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Pawn is a low budget crime thriller set in a diner which is robbed. But
the robbers have bitten off a little bit more than they can chew and
events quickly spiral out of control as it turns out the diner they
have robbed is owned by a mafia guy.
That's all I can tell you without spoiling the plot and that's the best way to go into this movie - knowing as little as possible.
The opening sequence sets the movie up nicely for what later unfolds to be a highly entertaining watch full of deception, conspiracy and twists aplenty. It's tense and keeps you hooked right through until the closing credits.
The best part of this film is the fact that just when you think you're getting to grips with what's happening, you're hit with another twist.
The cast is strong with quite a few recognizable faces putting in good performances to contribute to a solid and well constructed script. The majority of the movie takes place inside the diner but there is enough going on within those walls to mask this fact.
Overall, I enjoyed this film. I went in knowing very little and came out very impressed. I was entertained from start to finish which is all you can really ask for.
Pawn will not win any awards, but if a good entertaining thriller is your thing then you will not be disappointed 3.5/5
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Nick Davenport (Sean Faris) is released from prison for robbing a car
and his wife Amanda (Nikki Reed) waits for Nick to bring him home. She
tells that she is pregnant and leaves him at the Be Brite diner since
Nick has scheduled an encounter with his brother Patrick Davenport
When the police officer Will (Forest Whitaker) comes to the dinner, he notes that something is wrong and he goes to the toilet. He contacts Lieutenant Barnes (Marton Csokas) and tells that a heist is taking place before the scheduled hour. Then he sees Nick hidden in the room and he tells that he has called the police, and Will gives his name to Barnes. Out of the blue, Will is shot in the head and Nick is brought to the diner where there is a hostage situation. The British criminal Derrick (Michael Chiklis) and the gangsters Billy (Max Beesley) and Aaron (Jonathan Bennett) have stolen clients and a safe and Derrick has taken an HD from the safe. When the negotiator Jeff Porter (Common) arrives, Lieutenant Barnes tells him that Nick is responsible for the heist. Nick becomes a pawn in a deadly game where the award is an HD. What is the secret of the wanted HD?
"Pawn" is a low-budget thriller better than I expected, with a non- chronological screenplay with many twists. Unfortunately, the rushed conclusion with happy-ending does not fit well to the story and I believe that it is lack of budget associated to commercial interests. My vote is six.
Title (Brail): "Crimes Cruzados" ("Crossed Crimes")
I watched this movie on one of those "lazy" days (it was the last day
of my week-long vacation). I was bored and didn't want to do anything
so I popped in a movie.
I quite enjoyed the movie until the ending. I think the writers ran out of weed or something and just got bored writing. The movie tried to build up all these possibilities and then in the end, it just abandoned everything. I found that I just sat there asking, "what about the..."
The rest of the story was fine: acting was good, lighting / atmosphere was quite pro, make-up / wardrobe was excellent. I think Michael Chiklis is a fine actor and in this movie, he really got to show how bad-ass he can be as an antagonist. Also, Jessica Szohr is nice eye- candy. :)
If you're bored on a lazy day with nothing else to do but entertain the mind, or if you're out conquering Pandaria, pop in this movie for a go.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Lots of star power, but when broken down, names like Forest Whitaker
and Ray Liotta are only slightly involved within the film, but we do
get a solid dose of Michael Chiklis. What seems to be a basic late
night armed robbery plan turns out to be more complex as the many
ulterior motives surface. A top level crime boss operating out of the
diner has saved information including the names, dates, jobs, payouts &
details on basically everything that has gone down in the city in the
last 20 years. In fear of this list being revealed, a plan is set in
motion to recover said information before anyone can be exposed. A
simple job assigned to one person(M. Chiklis) evolves into a crew of
thugs who get greedy and go in ahead of schedule. Setting off a chain
of events that shakes up the lives of a variety of different people as
a tense standoff begins when a call gets out to police.
