From Cynical Comedy to Taut Thriller Tropic Cinema Delivers
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Cooke Communications Film Critic
You can count on Tropic Cinema to entertain. And that it does this week!
"St. Vincent" gives us Bill Murray as a cantankerous and misanthropic old crank named Vincent, who winds up as an afterschool babysitter for the kid next door. Not exactly the ideal role model, but Murray’s affability shines through with a saint-like glow. "One of these days, someone should make a movie about a really nasty old guy who, by the end of the story, is still a nasty old guy," observes San Francisco chronicle. And MLive says, "Bill Murray’s performance goes far beyond the irony of laughing at an old man who wears his cynicism on his sleeve."
"The Judge" is a grumpy old jurist, the father of a hotshot defense attorney. Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. take on these adversarial roles in a family drama that’s winning. New York Magazine says, "The script has its bright patches, the setting is picturesque, and the cast is full of actors you'll want to see."
"Kill the Messenger" happens both literally and figuratively in the based-on-a-true-story about Gary Webb, a whistleblowing journalist who exposed the CIA’s connection to drug smuggling. Detroit News calls it a "an admirable journalism thriller that takes on a lot of big subjects." And Cinemalogue.com says, "This taut drama becomes a treasure trove for conspiracy buffs with its exploration of government propaganda, spin doctors and cover-ups."
Plenty of killing takes place in "The Equalizer," with Denzel Washington as an ex-covert ops guy who takes on the Russian mob when they mess with his friends. The amNewYork says, "There are few actors more commanding than Washington when he’s taking out bad guys." And Cleveland Plain Dealer declares, "Denzel does not disappoint."
In "Gone Girl" you’re not sure who’s been killed when a wife disappears. Did her husband do it? Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike play he-said she-said in this outstanding thriller. Cinemaphile.com says, "This is one of those rare, elusive endeavors that contains nearly every important quality I cherish about moviemaking." And Flicks says, "This superior thriller arrives at a time when Hollywood mostly seems to have forgotten how to make 'em."
"Before I Go to Sleep" is another husband-wife thriller, with Nicole Kidman as a woman with amnesia and Colin Firth as the husband she wakes up to anew every day. Ozus’ World Movie Reviews calls it "An imponderable and grim psychological thriller." And Detroit News concludes, "It isn’t Hitchcock, but it will do."