It Comes at Night (2017)

It Comes at Night
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Writer: Trey Edward Shults
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Griffin Robert Faulkner, David Pendleton
Part of: /slash 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 3.5.2018

Plot:
Paul (Joel Edgerton), Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and their son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) are holed up in a remote cabin. They’ve effectively isolated themselves after a mysterious disease broke out. But one night somebody tries to invade their home. They capture the intruder and keep him quarantined. When it turns out that he – Will (Christopher Abbott) – isn’t infected, but has family nearby, they grant them access to their home. But tensions keep rising.

It Comes at Night is a solid film with good characters and a firm grip on the tension it needs. It didn’t quite blow me away, but it’s a good watch.

Continue reading

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Justin Haythe
Based on: Jason Matthewsnovel
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciarán Hinds, Joely Richardson, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons, Sergei Polunin
Seen on: 28.3.2018
1-gif-review

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.

Continue reading

Midnight Special (2016)

Midnight Special
Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Jaeden LieberherMichael ShannonJoel EdgertonKirsten DunstAdam DriverBill CampScott HazeSam Shepard
Seen on: 19.4.2016

Plot:
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.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

The Gift (2015)

The Gift
Director: Joel Edgerton
Writer: Joel Edgerton
Cast: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman, Tim Griffin, Busy Philipps
Seen on: 24.11.2015

Plot:
After a miscarriage, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) decided that they need a fresh start. So they move from Chicago to California, close to where Simon grew up. By chance they run into Gordo (Joel Edgerton) who used to go to school with Simon. Simon doesn’t recognize him at first and is generally reluctant, but Gordo is undeterred in his friendliness. He brings over gifts and Robyn invites him to dinner. But there seems to be more going on than just Gordo’s friendly strangeness.

The Gift is a sleek little thriller. It probably won’t write cinematic history, but it manages to create enough tension to be thoroughly engaging throughout.

thegift

[Vague SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Black Mass (2015)

Black Mass
Director: Scott Cooper
Writer: Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth
Based on: Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob
Cast: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Juno Temple
Seen on: 11.11.2015

Plot:
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.

black-mass Continue reading

Life (2015)

Life
Director: Anton Corbijn
Writer: Luke Davies
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan, Alessandra Mastronardi, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
Seen on: 8.10.2015

Plot:
Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) is a young photographer who is always looking for a story. When he meets actor James Dean (Dane DeHaan) just before the premiere of his first big film East of Eden, Dennis is sure that he is on to something. He convinces his boss John Morris (Joel Edgerton) to go along and starts trailing Jimmy. Jimmy is not an easy person and Dennis is desperate for things to work out somehow. Slowly they get closer though.

Life is one of the most static, boring and long [I’m trying very hard not to make a “lifeless” pun] films I have ever seen. It was so intensely boring that I was absolutely uncomfortable while watching.

Life Continue reading

The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Based on: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprioCarey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Adelaide Clemens, Amitabh Bachchan, Callan McAuliffe

Plot:
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) decided to get into the bond business. He moves into a little house just outside of New York and reconnects with his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) who lives nearby after getting married to Tom (Joel Edgerton) who comes from a whole lot of old money. Nick’s next door neighbor is a man called Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is filthy rich as well, but from new money. Gatsby celebrates grand parties every weekend. When Nick is invited to one, he finds out that Gatsby and Daisy are somehow connected.

Unfortunately I didn’t love the movie as much as I loved the book. It wasn’t that bad but there were also a few issues, making the movie work only half of the time.

The-Great-Gatsby

Continue reading

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Scott Adkins, Mark Strong, Édgar Ramírez, Mark Duplass, James Gandolfini, Stephen Dillane, John Barrowman, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Taylor Kinney

Plot:
Maya (Jessica Chastain) works for the CIA and has just been sent to Pakistan. Her mission is to find out where Osama bin Laden is hiding. A mission that takes her from torturing prisoners under the the tutelage of colleauge Dan (Jason Clarke) to plain old research. When she stumbles across the name of a guy she believes is a close collaborator of bin Laden, she becomes obsessed with finding him as the most direct way to bin Laden himself.

I really did my best to be interested in this film. Admittedly, the topic is not so much my cup of tea, but it is important. Unfortunately the movie is so very boring that, with the best of motivation, it was impossible to keep up the interest. I mean, I know they searched for this guy a very long time – but was it really necessary that the audience feels every minute of that 10-year-search? At some point I just gave up and fell asleep for a little while – just to get away from the boredom of it all for a bit.

zero-dark-thirty

Continue reading

Animal Kingdom (2010)

Animal Kingdom is David Michôd‘s newest film, starring James Frecheville, Jacki Weaver, Joel Edgerton, Sullivan Stapleton, Ben Mendelsohn and Guy Pearce.

Plot:
After the death of his mother, J (James Frecheville) moves in with his – until then – estranged grandmother Janine, also called Smurf (Jacki Weaver). Smurf lives with her sons Darren (Luke Ford), Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) and Craig (Sullivan Stapleton). The three of them, and Pope’s best friend Baz (Joel Edgerton), are not really good guys: Pope is an armed robber, Craig a drug dealer. J gets slowly drawn into the whole story, despite the investigating police officer Leckie’s (Guy Pearce) to help him (and have him help arrest his uncles).

Animal Kingdom is a very tight movie.The story is realistic, well-paced and interesting but the really great part about it are the performances: they are absolutely amazing.

Continue reading

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is Zack Snyder‘s first animated movie based on Kathryn Lasky‘s novels and stars the voices of Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, David Wenham, Anthony LaPaglia, Abbie Cornish and Ryan Kwanten.

Plot:
Soren (Jim Sturgess) and his brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) are two owls almost ready to leave their nests. Inspired by their attempts to fly, they want to practice more after their parents left for the nightly hunt and promptly fall down the tree. Before they can figure out a way back up, they are snatched up by two owls who bring them to the “True Bloods”*, a group of basically Nazi Owls who abduct young owls to build an army and to harvest something they call flecks; metal flakes that seem to have a magical (and very adverse) effect on owls. While Kludd embraces the True Bloods’ ideology, Soren makes a desperate attempt to find the legendary Guardians of Ga’Hoole: warrior owls sworn to protect other owls.

The movie has a good plot and nice, if a little stereotypical characters (nothing too bad). But most of all, it’s visually absolutely stunning. Here’s a movie that’s actually worth to see in 3D.

Continue reading