Sunday, March 28, 2010

Armored - 3.5/5

"Armored" is one of those films that, by all means, should have been straight to DVD. Looking at the script, one could see potential within its confines but rarely could see above its rather cliche attempt at creating a memorable heist movie. Luckily, "Armored" does get some good treatment in the form of a solid fucking cast and a classy up-and-coming director.

I'm not sure why the film companies behind this little film decided to go with it. It's not flashy enough with its action nor Oscar worthy enough with its drama to really make a lot of money in theaters. But I'm glad that it went through, cause "Armored" probably deserves more praise than its been getting. Unfortunately, most of today's audience may be too bored to actually find this film 'good'.

As was mentioned, "Armored"'s flaws come in the form of its script. It's just too cliche and rather unmemorable to really make this bad boy stick in the mind's of your average movie viewer. A team of armored security vehicle drivers decide that their lives are pieces of shit and plan to take two of the vehicles, stage a fake heist, and make off with the money. Unfortunately, as with any good heist film, things DO NOT go according to plan and suddenly these men are under a lot of pressure of time, debating their morals, and turning against one another. What did you thing would happen?

The cast is fucking stellar here. It's as if they decided to get the best underrated cast of all time. Dillon, the always vigilant Frenchman Reno, bad ass in all he does Fishburne and they even threw in Fred Ward for shits and giggles. All the cast is excellent in this and are the blood that pumps through this movie to make it work. The high tension, the moral ambiguity, and even the struggles with each other would have been nothing without this cast.

Of course though, I think the true star of this film never appears onscreen. Nimrod Antal. As a director, I have only seen one other film of his, the very impressive horror flick "Vacancy" and he sold me on this film too. Without his visual touch and little nuances, even with the awesome cast, this film would have felt like a straight to DVD release. He certainly knows how to make this film work as well as it does. I'm excited for his career. If he can take a blah script like this and turn it into a somewhat pulse pounding drama than I'm all for it. Not to mention that he will be releasing a "Predator" revamp in the near future.

"Armored" is a hit or miss film. The script and dialogue can be a little run of the mill, but excellent acting and stellar directing make this one at least a one watcher.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Live And Let Die - 3.5/5

I have to give in a little. I'm not a huge fan of the more tongue in cheek and over the top Bond, but now that Roger Moore has taken the reigns its hard not to have fun watching him. "Live And Let Die" is the debut of a brand new Bond era and one that is going to give you a lot of laughs and a lot of scoffs. I have to admit that even with its over the top style I enjoyed this film quite a bit although it does have many...MANY...flaws.

PLOT: Bond takes on the entire 70s African American culture in "Live And Let Die". Starting off with your usual action sequence before the titles, this film really digs itself into the culture of 70s blacksploitation - almost to the point of absurdity. Bond is called in to investigate a handful of missing agents that are investingating an island political figure, Dr. Kananga which leads him on a wild chase to uncover the connection between Kananga and Mr. Big, a drug dealing gangster from Harlem. Bond gets involved in some serious voodoo rituals, a beautiful tarot reading fortune teller, and even gets into a high speed boat chase through Louisiana until his final showdown with double identies and a secret on an island that Kananga will kill for.

STORYLINE 3/5: Overall the idea of "Live And Let Die" is quite interesting. The politics and gangster overlaps, the descent into voodoo lore (although its much more prominent in the novel), and the use of tarot card prophecies make this film more enjoyable than it should be. Unfortunately, it does tend to move in random tangents for the sake of entertainment more often than not. A huge chunk of time is spent putting Bond in perilous situations that seem more out of the blue than worthy of his time and effort. Feeding him to alligators (the entire Louisiana section of the film could be cut and not affect the film too much except we lose a sweet ass boat chase that borderlines a Duke Of Hazard montage with local law enforcement that just makes me want to shoot myself) or even his first encounters in Harlem with Mr. Big. Tends to get a bit too out of hand and irrelevant to the overall story for its own good.

BOND 3/5: Roger Moore makes his debut and honestly, its not as bad as most people claim it to be. It was obvious with the last few Connery Bond films that the direction of the series was going in a more tongue in cheek and over the top way and Roger Moore fits right in with that idea. His suave and cock in hand manner fits with the new idea of Bond quite well. Of course, they also tried to change up the 'new' Bond a bit by making him drink and smoke other things (they will NOT be mentioned) instead of cigarettes and martinis which is a weird misstep for this film. But Moore's fun and almost parody like approach works quite well I think for this film.

VILLAIN 4/5: Kananga is actually one of my favorite villains. He is smart. He is devious. He doesn't mind killing a few employees to make a point either. He might suck at knife fighting but really he's all brains and lets his many lackeys do the dirty work. Kotto's take on the villain is a nice comparison to many other great Bond villains and his weird love/hate relationship with Solitaire is rather intriguing (especially when he hints about his relationship with her mother). I also have to give it up that he has MULTIPLE lead henchmen. Tee Hee (with his mechanical arm) being the lead but also Whisper and our skeletal oddity that makes random appearances. He surrounds himself with memorable and tough people. I like that.

