2 posts categorized "Crime Thriller"

November 26, 2012

DEADFALL

DeadfallYour standard issue cold-weather crime thriller, “Deadfall” comes complete with gratuitous sex, a hot-pursuit chase sequence involving snowmobiles, and a merciless bad guy you can’t help but root for.

Eric Bana does the anti-hero honors as Addison, a casino thief on the run with a bag of cash and his adoring sibling accomplice Liza (Olivia Wilde). Headed for Canada, the desperate pair loses their getaway driver in an icy car crash that requires brother and sister to split up in Michigan (to have a better chance at making it across the border). Local police have a dragnet out. Liza slips into a romance of convenience with Jay (Charlie Hunnam), a recently released ex-con and former Olympic boxer. Addison has a rougher time traversing miles of snowy terrain. Kate Mara provides a nifty emotional hook as Hanna, the police officer daughter of the local sheriff (played by the ever-watchable Treat Williams).

Image result for DEADFALL bana

“Deadfall” isn’t the most original suspense movie in the world, but it accomplishes its genre-minded goals with precision.

Rated R. 94 mins. 

3 Stars

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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February 16, 2012

BULLHEAD

BullheadJacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) is not your run-of-the-mill Flemish mafia thug. He has serious emotional and physical issues stemming from an attack by the son of one of his father’s criminal partners. Jacky belongs to a family of Belgium cattle farmers who use growth hormones to increase profits.

Debut writer/director Michael R. Roskam based his gut-wrenching crime drama on the true story of a Belgian veterinarian who was murdered in the mid-‘90s.

The CineFiles: BULLHEAD (2011)

The murder of a local investigator causes Jacky to advise his boss not to rush into inking a deal with De Kuyper (Sam Louwyck), an illicit meat market kingpin from a neighboring region. Not that any of his gangster cohorts take the steroid-pumped Jacky seriously enough to follow his instructions. Jacky is of course correct in guessing that a police investigation is in full swing, and the he and his compatriots could be swept up in its net.

Film International

Roskam’s gift for cinematic storytelling comes through in every affecting frame. The filmmaker’s scrupulous use of flashbacks brings the audience into a visceral empathy with Jacky, whose daily injections of testosterone explain much of his erratic behavior and his private turmoil. With his blunted facial features, Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts (“Loft”) is ideally cast for the role. Schoenaerts’s gutsy performance is remarkable.

Bullhead' looks for heart in one grim bruiser of a man - Independent Ethos

At heart, Jacky is a sensitive and intelligent guy trapped in a body that doesn’t belong to him anymore. A subplot involving his best friend from childhood seals the film’s character-study aspect with an added dimension of deeply seeded context. “Bullhead” is an unconventional mafia story told through the eyes of a damaged-goods protagonist you can’t help but feel for.

Rated R. 124 mins.

4 Stars

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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