Even though it never feels believable, this twisty spy thriller has such a quick pace that it's consistently entertaining. Packed with surprising revelations, the movie makes terrific use of shady American espionage agencies and villainous Russians, as well as a former James Bond. As with most of these kinds of films, it's also far too violent and edited in such a way as to make the action almost incomprehensible. But there's a sense of breezy fun to the film that keeps us watching.
It's been five years since CIA operative Peter (Pierce Brosnan) retired from active service, but his old friend Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) needs his help. So he heads to Moscow to intercept an operative with whom he has a past, and everything goes spectacularly wrong. He ends up in a face-off with his former protege David (Luke Bracey), a current CIA spy who is now ordered to eliminate his mentor. But there's life in Peter yet, and he manages to keep one step ahead of David, travelling to Belgrade to intercept a young woman, Alice (Olga Kurylenko), who is the key to a major operation that centres on a dodgy Russian politician (Lazar Ristovski). Chased by American spies and Russian thugs, Peter and Alice make a run for it.
Director Roger Donaldson has been making slick political thrillers since 1987's No Way Out, and he knows how to divert the audience's attention from plot holes and contrived action by simply never pausing for breath. He also packs the scenes with characters who bristle with snarky attitude, making them far more interesting than the usual action movie line-ups. Brosnan is clearly having a great time charging through each scene, nodding continually to his 007 history while playfully adding spark to his banter with Bracey, who just about keeps up with the "we know each other too well" interaction. And Kurylenko dives in with gusto, vamping it up gleefully as a woman with a lot of secrets.
Continue reading: November Man Review
During his CIA days, Peter Devereaux was an exceptional tutor in his field. He taught his pupil David Mason well - teaching him the dangers of having loved ones around them and instilling in him the responsibility that comes with taking someone's life with a single shot. Several years on, a retired peter returns to the agency in a bid to protect a witness named Alice Fournier. The case is extremely personal to him, but things get even more personal when he finds himself fighting against David as the government face combat over the election of the new Russian president. Peter is about to find out just how good a teacher he has been.
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Peter Devereaux is a former CIA agent and a brilliant tutor, who taught his ex pupil the responsibility of taking a man's life and warned him of the dangers of having loved ones in his life. Now, though, that pupil is an incredibly skilled spy with skills that even match those of Devereaux's, and the pair have been forced to fight against one another in a lethal mission that sees only the top CIA operatives in combat over the forthcoming new Russian president. Does Devereaux still have the skills to bring the mission to a swift conclusion? Or is his former protege now stronger than his guide has ever been?
Continue: The November Man Trailer
In the Oregon territory in 1845, three couples are travelling through the unmapped wilderness with their guide Meek (Greenwood), a woolly veteran with an endless stream of colourful stories. Emily (Williams) is more open-minded than her husband (Patton), the group's natural leader. The pregnant Glory (Henderson) is tending to both her husband (Huff) and their pre-teen son (Nelson). And young Thomas (Dano) is trying to assure his wife fearful Millie (Kazan). When they encounter an Indian (Rondeaux), everyone disagrees about whether or not to trust him.
Continue reading: Meek's Cutoff Review
Three Brooklyn cops are confronting moral dilemmas on the job. Eddie (Gere) is a week away from retirement when he's asked to help a couple of rookies learn the ropes. But he'd rather just keep his head down. Tango (Cheadle) is deep undercover in a drug sting, threatened by a tough FBI agent (Barkin) to set up his childhood friend (Snipes). And Sal (Hawke) is looking to steal some drug-bust cash to top up his salary so he can look after his pregnant wife (Taylor) and children.
Continue reading: Brooklyn's Finest Review
Williams plays the distraught Wendy, who finds herself desperately searching for her dog Lucy in a small town in suburban Portland, Oregon. Her shabby clothing, ramshackle hygiene procedures and ruffled bob of emo-black hair designate her as part of a burgeoning class of nomadic neo-hippies and wanderers, but she has ambition, yearning for a job and a warm place to come home to. Early on, Wendy -- on the run from something, we never know exactly what -- encounters a pack of fellow drifters -- Joy's Will Oldham naturally plays the alpha named Icky -- who point her towards fishery jobs in Alaska. She begins to count her money and things look OK, but then she is busted for stealing dog food from a local supermarket, an act that sets off a set of relatively minor but nevertheless tragic happenings that keep Wendy from leaving Portland and drain her wallet.
Continue reading: Wendy And Lucy Review
Larry Fessenden, Kelly Reichardt and Will Patton - Larry Fessenden, Kelly Reichardt and Will Patton New York City, USA - New York Film Festival 2008 - Premiere of 'Wendy and Lucy' - arrivals Saturday 27th September 2008
At the time, Pearl's kidnapping was like a tertiary aftershock to 9/11, proving that nobody was safe. The World Trade Center, international symbol of dominating Western capitalism, made sense as a target. Pearl, a universally respected journalist (evidence shows that "beloved" would actually not have been too strong a description of people's feelings about him) who wanted only to understand the terrorists and to explain them to the world, made no sense. And it's that swirling fog of frightened confusion that Winterbottom evokes so powerfully in A Mighty Heart, one of the best films yet made about modern terrorism.
Continue reading: A Mighty Heart Review
The plot stars promisingly enough. Frank Castle (Jane, *61, The Sweetest Thing) is an FBI undercover agent, the kind of guy who's so good that the Bureau moves him around for his own protection. At his final job in Tampa, he busts up a major weapons deal that kills the son of powerful crime lord Howard Saint (poor, poor John Travolta).
Continue reading: The Punisher (2004) Review
If only the rest of the movie was so interesting. While the idea is pretty cool: a cop and an art thief tangle in a cat and mouse game, constantly switching sides, all on the eve of the millennium... it's the execution that gets 'em every time.
Continue reading: Entrapment Review
By the end, Paul is on the run from an angry mob who thinks he's a burglar, fleeing in fear for his life. Will he escape? Well, rest assured that After Hours is actually a comedy. It's also one of my favorite Martin Scorsese movies (and a massive departure from his grittier fare), fresh every time you see it and full of little touches that you catch more of with each subsequent viewing. Check out the rows of Aqua Net in Garr's apartment. Or the "tie" she's wearing.
Continue reading: After Hours Review
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