Daily Archives: July 1, 2016

Spotlight

grouchyeditor.com Spotlight

 

It’s easy to see how Spotlight won the Best Picture Oscar: It’s an “important” movie, well-produced, well-written, and well-acted. It’s also easy to see why it grossed only $45 million at the American box office: Unlike, say, another newspaper movie called All the President’s Men, Spotlight is cerebral and clinical, more documentary and less Hollywood thriller. It’s not the kind of movie you can say you “enjoy,” because the subject matter — priests molesting kids — is so unpleasant. But you won’t be bored. Release: 2015  Grade: A- 

 

*****

 

The Invitation

grouchyeditor.com Invitation

 

Director Karyn Kusama conducts a graduate course in suspense and — if you’ve had it with what passes for “horror” these days — you’d be wise to attend. The plot: A man accepts a dinner-party invitation from his ex-wife and her new husband at their secluded house in the Hollywood Hills. Old friends of the former couple are also among the invitees, but aside from the hosts’ expensive wine and fancy digs, something feels a little … off … from the moment guests walk in the front door. You might guess where things are headed, but Invitation has creepiness galore on its way to a nasty little twist-ending. Release: 2016  Grade: B+

 

*****

 

No Escape

grouchyeditor.com No Escape

 

For an hour, No Escape is everything you could ask from an action-thriller: It’s relentlessly exciting and has heroes who behave in a believable manner – until they don’t. Owen Wilson and Lake Bell head an American family newly arrived to a Southeast Asian country when the prime minister is assassinated, unleashing violence in the streets and forcing the Americans to run, claw, and fight for survival. But after that thrilling first hour, the screenwriters resort to action-flick clichés and downright silliness. Release: 2015  Grade: C+

 

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