Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider
Director: Roar Uthaug
Writer: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons
Based on: the video game series
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost
Seen on: 29.3.2018
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Plot:
By birth, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is very rich, but since her adventurer father (Dominic West) disappeared, Lara doesn’t want anything to do with the estate. Instead she makes her money as a bike courier, a job that plays into her adrenaline seeking tendencies. But then Lara gets an elaborate puzzle box that sets her on the path of her father’s last adventure. Even though she goes against his wishes with her decision, she decides to retrace his last known steps and figure out what happened.

My first thought after leaving the cinema, was “well, Tomb Raider is a film I have seen now” and that still pretty much captures the level of excitement and fun the film achieved. But at least it never got really boring.

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The Light Between Oceans (2016)

The Light Between Oceans
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writer: Derek Cianfrance
Based on: M.L. Stedman’s novel
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Florence Clery, Jack Thompson, Thomas Unger, Anthony Hayes, Benedict Hardie
Seen on: 20.9.2016

Plot:
Tom (Michael Fassbender) has signed up to be the lighthouse keeper on a small island just off the coast of a small town in Australia. On the rare occasions that he gets to come to the main land and see people, he meets Isabel (Alicia Vikander) and they quickly fall in love. Isabel is happy to lead the solitary lighthouse keeper life with Tom and would love nothing more than a baby. Much to her chagrin, she keeps miscarrying though, so it feels like fate when a boat with a baby washes up on their island during a storm. Tom only wants to see Isabel happy, so he agrees to keep the child. But when they hear of Hannah (Rachel Weisz) whose husband and child were lost during the storm, they will have to make a decision.

The Light Between Oceans is one of the cheesiest films I ever saw. It’s high-quality cheese, no doubt about it, but it was all a little too much for me, ultimately keeping me at a distance.

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Jason Bourne (2016)

Jason Bourne
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Sequel to: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and kinda The Bourne Legacy
Based on: Robert Ludlum‘s novel (kinda)
Cast: Matt DamonAlicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd
Seen on: 12.8.2016

Plot:
Ever since he exposed the secret government program that made him what he is, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been in hiding. But his partner Nicky (Julia Stiles) hacked into the CIA and discovered that there are more programs like that and even more information about Bourne’s past than they thought at first. So she contacts him to let him know. Her hacking doesn’t go unnoticed, though. Heather (Alicia Vikander), part of CIA cyber ops, first realizes that Nicky is up to something and when she and CIA director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) discover that Bourne is involved, they are dead set on finally getting him.

Jason Bourne delivers what you expect from the Bourne Series. So much so that you could simply watch the first film again, instead of this rather tired re-hash of things we’ve all seen before.

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The Danish Girl (2015)

The Danish Girl
Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: Lucinda Coxon
Based on: David Ebershoff‘s novel, which was in turn a ficionalized version of Lili Elbe‘s life
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Ben Whishaw, Adrian Schiller, Matthias Schoenaerts, Sebastian Koch
Seen on: 25.1.2016

Plot:
Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda (Alicia Vikander) are both painters and a happily married couple. While Einar may be more successful than Gerda, at least for now, that doesn’t keep her from continuing to work. When her dancer friend Ulla (Amber Heard) is late for modelling, Gerda asks Einar for help. He feels silly at first, but as he gets in the role, something happens. Einar creates Lili and slowly Lili fights her way to life inside of him.

The way I just described the plot already shows that The Danish Girl is a deeply problematic film – because that is actually an accurate description of how it portrays being trans*. It boils down to a film that is completely misguided and misinformed about what transgender actually is and tears everything apart that stands in the way of that distorted vision, even the basis in reality that it supposedly has.

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Burnt (2015)

Burnt
Director: John Wells
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley, Henry Goodman, Matthew Rhys, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Lily James
Seen on: 16.12.2015

Plot:
Adam (Bradley Cooper) was the rising star in the cooking world before alcohol and drugs got the better of him. When his career was completely destroyed (plus the career of some of his friends for good measure), he set himself  the penance of shucking a million oysters. Three years later he is sober and as he reaches the final oyster, he is ready to give his career a new start. Activating all his old connections and bullying himself into a restaurant kitchen, he is ready to get that third Michelin star.

Burnt is a film about an asshole that for some reason is be believed the coolest person on the planet. The best that I can say about it is that it’s watchable and the cast is good. Other than that, though, I was mostly annoyed by it.