BOND GIRL 3.5/5: Solitaire is an odd Bond girl. She is at least relevant to the plot, her history is somewhat expressed with her discussions with Bond and Kananga, yet she still feels somewhat 2D. Maybe its because she seems ridiculously easy to manipulate in this film and her outrageous outfits don't do her any benefit either. I don't mind Seymour's performance as Solitaire but the character just doesn't do a whole lot for me.

"Live And Let Die" is definitely the beginning of a new era of Bond. Really embracing the over the top and ridiculous attitude that Connery really couldn't, Moore is the right man for the job at this time. This film is a lot of fun and take it with a grain of salt when it goes on its random tangents. I wish they would have gone forward with more of the voodoo lore that made the book such a riveting read, but when you have half cybernetic men and tarot reading leading ladies, who needs more outlandish claims? 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Box, The - 4/5

Richard Kelly has this weird ability to create science fiction films that don't feel like science fiction films. Normally, its something that would irk me, but Kelly's approach to doing so draws me in and fascinates the hell out of me. "The Box" for example, is a cleverly hidden science fiction feature disguised as a moral lesson in the lens of a 70s period drama piece. Yet, somehow he makes it work.

"The Box" revolves around a well off family of husband, wife, and one young boy as their situation and life suddenly takes a turn for the worse. Suddenly their high status is fluttering as money suddenly takes a turn for the dumper. Then a house call changes everything. Mr. Steward offers them up a deal of a lifetime. Push a button in a box and they receive one million dollars tax free in cash. But the cost is that someone they don't know somewhere in the world...will die. What's the cost of a human life and the sacrifice of integrity?

"The Box" is understandably a controversial film. I fully understand why other individuals hate (and I use the term in a light form) this film. Why they criticize it so. Richard Kelly is somewhat of a odd writer and the story of "The Box" gets a little out there towards the end. He does that a lot with his films though and if you weren't expecting it I'm not sure what you wanted from him. Granted, if you saw the 80s "Twilight Zone" episode or read the short story "Button, Button" its even more understandable why this film seems to be controversial. Kelly takes it to the next level. Literally.

Of course, if the story doesn't float your boat (it did a lot of interesting things that I enjoyed), Kelly's style for the film might. His old school approach with long shots and almost Hitchcock style of filmmaking is pretty intense. Match that with some AMAZING score work and the tension of the decisions is amplified to new heights. Unfortunately, some of the acting is hit or miss. Cameron Diaz's accent nerved me a bit, but I was rather impressed with a normally mediocre Marsden. The true highlight is the subtle and charasmatic 'villainy' of Frank Langella as Mr. Steward. His digitally burned face and his acting steal the film and add a whole new layer to a rather think piece of film.

"The Box" is going to split fans of the genre and of Kelly. It does have some questionable moments in the film and the more I think about it, the more I wonder how it worked so well for me (looks like I might have to re-watch it later). In the end though, I enjoyed it quite a bit and Kelly still impresses me with his writing and directing style. Not recommended for everyone but its worth a glance if you get a chance. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, The - 2/5

Oh Troy Duffy. How you have had a tragic heroes existence. With the rise of popularity with his underground instant cult classic like "The Boondock Saints" and his fall from grace quickly thereafter, its amazing to see this film see the light of day at all. After seeing this film, its a wonder that perhaps it should have stayed in the dark a little longer.

"The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day" takes place 8 years after the first with the MacManus boys living in hiding in Ireland with their Da. But the death of a local loved clergyman in Boston done in the style of their notorious vigilante justice spree 8 years prior is a call of warning to bring them out for a show down with their past and eventually bringing a new future for them.

The main problem with "Boondock 2" is that is tries desperately hard to recapture the great elements of the first. So hard in fact, that the film comes off more as a rip off of the first rather than a true sequel or follow-up. The main story/concept is actually quite good so that by the time we get to the third act it actually feels like its own film instead of a knock off. But the first 2/3 of it are quite painful to get through.

Most of the reason this film comes off as a poor intimidation is Troy Duffy's writing. The overall story works, but some of its plot elements are borderline ridiculous. The addition of their new 'sidekick' comes off as comedic role rather than a solid new addition. The new FBI woman, Smecker's protege, is corny and poorly developed for most of the film (the ending saves her). Even the entire idea of them in hiding seems half cocked. With the ending of the first film and their declaration of justice for all evil doers, why would you go into hiding immediately? It makes the end of the first film absolutely pointless and creates a massive plot hole. It just doesn't make sense! And then Duffy adds in a ton of 'dream' sequences where the characters interact with dead characters and desperately tries to give the film moments of 'style' that seemed forced rather than necessary. Duffy has good moments here with the film, but more often than not it just seems to try too hard to be lovable.

