Archive for the Thrillers/Mystery Category

Lakeview Terrace

Posted in Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , on June 8, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

An interracial couple moves into their California dream home, only to find themselves the target of their volatile next-door neighbor — a racist LAPD officer — in this tightly wound thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington. Newlyweds Chris and Lisa seem like they have the perfect marriage and now, with their new home in the exclusive community Lakeview Terrace, the perfect life as well, but things soon turn ugly in the posh neighborhood when they begin to receive threats from their neighbor Abel, a middle-aged LAPD officer who has obvious objections to the couple’s interracial marriage. What starts as an attitude problem soon morphs into full-on harassment, and before long the couple finds that their worries go far beyond their property values — or the encroaching California wildfire burning in view of their community — as they begin to fear for their lives.

What people are saying:

“Some will find it exciting. Some will find it an opportunity for an examination of conscience. Some will leave feeling vaguely uneasy. Some won’t like it and will be absolutely sure why they don’t, but their reasons will not agree. Some will hate elements that others can’t even see. Some will only see a thriller. I find movies like this alive and provoking, and I’m exhilarated to have my thinking challenged at every step of the way” 4 1/2 stars

“It’s ironic when the tactics it uses to ratchet up the suspense actually reduces the very real tension that gets communicated in its first half.” 1 star

“Samuel Jackson pulls off another great role. A cop living next your worst nightmare? could happen. I wouldn’t call this movie a hard core thriller, but it does have its edge of the seat type of moments. I wasn’t sure about watching it, but after I started I couldn’t stop.” 3 stars

“Though it wasn’t perfect and could’ve been much better, it’s a pretty enjoyable character study. It seems like the film, in most spots, doesn’t completely get off the ground and falls a little short before it gets too intense. The three lead performances — particularly Patrick Wilson and Samuel L. Jackson — are quite strong and the story keeps you hooked despite some cliches.” 2 1/2 stars

“Samuel Jackson is downright scary as a totally racist (without provocation, at all) psycho. People are down-playing the race angle, which is the entire underpinning of this movie. He had it out for the couple SOLELY because they were an interracial couple. I doubt most men (of any color) would have put up with his psycho behavior as much as this white husband did – that part is not believable. It also throws like four different, unrelated themes together for no apparent purpose. It’s great to see a film that finally depicts black on white racism (of which there is much), but the plot and story could have been tied together better.” 3 stars

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Dead West

Posted in Independent, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

An outlaw drives through the West killing all the women who aren’t up to his love standards, until the brother of one of his victims goes after him.

What people are saying:

“Comical. This is what happens when porn actors make a ‘serious’ movie, although it was oddly entertaining. Definitely smoke some chronic and watch with no expectations.” 2 1/2 stars

Dead West takes us deep into the mind of a disturbed, yet charismatic serial killer traveling the country on a murder spree. A revenge thriller turned into a love story, this film is packed with compelling characters brought to life by a cast of wonderful actors. Brain Sutherland, Meagan Karimi-Nasar, and Jeffrey Arrington lead the way with strong performances. Supporting actors Katie Michaels, Bethany Jacobs, Carollani Sandberg, and Lisa Coronado also light up the screen with focused, heart-breaking performances. My only negative is that the pace of this film is a little slow at times. Nonetheless, the story is very compelling and the actors handle the dialogue extremely well and drive the film home to a thrilling finish. The cinematography is fantastic, and director Jeff Ferrell does an incredible job bringing his words to life on the big screen. The film score is also terrific.” 2 stars

“I feel like I just watched a 2 hour porno with no sex. The writing is horrible and the acting is horrible. The woman that played Roxie was good but the rest of the movie is 100% garbage. The leading guy is supposed to be this womanizing good looking man…. he is a freaking pudgy dude that has below average looks and bad teeth. Seriously…” 1/2 star

“I’m not sure what I expected when I played this movie, but about 15 minutes into it I was already wondering how much more I would have to endure. This film has no redeeming value whatsoever. The film was poorly scripted, the acting was awful, the directing was questionable, at best. I’m not sure how this film was funded. I watched all of the way through because I kept saying to myself, “it’s going to get better” or that there is some “twist” that will just grab me. Sorry, nope. What you see in the first 15 minutes is what you get.” 1 star

