Not my best effort BUT click bait is click bait.
After getting in a car accident, a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is held in a shelter with two men (John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr), who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.
A fantastic Hitchcockian opening sequence delivered high hopes as Mary Elizabeth Winstead attempted her Janet Leigh-esque escape from a bad break up. Bear McCreary’s sinister score. The window shots. It felt like an homage to Psycho from director Dan Trachtenberg.
Small trivia fact: I didn’t realise the voice of Michelle’s (Winstead) ex Ben was none other than Bradley Cooper’s.
The story didn’t mess about. It set everything up and let it all come tumbling down within 10 minutes. Hooked, line and sinker. One car collision later and Michelle awakens trapped in a bunker with her leg in a brace and handcuffed to the railing. Like something out of Saw.
The scene was set. The tension bubbling.
For the first 45 minutes I was transfixed, especially when John Goodman made his introduction. He was fantastic as Howard. Channeling his inner Kathy Bates. A return to form from the big man.
A ticking time bomb waiting to explode. A nuclear fall out whack job or genuine Samaritan?
I loved the Misery style cat and mouse game as Michelle tried to piece together everything that had happened. The questions mounting; was there an attack? Are they the only survivors?
It was good to see the underrated John Gallagher Jr (The Newsroom) get a meatier role to sink his teeth into as Emmett. Was he in on the act with Howard? Or another abductee like Michelle?
In all fairness, I couldn’t fault any of the performances. A crucial factor as the film relied solely on the three actors. Winstead was brilliant. She carried the film when the pace dragged, which it tragically did in places.
After the hour marker, I felt the film was running out of steam as Michelle began to accept her new life with this dysfunctional nuclear family.
Thankfully, the paranoia and suspense finally delivered as Howard’s lies became more transparent.
His concern for Michelle bordered on creepy Freudian levels as a silly game of “Who Am I?” unearthed some strange feelings. Unable to see Michelle as a woman BUT a young girl after losing his daughter.
That scene had me on tenterhooks. Goodman was intense. His “I’m always watching” conversation should have been ripe for a parody from Monster’s Inc (The Goodman link up was completely unintentional) BUT it was too unsettling as you feared the worst for Michelle.
To be honest up until the 80 minute marker, the post-apocalyptic bunker thriller had potential to hold its own as Michelle played the waiting game.
BUT then you realised that this had Cloverfield in the title. So things were about to get weird as Michelle plotted her escape.
There were a few twists BUT the finale felt tacked on and rushed for my liking. After all that slow burning tension and suspense, the teasing failed to deliver the goods for me.
It didn’t feel like a Cloverfield movie. The film’s greatest strength BUT also its greatest weakness as I felt the writers (One of them being none other than La La Land’s Damien Chazelle) quickly had to throw something in to tie this entry into the Cloverfield universe.
Don’t get me wrong, it was frenetic and racy BUT also chaotic and messy. A little disappointing with a silly open ending. Only because the following sequel we received was The Cloverfield Paradox. Sheesh!
BUT despite my grumblings, this was still a highly engaging and suspenseful thriller worthy of your time.
Oh MOTHER! That was bad.
A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
I guess I wasn’t as big an Aronofsky fan as I thought. The very epitome of a Marmite movie.
For some, an existential dissection of life through religious allegory. For me, a meandering mess split into two agonizing halves that failed to deliver.
To be honest, it didn’t help that the marketing and posters suggested something more horrific. Now don’t get me wrong, Mother! is a modern horror . . . Of sorts.
BUT I was expecting a demented take on Rosemary’s Baby (Like it wasn’t demented already). And there was an echo of that in the closing act BUT this just didn’t go in the direction I hoped at all.
Seriously, pay attention to the first five minutes. The path is established pretty early on.
And if I didn’t have this ridiculous rule of seeing a movie out to the end; I would have joined the several people that walked out 30 minutes in.
This isn’t the worst film I’ve seen (BUT could be for this year).
Credit where it is due. The cast all played their parts well.
