Movies

The Infiltrator

Crime, Thriller
Available on VOD: 5 januari 2017
Director: Brad Furman
Cast: Bryan Cranston (Argo, Trumbo, Breaking Bad), John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer, John Wick, Kick-Ass 2, Ride Along), Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, Unknown, The Bridge), Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality, Traffic, 24: Live Another Day)

Amidst the lavish excess of the 1980s, Robert Musella became a pivotal player for drug lords cleaning their dirty cash. He traded on mob connections, to become the confidant to scores of the international underworld and the bankers who enabled them.

However, Robert Musella was, in fact, the undercover persona of Special Agent Robert Mazur: a US customs official who went further than any before him. Laying his life on the line, he infiltrated the globe's largest cartels and discovered just how deep into society their influence extended. Welcomed into an inner-circle of violence and corruption, Mazur found himself in the tight embrace of those he had promised to take down.

Based on the true story of a fearless undercover agent, THE INFILTRATOR is a heart-stopping account of one of history's most elaborate stings. The operation reeled in key players in a chain stretching all the way to Escobar. Their arrests would lead to the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and shake the black economy to its core.

Reviews
  • De Telegraaf (★★★1/2): Bryan Cranston maakt die voortdurende innerlijke tweestrijd op een sublieme manier voelbaar. Mazurs gevaarlijke werk The infiltrator bij vlagen angstwekkend spannend.
  • De Volkskrant (★★★★): The Infiltrator is op zijn best als die juist doodeng is. De lol van The Infiltrator is te zien hoe Mazur/Musella zich uit de gevaarlijkste situaties probeert te bluffen. Kameleon Cranston is en blijft een dubbelrollenspecialist, die van rol kan wisselen alsof hij een knop omzet.
  • Trouw (★★★★): Cranston is uitstekend als de man die in uiteenlopende jaren-tachtig-outfits en met altijd licht bezorgde blik een identiteit aanneemt waar ook ineens een verloofde (Diane Kruger) in moet passen.
  • AD(★★★): Bryan Cranston is het sterkste punt in deze thriller vol synthetische maatpakken, donkere pilotenbrillen en vette snorren. Hij speelt wederom overtuigend een man die op de grens van goed en kwaad balanceert.
  • Cinemagazine.nl: Cranston is in topvorm, maar ook Leguizamo, Kruger en de cynische Amy Ryan ('Birdman') weten in de bijrollen te overtuigen. Met een speciale, eervolle vermelding voor good old Olympia Dukakis, die opdraaft als een perfect gecaste tante Vicky. Twee uur en zeven minuten entertainment, kom daar nog maar eens om. Het advies? Gaat hem zien on the big screen.
  • Filmgeek.nl: Zeker een spannend kijkje in de wereld van 'geld, undercoverwerk en cocaïne'.
    Filmvandaag.nl: Niettemin levert Cranston puik acteerwerk dat alleen wordt overtroffen door John Leguizamo als zijn rechterhand Abreu. Met The Infiltrator levert de regisseur van onder meer The Lincoln Lawyer en Runner Runner zijn beste werk tot nu toe af.
  • Empire.com: Often gripping, and elevated by Cranston's superb central performance.
  • Variety.com: Bryan Cranston gets a film role worthy of his ability to break bad in a tensely exciting true-life drama of undercover drug agents. The Infiltrator" creates enthralling suspense and intrigue out of the drama of what undercover agents do, but there isn't a moment in it that makes danger looks falsely seductive. The power of Cranston's performance is that he captures the deep torment that deep cover can bring. [He] gives the most authentic and lived-in performance as an agent pretending to be a criminal that I have ever seen. Kruger matches him, beat for anguished beat, and John Leguizamo gives a pinpoint performance as Bob's low-life informer colleague, whose slovenly flakiness turns out to be, itself, a kind of cover.
  • Hollywoodreporter.com: Cinematographer Joshua Reis' experience on horror movies serves him well in his first major theatrical feature: from the garish palette of a bowling alley to set-piece interiors of the ostentatiously wealthy to the terrifying murk of a Santeria ritual that ends very badly, he finds the dread in each widescreen composition. Mostly it's in Cranston's eyes, ferociously undimmed. As a U.S. Customs agent leading an undercover sting of his own devising, Cranston turns every moment of duplicity, which is to say nearly every scene of The Infiltrator, into an emotionally textured high-wire act.
  • TheWrap.com: Director Brad Furman ("The Lincoln Lawyer") re-creates the mid-1980s with telling fashion and coiffure details, bolstered by a great funk soundtrack. Joshua Reis's terrific cinematography, aided by the authentic-looking production design of Crispian Sallis, intensifies the sense of place and time. Drug thrillers can be among the more predictable genres — plenty of sleaze, nasty threats and grisly whacking, and, of course, the obligatory scenes at strip clubs. "The Infiltrator" follows some of that played-out playbook, but also effectively dials up the nerve-wracking tension. What elevates it to a higher level is the quality of its key performances, by Cranston, Leguizamo, Kruger and Bratt. Amy Ryan is also top-notch in a smaller role as Bonni Tischler, the trio's brassy boss. One of the most memorable supporting performances comes from Yul Vazquez, as sociopathic money launderer Javier Ospina.
  • nospoilerreviewz.com: engrossing, well made, extremely well acted and very, very intelligent.