“It’s pretty grim when you have to click on the ‘See full cast’ tab on the IMDb title page of a movie to find out who the main character was portrayed by. This is a movie that could never have been made back in the days of the Production Code because the murderer gets away with it and presumably lives on to continue his killing spree. The whole thing is kind of silly actually, when you consider that Duane The Ladykiller (Brian Sutherland) drives one of the most distinctive cars one could possibly own, a bright orange Camaro with a black hood, and he’s routinely recognized by any number of witnesses who could provide their first person accounts to authorities at any step along the way. Not to mention the guy had no visible means of support to carry on his cross country hobby. If you couldn’t figure it out early enough, the guy gives away the key to his principal character traits when he takes a pick-up to the Skyline Drive-in and the feature attractions are ‘Maniac’ and ‘Vigilante’. Yup, he was both of them.” 2 stars

The Sixth Sense

Posted in Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this chilling psychological thriller, eight-year-old Cole Sear is haunted by a dark secret: He is visited by ghosts. A helpless and reluctant channel, Cole is terrified by threatening visitations from those with unresolved problems who appear from the shadows. Confused by his paranormal powers, Cole is too young to understand his purpose and too terrified to tell anyone about his torment, except child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe. As Dr. Crowe tries to uncover the ominous truth about Cole’s supernatural abilities, the consequence for client and therapist is a jolt that awakens them both to something harrowing — and unexplainable.

What people are saying:

“M. Night Shayamalan’s The Sixth Sense is a twisty ghost story with all the style of a classical Hollywood picture, but all the chills of a modern horror flick” 3 1/2 stars

“M Night Shyamalan has fashioned a modern classic here, a chilly, intelligent, emotional ghost story that relies not on the obligatory gore and knifeplay for its many shocks but on glimpses of an afterlife that’s anything but angels and harps.” 5 stars

“Everyone raves about the twist ending in this movie and how it is so unpredictable. For me it was the exact opposite, the ending was exactly how I predicted it (Like all Shyamalan films). This didn’t detract from the story in any way, in fact I think it added to it. There are subtle yet obvious clues throughout which cause me to be surprised at all the people that couldn’t see the ending coming. All that aside, this is a fantastic movie and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers with “twist” endings.” 5 stars

“Refreshing to see a 2-HR movie for a change without 30 minutes of filler. Haley Joel Osmet was very good. Twist at end surprised me, which earns it points. See too many movies to be surprised very often. This was good, but not Best Picture fodder. It was not better than The Talented Mr. Riley. Guess it was the box office talking. Also not better than The Hurricane.”

“With fantastically scary moments and an amazingly well done double-twist ending, it’s hard to top the horror of Sixth Sense… regardless of your feeling for M. Night Shyamalan. Though many dislike his movies, this one is masterfully plotted, suspenseful and emotionally powerful. Perhaps most impressive about this 1990s horror classic is it’s thought provoking take on the afterlife, a realistic depth not typically seen in the genre. Well acted and intellectually scary, this is one horror film most will love.” 4 stars

The Canyons

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , on January 4, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

While calculating young movie producer Christian makes films to keep his trust fund intact, his actress girlfriend, Tara, hides an affair. But a chance meeting thrusts them into a violent, sexually charged tour through the dark side of human nature.

What people are saying:

“Film noir, absolutely, although in mix of styles that mainly go back to the eighties Michael Mann movies. I don’t understand why anyone would be complaining about the acting, it’s minimal with a dash of natural. The awkward conversations could have done with a slower pace. S*x is the currency of power and trust is the currency of love of what people believe it is. That’s as far as this film goes thematically, it’s neither superficial nor deeply layered. The film starts and ends with shots of derelict abandoned places, like cinema theaters. The world as a rotten stage, and people playing sad parts. And still, this is a chill film, for when you don’t need to remember what you were watching the night before. ” 3 stars

“A tale of young, vapid, sexually insatiable Z-listers in Hollywood had the credentials to be deliciously awful fun but almost every time something tawdry (and potentially interesting) is about to happen, the film pulls its punches and leaves the action.” 3 stars

“This film was doomed from the start when they cast James Deen in the lead part as some kind of cool tough guy when he comes across as a wimp and a geek. He looks a lot like Anthony Weiner former politician from New York. Face the facts the only reason anyone rented this film is because they were told they would see Lohan nude. The most shocking thing about this film is that Paul Schrader directed it, why? This is really a story about nothing!” 1 star

