When you need someone to break into a place and steal something, a career cat burglar is your best bet. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is in jail, which isn't the best start, but when Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) needs a thief, Lang is still his man. Pym was once a miniature superhero known as Ant-Man, yet when Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) takes over his company and tries to mass-market the powerful Ant-Man suits, Pym hires Lang to break in and steal the suit back. From there, he must become the Ant-Man - no matter how much he hates the name.
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Hong Chau, Yvette Yates, Eric Roberts, actor Jordan Christian Hearn, Cassandra Kulukundis, Martin Donovan and Shannon Collis - 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Press Room at Santa Monica Beach, Independent Spirit Awards - Santa Monica, California, United States - Sunday 22nd February 2015
An awful lot has happened in the world - A Second World War super soldier has risen from the dead, a billionaire playboy has revealed himself as a costumed superhero, and the Norse God of thunder himself has come to earth on four occasions. So for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a petty criminal entrusted with the secret of his mentor's super-secret substance designed to shrink a person, it should be seen as just another day in the life for a person of planet Earth. Now, with the ability to shrink his down to a minuscule size while increasing his strength, Ant-Man is born.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller, another trip to the dark side for filmmaker David Ayer. As in Training Day and End of Watch, Ayer is exploring that moral tipping point where the people charged with protecting society become a danger. But the formula sags badly in this sloppily written script, which relies on grotesque violence instead of a coherent plot.
Schwarzenegger plays Breacher, the head of an elite DEA squad that has just stolen $10m in drug-bust cash. But someone takes it from them, after which the team members start turning up murdered in increasingly vicious ways. So Breacher and his colleagues - hothead Monster (Sam Worthington), prickly Lizzy (Mireille Enos), beefy Grinder (Joe Manganiello), hotshot Next (Josh Holloway) and smoothie Sugar (Terrence Howard) - band together to find the killer. Meanwhile, two local Atlanta cops (Olivia Williams and Harold Perrineau) are also on the case, clashing with Breacher at every turn. And shadowy goons hired by a drug cartel are lying in wait.
For about two-thirds of the running time, this is actually an intriguing whodunit, complete with clues and red herrings, suspicions and surprises. There's also a sense of urgency, as we never know who's going to get it next. Although the escalating grisliness is hard to stomach (it even reduces seasoned cops to retching wrecks), as is a hint of unnecessary romance. Then when the truth is revealed, the whole movie collapses into utter nonsense, desperately straining for moral resonance but undermining its own point with gratuitous brutality.
Continue reading: Sabotage Review
A terrific story is compromised by the demands of commercial filmmaking, adding action-thriller scenes to what should be an introspective drama while distractingly beefing up side-roles for American stars. But at the centre is another superb performance from Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), who again takes a complex, challenging approach to the subject of terrorism.
The narrative is fragmented into flashbacks as Changez (Ahmed) tells his story to an American journalist (Schreiber) in Pakistan while a tense hostage situation swirls all around them. Years earlier, Changez was a high-flying Pakistani student, graduating from Princeton and landing a prestigious job on Wall Street when an executive (Sutherland) recognises his talent. He also has a sexy artist girlfriend (Hudson). But all of this is shaken after the 9/11 attacks, when he is harassed by police and immigration officials. Fundamentally changed, he returns to Lahore to become a lecturer in violent uprisings. But this makes the CIA think that he's become a terrorist himself. Perhaps he has.
The various strands of the story are intriguing, and the actors are all watchable as they add layers to Changez's overall story. But the jumbled structure of the film reduces the narrative to a series of seemingly unrelated scenes. Hudson and Sutherland are solid but add little beyond their characters' stereotypical American reactions to Changez's decisions. The always superb Schreiber is better used as a more shady figure. But other characters vanish just when they get interesting, such as Changez's parents, played by acting legends Puri and Azmi.
Continue reading: The Reluctant Fundamentalist Review
Ever since he was diagnosed with cancer, life has been a struggle for Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner). While his recovering alcoholic Dad (Martin Donovan) tries to maintain house and home, well-meaning Mom (Virginia Madsen) drives several hours to Connecticut to try an experimental technique which offers some hope. The toll on the teen is too great, however, so Mom eventually moves the family to an old dilapidated house so he can be closer to his doctors. Almost immediately, weird things start happening. The building creaks and odd ethereal noises are heard. Soon, Matt is seeing spirits and discovering the facilities for a funeral home in the basement. As dark forces torment him and the rest of the Campbell clan, Reverend Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas) tries to save them from the evil forces festering in this psychically charged dwelling with a terrifying, telling history.
Continue reading: The Haunting In Connecticut Review
But I wouldn't say anything like that.
Continue reading: Spanish Fly Review
Maybe I've seen too many Gyllenhaal movies, but Leland's slightly hunched posture and quizzical facial expression, indicative of a familiar detached dreaminess, recalls indie prince Jake constantly, right down to the casting of go-to indie girlfriend Jena Malone as Becky (who acted alongside Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko). To be fair, I wasn't thinking of Gyllenhaal for every second Gosling was on screen. Sometimes I was musing over his unfortunate resemblance to Screech from TV's Saved by the Bell.
Continue reading: The United States Of Leland Review
Miles away from what we critics enjoy referring to as "visually austere" (i.e., static shots with careful compositions), The Book of Life throws caution to the wind. Working with new cinematographer Jim Denault (Boys Don't Cry) instead of old standby Michael Spiller (Trust), Hartley spins and fusses in colorful blurred abstractions, creating a dreamy, impressionistic look with none of his trademark hard edges. Look, ma -- no hands!
Continue reading: The Book Of Life Review
But seriously, that's what you're going to be doing if you see The Portrait of a Lady -- Jane Campion's follow-up to The Piano, based on Henry James's "classic" novel that you've probably never read. Now, I'm wishing that I had, though, because Portrait is a fantastic movie to watch, exquisitely crafted and painstakingly detailed, gorgeously photographed and full of style -- but it is just plain impossible to follow.
Continue reading: The Portrait Of A Lady Review
Yes, "Agent Cody Banks" is a "Spy Kids" clone. As such, I went into it expecting an uncreative, cash-in-on-a-trend children's movie -- the kind parents are loathe to suffer through, yet for some reason take their kids to see anyway.
But while its plot doesn't stand up to even a modest amount of logical scrutiny, the flick has a comical, junior-James Bond spirit that's hard to resist. Of course, there are a couple differences between James Bond and highly-trained CIA spook Cody Banks (played by "Malcolm In the Middle's" Frankie Muniz): 1) Cody is 15 and lives with his parents who don't know he's a spy, and 2) Cody is hopelessly inept at talking to girls.
His tendency to get tongue-tied around cute classmates becomes a major problem when his hubba-hubba CIA handler (Angie Harmon from "Law & Order") assigns him to get close to the adorable Natalie Conners (Hilary Duff, better known as the Disney Channel's "Lizzie McGuire"). It seems the girl's scientist father is unknowingly developing nanobot technology for a villain (the ominously tan Ian McShane) who wants the microscopic 'bots to eat away US missile guidance systems. It's part of his evil plan to render the country defenseless for no adequately explored reason.
Continue reading: Agent Cody Banks Review
When you need someone to break into a place and steal something, a career cat...
Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller,...
A terrific story is compromised by the demands of commercial filmmaking, adding action-thriller scenes to...
The Sentinel is one of those movies made for commercials and trailers full of shots...
The Sentinel is one of those movies made for commercials and trailers full of shots...
Director Christopher Nolan, the auteur behind the masterful Memento, has made an odd choice for...