A Family Man

Drama
Available on VOD: 21 september 2017
Director: Mark Williams
Cast: Gerard Butler (London Has Fallen, 300, The Bounty Hunter), Gretchen Mol (Manchester By The Sea, Boardwalk Empire), Willem Dafoe (The Great Wall, The Grand Budapest Hotel, A Most Wanted Man), Alison Brie (How to Be Single, Mad Men), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code, Prince of Persia)

Dane Jensen (Gerard Butler) is a driven Chicago-based headhunter, working at a cut-throat job placement firm. When Dane's boss (Willem Dafoe) announces his retirement, he pits Dane against Lynn Wilson (Alison Brie), Dane's equally driven but polar-opposite rival at the firm, in a battle for control over the company. As Dane gears up for the professional battle of his life, he learns his 10-year-old son Ryan (Max Jenkins) is diagnosed with an illness. Suddenly, Dane is pulled between achieving his professional dream and his family, who need him now more than ever.

Reviews
  • TheHollywoodNews.com: A really rather enjoyable morality tale from debut director Mark Williams, with some brilliant performances and some wonderfully touching moments.
  • Variety.com: slickly executed.
  • TIFF.net: The film pulses with the thrill of big money and cutthroat career maneuvering, but its heart is in a very different realm. The film is ultimately concerned with domestic stability in crisis, and with the complex question of what really matters in life. The Headhunter's Calling beautifully illustrates how nearly losing everything can redefine what it means to have it all.

First Kill

Action, Thriller
Available on VOD: 5 oktober 2017
Director: Steven C. Miller
Cast: Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Red, Sixth Sense, Split), Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II, III, Jumper), Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones), Megan Leonard (The Life and Death of John Gotti)

In this gripping action thriller starring Bruce Willis, a man and his son witness a thug shooting a bank thief while on a hunting trip. When the bank robber takes the boy hostage in order to recover the money from the bank heist, the frantic father and a police chief (Bruce Willis) must join forces to solve the high-stakes kidnapping with a ticking clock.

Reviews
  • Chicago.suntimes.com: The blood-soaked potboiler First Kill is Generous Pour through and through, from Bruce Willis playing a cop for the umpteenth time in his career to the old switcheroo we can see coming a mile away to the pounding and overwrought score to some genuinely effective detours and subplots.
  • Variety.com: A reasonably entertaining series of off-road chases and backwoods shootouts en route to that final confrontation.
  • LATimes.com: First Kill features an efficient, lightning speed plot.
  • Maddwolf.com: Willis supplies his natural gravitas and Ohioan Shelton makes an impressive big screen debut. As young Danny, Shelton's easy rapport with Gethin Anthony (as kidnapper Levi) is a constant highlight.
  • Thatmomentin.com: A decent crime thriller.
  • Dallasfilmnow.com: First Kill is competent and involving. The action scenes — including one vehicle/RV chase that's constructed cleverly with an uninterrupted sense of place via gliding tracking shots — never feel unrealistic or exaggerated. And even though the film telegraphs a few of its third act character reversals, Miller and screenwriter Nick Gordon plumb the depths of innocence versus malignancy with a shrewd eye for satisfying entertainment.
  • TheIndependentCritic.com: fully devoted to telling a story and telling it well.

