The Outfit is an interesting little movie that keeps the viewer guessing on which direction it’s going, first and foremost the acting all around is really strong. Especially from Mark Rylance who really does a fantastic job of keeping the viewer in the film, the one location thriller element really works here as well. It’s one of my favorite types of elements or style that a film can do and The Outfit makes sure to build upon that and add even more to it. As I said before the movie does a really good job of making the viewer keep guessing which direction it’s going to go, just when you think you have figured the film out it goes into a completely different direction. The writing and direction are both quite fantastic and compliment each other beautifully, the film becomes an old fashion crime thriller that is very effective due to the pacing and performances. Graham Moore really understands the genre quite well he took something that has been done before but went in many different directions, go into this one knowing as little as possible. One of the biggest surprises so far this year.
Windfall is Netflix’s first great film of 2022 and that’s mostly due to the cast and the atmosphere. Jesse Plemons, Jason Segel and Lily Collins (definitely one of her best performances) all do a fantastic job here and have wonderful chemistry between one another. They each add their own strength to the film and make it all the more suspenseful, the film definitely feels a lot like Funny Games (1997) only that it’s much less disturbing. The atmosphere of the film is really strong, as it goes on it gets more and more suspenseful until the whole thing explodes at the ending which is a huge payoff. The direction from Charlie McDowell is also really well done, we explore each of the characters and really dive into their minds. I will say that Windfall is certainly not going to be for everyone, but is definitely something worth watching if the plot interests you!
Steven Soderbergh explores many different types of genres and it’s something I truly respect him for even if they don’t always work. Kimi is a thriller a genre that Soderbergh is does really well and that shows here, Zoë Kravitz gives a very strong performance that actually keeps things grounded, combine her performance with Soderbergh’s direction and you truly get something special. The pacing is absolutely fantastic here, this is the type of pacing that I wish more thrillers attempted, you have such a nicely paced film that is both suspenseful and energetic as well. The atmosphere is some of the most suspenseful I’ve felt from a thriller in quite some time, it has that good old fashion Soderbergh thrilling atmosphere to it. Then there’s the camerawork which Soderbergh continues to prove that he’s a mastermind behind the camera, each shot has it’s own identity and truly feels special in a unique way. The film combines themes of paranoia and technology both and does both those themes very well, it captures why we feel paranoid about technology. Such examples we ask ourselves are Who’s watching? Who’s listening? and so on, Kimi is also a film that actually uses the premise of Siri or Alexa in a clever way. The film goes for a more serious tone with using the two with some very strong writing as well, overall Kimi is so far one of the best films of the year and is absolutely something that you should check out!
Death On The Nile wasn’t something I was particularly excited to watch, I liked Murder On The Orient Express fine enough but it wasn’t something that I would ever come back to. The exact same can be said with Death On The Nile, the movie opens with a very goofy backstory that I just couldn’t help but laugh at after that however is when the movie takes a good while to get going. I’ve heard the first murder doesn’t happen until like 100 pages in the book which explains why it takes awhile to get going. However the issue isn’t really the fact the first murder doesn’t happen until awhile the major issue is that the first half of the movie is just not that interesting, there’s definitely a few decent moments that come from some of the cast particularly Kenneth Branagh, Annette Bening, Emma MacKay (especially her she absolutely slays it), Letitia Wright, Sophie Okonedo and Tom Batemen. Everyone else rangers from being terrible (Gal Gadot) or nothing special at all (Armie Hammer). After the movie finally gets going it’s quite entertaining and does a really decent job of making the viewer follow the mystery, it definitely is on the predictable side even if you haven’t read the book, but that really doesn’t take away from the acting bits, some very engaging writing and some overall very strong direction. The atmosphere is also pretty strong as well, it captures the type of feel you want from a murder mystery. The visuals are a bit distracting and do not fit the movie at all, they try to go for this glossy type look which works well in other films but definitely not here. Despite Emma MacKay not getting much to do, she absolutely steals the show here, every single time she’s on screen she captures the spirit of her character and goes all out in her performance. It’s nice to see Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot again he did an excellent job in Orient Express and he does an excellent job here, especially when he shares the screen with Tom Bateman who plays Bouc. The two just work together really well and bring some genuinely funny scenes and one touching scene in particular. Overall Death On The Nile is very flawed but entertaining murder mystery, it’s not going to break any new ground and I definitely don’t see myself ever coming back to it. However it is a very decent watch and could have easily been a whole lot worse. If you liked Murder On The Orient Express chances are you will like Death On The Nile!
Clean is a very odd mishmash of trying to go for the style of You Were Never Really Here and the entertainment feel of John Wick. Mixing both these together in such a lazy and uninspired way results in a movie that really does not have a lot going for it, Adrien Brody is fine in the role he does the best he can with the role (he’s actually one of the writers), the movie’s main issue is that it acts like it’s so much more than it really is. It tries to have this deep meaning to it which results in a very clunky and ridiculous dialogue, with that said Clean isn’t the absolute worst action movie. If you take away some of the more artsy elements it’s a very generic action movie.
