REVIEW: ‘The Marksman’ never hits the bullseye

When I saw Liam Neeson on the big screen fighting a mob in France back in 2009 during my first year reviewing and second year in college, I didn’t know I’d be spending a decade watching him battle all kinds of things.

He’s fought wolves, been an agent in Germany, he took on terrorists as an air marshal, and now all this time later, he’s fighting against a Mexican cartel.

In “The Marksman,” Neeson portrays Jim, a former Marine and rancher who owns property along the Mexican border in Arizona. Because of where his land is, Jim has a radio with him to call the U.S. Border Patrol in case there are crossings. Meanwhile, in Mexico, a young woman and her son are sent on the run from a cartel because her cousin double crossed them.

Her and her boy, Miguel (Jacob Perez), make it across the border, but the cartel quickly catches up, right as they make it across a fence. At the same time, Jim just happens to be there ranching his land. A firefight ensues and the woman passes away, asking Jim to take care of Miguel and get him to Chicago where the rest of their family lives. While reluctant, Jim decides to take on the task and try to make his way to the Windy City with the boy. However, the cartel remains committed to finding both of them.

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REVIEW: Not much good to report in ‘News of the World’

Before there was Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Walter Cronkite, there was Tom Hanks’s character Jefferson Kidd. At least according to “News of the World.”

In the film, directed by Paul Greengrass, Hanks plays Jefferson Kidd, a former Civil War captain who now earns a living by going from town-to-town in Texas to read the top headlines and stories from the nation’s largest newspapers. Set in 1870, reconstruction is still a work in progress, with some parts of Texas remaining dangerous while others are lined with United States soldiers.

The movie picks up with Kidd on his way to a different town for another news delivery. Along the way, he finds a young girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel), who’s near a broken down wagon. From paperwork in the wagon, Kidd learns that Johanna was taken in by a Native American tribe after the deaths of her parents, and that she was supposed to be taken to surviving family members in another part of the state. Kidd is then instructed by officials to take her to reunite with her family members, which is a tough, 400 mile journey.

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