The first half of the film was slow burning BUT intriguing as Him’s (Bardem) writer’s block took its toll on the couple’s relationship. Jennifer Lawrence carried this film as much as she could as Mother. Doing her best to be a supportive wife.
Giving Him space and revamping an old country house in a wonderfully tranquil (yet strangely eery) pastoral setting.
I felt for Mother’s frustration and confusion; especially when the mysterious Man (Ed Harris) made his introduction.
A diversion for Him. A disturbance for Mother. The question’s mounting as Him welcomed Man into their home with no hesitation. Drinking and chatting rubbish. The paranoia setting in. Why is he really here? Why now?
Things took an even stranger turn when Man’s wife Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) turned up.
Inventive names, aren’t they? Lazy or clever? I’ll leave that to you (LAZY!). I had to suspend my disbelief and remember this was a movie. There is no way that I would let my partner invite a strange couple we’ve only just met into my home. No-se-re.
I loved Psycho-Pfeiffer. It was great to see her back. Showing Lawrence how it’s done. She played the crazy doctor wife brilliantly. Mind games well and truly in flow. Like a cat playing with a mouse (And yes, I totally meant the Catwoman reference).
The pace was agonizing BUT I was still wanting to see where this was going. BUT the second half of the film completely ruined all that build up. So much so that by the end, it made that story line (almost) completely irrelevant.
Aronofsky really did pull the wool over my eyes. He completely turned the film on its head. I expected this domestic psycho-thriller to unfold into something else. BUT not this!
With more and more people turning up to see Him, I thought something creepier was going to happen.
Especially with the haunting sequences in which the house appeared to be “speaking” to Mother. A bleeding heart in a toilet was an unexpected image I won’t forget any time soon.
I mean it was unsettling BUT it was such a bloody visceral mess and not in the good kind.
I could see what the director was trying to do. Delivering social commentary and satire. BUT there was only so much religious imagery and mayhem that I could take!
The finale unravelled his true intent and I was surprised. I just didn’t like the end result. It wasn’t worth the two hour slogfest.
I didn’t enjoy it (Not that it was ever going to be a movie for “enjoyment”).
Okay granted, it has a been over a month since I saw Mother! and the experience is still fresh in my memory.
BUT I think that was only because of the sheer disappointment. It was torturous. I felt like I was going through this chaotic hell ride with Mother. A ride that I wish I hadn’t taken. Even with the surprising cameos popping up in the mental and sporadic closing minutes.
As much as I have had time to discuss plot points and themes, I still didn’t think Mother! was that special.
Bravo, Mr Aronofsky for pulling the wool over my eyes. You won’t be doing it again.
Tense. Breath-taking. If a little slow in places.
A veteran tracker (Jeremy Renner) helps an inexperienced FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) investigate the murder of a young Native American woman.
I love it when you go into a movie not knowing anything. All I had was the endless #WindRiver hashtags filling my Twitter feed. My curiousity peaked.
Thank God for Twitter. A riveting and well-acted thriller.
As soon as I saw, “Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan”, I knew I was in for a treat. The man responsible for Hell or High Water. One of my favourite films of 2016 (Has it really been a year, already?)
Now helming a new favourite for this year.
Jeremy Renner was brilliant. I’ve always felt he was an underrated actor.
The role of Cory Lambert was perfectly suited for him. A man desperate to keep himself to himself BUT also wanting to do the right thing.
The pace was set on the slow burner with Sheridan teasing titbits of Lambert’s past. The questions already mounting; Why the outback? Why is he so good with that rifle? Why does he have such a strained relationship with his ex-wife?
The awkward atmosphere and idle chit chat as the pair force conversation while Lambert waits for his son.
A man plagued by his own demons. Punishing himself with a life in the wilderness. That was until he discovered a body in the snow . . .
Olsen was excellent as the inexperienced agent Banner. Her arrival summed up the character perfectly as she stood in the snow ill-equipped with a trouser suit.
The only available agent in the area. Sent all the way from Nevada. BUT despite her naivety, Banner’s determination to crack the case and deliver justice for the victim sparked something in Lambert.
The Avengers duo were fantastic together. They had great chemistry and made the dynamic really work.
