REVIEW: ‘Shortcut’ isn’t a satisfying horror genre entry

There’s no need to take a shortcut to the theater for “Shortcut,” because it’s not worth seeing at a cinema.

This thriller follows a group of teenage students riding on a bus in a rural area of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately the audience doesn’t get much background on the group, there are only five students which is odd for a field trip. Regardless, this is our crew of protagonists.

Things take a turn for the worse when the bus has to take a back road and, while stopping to move an obstacle out of the way, a criminal with a revolver comes aboard and holds the driver at gunpoint. That’s not the end of the main characters’ problems, though, as the eerie area they’re driving through also seems to be home to an evil creature.

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REVIEW: ‘Antebellum’ suffers from poor plot execution

There are good ideas and a more than capable cast in “Antebellum,” yet the film as a whole is, unfortunately, a mess.

The picture follows Eden (Janelle Monae), a Black woman who appears at first to be a slave during the 1800s at the height of the Civil War. The plantation she and others appear to be at is surrounded and controlled by a unit of Confederate soldiers.

As the film progresses, more truths are learned about the plantation and additional background is provided about who Eden is. With tensions building, Eden begins considering an escape plan.

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REVIEW: ‘Thinking of Ending Things’ is solid thought-provoking cinema

I’m thinking this is a pretty damn good movie, but understand not everyone will feel that way.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” largely focuses on two characters, Jake (Jesse Plemons) and his girlfriend, played by Jessie Buckley. The couple are on their way to meet Jake’s parents for the first time time, but are unfortunately having to drive through a snowstorm to get there.

As they make their way over the snowy highway, the audience gets to learn more about how Jake’s girlfriend is considering the future of their relationship. Meanwhile, the audience is also introduced concurrently with a janitor character, who has a relation to the main characters that’s slowly revealed over the course of the film.

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REVIEW: Excessive techno-babble makes ‘Tenet’ tiresome

Having nearly three fourths of the dialogue in your movie be scientific terms and concepts doesn’t make your movie smart.

“Tenet” follows a character simply known as The Protagonist (John David Washington). A spy who appears to work for the American intelligence apparatus, Washington’s character is assigned a mission where he has to investigate weapons that defy time.

For example, the spy is shown bullets that are inverted, which means they move backwards in time. On his mission, the Protagonist is assisted by a helpful contact named Neil (Robert Pattinson). As the mission continues, the Protagonist discovers the main person associated with the weapons is Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh). To get close to the arms dealer, the agent begins speaking with Sator’s wife Kat (Elizabeth Debicki).

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REVIEW: ‘Unhinged’ is never unentertaining

I don’t think Russell Crowe hasn’t taken out everything in his path like this since “Gladiator.”

Crowe, whose character is just known as The Man, is introduced as violent right from the start, as the opening scene shows him committing a double murder and then arson. We then switch to the main character, Rachel (Caren Pistorius), who’s having a rough morning.

She’s late for work, her divorce is taking the difficult route through the legal system and she has to make sure her son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman) gets to school on time. Along the way, she lays on the horn pretty hard at a truck, driven by Crowe’s character. He doesn’t take kindly to it, and decides to go on a murderous, destructive rampage with Rachel as his target.

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REVIEW: ‘New Mutants’ misses the mark

After nearly two years of delays “The New Mutants” has finally arrived. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say that it’s worth the wait.

The movie begins with a teenager, Danielle (Blu Hunt),  waking up in a hospital-like facility after what seemed to be a monstrous tornado destroyed her town. Danielle soon learns from the single physician at the facility, Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga), that she is a mutant and she’s at an establishment meant to keep other young mutants from the general public and teach them to control their power.

The other mutants include Rahne (Maisie Williams), Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam (Charlie Heaton) and Roberto (Henry Zaga). As Danielle starts to settle in, the other mutants began having hallucinations while also getting closer to the truth of what the facility actually is.

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REVIEW: While there’s room for improvement, ‘Relic’ stands as a solid thriller

In most cases it’s good to hold on to items important to one’s family… except when they happen to be haunted or produce evil.

Unfortunately, that’s basically what we have in this picture.

Set in rural Australia, “Relic” tells the story of three women, the eldest Edna (Robyn Nevin), her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and her granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote). Edna, now a widow, lives alone in an old house and is getting to the age where it may be appropriate to have her stay at an assisted living facility. This is made apparent when she goes missing and comes back acting strangely.

At first, both Kay and Sam suspect the issue may be dementia, or general cognitive decline. However, as the movie goes on, Edna’s actions, and the house itself, become more sinister.

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REVIEW: ‘The Rental’ falters after promising start

This movie is a good example of why maybe you should just stay at a hotel.

“The Rental” follows two couples, the first being Charlie (Dan Stevens) and his girlfriend Michelle (Allison Brie). The other is Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and his girlfriend Mina. Josh is Charlie’s younger brother, and while the two don’t get along perfectly, they decide to go on a vacation together to a rental house.

Despite meeting a less than pleasant caretaker upon arrival, the four start off the weekend well enough. However, a situation arises that complicates the whole trip and it happens around the same time they notice something strange about the house.

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REVIEW: ‘Fatal Affair’ is a thriller everyone can skip

Netflix, how dare you steal this movie from the Lifetime Channel.

That joke isn’t just based on the genre this movie is in, it also fits because the director of this motion picture has a lot of experience in the realm of TV flicks. The film follows a married woman named Ellie (Nia Long) who’s just moved to a new home with her husband Marcus (Stephen Bishop).

The movie picks up with Ellie attending a rather routine meeting at her job, but that changes when she sees her firm has hired a tech expert named David (Omar Epps). David is Ellie’s old friend from college, and the two are happy to meet up again. However, Ellie soon finds David to have dangerous ideas and motives.

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REVIEW: ‘You Should Have Left’ squanders potential

There are interesting concepts at play in “You Should Have Left,” but sadly, it doesn’t result in a great film.

Directed and written by David Koepp, “You Should Have Left” stars Kevin Bacon as Theo, a man who is planning to go on vacation with his wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) and her daughter Ella (Avery Essex). The vacation home they choose is a rather modern looking one in a rural area of Wales.

At first, it seems like the perfect spot to get away, with the house being spacious and the beautiful countryside out the window. However, as time goes on, details about Theo’s past and current relationship issues cause strain. On top of that, strange things start occurring in the seemingly perfect house.

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