REVIEW: ‘A Call to Spy’ is sadly underwhelming

This film features an amazing true story about brave individuals who volunteered to do daring work to hold back the German war machine in some of the darkest days for Europe in World War II.

One just wishes the movie was less dull.

The picture introduces British intelligence officer Vera Atkins (Stana Katic), who recruits candidates to help the French resistance communicate with each other and plan sabotage efforts. To do so, Atkins recruits Virginia Hall (Sarah Megan Thomas) and Noor Inayat Khan (Radhika Apte).

Atkins has the two young women go to two sections of France, with Khan focusing on radio communications and Hall planning sabotage efforts. Doing so isn’t easy, though, with Germany’s occupation forces everywhere.

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REVIEW: After slow start, ‘The Outpost’ rallies for strong finish

A major battle during the War in Afghanistan where United States soldiers were completely out numbered is featured in this 2020 war movie.

The picture is set 11 years ago, in the fall of 2009, and follows United States soldiers who are stationed at Combat Outpost Keating. Life for the soldiers is never easy, as the outpost was labeled indefensible.

Centered in a valley and with an enemy threat constantly looming, it is difficult to keep the outpost safe and secure. This becomes most apparent in early October, when more than 300 Taliban insurgents attacked the location in what’s called the Battle of Kamdesh.

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REVIEW: Action and Hanks’ performance keep ‘Greyhound’ afloat

Tom Hanks returns to the World War II era in this feature, trading a mission to save a soldier after D-Day for escorting ships across the Atlantic Ocean.

“Greyhound” follows the Hanks character Captain Krause, who commands a destroyer named Greyhound. The craft is responsible for protecting supply ships from German UBoats as they make their way from the United States to the European Theatre.

Danger is always around the corner for the Greyhound. There’s a constant enemy threat lurking under the waves, which keeps the crew active throughout their mission. As a result, Krause has to remain alert and is required to be regularly giving orders.

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REVIEW: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ falters due to storytelling

Maybe Spike Lee should have used a five-part mini-series to tell the story of “Da 5 Bloods.”

This film, released recently on Netflix, is about four veterans who return to Vietnam decades after they fought in the war. The men who go to the country include Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis) and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.).

They journeyed to the country for two primary reasons. One is to return to the place where their friend and fellow soldier Norman (Chadwick Boseman) died to collect his remains and bring them back to the States. The other reason is to collect gold they found and buried there when they were soldiers. Joining them on this journey is Paul’s estranged son David (Jonathan Majors).

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REVIEW: ‘Official Secrets’ endures issues to deliver compelling drama

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

The lead up to the chaotic foreign policy situation that is the Iraq War involved the United States government heavily pressuring the United Nations Security Council.

One of the ways it planned to do so was to gather compromising details about other U.N. diplomats, and potentially use blackmail, to swing any Iraq decision. This was eventually discovered by an employee at the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters.

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REVIEW: ‘Midway’ is stuck in mediocrity

If you want to talk about turning point battles in American history, Midway is easily one of the most important. The results allowed the United States to bounce back at a critical time in the Pacific Theater, considering what happened months earlier in Hawaii.

The portrayal of the battle here, though, leaves a bit to be desired.

The film is the second major portrayal of the battle. In fact, it shares the same name, too, as the year 1976 also saw a movie titled “Midway.” Like that picture, the 2019 version, directed and produced by Roland Emmerich, begins before the battle.

Pearl Harbor is attacked and in the ensuing months, officials in Washington and the Pacific are trying to organize a response as sailors and airmen are anxious to fight back. The film follows key figures in the lead up to Midway as they try to outwit the Japanese military, such as Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Lt. Edwin Layton who worked intelligence.

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