again present in the movie and this time more integrated into society. The main example of this is the movie’s protagonist, K (Ryan Gosling). K is a replicant who works for the Los Angeles Police Department and is tasked with hunting down older replicant models.
In his latest investigation, K discovers a clue that relates to events in the first film. As a result, K is sent down a rabbit hole where he finds out information that could change the entire world.
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Steven Soderbergh is back with another heist film, this time without the swag and the suave characters.
“Logan Lucky” centers on the Logan family, including Jimmy (Channing Tatum), Clyde (Adam Driver) and Mellie (Riley Keough). The family is well known for being unlucky, and Jimmy is a great example. Once a promising college quarterback, the film introduces Jimmy as a man with a bad leg and out of work.
Because of the stress from being laid off and a situation regarding the custody of his daughter, he turns to his brother Clyde, an Iraq War veteran who lost his arm, with an idea for a heist. Jimmy’s plan is to steal from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, with help from Mellie and an expert safecracker named Joe Bang (Daniel Craig).
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For the first time since 2012 Paul Verhoeven returns to the director’s chair with arguably his most twisted feature film to date.
“Elle” follows the title character who’s more commonly referred to as Michele. A CEO of a major video game development company, Michele is a wealthy and rather powerful business woman living in France.
Her life, already quite complicated, becomes shattered in the opening scene of the film, though, when she’s attacked and raped at her home. What follows is an exploration of how the character deals with such a disgusting act, how it influences her decisions and how it relates to her past.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Elle’ Is A Dark, Disturbing Piece Powered By Isabelle Huppert’s Performance”