“We have six people covering an area the size of Rhode Island”.
Sheridan was even able to throw in some social commentary at the hypocrisy of the law enforcement.
Banner’s heated debate with a coroner spoke volumes. Refusing to class the crime as a homicide. The outcome determining how much support the FBI would provide. Mental.
Ben Richardson’s cinematography was brilliant. With one frame, he made the snowy outback look beautiful and inviting. BUT with the next; deadly and haunting.
You couldn’t hide that Neo-Western feel. The Wind River reservation nothing more than a place of a desolation full of lost souls and dangerous ones.
The isolation and loneliness being the real killer.
A simple enquiry turned into a mad shoot out with a group of small-time meth-heads. Nail-biting.
I liked how Sheridan tied in the Native American community as the Crowheart clan struggled to come to terms with the loss of their daughter.
Heartbreaking. Banner’s attempt to console the mother delivered an unsettling scene as she walked in on the poor woman cutting herself. That bleak feeling of helplessness.
BUT as much as I was enjoying the film, the case itself felt a little generic and tame. I kept wondering what all the hype was about.
That was until the final act. The last 20 minutes. Just . . . Woah. No spoilers.
Heart in mouth stuff. My grumbling was soon put on hold as everything came to a tense and exhilarating climax.
There was even a stellar cameo from Jon Bernthal that came out of the blue. Another underrated actor bossing another supporting role.
As much as I picked at the pacing, (ironically) this film could have been longer.
If anything, Wind River could have done with fleshing things out a little more. Especially with Olsen and Renner’s partnership. I loved how Banner’s presence brought out Lambert’s anguish. Finally cracking his hard shell and allowing him to share his pain. Not enough!
The sombre finale hit home and delivered some shocking statistics on the number of missing Native American women in the States.
Fans of Hell or High Water or gritty bleak thrillers will enjoy this all the same. It wasn’t perfect BUT a rewarding effort all the same.
One I actually liked (I know, I bet you’re thinking. Jeez, he picked at this and he liked it?)
GET OUT and watch this!
A young African-American (Daniel Kaluuya) man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) mysterious family estate.
Clever, witty and tense. A real treat.
I knew this had taken some serious money in the States. BUT as we’ve learned from the Fast and Furious franchise, big money doesn’t mean good movies.
When I heard that this was directed by the guy who made Keanu. My thoughts were mixed to say the least. The trailers originally did nothing for me BUT I couldn’t escape the crazy hype train.
Thank God, I caved in to the Twitterverse. One of the better ones. A suspenseful suburban horror with a surprisingly talented and underrated cast.
I’ve followed Kaluuya in the British circuit for some time (The BBC3 drama The Fades and Johnny English: Reborn). I was happy to see the chap get a leading role. He delivered a stellar turn.
It was eerie and unsettling from the get go. The tension bubbling away.
What should have been just a simple ‘Meet the Parents’ trip turned into something so much more. Even the drive up to the estate was riddled with racial tension.
Director Jordan Peele tackled the race row perfectly. Most notably when Chris was asked to present his ID to a police officer. Despite only being the passenger.
Red flags were raised as soon as the couple crossed the Armitages’ threshold. African-American servants loitering around at every corner. A beautiful country mansion stuck in a backwards country in a backwards time.
There was a strange atmosphere to the piece that kept me on tenterhooks. Even the over friendly family conversations unsettled me. Something just didn’t quite add up.
“I love Tiger and Barack”
I couldn’t believe how much The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford had aged. The last movie I saw him in featured an unpleasant death sequence with a mermaid. Cabin in the Woods, anyone?
He played the sickly sweet father-in-law-to-be Dean Armitage with aplomb.
To be honest, I was impressed with the whole cast. From Stephen Root’s (Office Space) suspicious blind gallery owner to Caleb Landry-Jones’ highly unsavoury Jeremy. They all played their parts perfectly.
I actually jumped a couple of times. One sequence came out of nowhere. Just a simple dream sequence, one little noise . . . and BAM! Woe is me BUT it worked.
