While this slick dramatic thriller plays with some intriguing ideas and themes, it never actually breaks the surface, relying on silly plotting and simplistic moralising. It also uses autism as little more than a plot point. Still, it's sharply shot and edited to create plenty of interest, with comical asides and some intense action. So it's entertaining even if it's both preposterous and shallow.
It centres on Christian (Ben Affleck), a mild-mannered autistic accountant with a big secret: he's not only cooking the books for top gangsters around the world, but he's also an efficient killer. In his day job, he's hired by Lamar (John Lithgow) and his sister Rita (Smart) to locate an anomaly in their robotics company's books. Working with company accountant Dana (Anna Kendrick), Christian crunches the numbers and finds more than anyone expected. Meanwhile, Federal Agent Ray (J.K. Simmons) wants catch this mythical mob accountant-killer before he retires, so he coerces analyst Marybeth (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) into tracking him down. But just as they close in on Christian, so does hyperactive hitman Brax (Jon Bernthal).
The script by Bill Dubuque (The Judge) never even remotely holds water. Christian's autism provides some intriguing flashbacks, which build throughout the movie to a climactic moment, as his militaristic father cruelly treats his condition by sending him to Karate Kid-style training in Indonesia with his silently annoyed little brother. Where a real autistic child would revert into the horror of all of that, Christian emerges as adeptly skilled at engaging with everyone he meets and also able to fight more efficiently than experienced military commandos, whom he kills by the dozen as Brax and his army surround him. No, it makes absolutely no sense, but as a movie it's a rather amusing waste of time.
Continue reading: The Accountant Review
Jon Bernthal, Erin Angle , Adeline Bernthal - World premiere of Disney-Pixar's 'Finding Dory' at the El Capitan Theatre - Arrivals at El Capitan Theatre, Disney - Hollywood, California, United States - Wednesday 8th June 2016
Ben Affleck is cast as Christian Wolff in this new action thriller film The Accountant. An extraordinary man with highly advanced cognitive skills that allow him to think on a different level to that of a standard human, more in line with the likes of Picasso and Einstein. He works as a freelance accountant for some of the world's most dangerous criminal organisations from the cover of a CPA office in a small town. He has two sides to his job one being an accountant and the other being a sleeping assassin, a job that when required to do so will see him perform extraordinary measures.
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A rare film that adds up to much more than the sum of its parts, this works as both a dramatic character study and a tense thriller. The title is Mexican slang for "hitman". And with fierce direction, razor-sharp writing and breathtakingly layered performances, this is one of the most involving, thrilling movies of the year. It also has something urgent to say about the political world we live in.
Kate (Emily Blunt) is the leader of an FBI unit in Phoenix, and is taken aback when offbeat Homeland Security agent Matt (Josh Brolin) asks her to join his team tracking a Mexican drug cartel kingpin. She brings her partner (Daniel Kaluuya) along, and they struggle to make sense of their new mission, especially the shady operative Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) who's working alongside them. The question is which organisation is actually running this operation, and what the real goal is. Clearly international laws are being bent at every step, and Kate is worried that she might also be compromising her moral and ethical principles. Meanwhile over the border, a local cop (Maximiliano Hernandez) is involved in activities that may cause trouble for his family and community.
Director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) keeps this story tightly under control, taking the audience along on Kate's odyssey into the dark side of international law enforcement, which has little regard for the law. Blunt brings a remarkable authenticity to her role as a steely, smart leader who is always on-edge, trying to find a way through an unpredictable situation. As she quietly reveals Kate's thought processes, the audience is able to identify with her at every step. Which makes every scene both riveting and emotionally wrenching. Opposite her, both Brolin and Del Toro are on top form, infusing the film with quirky details, black humour and challenging ideas. There's also an astonishing role for Jon Bernthal as a cowboy who flirts with Kate, and then some.
Continue reading: Sicario Review
Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of youthful energy, but not much authenticity or depth. The plot traces a young aspiring DJ trying to make his mark on the music world, and his struggle isn't exactly gruelling. But what the movie lacks in realism it makes up for in melodrama, keeping the audience involved simply because the characters are relatively enjoyable company.
Zac Efron plays Cole, a smart young guy who spends his days and nights hanging with his chucklehead pals Mason, Ollie and Squirrel (Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez and Alex Shaffer), playing music, doing drugs and tormenting the girls. But Cole has skills mixing tracks to keep a dance floor busy, and one night he's noticed by his idol James (Wes Bentley), a star DJ with a hot girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski). James helps Cole discover his own distinct voice, while Cole can't help but fall for Sophie. Meanwhile, Cole and his buddies need to make some cash, so they take a job with a dodgy property developer (Jon Bernthal). But Cole is determined that this kind of work won't be his future.
Director-cowriter Max Joseph never really bothers to develop any of this properly, letting the film glide along on Cole's cool beats while indulging in arty touches like an animated drug trip. There isn't much complexity to any of the characters, but the actors add interest in the way they interact, developing camaraderie that says a lot more than their relentless macho swagger. Efron is the only actor who is allowed to offer a glimpse beneath the surface, and he navigates Cole's darker emotional moments nicely. But the script continually undermines him. For example, there are constant references to his strong moral code, and yet he seems utterly unbothered about seducing his mentor's girlfriend. Opposite him, Bentley gets to do some ace scene-stealing, but everyone else fades into the wallpaper.
