Tag: Spy Thriller

2016, Movies

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016, Edward Zwick)

After watching this sequel, I feel like I should go back and up my rating on the original because, for all its flaws (some seemingly inherent in the source material), the original movie was entertaining as these things go. This one is not. SPOILERS (for this film and the original)

2016, Movies

Jason Bourne (2016, Paul Greengrass)

Why there’s another Bourne movie I don’t know. This one hits all the marks you’d expect: Bourne is mad at the CIA and is taking some kind of action, there’s someone on inside helping him out (actually 2 people, but whatever). The cast is too good for the material, as is usual with these films, …

2014, Movies

Bridge of Spies (2015, Steven Spielberg)

I struggle with so many of Spielberg’s film because, even though he is very good at many things, he can rarely trust his audience, to treat them as adults. This is the rare Spielberg film that doesn’t feel second-guessed, that doesn’t feel like Spielberg had a freak-out about whether or not his audience would feel …

2015, Movies

Spectre (2015, Sam Mendes)

Watching a James Bond on a plane is probably not the greatest idea. Alas, I did. The return to pseudo-realism that Casino Royale supposedly heralded seems to have completely gone for the later Craig Bond films. Spectre is as go-for-broke spectacle as Skyfall though it is, on the most part, less absurdly epic. The rest …

2010, Movies

Salt (2010, Phillip Noyce)

This is one of those movies where everyone is double crossing everyone else and, if you think about the triple cross at the heart of this movie…well, it sure doesn’t make much sense. Everything is competent: there’s a great cast, giving their all, and the production values are high. But the plot is dumb and …

2009, Movies

L’affaire Farewell (2009, Christian Carion)

This is an interesting attempt at making a “real” spy movie, one where the spies behave like real spies, without car chases, without shoot-outs, without super-intense interrogation scenes. For the most part it works, but there are enough problems with the finished product that I can’t quite recommend it. Like Argo, it takes liberties with …

2011, Movies

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011, Tomas Alfredson)

For a while I have wanted to watch first the original version of this and then the remake. However, I lost my American netflix awhile ago and haven’t yet got it back. And I stupidly gave in and watched the remake first. I say ‘stupidly’ because this is an idiosyncratic thriller and I may have …

2012, Movies

Safe House (2012, Daniel Espinosa)

This is a confused spy thriller with a rather ridiculous amount of violence. So I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s not sure whether it’s a spy movie, an action movie or a car chase movie. It tries for all three (and more). And then, in the denouement, it somehow tries …

2012, Movies

Argo (2012, Ben Affleck)

I have generally had an issue with Affleck as a director, at least with his first movie. I felt like he almost hindered the strong material. But I don’t feel that way here. Though this is a by-the-numbers spy procedural, and Affleck doesn’t bring anything new to the style, he executes it near-perfectly. Obviously, the …

2012, Movies

Zero Dark Thirty (2012, Kathryn Bigelow)

Much like Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, this is a film that, at least in part, seems to aim to tell the “human” story – or the “ground truth” – of a particular conflict the US is involved in. In this case though, it’s obvious something of a little more import. Anyway, it reminds me a …

2014, Movies

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014, Kenneth Branagh)

This seems to me to be an attempt at making an older style of spy movie, and when I say older I mean of the original “Jack Ryan” type – like a Hunt for the Red October or Patriot Games. I say that because the twist that you know is coming – that comes in …

2012, Movies

Skyfall (2012, Sam Mendes)

This is, on the whole, a decent Bond film in line with the other Craig-entries, which are all at least slightly more realistic than the Moore and Brosnan versions. It does get a little carried way with the “technology” angle, where computers – and especially computer code – are made to look like things they …

2011, Movies

Hanna (2011, Joe Wright)

I think like there is something here that merits attention; it’s not just the cast, though the cast as way better than it should be for a movie like this. I’m not really sure what it is exactly; it may have something to do with the script which is definitely significantly better than your average …

2013, Movies

The Numbers Station (2013, Kasper Barfoed)

This is a s strange one and it is sort of hard to decide what exactly they were going for. I think, at some level, they were trying to attempt a sort of underground submarine-movie-type claustrophobia but it doesn’t work. There are some pretty major problems: Cusack’s character is hard to relate to and Akerman …

2011, Movies

Killer Elite (2011, Gary McKendry)

For the first two thirds of this – not to be confused with Peckinpah’s The Killer Elite – it is actually a shockingly strong spy thriller with way-too-good-for-a-spy-actioner acting from just about everybody, save Statham, of course, who plays his usual self. Unfortunately things go way off off the rails when the movie isn’t content …

2011, Movies

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (211, Brad Bird)

I haven’t seen the third and I have to say I feel like I missed a little something, but anyway. The biggest problem with this movie is that every time they stumble upon a good set piece (using a song to time a prison escape, having a fight in the most futuristic parking garage ever) …

2012, Movies

TIFF 2012 Wrap Up

Here is my roundup for TIFF 2012. I managed to see 13 films this year, which is better than last year. Many of them managed to be documentaries, which Monique attributes to our constant attendance at the Bloor over the summer. (I guess, subconsciously, we have become documentary people.) I didn’t see a film that …

2012, Movies

The Bourne Legacy (2012, Tony Gilroy)

I’m torn. On the one hand we have a film that features excellent car chases and excellent CGI-less stunts and, on a completely different note, a fantastic understanding of bureaucracy (even if such bureaucracy doesn’t actually exist) which adds a great deal of realism to a story that isn’t realistic. The acting is also believable …