Peele unintentionally delivered one of the most iconic shots that has stuck in the back of my head. Triggering an unexpected meme trend and bringing a whole new meaning to the Running Man.
The questions piling. The strange white party parading young African-American men as fashion accessories. The relentless satire; “Black is in fashion”. Crazy.
The hypnosis sequences between Chris and Missy (Catherine Keener – Into the Wild) did drag in places and slackened the pace. BUT I was still transfixed as Chris desperately tried to fight against the trippy waves of ‘The Sunken Place’.
LilRel Howery played the comic relief as Rod, Chris’ conspiracy theory mad best friend. He was hilarious BUT I felt his schtick overstayed its welcome. Especially when he continued to carry on preaching about sex slaves. It killed off the tension for me.
BUT I could relate to his frustration as the police laughed him off. The only one fearing the worst for Chris.
Get Out definitely felt like a film of two halves. Peele transformed this seemingly hynoptic and slow burning suburban satire into a tense and (bloody brutal) body shock horror.
I won’t spoil too much BUT there were a few surprises along the way.
The one thing I always hated with these seemingly trashy horror premises was how stupid the main character was. I would always scream at them for doing such stupid things, “Don’t go down there!”, “Don’t split up” and my personal favourite, “Don’t trust that person!”.
Not this time. I was completely caught up in this, wondering how Chris was going to (Pardon the pun) get out of this situation. I was rooting for the guy. Leaving a brutal, nail biting finale that had me on the edge of my seat.
The clever splicing of genres may have got a little heavy handed BUT I cannot recommend this enough. A film worthy of your time.
Despite the shoddy pace and wafer thin characters, there was still life in this tense little sci-fi horror.
A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.
I didn’t expect much from this. The trailers bored me and the extended looks did nothing to win me over. BUT I was a fan of the line up. So was it shame on me?
Jon Ekstrand’s ominous score certainly grabbed my attention. The brooding atmosphere, the simmering tension, the nothingness of space. Seamus McGarvey’s glossy cinematography. Perfect.
It was just a shame that momentum couldn’t stick. The slow burning opening act soon put me into a mini-coma.
The disorienting claustrophobic camera work may have simulated the feeling of floating around in a space station BUT it irritated me. The POV angle of Ryan Reynolds’ Rory intercepting the damaged satellite was a nice touch.
BUT it didn’t help that the characters weren’t that interesting.
Rebecca Ferguson’s (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) uptight doc and Jake Gyllenhaal’s (Nocturnal Animals) depressed David were dreadfully dull.
I always felt Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai) was an underrated supporting actor BUT his character was dire. A perfect opportunity to shine squandered.
And Ryan Reynolds just played the same old spiel again. Adapting the role of the cocky fast talking joker. Boring.
There wasn’t any depth and the bland exchanges between the crew just killed the tension. Especially as they left messages for their loved ones and gave cringe inducing virtual tours of the ship to the “world”. Yuck.
Thankfully by the 25-30 min marker, the film finally hit its stride as the crew discovered life and the answers to the universe in the form of a squid-like jellyfish named “Calvin”.
Ariyon Bakare (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) made a memorable impression as Hugh. The delighted doc whose fascination with Earth’s new mascot bordered on obsession.
BUT I could still feel myself getting impatient as the crew carried out tests. However, one botched lab experiment later . . .
All that curiousity and wonder swiftly turned into sheer fear and panic as the crew’s new play thing decides to make a break for it. A bloody trail left in his wake.
The middle act delivered with an unnerving and nail biting thriller as Calvin continued to grow in size and intelligence. A game of cat and mouse set in motion.
“Calvin doesn’t hate us. He has to kill us in order to survive”.
The Alien meets Gravity vibe worked as the killer creature craftily picked the crew off one by one.
The special effects were brilliant. Calvin’s transformation creeped the hell out of me. His squid-like tentacles scuttling around the labyrinthine hallways. A spider toying with his prey. Shudder.
I was worried that the wafer thin character development would make me less interested in the crew’s survival BUT Gyllenhaal and Ferguson’s characters were thankfully fleshed out a little better as the danger ensued (Hell, I even warmed up to Reynolds).