Continue reading: We Are Your Friends Review
Aspiring DJ Cole Carter, from LA's San Fernando Valley, sets out to make it big in the world of electronic dance music and create a name for himself in Hollywood's nightlife scene, by working on the one track that will make him stand out from the crowd. Things start looking up when an older DJ named James takes him under his wing, but life get complicated for Cole when he finds himself falling for James's young girlfriend Sophie. With Cole's friendships at stake, will he have to make a tough choice between love, loyalty and the music career he has always dreamed of?
Continue: We Are Your Friends Trailer
Kate Macer is an FBI Agent who's about to undertake probably the most dangerous mission of her career so far. It's not her usual department, but she has been taken on to help in the ever swelling drug war along the border of the US and Mexico. There's a drug lord taking over the sprawling metropolis of El Paso, people are getting killed left right and centre. In order to take him down, a lot of people need to be executed along the way - but Kate's not so sure her task is an entirely moral one when she is forced to pull a gun on nearly everyone who gets in her way. As she doubts the mission and questions the history of Matt, the task force's leader, she starts to understand that they only real assignment she's being faced with is survival - even if that means breaking her own rules.
Continue: Sicario Trailer
Fresh out of college, 23-year-old Cole Carter and his friends Mason, Ollie and Squirrel are determined to make something of their futures, with young people being faced with more and more career opportunities than ever before. Cole wants to become one of the world's top DJs, but hitting the decks at local college parties aren't getting him anywhere fast. He learns the art of getting people moving with his music from a more experienced DJ named James who sees potential in him, but it seems the more he is taught, the more he realises he has to learn. Still, he's reluctant to work under James, and things get complicated when he starts to bond with James' girlfriend Sophie. To make matters worse, his friends are becoming increasingly frustrated with him for refusing to seize a once in a lifetime opportunity to make something really special.
Continue: We Are Your Friends - Teaser Trailer
High school can be the worst time for some people, and for Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), it turned out to be especially horrible. His parents inform him that his classmate, Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), has been diagnosed with leukemia. The two make a fast friendship out of a mutual intention to not be sympathetic, but that plan doesn't work out as well as planned. Greg and his best friend Earl make 'bad films' in their spare time, and decide to devote a film to Rachel. Unfortunately, as they specialise in bad films, they struggle to make something that will truly honour her and cheer her up.
Continue: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Trailer
Brad Pitt took extensive research into the toils of war in preparation for 'Fury'.
Now storming through cinemas worldwide after claiming the US box office crown last weekend, the World War II tank-crew thriller 'Fury' is an old-school war movie that attempts to update the genre with a more internalised approach to its characters.
Brad Pitt has deep respect for the war veterans who inspired 'Fury'
"It's about a family and their love for each other," says writer-director David Ayer of the five-man crew played by Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal. "We wanted to explore the moral and psychological hazards of war, and how they affect this family of brothers."
Continue reading: Brad Pitt And Co Head Back To WWII With 'Fury'
From Training Day to this year's Sabotage, filmmaker David Ayer writes and directs movies about the cathartic power of releasing your inner warrior. And this World War II action thriller is more of the same, with a "war is hell" message stirred in for good measure. The problem is that there's nothing particularly new here. It's a beautifully shot and edited film, with terrific performances and a remarkable sense of scale, but there have been so many movies made about this conflict that it's difficult to find something original to connect with.
It's near the end of the war, April 1945, as Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) leads the crew of a tank named Fury: Bible (Shia LaBeouf) is a true believer, Gordo (Michael Pena) is a relaxed joker, and Coon-Ass (Jon Bernthal) is a hot-headed thug. Having just lost their driver, they're joined by rookie Norman (Logan Lerman), who doesn't yet have a wartime nickname because he never thought he'd end up driving a tank. Together, they head further into Germany, not as liberators but as invaders and occupiers, working with other tank crews to take a strategic town before heading further into the hot zone, where a series of particularly brutal Nazi assaults ensue.
The point of the film seems to be that war erodes a person's humanity over time, and the sharpest aspect is the way each character emerges at some point on the continuum. Obviously, Norman is the naive newbie who still has a strong conscience, while at the other extreme Coon-Ass is virtually a monster. Wardaddy is somewhere in between, a tough guy who still has a sense of perspective, such as when he reasons that Norman should be allowed to have some private time with a young German girl (Alicia von Rittberg) simply because they're "young and alive". All of the actors are excellent, adding telling details to their characters that deepen every scene. And the camaraderie between the five-man crew is remarkably authentic, as is their ease inside the cramped quarters of the tank, which makes submarine movies look spacious by comparison.
Continue reading: Fury Review
While this slick dramatic thriller plays with some intriguing ideas and themes, it never actually...
Ben Affleck is cast as Christian Wolff in this new action thriller film The Accountant....
Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...
Aspiring DJ Cole Carter, from LA's San Fernando Valley, sets out to make it big...
Kate Macer is an FBI Agent who's about to undertake probably the most dangerous mission...
Fresh out of college, 23-year-old Cole Carter and his friends Mason, Ollie and Squirrel are...
High school can be the worst time for some people, and for Greg Gaines (Thomas...
From Training Day to this year's Sabotage, filmmaker David Ayer writes and directs movies about...
During April, 1945, the final month of World War Two, the Allied Forces are making...
Wardaddy is an army sergeant with years of experience in the horrors and victories of...
It's a little annoying that this high-concept marketing project (Rocky vs Raging Bull!) is as...