A Chicago arson investigator tracks down the causes of a series of fires intending to cover a larger crime. While the reveal doesn’t quite work, this is mostly a superior DTV sequel which improves on the soapy early 90s original. And yep, Donald Sutherland pops up again, in a slightly enhanced reprise of his Lecter-ish firebomber.
A lost young woman becomes an elite model by day, a KGB assassin by night. It’s Besson-by-numbers in this straightforward Europacorp espionage/action thriller, lifting bits from La Femme Nikita and in so doing aping the recent Red Sparrow. Decent setpieces, some lazy tech-related anachronisms, and reliable character actors slumming.
Seven members of a Texas militia meet at their headquarters in the aftermath of a mass shooting. Excellent and absorbing single-location thriller, which wears its touches of Pinter lightly. A hugely impressive debut feature; highly recommended.
Hellboy battles an ancient sorceress from Arthurian legend. Famously-troubled shooting and post-production bedevilled this fantasy horror series reboot, which as a consequence is all over the place. Some good stuff, but its awkward storytelling is patched with flashbacks, dubbed dialogue, variable FX, overlength; the works. A shame.
In a post-apocalyptic world, a reactivated cyborg finds she has advanced military capabilities. Generally solid though straightforward action-adventure, with manga and cyberpunk influences. Slightly hobbled by an excess of backstory and by awkward reliance on green screen, but well-designed, with some genuine imagination on display.
A bereaved student in a failing relationship becomes part of a group visit to a Scandinavian commune. Contrived but watchable Kubrick-does-The-Wicker-Man folk horror. Does exactly what you’d expect, at some length, but has mesmerising sequences even if you might not quite buy what’s going on.
Another view? Here you go.
A widow investigates an insurance company; a complicated web of financial fraud unravels. Superficially similar to The Big Short and Vice in its mix of drama, comedy and mockumentary, The Laundromat offers a clear and accessible primer to the Panama Papers scandal, and to Mossack (Oldman) and Fonseca (Banderas), both gleeful at its heart.