Crime

Movie Review: Midnight in the Switchgrass (2021)

The serial killer narrative has been done to death, in TV series and movies. Within this sub-genre — that combines thriller and horror — there are masterpieces, there are turkeys and there’s the rest, that lack brilliance but offer some enjoyment. More specifically, homicide detective narratives set in small town or rural America veer from…

Movie Review: Promising Young Woman (2020)

Early in Emerald Fennell’s biting and insightful Promising Young Woman, protagonist Cassie (Carey Mulligan, “Suffragette”) is catcalled by a group of workmen. It is a depressingly common scenario — a woman subjected to sexual objectification, for little reason other than men want to and can. But writer-director Fennell and star Mulligan strike a pose in…

Movie Review: The Virtuoso (2021)

The Virtuoso, an edgy, slow-burn thriller directed by Nick Stagliano, hosts an impressive cast of pedigreed actors recognizable from a breadth of film and television appearances. We’re treated to Sir Anthony Hopkins, who, now acting in his 80s, has remarked that he’s having a lot of fun nowadays, choosing from a bin-load of scripts that…

Movie Review: Vanquish (2021)

Within the current world of digitally-released cinema, it can be easy to discover what are the treasures versus the trash. And somehow, within the span of only two minutes into Lionsgate’s latest production, Vanquish, I knew what I was looking at was easily the second category — the 2021 equivalent of discovering a mangled DVD…

Movie Review: Nemesis (2021)

The gangster movie is a genre with a long and distinguished history. From “The Public Enemy” to “The Godfather” to “Infernal Affairs” to “Black Mass,” the exploits of gangsters around the world have delighted audiences and encouraged filmmakers to produce works that are familiar yet innovative. The British gangster film includes some prominent and memorable…

Movie Review: The Silencing (2020)

Familiar elements can be clichéd but also useful. Emphasize a particular trope too much and it becomes tired and tedious. Use a trope carefully, especially when connected to other tropes within a wider framework, and the various pieces can add up to a satisfying whole. The key aspect here is judicious treatment, ensuring that the…

Movie Review: Wander (2020)

The opening supertext of Wander draws attention to “indigenous, black, and people of color,” refers to “government violences,” and “change,” and highlights that the film was shot on the homelands of indigenous peoples. Released in 2020 shortly after the presidential election, it is tempting to see this film in the light of progressive change and…

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