“A perfect depiction of the underbelly of the entertainment industry & Hollywood. Actors doing anything for work, people saying they’ll do something when they never actually do…boring, sad, disturbing, and dull are the elements The Canyons combines perfectly into a raw and deeply meaningful film. Also, the best performance Lindsay Lohan has ever had. She’s better in this than in The Parent Trap, I’m not kidding.” 5 stars

“This fecal lump came & went out of circulation quickly and quietly, like a phart in an elevator. “James Deen” is cast strictly for “let’s get an Adult-film dude to give us some street cred” and he does the same eyebrow-lift & smirk schtick that got him a following among emotionally stunted hairy-palm dudes, which he learned at the Sasha Grey Academy of Fake Cool, and Lohan looks one OD away from the pearly gates. And that’s the good news. The script and acting are stillborn on the operating table. Schraeder’s got a track record that can afford him some mistakes, but this one will forever loom the largest and fetid on his resume’.” 1 star

The Third Man

Posted in Classics, Drama, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , on September 26, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

American writer, Holly Martins, arrives in post-war Vienna to visit his old friend Harry Lime. On arrival, he learns that his friend has been killed in a street accident, but also that Lime was a black marketer wanted by the police.

What people are saying:

“…an exemplary piece of moviemaking, highlighting the ruins of World War II and juxtaposing it with the characters’ own damaged histories” 4 stars

“A lot funnier than you remember it, Carol Reed’s immortal 1949 film noir seems to exist in the space between two worlds: an earlier time when thrillers were mostly serious affairs, and a future one, when such supremely witty entertainments felt passé.” 5 stars

“Boasted tremendously by a great performance from Orson Welles, The Third Man is an entertaining classic with some cool twists and turns, even though a well-verse modern film fan will find those twists to be extremely predictable.” 4 stars

“The Third Man is one of the finest noir mysteries to come out of the ’40s, however it suffers a bit from its imitators and you’ll be able to predict the big reveal LONG before it arrives. The film stars Joseph Cotten, who I was unfamiliar with, as a pulp fiction writer who travels to Vienna to visit an old friend and is astonished to find that he was accidentally killed a few days prior; or was it murder? The film plays out patiently, as our protagonist begins to dig into what exactly happened to his friend and the mystery elements truly shine, especially when he receives different accounts of what took place in the automobile “accident”. The film also stars Orson Welles as the aforementioned friend, Harry Lime, who receives top billing though he is maybe on-screen for 8 minutes total: which leads into my big problem with this film. Without spoiling too much, the reveal that arrives at about the one hour mark is masterfully done and one of the film’s more iconic scenes, but we’re never given any explanation as to what the motive was and it feels like the filmmakers were trying to be so clever, they didn’t worry about the scenario making sense. The film also incorporates a stringed instrument called a zither to score the music and while I can tell they were going for something unique, the sound is too absurd, especially in the more dramatic scenes, and the music actually sounds identical to the music used in SpongeBob SquarePants! Overall, this is an exceptionally-made film that still holds up today, but there are some questionable moments that stood out to me and it suffers a bit from what’s come out since.” 3 1/2 stars

“Delightful in how it uses the camera and its city to manipulate the viewer’s experience of the story, The Third Man is the height of the cinematic thriller, mainly because it rejects most of what makes a good thriller. Our villain is not exactly frightening and our crimes aren’t exactly disturbing as they are ingenious. In a sense, The Third Man is a tale about someone being forced to acknowledge an inconvenient truth, or a new world or idea. Dazzling music and compelling cinematography aside, really its the films final shot that the viewer will remember. Its the conversations on park rides and the excruciating nature of learning a negative thing about someone that you love and trust.” 4 1/2 stars

The Accountant

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

What people are saying:

“It’s transparent in its attempt both to pimp a future franchise and give autistic kids their own superhero. There’s a genuine sweetness to the latter that converts me on the former. Headshots, math problems, and pained social interactions? Sign me up. Of the two movies Ben Affleck has been in so far this year, The Accountant and Batman V Superman, The Accountant has by far the most franchise potential” 4 stars

“The Accountant should be a straight-ahead thriller, but the film keeps tripping over its own incompetent feet. Maybe it was made for adults, but it sure doesn’t feel like it was made by them.” 3 stars

