In the past six years or so, there seems to be this formula in Hollywood where you take well established actors and you turn them into action stars (e.g. Taken, The Gunman, The Equalizer). That is definitely the case with today’s film Criminal. Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent who holds some valuable information that a crazy anarchist wants. After he is killed, his memories are implanted into the mind the of criminal by the name of Jericho (Kevin Costner) who isn’t fully mentally developed. The hope is that Jericho will lead the CIA to a man by the name of the Dutchman (Michael Pitt) who holds a program that could destroy the world before the anarchist does. The film also stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) as Quaker Wells, Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Dr. Franks, Jordi Mollà (Bad Boys II) as Xavier Heimdahl, Gal Gadot (Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Jill Pope, Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Marta Lynch, Antje Traue (Man Of Steel) as Elsa, Scott Adkins (The Expendables II) as Agent Greensleves, Lara Decaro (The Infiltrator) as Emma Pope, Amaury Nolasco (2 Fast 2 Furious) as Esteban Ruiza, and the film was directed by Ariel Vromen (The Iceman). To see the rest of the review and check out the stats, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
I was looking for something to watch and I typed in Matthew McConaughey’s (Killer Joe) name on Netflix and stumbled upon The Paperboy. I am a huge fan of Matthew’s independent films so it was a natural choice to check this one out. The film stars Zac Efron (Neighbors) as Jack Jensen, a paperboy for a local Florida newspaper that is owned and operated by his family. Jack’s brother Ward (McConaughey) is a writer for the Miami Times who comes home with a fellow writer named Yardly (David Oyelowo) to investigate a case where a man named Hillary (John Cusack) may or may not have been falsely accused of crime and sent to Death Row. They are doing it as a favor to a woman named Charlotte (Nicole Kidman) who has been writing love letters to the man. Things get complicated when Jack falls in love with Charlotte and things he didn’t know start to unravel. The film also stars Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy) as W.W. Jansen, Ned Bellamy (The Shawshank Redemption) as Tyree, Nealla Gordon (Lee Daniels The Butler) as Ellen Guthrie, Macy Gray as Anita, John Fertitta (The Iceman) as Sam Ellison, and the film was directed by Lee Daniels.
I just noticed that I have reviewed a lot of films for this challenge that have featured actors that starred in the film The Shawshank Redemption. I don’t know, I just thought it was a nice little tidbit. Anyways, I have to say that I truly enjoyed the film and the fact that Macy Gray narrates the story. It’s a story that seems like bright story that will feature someone getting saved from execution, but it’s not the case as the film just gets dark. There are so many spots in the film that get dark real quick like the scene when Efron’s character discovers his brothers dark little secret. Zac Efron does an amazing job in the film as it mainly focuses on him and his love for Charlotte. Nicole Kidman still looks fantastic after all these years as she was 44 during the filming of this film. John Cusack plays an amazing hick in the film as he is essentially a swamp person and David Oyelowo does a terrific job playing a con man newspaper editor (You’ll see exactly what I mean when you watch the film). I have nothing but good things to say about the film that is gritty, intense at times, and innocent as well. Every actor in the film does one heck of a job and I really enjoyed the editing of the film which I think helped. There is a pretty intense prison visitation orgasm scene between Kidman and Cusack that you’ll have to check out that can get awkward. The film is currently on Netflix and it’s worth checking out. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.