Michael Chiklis is good as the gang's leader, who all happen to be British for some reason. Hearing him effectively using an English accent was a bit strange, while it was convincing it was at times a little distracting. Nonetheless the acting was very good all around, as is the camera work & audio. If they did happen to have any budget constraints it didn't show at any point during the film. All that said, the film really didn't put me on the edge of my seat, it wasn't an intense thriller nor did it try to be. My curiosity of the big picture is what kept me engaged, as the story was entertaining & has enough twists & turns to keep the viewer from being bored. It's not a fast paced thriller, as it often cuts back and forth to explain exactly what brought all these characters together. IMO it is definitely worth a rental if you're looking to pass some time. I give it a 6.7/10
This movie is evidence that you don't need a large budget or a ton of action to keep an audience interested. I thought this movie was captivating from beginning to end. It isn't a perfect movie - there is a little bit too much coincidence in the story that prevents the audience from completely swallowing the story smoothly, and the end seems a little unfinished in some details. But other than that, the movie is very well done. It's a little strange to hear Michael Chiklis speak with a British accent, but he manages to sell his character. In fact, all the actors do a good job. While low budget, the movie looks slick and professional in every shot. The real star of the movie is the script, which has a lot of twists and turns, enough that I could not see where the movie was heading. If you like independent cinema, this is one example that is very pleasing to watch.
Pawn, is a surprisingly grisly movie that deserves a top ranking with straight to video releases. The performances aren't as terrible as most of these types of films consist of and you really get invested into the characters. For such a film, it's screenplay isn't as full with stale or artificial lines and it actually embodies it's characters. On paper the plot seems extremely stale/generic but with it's execution of a fresh style and simplicity it ends up to transform. Whitaker and Liota's role are really minor roles but it's such a treat to see them in a film like this. The plot is a short term one but the film makes it work by analyzing every single detail, so I dare you to find a plot hole. With an over average script that contains a scene of really smart symbolism, the actors can not really mess it up. Action wise the film does not shy away, probably due to the fact of the directors background in being a cinematographer for the Saw films. For a crime/robbery flick it isn't as brainless as you could have been led to believe and it really captures the scene in a full scale. Overall, the film is an acceptable straight to video release that contains sudden twists, fresh plot, and great character development
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really scored this weekend in my movie watching. Usually I have to
sift through some real junkers to find anything really impressive and I
actually watched three films in a row that I really enjoyed (the other
two being Broken City and Gangster Squad--see my review.) I honestly
thought I would give 5 minutes to Pawn assuming it was yet another
churned out straight to video B-Movie schlockfest. Within 5 minutes I
didn't want to turn it off...I was riveted. It was a non-stop edge of
your seat thriller with all the elements of a truly remarkable film.
Most of the film takes place in the confines of a small typical
American diner. That feeling of isolation and claustrophobia is
brilliant and just sucks you in. The film itself is anything but
typical. It has mystery and intrigue and constant twists and turns. It
was a heist film at its heart but the characters and the actors that
played them were simply spot on. Every time you think you have
something figured out, another turn will send you reeling. For being a
low budget film (which I assume it was) it never feels like it. Granted
I don't think this would have ever been successful in theatres but it
is the type of entertainment that anyone can grasp onto. The ambiance
of the film is near perfect. It is reminiscent of films like Phone
Booth or Heat and easily walks amongst them.
Michael Chiklis plays the perfect villain. He is the leader of the team holding up this small diner. I'm not sure about Chiklis' accent in the film. I don't see why it was necessary and I'm not sure it was a great accent but it honestly doesn't matter because his character is brilliant. He is just powerful in the role. I don't dislike Ray Liotta but he really gets typecast and is ALWAYS playing the same tired old role. Liotta almost seems bored in this role and he is more distracting in a cast of really strong young actors and familiar faces. Sean Faris (is he the son of Christian Bale and Tom Cruise cuz man he looks like them both combined) is great as Nick. A small-time ex-con who is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and is truly the "pawn" of the film. I expect that he will go on to bigger things because he has good charisma on screen and carries his scenes effortlessly. You absolutely root for him! Jessica Szohr (liked her on Gossip Girl but not a big acting stretch) really impressed me as Bonnie, the diner waitress being terrorized. She gets to show a lot of emotion in her role but it feels very real and she pulls it off. The film has a huge supporting cast and some of them are really great in their roles. Often I found myself wishing I could see more of a certain character. Some of the performances to really admire were Stephen Lang, Common, Ronald Guttman (doesn't say much but his performance is actually subtle and well done), Nikki Reed as the devoted wife of Faris' character, Jon Lee Brody, and Forest Whitaker in a very small role but still well done. I am certain I am overlooking some other actors that did a great job but I can't cover everyone. Basically everyone in the film, with the exception of same old Liotta, were near outstanding.
