Bullet Train (2022, dir. David Leitch)

Multiple gangsters and assassins with varying motives are aboard the same shinkansen. Too-pleased-with-itself slapstick thriller, adapted from the novel Maria Beetle by Kotaro Isaka. Some early stuff works, but there’s little control over the premise, so it falls apart despite committed work from star Brad Pitt and others. A hack approach to Japan doesn’t help.

Here’s the trailer.

Can’t Come Out To Play [AKA The Harvest] (2013, dir. John McNaughton)

A girl befriends a boy shielded from the world by an over-protective couple. Not bad little thriller which finds some interesting things to do with a well-worn set-up. Enlivened by a decent cast, a couple of directorial quirks, and a sense of a modest job professionally done.

Echo Boomers (2020, dir. Seth Savoy)

A young man is recruited by this Chicago-based cousin for a series of art heists. Okay though too-slick-for-its-own-good thievery thriller, enlivened by a Michael Shannon supporting role and by some confidence in its execution, despite a lack of actual story.

Here’s the trailer.

The Quarry (2020, dir. Scott Teems)

A man on the run kills a preacher and assumes his identity in a new town. Stark, austere drama-thriller from the Damon Galgut novel, dealing with guilt, regret and inability to communicate. Great performances and a minimalist approach help, though the material and its handling may not be for all. Recommended, nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

Knives Out (2019, dir. Rian Johnson)

A famed mystery writer is killed; an unconventional detective arrives. Sharp, witty and well-constructed comedy-thriller, a love letter to Agatha Christie and to the likes of Deathtrap and Sleuth. Bags of fun, with a game cast of character actors all enjoying themselves. Recommended.

The Shape of Water (2017, dir. Guillermo del Toro)

A mute cleaner falls in love with a humanoid aquatic creature being held in a government research laboratory. Dazzlingly confident romantic fantasy with SF/horror touches. Amelie meets The Creature From The Black Lagoon with a bit of Little Voice. Highly recommended.

12 Strong (2018, dir. Nicolai Fuglsig)

A special forces team is dropped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan to take out an enemy stronghold. Well-shot but uninvolving post 9/11 drama, based on a true story. The usual battle movie cliches, though with occasional interesting Western genre flourishes.

Nocturnal Animals (2016, dir. Tom Ford)

A woman reads her former husband’s novel. Good-looking though bleak slow-burn thriller intercutting between a novel and its reading; the fiction within the film is more interesting than the frame narrative, though. Michael Shannon superb in support.

Want another opinion from a member of the 255Review crew? Lemonsquirtle’s┬átake on the movie is here.