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No Escape (2015)
Roller coaster ride
There is pulsating action and tension right throughout the film that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It takes a while to get used to seeing Owen Wilson in a serious role but he does it pretty well. However, the film can't seem to quite make up its mind as to whether it is a genuine serious thriller or one with a slight comedy angle to it. Pierce Brosnan seems totally out of sync with the rest of the film as does his taxi driver friend who are almost comedy characters in what otherwise is a very intense, violent, serious film. There are some slightly ridiculous moments such as throwing their children off a roof onto another one, the film makers should have made it a little less impossible to give the film a bit more realism and shooting a man up a tower with a small pistol from miles away which is a virtually impossible shot but that shouldn't detract from what is a highly entertaining intense film although won't do much for the tourist trade to Asia. I for one will be sure never to travel to that part of the world after watching this.
More holes in the plot than a Swiss cheese
If you want a serious heist movie with decent acting and script then forget this load of nonsense but if you just want a movie with decent action scenes that provides entertainment then it will fit the bill. De Nero apart the acting is awful with Bautista the worst of a bad bunch trying to play a tough guy but just comes across as the dumbest criminal you could imagine. Police act against orders, patrol officers suddenly take on the role of FBI and any cop who has watched hostage movies would not fall for the old hostage criminal switch to get away. People are suddenly transported across America in minutes and the whole plan by Morgan relies on too many variables going his way for it to be taken seriously. My advice would be forget trying to make sense of the plot as it makes no sense just enjoy the action scenes and tick off as another movie watched.
The Gift (2015)
Run of the mill psychological thriller
Good script nicely directed and well acted but lacked the wow factor for me. It is all quite predictable apart from a minor twist at the end but for the most part we have seen it all before in other similar type movies. Lacked any real tension but if you like this type of movie then it is worth a watch but won't live long in the memory. I liked Rebecca Hall in The Town but she just lacked a bit of glamour in this film often looking very plain and just like Joel Edgerton with his rather weird hair colour had a bad hair day in this one. The Resident with Hilary Swank is a much superior movie to this but nevertheless for an evenings entertainment you could do worse as the character development is interesting, the score was well put together and Edgerton shows some promise as a Director in this his debut.
The Boy Next Door (2015)
Not as bad as many reviews say it is
OK this is no Fatal Attraction in terms of suspense or tension and the whole film almost entirely predictable but as entertainment goes this will entertain. The title says boy next door which should really be man next door as 27 year old Guzman is cast as a boy or at least a nineteen year old but looks so much older while Lopez never really convinces as she doesn't appears to be overly concerned despite her whole life crumbling around her but does at least look good. There is no real character development and no interesting characters other than the character played by Kristin Chenowet who despite looking like Cameron Diaz gone wrong at least provides some interest. If this type of film is your thing then I would recommend the vastly superior The Resident with Hilary Swank who is a far better actress then Lopez but if you have a couple of spare hours and don't have to pay for the privilege of watching it then you will be entertained and is certainly not as bad as many of the reviews claim.
The Counselor (2013)
So bad it is laughable
With so many big name stars it is hard to believe they signed up to a movie that is this bad. From the bizarre haircut and dress sense of Bardem to the fluctuating accent of Diaz this film is a train wreck. The story lines are unconnected and many things unexplained and as a viewer you just lose interest and don't really care about what happens as everything is so disjointed. Brad Pitt only has a small part but no doubt earned big bucks to add his name to the credits and the under use of Cruz is a missed opportunity, there is little that can be said that is positive other than some half decent fight scenes and a interesting love scene involving Diaz and a car, yes a car, which has to be seen to be believed but my advice would be to give this nonsense a wide berth.