John Link hasn't been the best father, up until recently he's constantly been on the wrong side of the law and usually at the bottom end of a bottle too. Having been in prison, John and his daughter have become estranged, Lydia is actually missing and has been for years. John's only real connection to his daughter is the missing poster he keeps pinned up in his RV.
In recovery and now working a legal job as a tattoo artist, John admits that there's not much he wouldn't do to right the wrongs of his past - including losing contact with his daughter but also says there's very little he can do. When he receives a phone call from Lydia claiming that she's in serious danger, John is glad to hear his daughters voice but also worried about her safety.
As the father and daughter return to his home, John raids Lydia's possessions looking for answers and what he finds leads him to believe that she's in real danger. Lydia informs her dad that she's been living with a cartel leader and that, after accidentally shooting him, his crew is now out for vengeance. John must turn to past associates in order to formulate a plan to protect his troubled daughter.
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
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
Ex-convict Richard B. Riddick is back and more formidable than ever before. He is alone after being left for dead on a burning planet (not for the first time) but, as he is preyed upon by a new army of deadly creatures, he becomes more and more powerful making himself the biggest predator on the planet. His adversaries soon return, however, determined to finally have his head (literally) but with more than one advantage over them such as the ability to see in the dark, it becomes a brutal and deadly chase with only one likely victor. Riddick has his enemies just where he wants them in his bloody scheme to rescue his home planet Furya.
Continue: Riddick Trailer
Jake Lonergan is a wanted criminal but when he awakes in the middle of nowhere with no memory of his past, he enters the town of Absolution, one of the places that has imposed a bounty Lonergan's capture by Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, a man who governs with an iron fist.
Continue: Cowboys & Aliens Trailer
The story is familiar: Dorothy Gale (a.k.a. DG, played by Zooey Deschanel) is all grown up and bored. She mopes around, works as a waitress, and goes to school part time. Before she knows it she's back in OZ (a.k.a. Outer Zone) and on the run from the evil sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson) and her storm troopers and clumsy CGI bats. Along the way she falls in with some Outer Zone weirdos (all, of course, based on original Oz characters) including the brainless Glitches (Alan Cumming being more irritating than ever), Raw (Raoul Trukillo), a cowardly and psychic lion-man hybrid, and, in the largest deviation, Wyatt Cain (Neal McDonough), a cowboy cop from Central City called a "tin man" because of his tin badge. Traveling the Brick Road, DG and crew encounter robots and cyborgs (Oh my!), Richard Dreyfus as "vapor" inhaling mystic (what else?), The Tutor (Toto re-imagined as Blu Mankuma), and the brutal Zero (Callum Keith Rennie).
Continue reading: Tin Man Review
That sums up Mel Gibson's blood-spurting debacle of the same name, a perverse and sadistic historical sprint that suffers the carte blanche excesses of a successful director who believes he's earned the right not to be told "no."
Continue reading: Apocalypto Review
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