Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week of October 30 - November 6 (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies
Thriller Week at the Tropic Cinema

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

There are thrills aplenty this week on Tropic Cinema screens -- from reality-based intrigue to slam-bam action to cerebral puzzlers to edge-of-the-seat courtroom drama.
Want some gritty realism ripped from the front pages? "Kill the Messenger" gives you the true story of a smalltime newspaper reporter who won a Pulitzer by exposing the CIA’s involvement in drug smuggling on US streets. Jeremy Renner portrays Gary Webb, the journalist who stumbled onto this web of deceit only to be attacked by his colleague at bigger papers. ReviewExpress calls it an "explosive and riveting story." NPR says, "The movie is a lot like the reporting that inspired it: a good introduction to a diabolically tangled tale." And SSG Syndicate sums it up as a "suspenseful political thriller, focusing on the fate of yet another truth-seeking whistleblower."

Too real? Then go see "The Equalizer," the even-the-score action thriller with Denzel Washington as an ex-covert ops guy taking on the Russian mob. While all the bodies pile up, we’re willing to suspend our disbelief in this actioner based on an old TV show. The Virginian Pilot calls its, "tough, brutal and merciless." And Time Magazine tells us, "If ‘The Equalizer’ is the hit it should be, it will give this veteran action star his very first movie franchise."

Want more plot twists? You’ll like "Gone Girl," the story of a husband (Ben Affleck) accused of murdering his wife (Rosamund Pike), but nothing is as it seems in this marriage thriller. Antagony & Ecstasy calls it "something close to a mechanically flawless thriller." And 2UE promises, "This film lives up to the hype."

Not enough head trips? Okay, catch "Before I Go to Sleep," the psychological thriller with Nicole Kidman as an amnesiac wife who can’t quite trust the man who claims to be her husband or the doctor treating her memory loss. Sydney Morning Herald opines, "With David Fincher's ‘Gone Girl’ a bona fide hit, multiplexes will probably soon be flooded with further examples of what is now being referred to as the ‘marriage thriller’." And McClatchy-Tribune News Service adds, "Whatever else this puzzle picture is, or isn't, the three stars turn it into an acting tour de force."

Would you rather have some slick courtroom drama? You’ll like "The Judge," where a high-powered lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) defends his father (Robert Duval), a small-town judge accused of murder. Laramie Movie Scope says, "Director David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers") gets solid performances out of this fine cast." And Movie Talk adds, "Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall are on such mesmerizing, Oscar-baiting form in this old-school family melodrama cum courtroom cliffhanger…"

Maybe you’d rather smile at the culture clash between gay activists and homophobic Welsh miners? "Pride" gives you a true story that happened during the 1984 British miners’ strike. Boston Globe describes it as "A funny, moving, audience-rousing experience, one that comes out of the closet without quite leaving the safety of the Britcom genre." One Guy’s Opinion explains that it’s "a film that deals with serious matters but does so in a way that makes it an irresistible crowd-pleaser." And calls it "as bold and big of an audience-pleaser as I've seen all year, practically determined to reach out from the screen and high-five each ticket-buyer."

Thrills and smiles, action and mind games -- take a deep breath and buy your ticket.

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