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Mystery-Suspense

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Editor's rating: 
 3.8
 
Friday, 01 August 2008 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Untraceable “Untraceable” is a tough, even brutal police thriller set (and filmed) in rainy Portland, Oregon.  The story centers on FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane), who investigates cyber-crime with her younger partner Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks, son of Tom).  She lives with her young daughter Annie Haskins (Perla Haney-Jardine) and her own mother Stella (Mary Beth Hurt).  Her husband, also an FBI agent, died some time ago; Jennifer is tough and dedicated to her job.  We see her and Dowd briskly track down one criminal, but soon they’re confronted with a sadistic murderer with a specific agenda. They come across a website called killwithme.com.  The technical savvy webmaster keeps his identity hidden, but not his plans: he kills a kitten on screen (but not, fortunately, on the screen we’re watching), and announces his plans to keep this up.  But he immediately ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.3
 
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Devil's Own, The As a producer, Alan J. Pakula made one of the best American films, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  After turning director, he made other excellent movies, including “The Parallax View,” “All the President’s Men” and “Sophie’s Choice.”  It’s a shame that his career, cut short by his death in an automobile accident, kind of petered out.  His last film was this one, “The Devil’s Own.”  While it’s competently made and features good performances, the script by David Aaron Cohen, Vincent Patrick and Kevvin Jarre is drab and routine.  The motivations of characters can abruptly change, with a cause not being well established.  The clockwork plot drives the characters rather than the other way around.  At times, it’s hard to understand where our sympathies are meant to lie.  One character assures another, “If you’re not confused you don’t know what’s goin’ on.”  ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.8
 
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Hitman (2007) In an undisclosed Eastern bloc country, a monk-like society raises selected children from birth, training them to become elite assassins.  These professional hitmen are raised as automatons without emotion, living only to fulfill their missions.  One of their hitmen, agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant), is given an assignment to assassinate the moderate Russian president, Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen).  47 carries off the assignment with precision and skill, but when he returns to his hotel, he finds out via his laptop (inconspicuously monogrammed with the insignia of the secret assassination society) the client claims the assignment wasn’t completed.  Agent 47 finds himself hunted by the Russian police, Interpol, as well as assassins from his own organization hired by the client to silence him.    After abducting Belicoff’s mistress, Nika (Olga Kurylenko), agent 47 realizes that the group that hired him to kill Belicoff has ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.3
 
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Run Lola Run “Run Lola Run” is a low-budget German film that’s cinematically so inventive it did good business around the world.  The story is very simple, even slight; it’s what’s done within the framework that’s so creative, not the framework itself.  The movie begins with a bravura shot, from a satellite view of Europe zooming down to a guy in a phone booth. Lola (Franka Potente) gets a phone call from her lover Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), in the booth.  He’s had a little mishap.  He picked up 100,000 Deutschmarks for Ronny, a big-time drug dealer, who’s expecting the money by a specific hour.  But Manni foolishly forgot the knapsack containing the money on a subway.  Now he has twenty minutes to deliver 100,000 DM, or Ronny will kill him.   He tells Lola he’s considering holding up a supermarket across the street from the ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.8
 
Sunday, 01 June 2008 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Unbreakable Following “The Sixth Sense” with almost anything would have caught M. Night Shyamalan some flak, but that which “Unbreakable” attracted seems notably unfair and misinformed.  It has some flaws, and yes, the surprise ending is more depressing than exciting, even astonishing, as in “The Sixth Sense”.  But “Unbreakable” is daring act of courage and integrity; Shyamalan has dared to take very seriously a concept that has never before in movie history been treated with this gravity and reflection.  Perhaps too much so—the movie has an unrelentingly grim tone. The movie opens with text explaining the popularity of comic books, which must make many viewers blink.  What the heck is this?  But it's part of what Shyamalan is trying to do; it's not a justification for what follows -- but it is a partial explanation for why Shyamalan made the movie in ...
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