The hero from Lee Child's series of novels is back - well, the Tom Cruise version of the hero. He may be a 6-foot-5 blond muscle-man in the books, but Cruise weathered the storm with the unusually smart first movie, and now he returns for a remarkably gritty action thriller that feels like the antithesis of his Mission: Impossible movies. This is an ageing hero who gets hurt and recognises the laws of gravity.
As he roams around America helping strangers, Jack (Tom Cruise) keeps in touch with Susan (Cobie Smulders), who took his old job as commanding officer of a military police base. But just as he decides to drop in to meet her, she's arrested on trumped-up charges. And he is also promptly framed for murder and locked up. All of this happens just as he discovers that 15-year-old Samantha (Danika Yarosh) is his daughter. So Jack and Susan break out of prison and take Sam along as they try to sort out why they are suddenly on the wrong side of the law. Everything seems to trace back to a shady private contractor (Robert Knepper) who has sent a ruthless killer (Patrick Heusinger) to stop them.
In normal action blockbusters, this kind of plot would play out with massive explosions, physics-defying car chases and superhuman characters who take a hit and keep on going. But director Edward Zwick (who directed Cruise in The Last Samurai) takes a much more thoughtful, realistic approach that sometimes makes the film feel like it's moving in slow motion by comparison. Cruise is decidedly mortal in this role, needing to take a moment to recover after every punch. Since he's not invincible, Jack is far more engaging as a character, especially as he grapples with issues surrounding unexpected fatherhood. He also strikes just the right balance of flirtatious camaraderie with Smulders' Susan, never tipping over into a corny action-movie romance.
Continue reading: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Review
Marshall Herskovitz , Guest - The 27th Annual Producers Guild of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Arrivals at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 23rd January 2016
Landry Major and Marshall Herskovitz - Photographs from the 2014 American Film Institute's Festival and screening of 'Inherent Vice' which was held at The Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 8th November 2014
In 1996, Jamie (Gyllenhaal) has discovered his gift as a salesman, mainly peddling his own charms to every young woman he meets. In need of a higher-paying job, he trains as a Pfizer pharmaceutical rep in the Ohio River Valley. It takes awhile to learn the ropes, and sales are tough due to a fierce rival (Macht). But when Pfizer introduces Viagra, his numbers improve dramatically, to say the least. Meanwhile, he meets Maggie (Hathaway), a feisty young woman with early-stage Parkinson's who challenges his view of himself.
Continue reading: Love & Other Drugs Review
Willing to help as many fellow exiles as possible, Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber), and Asael (Jamie Bell) formed what eventually came to be known as the Otriad, a mobile community that grew to encompass 1,200 Jewish refugees. The Otriad provided food, shelter, safety, and a moderate sense of stability. There were rules and guidelines, which bred harmony and conflict. Relationships were forged, as male and female widows took on "forest" husbands and wives. The toughest challenge -- beyond basic survival --seemed to be maintaining civility in this makeshift civilization.
Continue reading: Defiance Review
Djimon Hounsou plays Solomon Vendy, a fisherman who just wants a better life for his son. But when the rebels come, he is unwillingly thrust into the midst of the violence -- his family is scattered, he is captured, their village is decimated. He is working the diamond mines at gunpoint when he catches, and hides, an epic stone -- huge, flawless, and slightly pink.
Continue reading: Blood Diamond Review
The rest of the cast is not so lucky. Henry Thomas (the kid from E.T.) still looks like he did ten years ago, Aidan Quinn is out of his league, Julia Ormond spends the majority of the film in tears, and even Anthony Hopkins has a dismal role, half of which he plays as a stroke victim.
Continue reading: Legends Of The Fall Review
A harrowing and thought-provoking film, Traffic revolves around three intertwining stories of cops, thugs, victims, enforcers, politicians, and the judicial system. The film is based on a British Channel 4 miniseries called Traffik, which traced a drug route from Pakistan through Europe and to Great Britain. Laura Bickford, one of the producers for Traffic, was attracted to the original miniseries because of the intersecting stories, the social commentary on drug usage, and the implication of The System itself being the major perpetrator of drug addiction.
Continue reading: Traffic Review
No dice. For nearly three hours I did what I could to try to care about where this self-important vanity project was going, and concluded that it is Tom Cruise's destiny to never win an Academy Award.
Continue reading: The Last Samurai Review
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