Aftermath

Drama, Thriller
Available on VOD: 11 januari 2018
Director: Elliott Lester
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator, Expendables, Maggie), Scoot McNairy (12 Years A Slave, War Machine, Gone Girl), Maggie Grace (Taken, Lost, Twilight Saga), Judah Nelson (Anchorman 2)

Based on real-life events, Viktor's life is rocked when his wife and daughter are killed in a tragic mid-air collision. Heartbroken, Viktor's life take a complete new turn when he decides to take revenge on the person responsible for the death of his family.

Reviews
  • Empire.com: This is a film full of scenes that would be easy to overplay, but which Schwarzenegger tackles with understated perfection. Truly, this is quite unlike anything else he's ever done, and brilliantly so.
  • Blu-ray.com: Strong stuff, but it's meditative enough to welcome a viewing, inspiring interest in the characters and their ultimate destination. The picture also has valuable ideas to share on the cycle of violence and its futility, concluding intelligently, leaving the audience with a concept of revenge that's upsetting, not rousing. It's subversive work with Schwarzenegger and his legacy of brawn around, allowing "Aftermath" to pack quite an unexpected punch.
  • Heyuguys.com: Probably his best role as an actor to date.
  • Joblo.com: Deserves to be discovered. As long as they know what they're in for (and they should) Arnold fans will be delighted to see how good he can still be if given the chance, while everyone else will be amazed by the way he seems to have reinvented himself as a character actor. That he's done such a good job of it is a wonderful surprise, and here's hoping he gets more opportunities to explore this new flair for drama.
  • Wegotthiscovered.com: Arnold Schwarzenegger's reserved performance is a somber turn that keeps drama surprisingly in-tune.
  • TheIndependentCritic.com: A film that is truly one of Schwarzenegger's most thought-provoking and emotionally resonant to date. While Schwarzenegger has struggled to regain his Hollywood foothold since setting his political career aside, Aftermath is a sure sign that, at least critically, his best days may very well be ahead of him.

Mayhem

Action
Available on VOD: 26 april 2018
Director: Joe Lynch
Cast: Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Okja), Samara Weaving (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri , Home and Away, Bad Girl), Steven Brand (Hellraiser: Revelations)

The story of a virus that infects a corporate law office on the day attorney Derek Saunders (Yeun) is framed by a co-worker and wrongfully fired.  Trapped in the quarantined building, our hero is forced to savagely fight tooth and nail for not only his job but his life.

Reviews
  • Variety.com: Equal parts corporate satire and violent melodrama, this indie with attitude is an exuberantly gonzo thriller.
  • RogerEbert.com: A stylish, smart, propulsive gore-fest set in a corporate America that takes no prisoners. It’s like “Office Space” if Michael Bolton went on a murderous spree with a nail gun, playing on workplace stress instead of pure id, and it has a violent momentum that’s hard to deny, well-directed by Lynch.
  • Scary Epidemic: Very reminiscent from horror movies like The Belko Experiment and Severance, its concept is filled with lots of dry humor and plenty of gore. Steven Yeun is fantastic in the lead role, and proves that he can carry a movie without an entire cast breathing down his neck (looking at you Walking Dead). Full review here.
  • Horror-movies.ca: You MUST watch "Mayhem" when it is available. This violent masterpiece has little to no flaws, is terrifically entertaining, for various reasons, from beginning to end, and is definitely the best film of the 2017 edition of Fantasia. I reward it with a perfect 5 stars out of 5.
  • Cinemaslasher.com: hanks to its likable protagonists, relatable themes, sharp editing, synthy score, and incredible soundtrack of licensed music, Mayhem is an absolute blast and should not be missed by anyone with an affinity for intense genre cinema. This one is an absolute blast that deserves the highest of recommendations.
  • Culturecypt.com: frenzied fun and vicious violence.
  • Cutprinfilm.com: Lynch stages impalings and hammerings and nail-gunnings for maximum impact. He makes stunning use of sound to give each event its own savage feel. And he escalates the bloodletting in creative ways. But there’s an odd sort of righteousness about it all. Yeun and Weaving are responsible for that. The pair have a palpable, natural chemistry that brings a much needed humanity to the bloody business at hand. Their quippy back-and-forth would be right at home in a romantic comedy if they weren’t, you know, mercilessly killing lots of people all the way.
  • Modernhorrors.com: Lynch’s latest feature is a true crowd pleaser; it’s a God damn blast. It’s vicious and funny, and wildly entertaining.
  • Thewolfmancometh: As a filmmaker, Lynch has fully embraced his enthusiasm and passion for genre cinema while also flexing his comedic chops, all thanks to the tour-de-force performance of his new muse, Steven Yeun.
  • Wegotthiscovered.com: Mayhem is a wonderfully violent middle finger to corporate culture, gleeful in its desire to redecorate cubicles with red blood splatters.
Awards
  • Second place audience award Razor Reel 2017.
  • Chattanooga Film Festival 2017 : Audience Award

