Paranoia evokes nothing but boredom

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

Paranoia is a lavish techno-thriller with no central processor.

Director Robert Luketic, who’s made a career out of forgettable rom-coms, and Barry Levy, the writer behind the Rashomon-derived Vantage Point, cobble together a motion picture out of spare parts.…

The East is a timely thriller well worth heading to the cinema for

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Has there ever been a better-timed tagline than the one for The East: “Spy on us, we’ll spy on you.”

With the NSA scandal over warrantless surveillance still playing out in the US, a lot of people are pretty pissed with the government intelligence agency and the corporations that aided them.…

Dead Man Down is promising but falls back on genre trappings

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

Genre can be a double-edged sword for even the most talented and versatile filmmaker: hew too close to convention and you risk falling into cliche, stray too far and you risk alienating your core audience.

I think it’s revealing that two of my favorite genre films of recent years – Shane Black’s vaguely satirical crime thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Drew Goddard’s postmodern slasher horror The Cabin in the Woods – both deconstruct their respective genres.…

Bourne Legacy ultimately has nowhere to run

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

I’ll admit to having been been dismissive of this addition to the Bourne series when it appeared in cinemas last year.

For one thing, Paul Greengrass, director of Bourne’s Supremacy and Ultimatum, had handed over control of the franchise, and perhaps more dramatically, Matt Damon, Jason Bourne himself, would not be returning.…

Argo is Alan J. Pakula without the bite

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

The newest film by Chasing Amy* star Ben Affleck is notable for many reasons, not least in that it has broken the director’s run of continuous 94%s on Rotten Tomatoes.

Whether it is an objectively better film that either Gone Baby Gone or The Town is open to debate.…

Skyfall takes the Bond franchise deeper than ever before

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Well, that took a while, but after four years of languishing in MGM’s cash-strapped development rooms, James Bond is finally back on the big screen, just in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary.

The question is whether Skyfall, directed by the esteemed Sam Mendes, is a worthy showcase for half a century of martini-swilling, Aston-driving, megalomaniac-stopping, not-returning-gadgets-even-though-specifically-asked-to-by-Q-Branch-ing “spy craft”.…