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items tagged with Thrillers

Roman’s Holiday: “The Ghost Writer,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “The Bounty Hunter,” and “Hubble 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-03-22 13:28:45

Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor in The Ghost WriterTHE GHOST WRITER

Calling Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer "lighthearted" isn't entirely accurate, as the movie is a moody suspense thriller concerning high-level government conspiracies, and its color palette seems to shift only from gray to very dark gray. Then again, this is a Polanski film we're talking about - coming from the man who gave us Rosemary's Baby, Repulsion, Chinatown, and The Pianist, it's practically Gidget Goes Hawaiian.


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Mishmash Accomplished: "Green Zone," "Remember Me," "She's Out of My League," and "Our Family Wedding"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-03-14 20:42:47

Matt Damon in Green ZoneGREEN ZONE

 

Set in Baghdad during the early months of 2002, director Paul Greengrass' action thriller Green Zone casts Matt Damon as a stalwart, driven military officer who gradually discovers that the American government lied about the proliferation - even the existence - of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This might strike you as old news, and it is. The disappointing surprise of Green Zone, though, is that the movie itself should feel like such old news, and in ways that have nothing to do with Greengrass and Damon re-teaming after the considerable artistic and popular successes of their Bourne Supermacy and Bourne Ultimatum films.
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The Loons! The Loons!: “Shutter Island”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-22 14:46:00

Shutter IslandSHUTTER ISLAND

Shutter Island, Martin Scorsese's operatically paranoid adaptation of Dennis Lehane's 2003 suspense thriller, is easily the best movie of 2010 thus far, so it seems a bit churlish to wish that was higher praise. Don't get me wrong: Even running a wildly overlong 138 minutes, the film is mostly terrific, and one of the very rare works of its kind in which your interest actually increases during the final reels. Yet given Scorsese's glorious technical acumen and the efforts of a ridiculously gifted cast, I still left the cineplex feeling that it just missed greatness, and not even greatness along the lines of GoodFellas or The Departed - more like the genre excellence of Scorsese's 1991 remake of Cape Fear. Shutter Island is a strong, worthy offering, yet as far as this year's releases go, it's only a few degrees more satisfying than Youth in Revolt or Daybreakers. But hey, it's early - I'll happily take it.


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Bridges Over Troubled Waters: “Crazy Heart,” “An Education,” “From Paris with Love,” and “Australia: Land Beyond Time”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-08 14:47:00

Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy HeartCRAZY HEART

Writer/director Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart is a character drama of gentle, lulling rhythms -- so lulling, in truth, that I momentarily dozed off halfway through the film. But I'm pretty sure that I was smiling as I slept, because the steady, deliberate pacing feels just right for the tale Cooper's telling, and because star Jeff Bridges is so masterfully assured as down-and-out country singer Bad Blake that he leaves you in a state of utter, unadulterated happiness and calm. (The actor might almost be saying, "Go ahead and nap. I'll be here when you wake up.") There may have been more exciting screen performances amidst 2009's releases, but possibly none as thoughtful, lived-in, and moving as Bridges'; in his hands, a role that easily could've been a one-note conceit is nothing short of symphonic.


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Taken, Too: "Edge of Darkness" and "When in Rome"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-01 14:48:30

Mel Gibson in Edge of DarknessEDGE OF DARKNESS

For better and/or worse, Mel Gibson hasn't exactly vanished from the public eye since his last starring role on-screen, in 2002's Signs. Yet even if, like me, you've spent an inordinate amount of time bemoaning the Crazy Mel antics - both public and directorial - of recent years, you might find it hard to resist his turn in director Martin Campbell's Edge of Darkness: Gibson's back, and, happily, he's pissed. The movie is a frequently ludicrous and borderline incoherent revenge thriller, but its leading man, busting heads and blasting weaponry, is in excellent form, lending his bereaved-dad role considerable passion and emotional urgency. Between the mid-'80s and late-'90s, no one delivered anguished-and-wrathful acting better than Gibson. Ten-plus years later, there's still no one who does.


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