Review: ‘Beckett’ is a paranoid thriller that works despite itself


An interesting thing that happens –or perhaps more accurately doesn’t happen– in Beckett is that when it comes time to be an action star, the title character simply isn’t one. Neither superhuman nor particularly competent, Beckett, played by John David Washington in a role that asks him to carry an entire movie, is just a guy on the run and doesn’t have any dark past, specialized training, or even a penchant for 80s action movies. That, in and of itself, is a little refreshing.

The film itself, though –a stylistic throwback to the paranoid thrillers of the 1970s– only works despite itself. Gorgeously shot, decently acted, but overlong and simple to a fault, this is one on which your mileage will definitely vary.

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Review: ‘The Green Knight’ grapples with temptation and virtue, cowardice and courage, and ends up one of the best films of the year

The Green Knight

There’s no one moment that will let you know that The Green Knight is going to be something special. It is apparent from the beginning that you are about to watch something excellent, both the production design and casting tell you that, but it’s not until nearly in the second half that you may realize you’re watching something truly great.

A knightly quest, and a chivalric romance, The Green Knight is a film that has so many questions and diversions that it could have been a mess, but instead is one of the most purposeful and human films of the year, and one of the best, too.

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Quick Reviews: ‘Shaun the Sheep’ and ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

Shaun the Sheep / The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

I saw two movies this weekend! And I’m actually writing about them! Huzzah!

#### Shaun the Sheep

Would you like to have a delightful time at the movies? Then you should totally see _Shaun the Sheep_. In 90 minutes of beautifully stop-motion animation by Aardman –the folks behind _Wallace and Gromit_ (among other things)– Shaun the clever sheep leads a flock of sheep on an adventure to the big city. It’s funny, sweet, and emotional and despite having no dialogue manages to have a pretty menacing villain, a pretty great central story, and a delightful musical number in the middle.

Sure, it’s a kids movie, but it’s a great kids movie and you should totally see it.

#### The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Would you like to be bored at the movies? Really? Why would you want that? To each their own I suppose. In that case you should totally check out _The Man From U.N.C.L.E._, Guy Ritchie’s update of the 1960s TV show. It’s not outright bad but it’s all style and no substance. Shallow is the word and since the main characters never feel like they’re in any real danger it’s hard to get excited during otherwise fairly well executed action sequences.

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer don’t really have that much in the way of chemistry which is a problem too. Cavill in particular didn’t really work for me. Hos character is supposed to be cool as ice and aloof but many of his one-liners fell flat for me since he came off so detached. Hugh Grant is in it too but he’s famous enough that when he shows up in a seemingly innocuous role it’s easy to predict what’s going to happen next. His best one liner is spoiled in the damn trailer, and then at the end when they finally form U.N.C.L.E. he just says it and the screen goes black. It’s annoying because this movie really felt like it could have been a lot better but as is it’s just a sloppily handled bore.