I am even more shocked that director David Armstrong is a first time director. I mean he has worked cinematography on a lot of films but his style and technique as a director is superb. You might think I'm really gushing over a low budget film but this is the type of movie I love. When you have low expectations and then you're completely entertained and riveted for the entire film. The story is really excellent. Its all about dirty cops, cover ups, mobsters, and all in the package of a diner heist gone wrong. Emotions run very high throughout the film and sometimes you can see things coming in a movie like this but every guess I had was wrong and that made the film intriguing and insanely fun. Now the one thing that completely and utterly complexes me about this film is in the first ten or fifteen minutes the diner manager has this vision of throwing coffee in Chiklis' face and the subsequent aftermath but it made no sense and never played a part in the film. It was a bizarre little scene that stands out and doesn't fit. Certainly does nothing to ruin an otherwise fabulous thriller, its just something worth noting. I also felt like the ending was maybe just a little bit cut and dry but it doesn't disappoint. Don't be afraid to check this one out because it was truly a gem and they are hard to find nowadays. Riveting, brilliant, well done all around...check it out!! 9/10
This can be heavy going at times. The complexity of who is and who
isn't in on the scheme becomes a bit laborious and detracts from the
tension. Although it does matter to be intriguing enough to enjoy as
things move along with an economy of events. There are enough twists
and turns to keep one interested as to who is involved but it is really
That is to say that a few of the Characters motives have little time in this short Movie to play out and completely compose the story. All of the Acting is acceptable and right up to the end it is a rather tense situation, as most hostage Movies strive. It is just a little too full of itself to be fulfilling.
It's a pretty good nail-biter, but overall fails to nail down a completely satisfying wrap up as things get wild and quite muddled. This kind of stuff works much better on the page than on the screen. There have been a lot of Detective Fiction from the likes of Raymond Chandler to prove this time and again. This just tries to be a little too clever for a little Movie.
Pawn. Pawn is the reason why I watch too many boring or just plain bad
movies (or start watching), because out of every 20 bad movies there is
one, just one, as awesome as this one. It comes at you as a freight
train, just wrecking everything in front of it and it keeps going 'till
it hits the end. Nerve-wrecking and incredibly intense, the thing that
blew me away was the script with its twists and turns. And these were
clever and well thought out twists and turns, worthy of a much bigger
budget. Although I wouldn't change a thing in Pawn, the cast was
phenomenal, a compliment of experienced and rugged actors who know how
to do what the directors asks and when to do it. Production values were
also great, so you will have a feeling that you're watching some big
Nick is a car thief who just got out of prison, determined to change his life, for his and his families sake. His wife is pregnant, and this is the time to man up and take some responsibility. He goes to a local diner, not knowing what will happen in just a few minutes. A band of criminals led by the ruthless and charismatic Derrick, storm the diner while Nick was in the bathroom. Soon they round up all the guests, all but one who's hiding in the bathroom. At the same time Will, a policeman stops his car in front of the diner and lights up a smoke. Then all hell breaks loose...
Used to Michael Chiklis as Detective Vic Mackey, it was a bit strange to hear him talk with an English accent, but as the wise hooker once said it is cute. The rest of the characters were well developed and with excellent and believable motives for their actions. There was nothing that was sacrificed to drive the story forward, and this is a very rare thing, although the very end was just a tiny bit rushed or it seemed that way because of all the excitement that happened earlier. Just at the time when you think that you know what's going on, and who is who another twists punches you in the gut. This freight train stops for no one.
Movie recommendations Rabbit-Reviews.com - Only movies worth watching
But unfortunately as things unravel, the movie loses its touch. There
are quite a few good actors in it (Chiklis, Reed to name a few) and
they're trying their best. For a low budget movie this is fairly well
shot too. Of course it's almost entirely one location (with a few
exceptions) and you'll either like that or not.
For a low budget movie, it's always better to have a few, but interesting locations. So that's a positive side aspect, until you realize there could be more to it. The story, especially towards the end, loses its drive and motivation a bit and gets a little too tricky for its own good. Sometimes simpler is better, if well thought trough ...
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