REVIEW: Triple 9 Squanders Talented Cast With Disastrous Story

The cast of “Triple 9” includes Oscar winner Kate Winslet, Academy Award nominees Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck and Woodey Harrelson, Golden Globe Nominee Aaron Paul and Independent Spirit Award nominee Anthony Mackie.

Simply put, this film was loaded with talent, and unfortunately it squanders it. The film follows a group of criminals who also happen to be corrupt police officers in Atlanta. The gang, which includes Michael (Ejiofor) and Marcus (Mackie) seem like they want to get out of the lifestyle they’ve fallen into, yet because they’re on the hook for the Russian mafia, led by Irina Vlaslov (Winslet), they’re forced into more heists.

Meanwhile Detective Jeffrey Allen (Harrelson) is investigating the recent heists and trying to solve who on the police force may be crooked.

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Sicario review

Denis Villeneuve
Emily Blunt
Benicio Del Toro
Josh Brolin
Victor Garber
Rated: R

“Sicario” is directed by Denis Villeneuve, who helmed my favorite picture of 2013 “Prisoners.” The director returns for another dark film with “Sicario,” which follows an FBI agent named Kate Macer (Blunt) who joins up with an elite government task force to fight the drug war on the southern U.S. border.

Kate quickly finds out that the team, led by agent Matt Graver (Brolin) and an expert hired by the government named Alejandro (Del Toro) don’t exactly operate within all the boundaries of the law.

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Black Mass review

Scott Cooper
Johnny Depp
Joel Edgerton
Benedict Cumberbatch
Kevin Bacon
Peter Sarsgaard
Rated: R

Johnny Depp plays real life gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in “Black Mass,” the latest film from Director Scott Cooper. The film starts in the mid-1970s and focuses on Bulger as a powerful crime lord in Boston and an FBI informant.

The film is told through flashbacks from the perspective of multiple true-to-life characters who are being interrogated by law enforcement.

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Run All Night review

Jaume Collet-Serra
Liam Neeson
Ed Harris
Joel Kinnaman
Boyd Holbrook
Rated: R

“Run All Night” follows former mob hit man Jimmy (Neeson) who doesn’t exactly have the best luck in life. Jimmy is an alcoholic, poor and is estranged from his own son. The only person in the world who even gives him the time of day is his former boss and friend Shawn (Harris).

Problems increase for Jimmy, though when Shawn’s son gets involved in some bad crime and ends up killing another drug dealer. Jimmy’s son Mike ends up seeing the killing while on duty as a limo driver. This sets in motion a plot where Mike is on the run from Shawn’s cronies and needs the help of his father if he has any hopes of surviving.

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Inherent Vice review

Paul Thomas Anderson
Joaquin Phoenix
Katherine Waterston
Josh Brolin
Eric Roberts
Rated: R

The story of Inherent Vice is centered on Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix), a detective who has less than orthodox methods and also happens to be a fairly heavy drug user. In the midst of one of his times of getting high, Doc is visited by a person who wants him to investigate the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

As Doc begins his investigation, he uncovers numerous things going on behind the scenes and runs into a variety of interesting characters along the way.

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The Wolf of Wall Street review

Martin Scorsese
Leonardo DiCaprio
Jonah Hill
Kyle Chandler
Margot Robbie

Wall Street execs throw crazier parties than the guys from “Old School” and “Animal House” combined according to Scorsese’s latest flick.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio). Belfort, with the assistance of his eventual friend and business partner Donnie (Hill), open a firm called Stratton Oakmont. The firm becomes a billion-dollar company quickly and with that Belfort has easy access to drugs, alcohol and everything in between.

As the movie progresses, Belfort, Donnie and the firm gets richer and richer and the lifestyles become grander and more outrageous. The only problem is that what Belfort is doing at the firm isn’t considered legal and it doesn’t take long for the FBI to start an investigation.

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Out of the Furnace review

Scott Cooper
Woody Harrelson
Christian Bale
Casey Affleck
Zoe Saldana
Rated: R

Woody Harrelson was such a bad guy in this, I really wanted Bale to throw a Baterang at him.

“Out of the Furnace” follows Russell (Bale), a man who seems to have things going fairly well for him. He’s honest, hard working and tries to do the right things. His brother Rodney (Affleck), though, is a bit more troubled. Rodney is an Iraqi war veteran who has been on multiple tours because of the stop loss system.

Instead of looking for a steady job, Rodney enters into underground fighting rings. This gets him into more trouble, however, especially with ring leader Harlan DeGroat. After some issues Rodney ends up going missing and Russell, who’s life is going in a downward spiral, has to start thinking of making a decision on whether he should take the law into his own hands.

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The Counselor review

Ridley Scott
Michael Fassbender
Penelope Cruz
Cameron Diaz
Javier Bardem
Brad Pitt
Rated: R

Some aspects of “The Counselor,” like its cinematography, are as glamorous as the lifestyles portrayed in the movie, however, as a whole it is still a mess for the most part.

The story follows a man with no name. Not literally mind you, but Michael Fassbender is referred to as the Counselor through the entire film by everyone in the cast. The counselor is a lawyer who has some friends that can be considered the wrong crowd to be around.

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Prisoners review

Denis Villeneuve
Hugh Jackman
Jake Gyllenhaal
Viola Davis
Terrence Howard
Paul Dano
Rated: R

Hugh Jackman didn’t need any claws to dish out some pain this time around.

“Prisoners” is a movie that takes the audience on a suspenseful and quite uncomfortable ride. Hugh Jackman plays Keller Dover, a midwestern, middle class father who has brought his family over to a friend’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving.

During the festivities, Keller and his friend Franklin’s (Howard) daughters go outside to play before dinner. However, they end up not coming back.

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