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
Based on: the TV series from the 60s
Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani, Sylvester GrothHugh Grant, Jared Harris
Seen on: 25.8.2015

Plot:
CIA Agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) is tasked with finding a scientist who had been working on nuclear technology and has been missing for many years. Now there are rumors that he is being used to create a superweapon. The only way Solo may be able to find him is through the scientist’s daughter, Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander). Just as he approaches her, Solo realizes that the KGB had the same idea and sent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) after Gaby. They manage to escape – only to find themselves being forced to work together to prevent the nuclear weapon falling into the hands of a private organization.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and stylish film. It wasn’t partiuclarly smart, but that was neither expected nor necessary in this case.

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Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina
Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Corey Johnson
Seen on: 28.04.2015

Plot:
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) can’t believe his luck when he wins the employee lottery and will be allowed to meet the company’s – Bluebook, a search engine and more – owner, the reclusive genius Nathan (Oscar Isaac). And not only meet him – they will get to spend a week together in Nathan’s home, working on a project together. When Caleb arrives, Nathan announces that he has been working on an AI – and he wants Caleb to test her, Ava (Alicia Vikander), to see if she can pass as completely human. But the more time Caleb spends with Ava, the less he trusts Nathan and his intentions.

Ex Machina is great. Smart, political and surprisingly feminist science fiction, beautiful images, excellent script and a wonderful cast. I was blown away by it.

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Seventh Son (2014)

Seventh Son
Director: Sergey Bodrov
Writer: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight
Based on: Joseph Delaney‘s novel The Spook’s Apprentice
Cast: Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou, Kandyse McClure, Luc Roderique, Zahf Paroo
Seen on: 10.03.2015

Plot:
Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is a spook, a warrior and warden against the supernatural. But he’s the last of his kind, especially since his latest apprentice (Kit Harington) just met his unfortunate demise at the hands of the evil witch Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore). Malkin had been imprisoned for a very long while, but she managed to free herself and plans on taking revenge and get her power back. So Gregory hires himself a new apprentice, Tom (Ben Barnes), and together they will do anything in their power to stop Malkin.

Seventh Son was okay. Not quite as craptastic as I expected, but not good either. It was entertaining enough, but I kept wishing that I was in the film that Julianne Moore was obviously in, but the rest of the cast not so much.

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The Fifth Estate (2013)

The Fifth Estate
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Josh Singer
Based on: Daniel Domscheit-Berg‘s book and David Leigh and Luke Harding‘s book
Cast: Daniel Brühl, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, Michael Culkin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Carice van Houten, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci, Alexander Siddig

Plot:
When Daniel (Daniel Brühl) meets Julian (Benedict Cumberbatch) he is more than excited: Daniel has been keeping track of Julian’s hacking work and the WikiLeaks site he instated: a perfectly anonymous option for whistleblowers. Daniel wants to work with Julian and Julian lets him in, reluctantly at first. But soon their project gets bigger than they ever expected.

The Fifth Estate was an entertaining movie with a few lenghts and a disturbing subtitle-phobia. The cast was absolutely awesome, though.

FifthEstate

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Anna Karenina (2012)

Anna Karenina
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Tom Stoppard
Based on: Leo Tolstoy‘s novel (which I wrote about very shortly here)
Cast: Keira Knightley, Aaron Johnson, Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams, Holliday Grainger, Emily Watson, Michelle Dockery, Steve Evets, Bill Skarsgard

Plot:
Anna (Keira Knightley) has been married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law) for quite a while. It’s a marriage of convenience, but one that works quite well. Anna gives all her love to their son and seems content. That is, until she travels to Moscow to reconcile her brother Stiva (Matthew Macfadyen) with his wife Dolly (Kelly Macdonald) on whom he cheated. In Moscow, Anna meets Alexei Vronsky (Aaron Johnson), a young count who had been courting Dolly’s sister Kitty (Alicia Vikander), more or less seriously. Anna and Vronsky feel drawn to each other immediately – so much so that Anna basically flees back to St. Petersburg. But Vronsky follows her there, kicking off events that slowly spiral Anna’s life completely out of control.

The movie started and I immediately and irrevocably fell in love with it. And it didn’t disappoint me for one moment. It is a thing of beauty that I could watch over and over again.

Anna-Karenina

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