“It’s not that often a great story gets translated into a classy script and then benefits from top level acting. Thankfully this film manages to do all that and more. The unique story line combined with some excellent acting and action scenes is a triumph and is not just for those who crave some realistic looking action. Ben Affleck does a great job and makes the unusually talented and afflicted ‘Accountant’ believable. After this performance Ben Affleck must surely be at the top of the list to play ‘007’.” 5 stars

“This movie was sooooooo predictable and terrible. It rips off elements from “Jack Reacher”, “Rain Man” and “Grosse Point Blank”. All three of those movies are way better than this piece of turd. I think the PC crowd want to portray this movie as “inspiring” and about “family” or some other B.S. The movie has a message that autistic people have can live a productive life in a manner of a “normal” person. Meaning, we (the non-autistic people) just mis-understand the very special autistic folks. It’s the same formula as you have seen a hundred times. The Accountant is killing the bad folks for the greater good, but he is not an official law enforcement agent. He has to do things secretly, but with the covert help of a couple of legitimate treasury agents. Sound familiar? Kind of like Batman and Commissioner Gordon. (I did that on purpose btw.) Believe me, I “get” this movie. Wooden acting, (exception: J.K. Simmons) stupid, predictable story, and very slow pace. It’s pure garbage. I just read they are going to make “The Accountant 2″ as well. I guess it’s true, you can’t fix stupid” 1 star

“I thought the film did an excellent job of developing and explaining Ben Afflecks character. I also enjoyed the duplicity of his autism and the fighting skills that his father imbued in him and later how he learned to cope with these abilities / disabilities in adult life (quite the paradox). From personal experience: I know that autistic people have a skill sets, its finding it and making it useful too themselves and society that’s difficult. Too many times these people are written off because they are different than normal expectations and thats kinda of the bottom line of this movie. The previous reviewer is a good example of the herd mentality of people that just don’t get it and never will. (Small people with even smaller minds). I also enjoyed his marksmanship skills with a 50BMG Barret rifle, the one mile shots at cantaloupes and how he took out a pickup truck with it by shooting a hole in the engine block, no doubt also inspired by his Army father. In summary this movie is imperfect by design so that only enlightened people will appreciate and get it.” 5 stars

The Equalizer

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , on January 20, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this action-thriller based on the hit 1980s TV series, former intelligence operative Robert McCall comes out of retirement to help a young prostitute, only to end up in the Russian Mafia’s crosshairs.

What people are saying:

“great, bloody action. it’s always fun to watch Washington get revenge Man-on-fire style. the villain did a great job, Washington did a great job, fight scenes were great, the music was horrible, the ending was too far fetched. over all it was fun entertaining film, but it was nothing g too special” 3 1/2 stars

“Extremely everything you think it will be; extremely violent, extremely clique, extremely predictably ……BUT extremely AWESOME! We loved it! I have noticed that the critics either love it of hate it and I agree that is how it will be with most people. So here goes my opinion. I think in places The Equilizer seems a bit slow at the beginning (better said, it is methodical), but when it takes off it is like a rocket. Make no mistakes this is a extremely violent, vulgar language revenge film . For those who care there is no nudity just a few racy pictures. To say too much about the plot would give too many spoilers. So I’ll just put it this way…If the movie “TAKEN” and the comic “The Punisher” had a child it would be The Equilizer.” 4 stars

“I really did not like this particular Denzel movie and I am a fan. the script was mediocre, the story line- predictable and altogether boring. I love action and it had a lot of it. I like Antoine Fuqua films however, this must have been part of his contract for X amount of films as this one was lackluster and pretty meaningless.” 2 stars

“oh snap! Liam Neeson can suck it Denzel is the man to be! this movie blew away my expectations. it was a little slow in the beginning but with enough pay off that I very much enjoyed it.” 4 stars

“Much more that simply an action film, I particularly liked the character development of Mr. Washington that encouraged viewing him as a real person, most likely an insomniac due to his regrets over performing his former duties as obviously a government agent of some type, who had gone back to a somewhat “normal” life, and was anything but a robotic killer bent upon avenging those abused by the Russian “mafia.” All told, it was a well-told tale and, though violent, occurred in the “formerly” violent world inhabited by his “former” self. A very good portrayal by a very good actor surrounded by all types of likewise good actors, and very well directed. ” 4 stars