Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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A CALL TO SPY
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 2, 2020
Director: Lydia Dean Pilcher
Stars: Sarah Megan Thomas, Stana Katic, Radhika Apte, Linus Roache
Plot: With nearly all of Europe under the control of Hitler, England employs civilian women as Allied spies in France
 
Clint Says: Watch this movie as soon as you can
 

 

This movie has it all. Espionage, sabotage, betrayal, escapes, near misses, courageous acts, and powerful, intelligent women. And it is all inspired by real events and real women during World War II. 
 
If you are a fan of spy flicks this is a must-see. This is a film that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and holding your breath for way too long. It is exciting and suspenseful from the opening scene all the way to the end credits. 
 
Perhaps the best thing about this movie is that it doesn't sugar-coat or give an idealized version of what we all want our spies to be and act like. This is not James Bond stuff, this is based in reality. It's gritty, scary, and intense. It makes you think about what kind of special person it must take to become a spy, knowing that your life is on the line at all times. 
 
This movie never hits a false note. Everything about the situations and the characters feels true and real. It is a fast-paced, high-adrenaline, feels-like-you-are-right-there-with-them movie. 
 
You should watch this film this weekend. It will entertain you for sure, but it may also inspire you.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

CHARLIE'S ANGELS

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: November 15, 2019

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Stars: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks

Plot: The Angels must try to stop the sale of a technological device that can be weaponized

Trailer

 

Clint says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

I'm not really sure that in 2019 the world was clamoring for another CHARLIE'S ANGELS reboot, but we got one anyway. Thankfully, it isn't terrible.

 

This reboot is more "women power" than the previous iterations, but it still feels like it spends a lot of time objectifying women. Apparently the only way to fight crime is while wearing skin tight booty shorts.

 

The plot is one we've seen a thousand times in spy flicks. There is nothing new or special to make this movie worth your time. The acting is okay, but nothing special, and the dialogue is pretty cheesy.

 

There are a few exciting and somewhat suspenseful scenes, but it isn't like the whole movie is that way. In fact most of the film is pretty slow-paced. It does pick up a bit towards the end, but not enough to make up for the slow start.

 

The best part of the flick is the last few minutes where we get a ton of fun and funny cameos. That is about the only thing that makes this a movie worth watching.

 

If you like formulaic spy movies, then you may find this one tolerable, but it isn't one you are going to be overly excited about seeing.

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

ANNA

Rated: R

Release Date: June 21, 2019

Director: Luc Besson

Stars: Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy

Plot: A government assassin, doubling as a model, tries to find a way out of her dangerous life

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

 

What do you get when you make an action film starring real supermodels? A very pretty picture with some of the worst acting you've ever seen. It feels like they worked with Sasha Luss for months on her martial arts skills and discussed the art of acting over lunch one day.

 

To be fair, this movie does have several exciting moments, and it almost has a smart plot. Unfortunately, it is done in a way that is both annoying and one where the viewer stands no chance at figuring out the twists. One of the big things that make mystery movies so great is being able to go back and see what you missed that would have let you figure it out before the hero. 

 

Aside from those few good moments this is a pretty bad film. The hero never does anything to endear her to us, so it is difficult to care what happens to her along the way. The timeline jumps around in a clunky way that throws the pacing off completely. And the acting is so bad that I'm not kidding when I say we've all seen better performances in a middle school play. (NOTE: The bad acting in this film does not include Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, or Cillian Murphy. They all do an excellent job with the terrible scripts they were given).

 

This is the kind of film where it can be enjoyable if you check your brain at the door, and know going into it that it's an above average very bad movie. At least then you can laugh at the bad acting rather than be annoyed by it. 

 

Whatever you do though, don't go into this film thinking it is going to be stupid fun like the FAST AND FURIOUS films, because it takes itself too seriously to be fun. Also, don't think that it is going to be another JOHN WICK or JASON BOURNE because it isn't anywhere near as smart or as good as those movies. If you go into it with the mindset of, let's see a supermodel kick the snot out of 50 bad guys, then you will probably be okay with seeing it. If you are expecting anything more you are going to be disappointed. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN

Rated: PG

Release Date: October 26, 2018

Director: David Kerr

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Jake Lacy, Emma Thompson

Plot: A bumbling spy is tasked with saving the world from a technological mad man.

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

This is the kind of film that you know exactly what you are getting when you go in. The good news is that this movie delivers on that promise. 

 

Is it a great work of cinematic art? No, but that isn't the point. This is a fun, entertaining, goofy, laugh-out-loud comedy that also has a pretty decent plot. The acting isn't outstanding, but they are really only there to push the plot forward and give us a few good laughs along the way. And they all do a fine job of that.

 

If you are a fan of the other JOHNNY ENGLISH films, MR. BEAN, or British humor in general, you will enjoy this film. It is filled with funny jokes and great physical comedy. 

 

Perhaps the best part of this movie is that it is almost completely family friendly...almost. (It's PG so there is some Parental Guidance necessary). I took my 8 year old daughter to see it and with one exception I didn't feel like it was above her level of innocence. There were a couple of moments we talked through, but in the end she liked it almost as much as I did.

