Currently browsing the "thriller" tag.

The Accountant

There’s a whole lot going on in The Accountant, but somehow it all adds up to a surprisingly entertaining action movie with an interesting story, some well-timed comic relief, and a very strong cast. So don’t let the odd premise — of a brilliant but socially-awkward numbers-crunching assassin with Asperger’s — scare you away. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year for sheer mainstream movie appeal, easily besting last week’s highly-anticipated drama The Girl on the Train.

99 Homes

99 Homes is one of those indies that could easily slip through the cracks at the box office but deserves some word-of-mouth love – even from a ‘Mainstream Chick’. It’s a compelling, timely, and well-acted drama that will surely hit (too) close to home for anyone who lost their home – or came close– during the housing crisis. The film puts a human face on a national disaster that allowed certain individuals and institutions to profit off the misfortune of others who got in over their heads financially, largely due to the failure of banks and government agencies to provide proper guidance, intervention, or oversight.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl is very good. And, I suspect, it’s probably even better if you haven’t read the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn (which I did, about two years ago). It’s just a solid, well-cast thriller that has enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, even if it does feel a tad too long.

I won’t say much about the plot, because the less you know going in, the more you’ll get out of it. But here’s the gist: Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) arrives home on his fifth anniversary to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing. A media circus ensues as questions arise about Nick and Amy, the state of their marriage, and Nick’s potential involvement in his wife’s disappearance and possibly, her death. The clues – literal and figurative – stack up as the movie flashes back on the couple’s path from instant attraction and romance to marital dysfunction.

Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus has Fallen is the movie that the producers of 24 probably wanted to make, eventually, and that a Die Hard 6 may aspire to be, someday. But Jack Bauer and John McClane may want to pack up and go home, ‘cause there’s a new anti-terrorism badass in town. And his name is Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). Olympus Has Fallen is a superficial but satisfying thriller that I really liked when I wasn’t averting my eyes. So, I guess that means I really liked about two-thirds of the movie. Or maybe it was one-third. I’m not really sure. Seriously, I haven’t looked away from a screen so much – and for so long – since the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan. The carnage is that intense. But strip away the mass amount of destruction, bodies, bullets, bombs and bloodshed, and you’ve got a good ol’ fashioned entertaining action flick. Maybe even a good date movie! Yup, here’s why:

A Good Day to Die Hard

The fifth time is not the charm for the hugely successful Die Hard franchise. A Good Day to Die Hard is, without a doubt, the weakest of the bunch – and I’m not even sure I’ve seen them all. That said, the movie is mindless entertainment that should do well at the box office because, well, it’s Die Hard. Bruce Willis. Action. Good guys. Bad guys. Things going boom. Father-son bonding. Bullets flying. Cars flipping. Helicopters crashing. And more things going boom. Get the picture? If the movie had tried to take itself too seriously, I’d have a much more serious problem with it. Instead, I will simply take exception with the fact that it has no comprehensible plot.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission Implausible is more like it. But no matter – this movie isn’t really about plot or plausibility. It’s about cool stunts and stunning imagery. So if you’re into the action stuff, go see it (in IMAX) and enjoy the adrenaline rush through Budapest, Moscow, Dubai and Mumbai.

For those actually counting, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the fourth installment in the franchise starring Tom Cruise as secret agent Ethan Hunt. He leads a black ops team known as the IMF – the Impossible Mission Force (not the International Monetary Fund, though both are equally mysterious to me).

Straw Dogs

Contagion

If you’re a germaphobe, then run – don’t walk- to the nearest exit. And wash your hands. Twice.

Cowboys & Aliens

If you like westerns and you like sci-fi then trust me, you’ll like Cowboys & Aliens. It really is that simple. This movie is a strange hybrid that somehow works, mostly due to its stars (Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford) and its director, Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf) who knows how to make a crowd-pleaser. The best way to describe it is True Grit meets Independence Day. Chew on that for a while.

Source Code

Don’t be scared away by talk of quantum mechanics, complex mathematical equations, and computer source codes. You don’t have to understand any of that to enjoy this movie (trust me, I know). Source Code is a bit like Groundhog Day meets Speed meets Inception meets 24. It’s a sci-fi thriller that takes place primarily on a commuter train that is – literally- about to explode.