An executive at a major company dies, alone, in his darkened office: a heart attack. He was an associate of the year or some such, a real hard-charging type. A letter from a health spa in central Europe sent by the man’s mentor, the CEO, sits unopened on his desk. Starkly shot—with crisp close ups, slow pans, slower reveals, and a perfectly framed collage of screens pumping out stock data as the film’s title appears above them—and modestly tense, and a teensy bit funny, this prologue sets the stage for the film’s 146 minutes.
As with John Wick—not a box office behemoth, exactly, but critically acclaimed and a hit on home video—it’s the little touches, the minute exercises in world building, which make John Wick 2 stand out.
Milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) is a hustler.
Gold is the latest in a series of films that play partly as buddy comedies, partly as dramas and are based on true stories about people who run into trouble because their reach exceeds their grasp.
If you care about M. Night Shyamalan’s movies and hope to avoid having his latest film spoiled for you—and its twist will be spoiled for you on Twitter or Facebook or somewhere else; it’s too good not to share—then you have to see Split on its opening weekend. In fact, you should leave work or home or wherever you are and hit up a multiplex now.
At its best, Patriots Day is extremely effective filmmaking: tense and nerve-wracking, Peter Berg’s latest features a pair of high-intensity action sequences that replicate chaos and confusion without leaving the audience unnecessarily or cheaply disoriented.
Silence opens with an overture of sorts. We hear insects—crickets or grasshoppers, maybe, legs scratching together like so many violins warming up in an orchestra pit—softly at first, then rising. And suddenly: nothing. The title flashes on the screen: SILENCE.
This has been one of those rare years where (most) of the films I saw that I really liked the best came out in the first half of the year. Or, at least, well before the traditional start of awards season. But, with one exception, most of the year-end “awards bait” left me totally cold.
Passengers is silly but fun, a romcom in space that stars the most naturally appealing couple on the big screen in years and features just the right mix of comedy and action to keep date-night couples glued to the screen—a Titanic in the Milky Way, maybe.
Rogue One sometimes feels like it’s trying to have it both ways with fans of the series. The opening moments illustrate the problem well. We see the Lucasfilm logo and the ten-word introduction telling us when and where we are, roughly. But there’s no crawl informing us of the action preceding the film, no fanfare, no theme. But then we open with a tinkle of music, the camera focused on a small ship in the shadow of a larger body, point of view floating down, an image recalling each of the previous seven entries in the series.