Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while grappling meaningfully with some very big topics. Set in present-day America, it's a story for today's social climate, but it feels like a classic Western in the way a pair of desperado bank robbers are pursued by a sly detective. It's also beautifully directed and skilfully acted to pull the audience all the way in.
In rural Texas, Tanner (Ben Foster) has just been released from prison when he agrees to help his brother Toby (Chris Pine) stage a series of small bank robberies to earn enough cash to guarantee a future for Toby's sons. Their mother has only recently died, and both are feeling a sense of pointlessness about life, willing to risk everything for a shot at something. But while Toby plans the heists carefully, Tanner is a hothead who continually attracts attention. Sure enough, Ranger Marcus (Jeff Bridges) catches their scent, working with his loyal but sarcastic partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham) to try to get one step ahead of the crimes. And since he's not looking forward to his impending retirement, Marcus is in no hurry.
Thankfully, director David Mackenzie (Starred Up) is in no hurry either, steadily building the suspense with each step in the story, keeping the focus tightly on the characters. This means that several scenes are breathlessly intense. There are so many intriguing things going on here that the film nearly bursts with resonance, from the old-versus-new world themes to the economic reality that has put Toby in this mess to begin with, and the corporate greed that's offering him a way out. Pine and Foster are perfectly cast in these roles, and both deliver layered performances that suggest at a more complex back-story than the one we learn. Opposite them, Bridges is the picture of calm, a terrific role that he seems to glide through effortlessly. But this is a carefully gauged performance that nails the tricky balance between tenacity, intelligence and grit.
Continue reading: Hell Or High Water Review
Hell or High Water is an American heist crime film which follows the journey of two brothers Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) on a bank-robbing mission in order to save their West Texas family farm. This film, directed by David Mackenzie, sees the brothers calculate a series of robberies on banks in order to raise a sum of cash that they need in order to ensure their family farm's security.
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Since the dawn of time, the Minions have been desperately looking for a master. From dinosaurs, to cave men, to Dracula, to Napoleon, the Minions have sought out the biggest and best of masters from around the world. The trouble is, their optimism and perseverance - while commendable - is nothing compared to their utter ineptitude. The Minions have a terrible problem with either killing their boss, or letting their bosses die in some way. But with the 1960s in full swing and the Minions currently unemployed, they travel to a villain convention to find a new master, and uncover a conspiracy to steal the crown from the Queen of England.
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It's a wonder why the prehistoric tribe of Minions have managed to survive so long with limited access to their staple diet of bananas and very little in the way of intelligence. But they make it their life's work to follow and serve the most despicable of villains in return for their care - though, as time goes on, it seems there are fewer and fewer baddies left in the world, ever decreasing down to the Minion's own ineptitudes. From dinosaurs to vampires, Minions have always been loyal to the evil they serve, but after each tragic and accidental death, they are forced to move on. Stuck in a tight spot with no master to serve, they find themselves bored and depressed; that is until head Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide it's time to set out on an adventure. Through blizzards and mountains, never-ending fields and deadly oceans they travel until they reach New York in 1968. They hitchhike to Orlando's annual Villain-Con and it's there they find their new mistress, Scarlet Overkill, and their only hope of saving Minion-kind.
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The Minions are a prehistoric race with a love of bananas and not the biggest brains individually. Together, their life's mission is to serve the deadliest villain around - but they are not very good at keeping them safe. From the scariest dinosaurs, Egyptian kings, Napoleon and even vampires, Minions have been around to assist the world's tyrants with their dastardly deeds, but it wasn't long before they tragically ran out of baddies to aid. Bored, desolate and miserable, three Minions named Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide enough is enough and set out to find a new master. Trekking through freezing mountains, sprawling pastures and never-ending oceans, they finally arrive in 1968 New York - 42 years before they met their future partner Gru. It's their they meet Scarlet Overkill - an evil mistress with whom they must band together to save their kind.
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Curtis (Shannon) lives in small-town America with his wife Samantha (Chastain) and their young daughter Hannah (Stewart). He has a good job in a quarry, which provides insurance so Hannah can get an operation to restore her hearing. But Curtis begins to suspect that his mind is slipping, rather like his schizophrenic mother (Baker). As his nightmares become increasingly horrific and vivid, he starts to become paranoid about a coming storm. And no one understands why he insists on building an underground shelter next to the house.
Continue reading: Take Shelter Review
Milton (Cage) is on a mission to avenge the death of his daughter and rescue his grandchild from a charismatic satanic cult leader (Burke). But he's being tenaciously pursued by a man (Fichtner) who calls himself the Accountant and clearly has supernatural powers. Indeed, it turns out that Milton has escaped from hell, and the Accountant is here to bring him back. Although he rather enjoys causing chaos here on earth. Meanwhile, Milton teams up with Piper (Heard), mainly because she has a seriously hot car.
Continue reading: Drive Angry Review
Escaping the deepest and darkest realms of hell, Milton returns to Earth in a bid to save his baby grand daughter from death. Milton's daughter was murdered by a cult days earlier and now Milton has three days before the cult leader sacrifices the baby in an attempt to unleash hell on earth.
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Mary (Bullock) is a socially inept crossword creator for a local newspaper in Sacramento, California, where she lives with her oddball parents (Hesseman and Grant). They set her up on a blind date with news cameraman Steve (Cooper), who quickly realises that she's a nutcase. But she follows him and his crew (reporter Church and producer Jeong) to from story to story across the Southwest, convinced that they're meant to be together. It all culminates at a collapsed mineshaft in Colorado.
Continue reading: All About Steve Review
Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...
Hell or High Water is an American heist crime film which follows the journey of...
Since the dawn of time, the Minions have been desperately looking for a master. From...
It's a wonder why the prehistoric tribe of Minions have managed to survive so long...
Shannon reteams with Shotgun Stories writer-director Nichols for another exploration of one man's wobbling mental...
Less a fully realised thriller than a series of rampaging set pieces, this rollicking movie...
Escaping the deepest and darkest realms of hell, Milton returns to Earth in a bid...
How is it that in best year of Sandra Bullock's career (see The Proposal and...