A rookie cop gets caught between a hitman and a conman in a locked-down police station. Fun little action thriller that doesn’t focus enough to be a minor classic, even if there’s some badassery and two great performances. Almost there, but not quite.
Tulsa-based criminals work to raise the money to get a matriarch out of prison before she dies. Not-bad 2010-set noir drama with action elements. Does plenty of things seen elsewhere (from Heat to Hell or High Water) but has its own decent vibe, a fine cast of character actors, and some quirky moments. Swab remains a talent to keep an eye on.
An ex-soldier caught in a time loop fights to save his wife and child. Slightly wobbly Groundhog Day / Source Code variant, heavy on slapstick kills. Tonally all over the shop, which is a shame. Frank Grillo is as good value as ever, though, and there’s a strong supporting cast, plus some decent action choreography late on.
A young woman with an agoraphobic condition is forced to get help in the desert when her vehicle is attacked. Muddled little thriller with some trippy elements. It can’t focus on the core story: the result is scattershot where it should be direct.
A young addict becomes involved in insurance fraud masquerading as drug treatment. Drama/thriller with documentary elements – not entirely unlike The Big Short – that’s a touch too didactic, but nevertheless interesting, well-played, sheds light on a fresh (to me, anyway) scam, and is packed with quality character actors. Director Swab’s one to watch.
An amnesic warrior monk is Earth’s chosen defender against an alien fighter. Ambitious though slightly tatty would-be martial comic-book arts epic. Plenty of fights (though little actual jiu jitsu) and some guest stars (Cage, Grillo, Jaa) in supporting roles: it’s basically a low-budget riff on Predator, though.
A bare-knuckle boxer, a meth dealer, and a cop’s lives intersect over drugs, money, and a fight tournament. Lean, autumnal adaptation of the Frank Bill novel. Very different to its source material in tone, but nevertheless a rewarding movie, with something to say about working-class America as well as delivering in genre terms. Recommended.
A black bounty hunter is promised a marshal’s badge if he can bring in a notorious criminal. Based on a true story, this Western has good intentions but is a scrappy beast. Some good performances and the presence of solid character actors like Ron Perlman and Frank Grillo are undermined by poor writing and direction, and under-par cinematography.
A group of students attempt a ritual in a supposedly haunted house; a cop investigates the aftermath. Generally-solid reworking of familiar material (including nods to The Blair Witch Project) helped no end by good playing from reliable hands like Maria Bello and Frank Grillo. No real surprises, but decent enough for fans of the genre.
A rookie New Orleans cop – an Army veteran – witnesses crooked cops committing murder; she has to run. A straightforward but effective action thriller that touches on race, gender, class and deprivation as issues, but still tells its story. Solid genre entertainment for grown-ups.