Back when Guillermo Del Toro won best director for The Shape Of Water at the Oscars I was truly happy, I’ve always been a huge fan mostly due to him being one of the most interesting filmmakers currently working today. Nightmare Alley is the definition of a Guillermo Del Toro film although it is a remake of the 1947 film of the same name he manages to make it his own, the cast does a fantastic job Bradley Cooper is one of the big standouts here. He does something completely different from some of his other roles and it’s truly an amazing sight. The movie itself compliments this by showing a man who was once rational, to a power hunger man who wants money to someone who completely lost it. Bradley Cooper does a fantastic job of showing all three of these transformations in a very detailed and at times scary way. Cate Blanchett’s performance feels like a performance from the classic era of Hollywood took a time machine and transported itself to 2021. In other words the performance is incredible and hauntingly beautiful in every way possible, the rest of the cast is truly strong in Rooney Mara and Willem Dafoe (who I think was born for these types of roles) in particular. The film is hauntingly gorgeous, it’s a type of element that Guillermo Del Toro always masters at making the film look haunting but at the same time beautiful. His direction is also top notch, making the performances come off as genuine as possible while creating some real dramatized performances that feel intimidating to the viewer. It’s truly fascinating to see how much Guillermo Del Toro makes this film his own, from the different types of locations to the characters it’s absolutely wonderful to witness. The whole theme of seeing a man go from rational to completely unrecognizable truly fits Guillermo Del Toro’s style and he truly mastered it here, it’s even the little things such as a few mannerisms thrown in there that truly make this film go a long way. Overall Nightmare Alley is a film I highly recommend, truly fascinating and as I said multiple times hauntingly beautiful!
The Card Counter is definitely one of the more underrated films of 2021, it’s a movie I rarely ever see get brought up outside of a few people. Which is a shame because it’s really quite great, for starters the film does a magnificent job of building it’s characters. The pacing compliments that really well to give the viewer some very grounded characters that pull you in, Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish in particular do a fantastic job. Both of which have really strong chemistry between one and another and absolutely steal the show when they are on screen together. The film is very meditative as well as being hypnotic which is to be expected from a film by Paul Schrader, The Card Counter is a dreamlike film that feels very real. From the actions of the characters to how they feel it’s a very nice combination of dreamlike and rawness, the writing is also incredibly strong with a handful of powerhouse moments to really set the tone for the rest of the film! Overall The Card Counter is a fantastic film that If you haven’t already definitely check this one out!
The Card Counter is available on all VOD Platforms!
House Of Gucci is definitely not what I expected and I mean that in the best way possible, Ridley Scott does something completely different and makes this a truly outrageous and campy ride. The performances are truly some of the best of the year, Lady Gaga easily steals the show and shows that her future as an actress is really bright, she’s continuously shown how much of a fantastic actress she is and this is no exception. Lady Gaga’s performance is another transformative performance from this year, she completely nails the part of Patrizia Reggiani in every single way possible! Adam Driver and Al Pacino both give fantastic performances, like Lady Gaga they truly become who they are playing as. Then there’s Jared Leto who I couldn’t help but laugh at whenever he was on screen, not everyone is going to like his performance and that’s very understandable, but it reaches this campy level that you just can’t help but enjoy it. Ridley Scott once again does a fantastic job of recreating the time period the events of the film took place, combine that with the documentary style cinematography that brings a very strange sense of rawness to this film and you have a quite beautiful film. Despite the film being almost 3 hours long the film goes by pretty quickly, mostly due to the performances being filled to the brim of energy and passion to them. House Of Gucci on the surface looks like a traditional film based on a true crime…however that’s not the case at all, what makes House Of Gucci noteworthy is the camp factor to it, it’s a film that juggles quite a lot at the same time. Luckily Ridley Scott manages to create a ton of camp, hilarious and serious moments all at the same time. Overall House Of Gucci is another brilliant film from Ridley Scott it’s a weird hybrid of The Godfather and The Great Gatsby but absolutely works in every single way possible. Be sure to check this one out!
House Of Gucci releases November 24th in theaters!
Joe Carnahan’s second movie this year (first being Boss Level) and like Boss Level Copshop is a very straightforward action movie that’s a ton of fun. Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo both do a pretty solid job in their roles, the action scenes are solid and are quite rewarding as well. Plus it makes it more interesting that all this action is within a confined space of the police station, sure the movie does have it’s action movie cliches but at least the movie itself is very entertaining, it’s most certainly a genre film that I definitely think fans will enjoy!
Copshop is now available on all VOD Platforms!
Queenpins is unfortunately a missed opportunity, it has some jokes in it that are solid enough but it has a lot of others that completely miss. The cast does a fine enough job with what they are given, but it’s not enough to save this movie from being very below average. What seals this movie’s fate is the running time and the pacing, it feels like it goes on for far too long and at the same time not really adding anything new to the genre. The end result ends up being a very typical comedy that’s definitely not bad but very forgettable.
The Guilty is a shot for shot remake of a Danish 2018 film of the same name…and yet I really liked this one. I’ve shared my complaints about shot for shot remakes in the past, I believe what makes The Guilty so successful is three primary reasons. First off Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance is absolutely incredible, the guy is a seriously talented actor and he displays that here quite well. His performance feels incredibly raw and his reactions to the situation at hand feels incredibly powerful and quite human, he is basically what sells this film and rightfully so. Second reason is the lighting, this is something I don’t often talk about in my movie reviews. Mostly due to really having nothing to say about the lighting or it doesn’t really impact the story in most cases, but here it definitely impacts the story and really gives the movie this haunting and thrilling look to it. It adds to the anxiety this film gives the viewer as well as making you wonder what’s about to happen next. Lastly there’s the thrilling atmosphere…which is just flat out incredible, it adds a lot of anxiety to the viewer and perfectly captures what it would be like to be in the situation that Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal) is in. The film also does a wonderful of build up throughout its running time, it slowly but surely builds up until it releases a huge amount of thunderous scenes that leave an impact on the viewer. Overall The Guilty is quite fantastic, it’s one of those rare shot for shot remakes that manages to not come off as very pointless and actually does the original film justice. I highly recommend checking this one out!