Bent

Crime, Thriller
Available on VOD: 17 mei 2018
Director: Bobby Moresco
Cast: Karl Urban (Star Trek, Thor Ragnarok), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family, Chef), Andy Garcia (The Godfather, The Untouchables, Geostorm)

BENT follows Danny Gallagher (Karl Urban), a discredited narcoticsdetective who, upon his release from prison, makes plans to seekrevenge on the accuser who framed him and killed his partner.Through his quest, Gallagher is forced to confront a ruthless,seductive government agent (Sofi a Vergara), who may or may not beon his side; and his mentor (Andy Garcia), a retired cop who’s fought corruption his entire career.

Reviews
  • Cinemarter.com: It has strong production values, some pretty decent acting, and good cinematography. It’s nice to see Karl Urban get a leading role!
  • ThatMomentIn.com: Karl Urban is fun to watch.  The film is loaded with some good performances and direction.
  • ThePragueReperter.com: Bent is a serviceable, slickly-produced 90s-style detective thriller.

Corbin Nash

Action, Horror
Available on VOD: 7 juni 2018
Director: Ben Jagger
Cast: Dean S. Jagger (Game of Thrones), Rutger Hauer (Sin City, Blade Runner, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys, The Goonies, Stand By Me), Malcolm McDowell (The Artist, A Clockwork Orange, Halloween)

Having lost his family as an infant, when rogue police detective, CORBIN NASH is confronted by a MYSTERIOUS STRANGER and told his parent’s death was no accident; he transfers from NYC to LA driven to find his parent’s true killers.

Scouring the City of Angels for the truth, Corbin stumbles upon a MONSTROUS DUO trafficking the flesh and blood of this City’s lost souls. Too close, abducted by these Demons, Corbin must fight his way through an underground world of torment, but all’s just a game, Corbin a plaything as his abductors know the dangerous truth of his origin.

Confronted by the almighty DRAKE, Corbin realizes a world long believed to be a myth is in fact a horrifying reality. Upon discovering he’s the last surviving member of the Nash family, a historic family of Demon hunters, he is savagely murdered and left in the gutters of this God forsaken City for dead.

Saved by a pure soul, MACY who recognizes him, with her own hidden agenda, under the guidance of the mysterious BLIND PROPHET, she nurses him through his Hellish ordeal… Feeding him her own blood, in a bizarre twist of fate, Corbin becomes what his family fought to vanquish and destroy; Reborn the ultimate killer.

Embracing his legacy, vowing vengeance, Corbin seeks to destroy both the Demon’s responsible for his families murder and for those that made him what he is today. Echoed through American history, the Nash Legacy was famous, but the name Corbin Nash, Demon Hunter is soon to become infamous.

Reviews
  • Crypticrock.com: Demon/vampire movies have become a dime a dozen. It is easy to become lost in the genre. In an effort to stand out, a lot of films over think the evil and end up losing the fear and power that vampires should capture. Corbin Nash is not one of those. It succeeds in giving vampires back their power and they have become scary again. Dialogue, characters, and casting all align perfectly to create an atmosphere of paranoia and fear when the sun goes down. It is for these reasons that CrypticRock humbly gives Corbin Nash 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Spoilerfreemoviesleuth: Fans of vampire cinema will find much to adore, there are many memorable and dangerous directorial choices that make the film worthy of a viewing.
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