Plot: Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) is an environmental defense attorney, working mostly for corporations faced with complaints. That’s why he is very reluctant to take on the case brought to him by farmer Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp) who came to him because he know his grandmother. But Tennant’s story keeps gnawing at Bilott and when he digs a little deeper, he realizes that there may be more to the story. This realization is the beginning of a legal battle against chemical giant DuPont who has been polluting the entire area – a battle that will last for decades and affects thousands of people.
Dark Waters is a solid film. Given the cast and the subject matter, it had the potential to be more than just solid, but there are definitely worse movies out there.
Plot: Bryon Widner (Jamie Bell) has basically grown up in the neonazi scene and is one of the bigger players in his area. He is really committed to the cause – covered in tattoos from head to toe that make his allegiance visible for everyone, and taking part in more than one act of violence against marginalized communities. But when Bryon meets Julie (Danielle Macdonald) and her three daughters, his desire to quit the neonazi scene grows. The scene isn’t willing to let him go that easily, though.
Skin tackles a difficult topic and tries to do so with complexity, but doesn’t always do it justice. The great cast makes up for a lot, though.
Plot: Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) had some tough times and struggled with alcohol, but after an ultimatum from his wife Lynne (Amy Adams), he pulled himself together and went into politics. Even though he is never really at the forefront of political offices, he rises steadily in the ranks until he even becomes vice president to George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) – a position he manages to make even more powerful than it was until then.
Vice was absolutely unbearable. Arrogant, preachy and smug, I had a hard time not screaming through the film – and that although I share the criticism it presents.
Plot: Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a promising ballet dancer. Or rather, she used to be until an injury cost her her career. Instead she is recruited by her uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) for the Sparrow School, a school designed to make spies. Training is hard, but Dominika makes it through. The target of her first mission is CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) who appears to have a Russian informant – and Dominika is supposed to find out who the informant is. But she and Nate gravitate towards each other – and that may threaten both of their missions.
I didn’t expect much of Red Sparrow, I have to say, but I filed it under “the things I do for Matthias Schoenaerts” and watched it anyway. I shouldn’t have – and neither should you.
Plot: Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) used to be an Olympic skier but an injury put an end to her career. Looking for a new way to make a living, she moves to Los Angeles and stumbles into the world of gambling. Sharp and business savy as she is, she quickly moves up and becomes a successful host of high stakes poker games – which in turn puts her into the sight of the FBI.
Molly’s Game is the rare case of a film that reaches its climax with the very first scene. But that’s not the only reason it is ultimately disappointing, despite the excellent cast.
Plot: Steven (Colin Farrell) is a successful surgeon with a beautiful wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman) and two children, Bob (Sunny Suljic) and Kim (Raffey Cassidy). He’s also mentoring a young man, Martin (Barry Keoghan) who wants to be a doctor – an unusually intense relationship that seems to take over more and more of Steven’s life and brings Martin into Steven’s family.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer starts off strong, but once the actual story started, it began to lose me and started to drag. Nevertheless, it’s a very interesting film.
Roy (Michael Shannon) and Lucas (Joel Edgerton) are on the run with a boy, Alton (Jaeden Lieberherr). They are running from a cult and from the government, obviously intent to not be stopped, but to what ends isn’t obvious. What is obvious though is that this isn’t simply a kidnapping and Alton isn’t simply a kid. He has powers that defy understanding, even his own.
Midnight Special is a weird animal. Over long stretches I enjoyed it, although it does have lengths, but then it becomes so increasingly Christian in its imagery that I was a bit taken aback by it more and more.
Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) runs one of the more powerful crime syndicates in Boston. But he does have his rivals. That’s when ambitious FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) approaches him. Connolly knows Bulger of old and he’s eager to make a name for himself, so he suggests that Bulger could become a FBI informant. That would give him more freedom in his affairs and it would help Connolly’s career by taking out plenty of bad guys – all of Bulger’s enemies.
Black Mass covers many years. Unfortunately it also feels like it lasts many, many years. It was such a boring film, I ultimately lost the battle against sleep and drifted of for a few minutes in-between.
Ewedown is a town in the middle of nowhere in England. In this town live the Hardiments. Nicholas (Roger Allam) is a successful writer, Beth (Tamsin Greig) runs the farm and on said farm, a writer’s retreat. They have if not exactly peace at least a constant routine. When the neighbor’s daughter Tamara (Gemma Arterton) returns after becoming a journalist and having a very advantageuous nose job done, things get shaken up quite a bit though.
I really liked Tamara Drewe. Though it may not be the best thing Stephen Frears has ever done, it was an entertaining, enjoyable romp with a good cast and good writing.