There were genuine moments of suspense and I couldn’t see how it was going to end which made for a tense and thrilling finale.
And by the closing credits, I left the cinema pleasantly surprised.
Just persevere with the pace and you have a solid effort that does just enough to hold its own.
Some secrets are better left buried. A bit like this film, really.
Absolutely bloody dreadful.
A police detective (Keanu Reeves) investigates the truth behind his partner’s death. The mysterious case reveals disturbing police corruption and a dangerous secret involving an unlikely young woman (Ana de Armas).
Thank God, Reeves has got John Wick to fall on because this coma-inducing effort would have been a career killer.
Nice try, Sky Movies. To celebrate the bad ass action man’s new JW release, Sky have decided to feature a selection of Reeves’ anthology. I found this little dud among the Matrix and Wick efforts. My God, I wish I hadn’t.
If you hadn’t heard of this film, then . . . GOOD. You’re one of the lucky ones. If you were thinking of giving it a go, I would strongly advise against it.
Maybe Armas and Reeves shouldn’t work together on a project again. Fool me once, Eli Roth’s horrendous Knock Knock. Fool me twice, this monstrosity.
In the words of George Dubya, “Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again”.
The opening was creepy enough as Armas loitered around an empty subway. An air of unease uncomfortably set. The Shining-esque tunnels. The strange visions. A shame that momentum couldn’t stick.
I haven’t seen something so dull and disjointed in a long time. I expected a slow burning supernatural thriller BUT was rewarded (I say rewarded) with a questionable mess that never really got going.
The alluring Armas may have been easy on the eye (What?) and she did her best with the part BUT it just didn’t work. If it wasn’t for the strange dreams and that crazy albino woman, I would have switched off from the get go.
What drove Keanu to do this? He was laughable. His stone cold pallor and incessant mumbling did nothing for his character. A disgruntled detective out on the trail to avenge his murdered partner.
His story line felt it should have been in another movie altogether. It ran completely separate to Isabel’s story. They didn’t even cross paths until the very last frame. And by then, you wondered why he was in it in the first place?
It was so boring, cliched and full of plot holes. His investigation consisted of grunting, slapping some people about and getting jiggy with his partner’s grieving widow (Mira Sorvino – Mimic).
Sorvino was terrible. Her character’s unhinged and volatile behaviour made her extremely unlikeable and really bloody annoying. She brought nothing to the mix.
Big Daddy Kane was weak as the slimy Jonathan ‘Black’ Jones. He swaggered around, bumping people off that had nothing to do with Reeve’s investigation or Isabel.
There was a bizarre and surprisingly violent encounter between Jones and Isabel’s brother-in-law. BUT was there any explanation? Any relevance to what was going on? Nope.
And that was the main problem. In terms of story telling, there wasn’t any. Gee Malik Linton just seemed to throw in any old thing, hoping it would stick and make some sort of movie.
Just question after question with no answers. It just got stranger and more disjointed as it slowly crawled (Bearing in mind, it’s only 98 minutes long) to its abysmal finale.
Isabel immaculately conceived a baby. Weird considering her fella was in the army and hadn’t been back on leave in over a year. The whole religious connotation to the Virgin Mary came off so hammy that even her family weren’t buying it!
Reeves just slept walk through this film, blurting some school boy Spanish here and grunting there. There was one point I just burst out laughing.
It was supposed to be Galban hitting an all time low. Bottom of the barrel as he called his son late at night just for someone to talk to.
What does he do after this failed attempt at emotional bonding? He slaps himself repeatedly with the phone, of course. I wish I could find a gif for it.
And considering the synopsis suggested corruption. I didn’t see any in this film. Christopher MacDonald (Happy Gilmore) was completely wasted in the generic role of Lieutenant Galway. Regurgitating the same old spiel, “Drop the investigation”. I really wish Galban had taken his advice.
The last 10 minutes finally explained those bizarre visions (which did surprise me). I will admit I didn’t see the twist (I say twist) coming. A twist that ultimately led to a highly unsavoury rape scene. Unsettling, to say the last.
