REVIEW: ‘Stillwater’ stalls due to poor narrative choices

Films inspired by a true story often take artistic liberties, which is perfectly fine. They better be well executed, though.

In this case, “Stillwater” was inspired by the story of Amanda Knox, an American woman falsely convicted on the charge of murdering a fellow exchange student in Italy. Abigail Breslin portrays Allison in “Stillwater,” an American woman in France who’s been in prison for four years.

Allison was convicted of murdering her roommate and classmate from a French university, although she maintains her innocence. Also convinced of her innocence is her dad, Bill (Matt Damon). The movie picks up with Bill visiting Allison in jail. During his stay, he learns there might be more evidence to prove her innocence and decides to stay, in case a development happens.

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REVIEW: Despite award caliber cast and crew, ‘The Laundromat’ is a loss

With the closure of movie theaters because of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m taking a look back at more movies from 2019.

What a waste. This film has a talented Academy Award winning director, actors who’ve been nominated or won Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmys, including one of the greatest actresses ever. On top of that, it had a rich, fascinating subject matter. Yet the picture as a whole is a complete mess.

Meryl Streep plays Ellen Martin in “The Laundromat,” a woman who loses her husband during a ride on a lake cruise. Following the accident, Ellen speaks with her financial adviser, but she finds issues with how the insurance is being processed.

With something seeming off, Ellen decides to explore what’s going on, and finds out that the insurance company she’s dealing with is linked to entities listed in the Panama Papers. The notorious documents detailing thousands of offshore financial transactions were leaked in 2016.

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REVIEW: ‘Bombshell’ has strong acting, but lacks extensive insight

Roger Ailes’ ouster from the media company he built is explored in this drama, but it only scratches the surface.

“Bombshell” tells the story of Ailes’ (John Lithgow) final months at Fox News by taking the perspective of anchors Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman). Additionally, brought into the middle of the situation is a reporter for Fox, Kayla (Margot Robbie) who’s representative of anonymous victims who worked at the company.

Aside from a few flashbacks, the film takes place over the course of the 2016 presidential election, with an emphasis on the Republican Primary. The focus on the primary comes as some at Fox News, such as Kelly, have issues with then candidate Donald Trump. The friction of the primary coincides with the building of a case against Ailes, who was accused by several women of sexual harassment and assault.

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