Law enforcement battles with drug cartels tend to be the focal point of bullet-ridden crime thrillers with strong “Type A” heroes and despicable villains and a handful of characters who cross the line between the two. “Sicario,” on the other hand, is good-and-evil gray area for endless miles.
Directors don’t become synonymous with genres as often as they used to in Hollywood’s Golden Age, but play the word association game with “David Fincher” and you’re bound to hear “thriller” come up. There’s little doubt that if you’re producing an intense, dark, mystery-driven film, Fincher’s your first choice, and he proves it yet again […]
If you’ve ever wondered how cool it would be if a superhero movie was combined with an espionage thriller, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a dream come true. It’s as much “The Rogers Ultimatum” as it is an irresistibly cool blockbuster, and though a totally different film than the quality origin story of “Captain […]
A two-headed thriller, “Prisoners” is one part conventional kidnapping mystery and one part psychological drama. While the mystery of who abducted two little girls haunts the entirety of the 153-minute runtime and will keep audiences glued for every minute, the film also serves as a portrait of a desperate parent willing to cross any line […]
For a totally preposterous magician caper, “Now You See Me” has a surprising meta edge to it. The film talks a big talk about deception with its Morgan Freeman voice-over narration (“the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see”), but in spite of its high levels of ludicrousness, it delivers exactly […]
A man who doesn’t play by the law when it comes to delivering justice isn’t an original idea for a main character, and Tom Cruise is far from an original action star, but somehow “Jack Reacher” doesn’t suffer too much from being stale.
Advertisements for anti-depression or anti-anxiety medications are all over television, and when the announcer rattles off the two-dozen or so horrific-sounding side effects, you can’t help but think about taking your chances and sticking with the depression. “Side Effects” explores the dangers of these drugs — and they go beyond the warnings on the label.
The timeless narrative of people who do bad things getting what they deserve has become so entrenched in the way we look at books, movies, television and more. For that reason, many who finish “Arbitrage” will find themselves rather bewildered.
As Americans, we had never been so fixated on killing a single individual as we were Osama bin Laden, the brain behind Al Qaeda and dubbed architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “Zero Dark Thirty,” the story of this 10-year manhunt, leaves out that social and political narrative, opting instead to capture the CIA’s operation […]
William Friedkin is a name you know, but not one you hear much about these days. The “French Connection” and “The Exorcist” director hasn’t delivered anything of that quality since those days in the ’70s, but he shows he’s still a skilled and relevant filmmaker with his film version of the Tracy Letts play “Killer […]
Exfiltration specialist Tony Mendez received the highest honor that can possibly be awarded in Intelligence for his work during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, and the man who played him and directed his story in “Argo,” Ben Affleck, will find himself quite decorated as well if he continues to make films at this quality […]
After “The Bourne Ultimatum” became the most successful and critically praised film of a trilogy considered the consummate modern spy series, it was only a matter of time before the saga continued. With that film’s director, Paul Greengrass, interested in pursuing other projects, and star Matt Damon uninterested in returning without Greengrass, Universal has been […]
Liam Neeson the gritty action hero. How unbelievable that at nearly 60 years old, an actor can redefine his career and become more bankable. Neeson has somehow re-channeled the seriousness he brought to dramatic roles into creating utterly convincing heroes in decent (at best) thrillers.
Global pandemics make for captivating science-fiction fodder — especially when the infected turn into raging zombies — but let’s say it was a tad more realistic. Let’s say that H1N1 had been as bad as we were prepared for and people were dying left and right. “Contagion” imagines that scenario through the extensive research […]
Historical fiction espionage thrillers have a devoted fan base, as do the novels of John le Carré. These folks are an intellectual lot, stimulated by the secret dealings of the world’s intelligence agencies, which during the Cold War were at an all-time high. And they can keep “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” a film that despite […]