BUT once I got that over initial and shocking scene, the film then capsized even further as everything came to a befuddling and dismal ending.
I actually couldn’t care by the time the credits rolled and will spend no more time after this review looking into it.
I urge you to do the same. Awful. AVOID. Unless you really, and I mean REALLY, have nothing better to do.
A return to form from the maestro who brought us The Sixth Sense?
Or another dud to add the ever-growing backlog from that guy who gave us The Happening?
In a nutshell, meh.
BUT one thing can be agreed, James McAvoy was excellent.
Three girls are kidnapped by a man diagnosed with 23 distinct personalities. They must escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.
I think it’s fair to say that M. Night Shyamalan’s movie have . . . split audiences. Ba-dum-tssh. I read that somewhere and had to put it.
I’ve always loved the premises BUT his execution? Well . . .
Desperate to be the next modern Hitchcock (The opening title sequence for Split resembled something out of Psycho!)
His big “twists” and mad endings have failed to impress of late; The Visit (Laughable), After Earth (Jaden Smith, say no more!), The Lady in the Water (Apart from that breaking of the 4th wall moment, woeful) and The Happening . . .
How could I forget?!
What do you mean, where’s Signs and The Village? I *shuffles collar* actually enjoyed those movies. Yes, I know. Aliens attack Earth and their sole weakness is water. I know! BUT Mel Gibson and Johnny Cash, man!
I digress. I was actually excited by all the trailers to see Shyamalan’s latest thriller and I didn’t mind it. It was alright BUT it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
The opening didn’t mess about. An air of unease established straight from the get go as McAvoy’s “Dennis” made his introduction to the unsuspecting trio.
Funny that I was praising Anya Taylor-Joy in another mediocre movie (Morgan). She played the withdrawn but resourceful Casey well.
I didn’t expect to see Grace from Skins (Jessica Sula) in the troubled party either.
Their initial captivity felt like something from Kiss the Girls with a hint of Misery.
The first half hour set a slow burning atmospheric thriller with all sorts of questions flying around.
Every time I could feel my patience wading, McAvoy’s Dennis would introduce another personality.
McAvoy continues to impress yet again. I don’t think I would have been half as interested if he wasn’t at the helm.
He stole the show with everybody else playing second fiddle.
And that was part of the problem, every time the action was taken away from him, I lost interest.
Betty Buckley (Carrie) didn’t do a bad turn as Dr Fletcher, the therapist desperate to help the troubled mad man. Fighting for “their” cause. Playing a very dangerous game.
There were genuine moments where I felt tense. Especially when she worked out that she wasn’t talking to the “right person”.
The girls played their parts well and were quite resilient.
I expected more cliched horror movie gaffs with three teenage girls at the centre of the chaos BUT they were fairly strong characters. Not bad, Mr Shyamalan.
BUT one thing that bugged me the most was the film’s actual premise. 23 personalities?
All those trailers, billboards, posters. 23 personalities. Did we actually get 23 personalities?
For the majority of the film, we only had 4. Great performance from Professor X but a measly number that increased to maybe 7 by the end? Come on now.
It was great how with a twitch in the face and a burrow of the brow; McAvoy’s infantile nine year old Hedwig could transform into the meticulous and obsessive compulsive Dennis.
His Patricia could easily have bordered on a parody of Mrs Doubtfire.
Thankfully, it didn’t.
BUT this could have been done in 90 minutes and been better for it.
The pacing hammered the piece for me and the final act dragged.
There was so many meandering flashbacks into Casey’s past, I kept wondering what the relevance of them were?
They killed the tension and annoyed the hell out of me.
All the talk of a Beast. This new and vicious 24th personality. Those crazy descriptions and the big reveal, the “What a twist” moment didn’t quite deliver.
It was certainly creepy and unsettling with Shyamalan teasing the die hards BUT it didn’t quite pan out the way I hoped.
Different. Watchable. BUT thriller of the year? Meh.
Certainly worth a view for one stellar performance from the super Scot.
A return of sorts. Not his best. BUT certainly NOT his worst by a country mile.