 

If you are looking for a lot of (mostly) clean laughs this is a perfect choice.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

RED SPARROW

Rated: R

Release Date: March 2, 2018

Director: Francis Lawrence

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Charlotte Rampling

Plot: A Russian ballet dancer is forced to become a spy for the State, but she has other plans

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD and make someone else rent it

 

 

I wish I could convey to you my incredible amount of boredom I endured while watching the first 115 minutes of this movie. But to do so might be considered torture. Let's just leave it that I was clock watching inside the first 20 minutes, meaning I had more than two hours to go before the end credits mercifully rolled.

 

This film is slow, emotionless, depressing, and forgettable. The acting is decent at best, but there are a few moments that are cringe worthy. Thankfully there is a pretty nice twist at the end that makes the last 20 minutes doable. Not enjoyable, but at least doable.

 

Most of the characters are one-dimensional, making them boring to watch. The stakes at the beginning aren't high enough to make you care what happens, and by the time the stakes are finally raised you are so bored by the story that it doesn't really matter.

 

The whole film centers around the theme of abuse, so it's a very heavy story to witness. You have to be in a proper mood to see this. However, even being in the proper mood isn't going to save this from being a bad film.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

Rated: R

Release Date: September 22, 2017

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Stars: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Channing Tatum

Plot: The Kingsmen learn about their American counterparts when they come under attack by a crazy drug lord

Trailer


Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Sir Elton John kicking butt karate-style while wearing a feather suit and diamond-studded high-heel boots. That is all you need to know about the awesomeness of this movie.  Seriously, Elton John completely steals the show.

 

If you didn't see the first KINGSMAN film, you need to do so before jumping into this one. If you haven't seen the first one, this one will make sense, but you will miss out on a lot of character depth and development as well as some continued story lines. Don't worry though, the first film is totally worth watching.

 

For those of you that saw the first one and can't wait for this one, just know that it isn't as good as the first. It's still a really good film, just not the outstanding cinematic brilliance that the first film was.

 

This film has some slow moments and the villain isn't convincing at all, but aside from that it's a fun, entertaining movie that is full of incredible action and cool technology. It won't be your favorite movie you see this year, but you can't go wrong seeing this one in theaters.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

ATOMIC BLONDE

Rated: R

Release Date: July 28, 2017

Director: David Leitch

Stars: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella

Plot: An undercover agent must solve a mystery before she, and all of the other agents are compromised, but there are double agents at every turn

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

James Bond, you may have met your match. 

 

While this movie isn't great, it is very good, and it is, hopefully, the beginning of a new international spy thriller franchise. ATOMIC BLONDE has serious potential to be magnificent for decades. 

 

Not only does this film have the potential for a long life, but this could easily become the defining role for Theron. She plays the part of kick-butt heroine so well that there wasn't a single moment where her actions felt forced or sub-par. 

 

This film is smart, captivating, full of twists, turns, and double crosses, and Charlize Theron kills everything in sight. The film also has one of the best soundtracks of the year. It is set in 1980's Berlin so we get the best of the best in 80's music.

 

For the most part this movie is fast-paced and exciting, but it does have a few slow moments, mainly because it is told using the flashback method. So every time it comes to the present it's nothing but people sitting around and talking. 

 

If you like spy flicks run to the theater now. You'll love this movie. For everyone else, it is definitely worth seeing for the action and the soundtrack. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

SNOWDEN

Rated: R

Release Date: September 16, 2016

Director: Oliver Stone

Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley

Plot: The story of how one man brought to light the controversial surveillance techniques employed by the NSA

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

Edward Snowden was the person behind quite possibly the largest story of 2013. Some people think he's a hero, some people think he's a traitor. While the movie is sympathetic to him it does a good job of allowing the viewer to decide for themselves what they think of his actions. Of course you have the trope of the big, bad government versus the little guy, but that is more for Hollywood effect than a story-telling device in this film. 

 

I am not a fan of Oliver Stone in the way that he likes to rewrite history, but at least he lets the audience know at the beginning of this film that it is a dramatization. I would also consider this to be one of his better directorial efforts. 

 

The film clocks in at 2 hours and 15 minutes, about 45 minutes of it could have hit the cutting room floor and not been missed. As much as I like Shailene Woodley, her part was almost completely unnecessary. Their relationship almost feels like it gets in the way of the story at times. 

 

If you were interested in the Snowden story in 2013 I think you will find this film interesting. It isn't captivating or fascinating by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a great story. If you didn't follow the Snowden saga I think you will find this movie dreadfully slow and boring. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

Rated: PG-13

Director: Guy Ritchie

Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander

Plot: US and Russian spies must work together to stop a mad man from getting a nuclear weapon.

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

If you are a tried and true fan of the James Bond franchise save your money for SPECTRE. This is not James Bond. It's not bad at all, in fact there is a lot about it that is quite enjoyable. It just has a completely different feel than you would expect from a typical spy flick. That probably has a lot to do with it being written, produced, and directed by Guy Ritchie.

 

I am always wary of a film that has one person in charge of so much. Especially if that person is one that is incapable of hearing the word "no" from his employees. (See: MacFarlane, Seth). But Ritchie actually made a movie worth seeing.

 

I wouldn't pay full price to see this flick simply because Henry Cavill's speech pattern is insufferably annoying and Armie Hammer's Russian accent is passable at best. Unfortunately, the two of them talk throughout the whole film.

 

I will say that the plot is interesting and suspenseful, there is a lot of great action and the laughs are plenty. You won't be disappointed seeing this film in theaters, but it's not going to be a long-lasting fan favorite.