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.

Hollow in the Land

Thriller
Available on VOD: 1 maart 2018
Director: Scooter Corkle
Cast: Dianna Agron (Glee, I Am Number Four), Rachelle Lefevre (Under The Dome, Twilight Saga, White House Down), Shawn Ashmore (X-Men films, The Following), Jared Abrahamson

While the notorious Keith Miller remains locked behind bars for murder, his family is paying the price of a tainted name. High in these mountains, bad blood runs deep.

A year after Keith's crime, a body is found in a nearby trailer park. Keith's son, Brandon, goes missing and becomes suspect number one. His headstrong sister Alison decides to take things into her own hands and track down her brother to clear his name before the cops get to him.

Can she prove her brother's innocence when all the evidence suggests otherwise? The harder she looks, the more people turn up dead. And soon Alison becomes a suspect herself.

In a town tucked away between a mountain range, secrets get buried deep. And if she's not careful, she'll get buried with them...

Reviews
  • NYTimes.com: Alison closely resembles Jennifer Lawrence’s character in Winter’s Bone, another self-sufficient young woman whose family and community turn against her. This movie is not as tense, but it gets close thanks to Ms. Agron’s resolute performance and the movie’s hostile small town setting.
  • Hollywoodreporter.com: Hollow in the Land traffics in familiar rural thriller territory, but it features an excellent performance from its lead actress and a strong atmosphere of moody tension courtesy of its writer/director.
  • LATimes.com: Like Winter’s Bone, the film is at its best when it follows its heroine closely, letting the audience understand more about her life with each step closer to danger.
  • Andersonvision.com:  Hollow in the Land deserves to be seen by many people.
  • Cinemarter.com:  A good mystery movie with a solid leading performance.
  • J.B. Spins: Its grit and guts are compelling. Norm Li’s coldly severe cinematography dramatically accentuates Miller’s social alienation and the physical isolation of the surrounding landscape.

Braven

Action, Thriller
Available on VOD: 8 maart 2018
Director: Lin Oeding
Cast: Jason Momoa (Justice League, Aquaman, Game of Thrones, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Stephen Lang (Avatar, Don't Breathe, In The Blood), Garret Dillahunt (No Country for Old Men, Looper, 12 Years a Slave)

When Joe Braven (Jason Momoa), a humble logger residing along the U.S./Canada border is confronted by a group of deadly drug runners who have stashed heroin in his secluded cabin in the mountains, he must do everything in his power to protect his family. Little do the elite drug runners know the unassuming man they've encountered has an impressive bite colliding two dynamic forces - one fighting for the lives of his family, the other for the love of the kill.

Reviews
  • Variety.com: Braven remains exciting and suspenseful even after Joe vrooms out of the claustrophobic cabin setting on an ATV, triggering a manhunt in the snow that further illustrates Oeding's ability to choreograph action in clear, clean fashion. And that action is all the more involving because the freshman filmmaker gives his actors sufficient time to flesh out their characters before the bullets (and arrows) start flying. To put it simply and gratefully: Braven is the sort of unpretentious yet thoroughly professional popcorn entertainment that brings out the best in everybody involved.
  • Villagevoice.com: Any cheapjack action movie can get a crowd to cheer at its shock kills. It's the best ones that persuade us that there's a clear chain-of-events physical logic at play — that find suspense in one action leading inevitably to another.
  • Latimes.com: Action-thriller 'Braven's' Jason Momoa proves as skilled on land as he is at sea. It's Momoa's show and he brings strength, warmth and gravitas to a part that, thanks to an emotionally-grounded script. A solid, fast-paced action-thriller.
  • Slantmagazine.com: Lin Oeding's Braven thrives on both the beauty of its natural, snowbound surroundings and the brutal instincts of man. Braven is the sort of scaled-down, sure-footed, and efficient action film that the hyper-saturated video-on-demand market needs more of.
  • NYPost.com: For anyone looking for a shot of vengeance adrenaline while waiting for "John Wick 3" to come down the pike, "Braven" will probably fit the bill.
  • Cinemarter.com: Braven will satisfy action movie fans who want to see a chapter that relies more on the physicality of its actors than technology. It has a simple premise, a slow-burn setup, and then lets it all play out logically.
  • Flyckeringmyth.com: Lin Oeding's Braven is the kind of 90s punch-in-the-mouth action flick us genre fans fight tooth-and-nail to find nowadays. A deliciously junkfood Jason Momoa centerpiece that could be wedged right between Commando and Cobra watches. Hell, Oeding's opening lumberjack sequence is a straight callback to 1985's Arnold Schwarzenegger classic (missed opportunity not having Momoa carry a log, if you ask me). Reluctant heroes, stone-cold criminals, packages of dope – it's everything we love about cheesy survival flicks with zero hassle. Simplicity be damned. If there's one thing Braven knows how to do, it's show you a bloody good time. 
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