More Saoirse Ronan mystery movies, please.
In director Tom George’s feature film debut, Ronan portrays Constable Stalker, a young officer on the force, who is assisting Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockewell) on a murder case. The victim in the case is Leo Kopernick (Adrien Brody), a film director who was set to helm the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”
As it just so happens, there are plenty of suspects who had a dislike for Leo, and the investigators’ case soon becomes an Agatha Christie-like whodunit. The two protagonists have to work quickly, too, as the murderer remains a danger to others involved in the production.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘See How They Run’ succeeds on strong humor”
Aubrey Plaza showed great acting skills in 2020’s “Black Bear” and she has followed it up with another strong performance this time around.
As the title implies, Plaza plays a young woman named Emily. Carrying a troubled past with her, Emily is down on her luck, working a bad job and paying off seemingly insurmountable loans.
Needing more income, she reluctantly decides to get involved in a credit card scam ring. While Emily starts having success, though, it pulls her deeper into a dangerous situation.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Plaza positively shines in ‘Emily the Criminal’”
Michael Bay tears up Los Angeles in his new action blockbuster, although the stakes are a bit lower compared to his other entries from the last decade.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Will Sharp in “Ambulance,” a veteran and young father struggling to provide for his family, especially with medical bills mounting. In his desperation, he turns to his adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal), who runs an auto shop.
It turns out, that isn’t Danny’s only business, though, as the brother is also into heists and has been planning a bank robbery. Will is eventually roped in to the situation, but the robbery turns south fast. Needing to escape, the brothers carjack an ambulance with a wounded officer and an EMT (Eiza Gonzalez) inside.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Adrenaline filled ‘Ambulance’ entertains despite speed bumps”
The Chicago crime scene of years gone by is brought to life on a small scale in this bottle film.
Graham Moore makes his feature directorial debut with “The Outfit,” which centers on Leonard (Mark Rylance), an Englishman who owns a tailor shop in Chicago. The film’s protagonist runs an honest business, with the help of his secretary Mable (Zoey Deutch).
However, he has also set up a post box at his establishment used by crime organizations to communication. One night, this decision becomes a problem, as mafia members who’re customers of Leonard’s store begin using the shop as a place to go during a gang war. Leonard is then placed in a tense situation with dangerous men.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Visually appealing ‘Outfit’ bogged down by plotting issues”
Some of the best elements of the “Batman” interpretations by directors Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan are melded into the new crime epic featuring the Dark Knight.
In director Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” Robert Pattinson stars as Bruce Wayne, who spends his nights out in Gotham City as the caped crusader. The film picks up with him meeting with Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) after a night of fighting criminals to consult on a murder case.
The victim is the city’s mayor, and the suspect is the Riddler (Paul Dano), who leaves behind haunting clues. The killing sets Batman on an investigation, where he partners with Gordon and a cat burglar, Selina (Zoe Kravitz). The investigation brings him in conflict with the city’s underbelly, with the likes of the Penguin (Colin Farrell) in his way.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Batman’ is a brilliant caped crusader story”
Nicholas Cage has had ups and downs in his career over the last decade, with some real lows in there (“Season of the Witch”), but he shows in this movie that he still has the acting prowess that won him an Oscar in the 90s.
Cage stars as Rob in “Pig,” a man who lives a secluded life in the Pacific northwest. He spends his days hunting for truffles with his foraging pig, and sells his finds to a single buyer, Amir (Alex Wolff), for simple supplies.
His day-to-day routine is shattered, though, when his pig is stolen in the middle of the night. With a reluctant Amir providing assistance, Rob sets out to get his pig back by any means necessary. However, his journey takes him back to a world he left behind, digging up his past in the process.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Cage shines in truffle trouble drama ‘Pig’”
A title like “Nightmare Alley” may inspire thoughts that this film is about fantastical monsters.
But director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film is about how ordinary men can be just as monstrous as fabled beasts.
Bradley Cooper stars as Stanton in the film, a man who’s clearly on the run from his past at the start of the movie. As the film takes place during the later years of the depression and Stanton needing work, he ends up taking an offer to work at a carnival.
There, he meets a husband and wife duo who have an act where they perform as a pair of psychics, although, their mind games are actually just coded words to make it appear that they have powers. Still, Stanton sees an opportunity for himself and decides he would like to do such an act, but his efforts to do so leads to dangers and conundrums.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Take a stroll in ‘Nightmare Alley’ for quality noir”
Paul Schrader is back with another pessimistic film that earns a positive score.
Oscar Isaac stars as William Tell in “The Card Counter,” a man who after serving a prison sentence, lives on the road traveling from casino to casino. Tell is able to count cards and is strong poker player, but he never tries to make more than he needs to survive. It soon becomes clear that he’s troubled by something in his past.
Tell’s life begins to change, though, when he meets Cirk (Tye Sheridan), the college-age son of a soldier he knew while serving. Around the same time, he meets a woman named La Linda, who convinces him to begin playing professionally under her management.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Card Counter’ is a terrific slow-burn in a fast setting”
A bottle film with plenty of bullets is usually good for entertaining audiences, but the quality can really vary.
“Copshop” is a situation where the film does entertain, but the quality is a bit on the lower end.
Alexis Louder stars as Valerie Young in “Copshop,” a rookie officer who works at a rural police station. One night on patrol, Young arrests a man named Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo), who is placed in a holding cell. Not long after, other officers from the station arrest a drunk driver known as Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler).
It turns out, Teddy and Bob know each other. After working for the mob, Teddy was looking for a way out and went to the authorities. Bob, meanwhile, is a hitman. Now, the two are both at the same station and Young is forced to do some quick thinking as another gunman comes to the station, also looking for the hit on Teddy.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Movie about cons has plenty of cons, but still entertains”
Hero. Antihero. Villain. Can a protagonist be all three? “Cruella” attempts to find out.
Emma Stone stars as Estella in this supposed prequel to the “101 Dalmatians” story. Estella, born with white and black hair, is a girl who was orphaned at a young age when her mother fell from a balcony during a party. Following the death, Estella finds her way to London and meets Jasper and Horace. The three become friends and pull schemes together to make money in order to survive.
Eventually, though, Estella gets her chance to leave her life of pick-pocketing and get her dream job as a fashion designer. Eventually, she gets to work for London’s top fashion individual, who simply goes by The Baroness (Emma Thompson). The more she works there, though, the more Estella finds reason to let out her true self, Cruella, and conquer the fashion world.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Cruella’ constricted by tonal imbalance”