The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

The Peanut Butter Falcon
Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Writer: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Cast: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, John Hawkes, Yelawolf
Seen on: 15.1.2020

Plot:
Zak (Zack Gottsagen) needs to escape from the retirement home he has been parked at for years, despite the fact that he is very young. He has Down Syndrome and nobody knew where else to put him. Still, he needs to get out, then he can go to Salt Water Redneck’s (Thomas Haden Church) wrestling school. Finally one of his attempts actually works and Zak is off. By chance, he ends up on Tyler’s (Shia LaBeouf) boat. Tyler, too, needs to get out after pretty much destroying all of his chances to ever work as a fisherman in his hometown again. Together, the two strike out to fulfill Zak’s dream.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a wonderful film. It’s touching, funny and has an eye for the absurd. But most importantly, it unquestioningly centers Zak and his story, never allowing him to become a prop in his own film.

The film poster showing a drawing of Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), Zak (Zack Gottsagen) and Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) sitting on a raft.
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Widows (2018)

Widows
Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen
Based on: Lynda La Plante‘s TV series
Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Carrie Coon, Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Coburn Goss, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver
Seen on: 18.12.2018
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Plot:
Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) has made a career out of being a thief. Together with his crew Carlos (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Florek (Jon Bernthal), and Jimmy (Coburn Goss) he sets out to do another job – but this time things go wrong and they all die. Harry’s wife, now widow, Veronica (Viola Davis) who never knew much about his career, finds herself being pressured by Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) to whom Harry owed money. Not knowing what else to do, Veronica gets in touch with the other widows – Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Amanda (Carrie Coon) and tries to convince them to pull off a heist themselves.

Widows was a pretty good and more than usual complex heist film, but I’m afraid that my expectations were a little too high – it just wasn’t as good as what I’ve come to rely on in a Steve McQueen film.

The film poster showing portrait images of the main characters.
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Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel ElgortKevin Spacey, Jon BernthalJon HammJamie Foxx, Eiza GonzálezLily JamesCJ JonesSky FerreiraFlea
Seen on: 1.8.2017
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Plot:
Baby (Ansel Elgort) loves music (that drowns out his tinnitus) and driving, at which he’s also very good. A fact that Doc (Kevin Spacey) is using to his own advantage: he coerced Baby to drive during the robberies he meticulously plans. But Baby will soon have worked off his debts with Doc and is looking forward to a free life then, maybe with Debora (Lily James). But Doc isn’t willing to give Baby up all that easily.

Baby Driver wasn’t bad, but I expected it to be more than just nice. It’s well-made but there are quite a few things that didn’t work for me. I can’t help but feeling disappointed about it.

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The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Writer: Bill Dubuque
Cast: Ben AffleckAnna KendrickJ.K. SimmonsJon BernthalJeffrey TamborCynthia Addai-RobinsonJohn Lithgow
Seen on: 9.11.2016

Plot:
Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) has discovered irregularities in her company’s accounts. So an external accountant is called in to look at the books – Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck). Wolff is usually more occupied with keeping the accounts of criminal organizations, but since he’s being investigated by the Treasury Department in the form of Ray King (J.K. Simmons), a legitimate job seems like a good idea at this moment. But when Wolff confirms Cummings’ suspicions, people start dying and soon he finds himself deeply involved.

The Accountant’s claim to fame is the fact that Christian Wolff is an autistic character/action hero. Other than that it doesn’t really have anything unusual to offer, but it’s a decent film.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Jesse Andrews
Based on: Jesse Andrewsnovel
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, [Spoiler] Hugh Jackman
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Greg (Thomas Mann) glides through High School doing everything he can not to be noticed and not to get too close to anyone. Even his best friend Earl (RJ Cyler) is just a co-worker to him. When his mother (Connie Britton) hears that her friend Denise’ (Molly Shannon) daughter Rachel (Olivia Cooke) has cancer, she forces Greg to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel. Both aren’t exactly happy about it, but somehow they manage to get past the initial awkwardness.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a film that manages to make you laugh and cry, touching on important issues in a lighthearted and sweet way that still takes things seriously.

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl

[Slight Spoilers]

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Sicario (2015)

Sicario
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan
Seen on: 6.10.2015

Plot:
After an assignment that ends pretty badly, FBI agent Kate (Emily Blunt) is recruited by CIA operative Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) for a joined task force as Kate’s operation brought her in contact with a Mexican drug cartell that Graver has been investigating for years. Together with informant/operative Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), they enter Mexico to hunt down the cartell’s head. But it seems that there is more to the story and Kate finds herself increasingly puzzled.

Sicario seems to be on a mission: to find out how boring you can make a movie about murder, human trafficking and shady governments. They went far in their quest and I can now tell you: it can be very boring indeed.

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Fury (2014)

Fury
Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jim Parrack, Jason Isaacs
Seen on: 10.01.2015

Plot:
World War II. Don Collier, called Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), is the commanding officer of the tank Fury. With him are Bible (Shia LaBeouf), Gordo (Michael Peña) and Coon-Ass (Jon Bernthal), and the newest addition, the young, inexperienced Norman (Logan Lerman), who isn’t even interested in being a soldier. Together they are sent on a mission that sends them further and further into enemy territory.

Fury starts off in such a way that it raised my hopes that we might get a thoughtful portrayal of what it means to be in a warzone, only to squash these hopes completely under a barrage of heroism blah blah.

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Terence Winter
Based on: Jordan Belfort‘s book
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Shea Whigham

Plot:
Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreams of making a whole lot of money on Wall Street. At first this seems rather impossible, especially since the stock markets crash right when Jordan gets his broker’s license. But then Jordan finds a way to make it big, even if it’s not entirely legal. He enjoys the money way too much to care about that. Even when the FBI gets involved, he can’t stop.

The Wolf of Wall Street was one of the most uncomfortable movie experiences I had in recent times. It was not only the content, but also the length and the audience that had me cringing.

wolfofwallstreet

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Snitch (2013)

Snitch
Director:  Ric Roman Waugh
Writer: Justin Haythe, Ric Roman Waugh
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rafi GavronNadine Velazquez, Melina Kanakaredes, Benjamin Bratt, David Harbour, Harold Perrineau

Plot:
When Jason (Rafi Gavron) is arrested on drug charges that are not really called for, his father John (Dwayne Johnson) tries to bargain with the prosecution to get his sentence reduced. But the prosecution is quite unwilling to help. It’s only when John offers to basically go undercover for them and get some bigger fish arrested, that they agree to help. So John asks his employee and ex-con Daniel (Jon Bernthal) for an introduction into the drug world and soon finds himself a little in over his head.

Snitch isn’t a great movie. But it is quite ok and surprisingly full of social criticism.

snitch

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