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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The movie is about the various inhabitants of an apartment home in Sidney. Dave (Samuel Johnson) is 28, unemployed and still lives with his father Jim (Anthony LaPaglia). When he sees an ad for a book explaining the meaning of life for only 9.99, he buys it. Unfortunately, nobody wants to listen to him explain it all. Meanwhile his brother Lenny (Ben Mendelsohn) falls in love with the model (Leeanna Walsman) moving into the building, while a boy called Zack (Jamie Katsamatsas) falls in love with his piggy bank. Ron (Joel Edgerton), on the other hand, gets visited by two inch tall guys after his girlfriend (Claudia Karvan) breaks up with him. In another flat, retiree Albert (Barry Otto) is incredibly lonely until he is visited by a rather bitter Angel (Geoffrey Rush).
I quite liked $9.99. It has no big revelations, it’s not going to make any best of the decade lists, probably, but it’s sweet, has a fine sense of humour and is nicely absurd. The design of the characters and the set was especially good.