A masked failure tries to live up to the fabled reputation of his father. LA-set black comedy crime drama, involving human organ theft, kidnapping, Luchadors and gun-toting motel owners. Not for everyone, but a confident and at times affecting violent entertainment.
A damned occultist battles a demonic attempt to take over the Earth. Fun apocalyptic fantasy-horror-action hybrid, loosely based on the Hellblazer comic. Lots to enjoy, though over-reliance on CG softens the film’s impact.
A desperate-for-money martial arts instructor takes a job as a debt collector. Okay thick ear, with a fight every 5 minutes and some comic moments. Old-school in many ways, and with a tacked-on plot that doesn’t quite work, but reasonable fun for fisticuffs fans.
The true story of Molly Bloom, who ran high-stakes poker games in New York and LA. Excellent drama, balanced by a fine central performance and swaggering writing, chronicling a perhaps typical rise and fall-style story, but done with class and confidence.
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A socially-awkward lawyer faces troubles when he has to engage with the wider legal world. Though it doesn’t quite work as drama, there’s a lot to appreciate here, not least fine playing from its leads, and a bag of perhaps-unfashionable ideas about social justice.
Snake Plissken is compelled to rescue a gadget from what is now the island prison of Los Angeles. Campy though large-scale reprise of the 1981 predecessor. Some moments work, but this is lesser Carpenter, and a film blighted by woeful CG.
Four friends visit an escape room; except they’re trapped with a malevolent entity. Low-budget horror that riffs neatly on a current trend, and works well to hide its many borrowings (everything from Hellraiser to Saw). Not great at all, but some interesting moments.
A brilliant ex-hacker is coerced into a heist being orchestrated by a paramilitary group. Glossy but dumb-as-rocks tech thriller with the usual hacking visual cliches and an eye on spectacle (Bullet-time explosions! Nudity! A bus in midair!) over logic.
A veteran LA cop partners with the first orc officer; they find themselves in the middle of an ancient magic war. While the procedural and mismatched partners stuff is great, Bright is saddled with too much backstory and a daft third act. Feels like a big-budget TV series pilot.
A dozen people’s lives are linked by a chain of events. Impressively-structured and at times well acted, Crash is nevertheless simplistic and moralising, reducing difficult subject matter to trite obviousness. Best picture winner 2005.