Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) was working the Lifestyles desk at the Boston Record American when she became the first reporter to connect a series of strangulation deaths that had been occurring in and around the city. Along with fellow female journalist, Jean Cole (Carrie Coon), the two battled against the inherent sexism of the early 1960s, and helped bring down the serial killer, Albert DeSalvo (David Dastmalchian), through their terrific, patient reporting.
This all seems ripe for a great thriller, so why does "Boston Strangler" end up feeling so bland?
"If you're going to steal, steal a lot."
That's the under-riding premise of "Sharper," a slow-burning thriller about con artists conning other con artists, where nothing - and no one - is ever quite is it seems.
Despite the movie leaving me with a feeling that it should have been more effective given the talented cast, "Sharper" still was an enjoyable if not infallible mystery.
If you liked 2019's "Knives Out," then there is no reason why you won't love "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery." If there was ever a movie worth checking out in theaters instead of at home on streaming, this is it ("Glass Onion" is in theaters only for one week before being made available to stream on Netflix on December 23rd).
Review: 'The Good Nurse' sedates what might have been a good true crime thriller
"The Good Nurse" is based on a true story, about a series of mysterious patient deaths that were all linked back to one particular person.
The story is actually a frightening and intriguing one. But as given to us in "The Good Nurse," this is a clumsy, poorly-written (and at times, poorly-acted) mess of a so-called "thriller."
Director Joseph Kosinski is flying high in Hollywood right now, with the much-needed, record-breaking success of his film "Top Gun: Maverick" now on his resumé. His follow-up film, "Spiderhead" (streaming on Netflix on 6/17) will likely be overlooked, as it should, when studios consider him for future projects, as it seems there was no energy left to give to this mildly clever, but mostly banal, dud of a film following how much he was able to pack in to "Top Gun: Maverick."
The pandemic had much more of an impact on the movie industry than just at the box office. You can sort of tell the kind of film that was made during lockdown: Small, character-driven dramas or thrillers that utilize very few locations and minimal casts.
This weekend there is an example of how to accomplish this effectively (see "The Outfit"), and how difficult it can be. With "Windfall" (on Netflix Friday 3/18), we're happy that the cast and crew got out there and made a movie, but the result is a banal so-called "thriller" that's so minimal you'll nearly forget it's even there.
Mark Rylance is a national treasure. He delivers an astounding performance as a tailor - no a "cutter" - in the surprisingly effective gangster drama, "The Outfit." It's a clever play on words representing not only the main character's profession, but the slang descriptive title of the underground, organized crime syndicate that formed all over America in the mid-20th century.
It features a great ensemble, led by Rylance, and is easily one of the best films of the year thus far, even if its third act prevents it from achieving greatness.
It occurred to me while watching "The Batman" that it doesn't really matter where the movie starts, where it ends, or what timeline it is adhering to. In some ways, I'd be totally OK with the character of Batman being treated somewhat like James Bond...each Bond movie is its own adventure, perhaps loosely connected to others or perhaps every once in a while acting as direct sequels to previous films. Different actors can portray the iconic character, with a parade of directors putting their unique spin on the franchise each go-around. As long as the familiar "musts" are included - the uttering of "Bond. James Bond," for example - each movie can push the envelope or tell its own story.
In many ways, Batman is even more suited for this sort of approach than James Bond or maybe any other character in film history. There are so many takes on the character in the comic book, from the "Zap! Boom! Pow" bright and corny 70s version to the dark and brooding "Dark Knight" popularized by Frank Miller in the early 1980s. The Rogues Gallery of iconic villains can act as a never-ending spring of antagonists for our hero, and there are enough side characters in the DC Universe to keep things going for another couple generations.
In that spirit, "The Batman" is as good as a Batman movie has ever been, or possibly ever can be. It might be jarring at first to accept yet another version of this character, in a previously unvisited timeline with yet another actor under the bat cowl, but if you accept this like a Bond film, where this movie isn't meant to connect to anything else and is simply a Batman story, then you will be floored by how effective this rendition can be.
IF...and that's a big if...you can get over the inclusion of Armie Hammer, you may find "Death on the Nile" to be a fun, old-school diversion.
Hammer - who denies all allegations against him - has recently been accused of sexual assault, rape and even cannibalism (some weird shit to be sure), and his presence hangs over the film like a dark cloud.
Following up his 2017 Best Picture winner "The Shape of Water," director Guillermo del Toro adapts "Nightmare Alley," a 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham. It's a seemingly natural fit for the director who loves to deconstruct the concept of what makes someone (or something) a "monster," so it's no surprise really that this would be a premise that is right up his...alley.
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