Then of course, there is the dialogue. It tries so hard to be quotable and memorable that most of it doesn't make sense to plot, characters, or the previous lines. It has its moments where it works but for most of the film it comes off as immature and childish in its desperate grasp for attention. It was frustrating for me to watch and listen to most of the time and made me yell, 'what the fuck are they talking about' more than it should have.

As for our characters, the acting is fine and the characters (despite the new ones being far too underdeveloped) make it work most of the time. Its just unfortunate that Duffy's writing needs massive work.

"Boondock 2" was a sequel that could have been amazing with its concept, but failed so miserably in the writing that not a whole lot could save it. It reeks of bad movie cliche's from beginning to end. It was made to please the fans, but if you are a fan with any sense of solid film making or a want to see them actually IMPROVE on the story and characters than maybe you want to not watch this. It has its moments (the last moments of the film in particular which set up a third film) but overall it was a beast between them and frustrating to say the least.

I hope they do make a third film. Just so that Duffy can at least try to make himself a better writer. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Girl Next Door, The (2007) - 2.5/5

When something claims to be one of the most disturbing films that critics have every seen (even Stephen King had something to say in that effect) that means it goes on my list to watch. That's how "The Girl Next Door" ended up in my viewing pile. Honestly, all those critics that claimed it to be that disturbing are quite right. It is one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen.

During the 50s, the roles of society were starting to shift. When a young man David meets a new girl next door named Meg, he begins to see a new side of life. Too bad her caretaker and Aunt, Ruth, is somewhat of a fucked up individual and blames Meg for a lot of whats wrong with society and life. But its her unusual and disturbing punishment (that includes her two boys and some neighborhood children) that is really going to change David's life.

Most of its disturbing elements come from the fact that its 'based on true events' and that it never feels all that fictionalized. This feels as though it could have seriously happened. It's suburbian hell if there ever was one. The film accomplishes a lot on this end, giving an audience a situation that is both foreign (being its a time piece) and hits a little too close to home which is quite the combination as it turns out. The story is pretty riveting and its one of those films that will have you screaming at the TV for characters to do this or that. In that aspect it works.

Unfortunately, the film is so low budget that it comes off as a made for television film more often than not. Don't let the extensive use of the word 'fuck' or the brief scenes of nudity fool you, this still feels and looks like a made for TV movie. The credits are plain. The editing is plane Jane at best and even the music reeks of low budget. Luckily, some solid acting from some the adults and some decent performances from the children keep the story moving.

"The Girl Next Door" has ends very oddly. Despite its long slow burn build, the end of the film and resolution seem to come into a nice neat bow very quickly and very suddenly. Even the bookend narration from an older David, ends oddly and never seems to properly give the film and decline in action. This in itself made my watching experience a little less impactful as it could have been.

This film is disturbing in a lot of ways. In fact, at one point I had to shut it off and take a break because it was such a mind fuck. Unfortunately, I don't think the ending of the film had the pay off that it should have for what the content was and its low budget nature didn't blend so well with the subject matter. A unique film to say the least in its content that will leave you thinking about roles and how we treat others for days. Too bad I felt it could have been even better. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Monday, March 8, 2010

Diamonds Are Forever - 2/5

Here we go again. With the lackluster release of the highly underrated "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", EON productions decided: "Let's go back to what did best for fans and for money. Let's get back Connery and lets go back to what worked best. Let's copy Goldfinger." Thusly, we now have "Diamonds Are Forever" on our hands - a return to over the top, ridiculous plot points, a goofy take on the spy genre, and genrel odd tagents with well defined villain and hero lines. It's a return that works at times but more often than not feels like a flawed copy than a fresh new onlook for Bond.

PLOT: Bond gets Blofeld to start off the film as he attempts to make copies of himself. Of course, now that Blofeld has gotten his due for just generally being a pain in the ass - Bond is off to his next assignment. Follow a string of diamond smugglers. Exciting? Perhaps not normally so, but it leads Bond all the way from Holland to Las Vegas as he comes across lots of treachery, double identities, and another confrontation with his ultimate arch nemesis, a supposedly dead man.

STORYLINE 2/5: With an odd and quick ending to Blofeld in the opening sequence, this film just feels rushed overall. The plot takes Bond along diamond smugglers as they plan to make use of the diamonds to create a 'laser' that will...TAKE OVER THE WORLD! Yeah, its a little out there. And even more so, a simple idea of diamond smugglers, gets thrown into a lot of odd sets. Let's make a meeting at the CIRCUS?! Its as if, once again, the writers were just throwing in plot points just for the sake of making this film memorable and flashy. Vegas? The circus? Granted its not as bad as "You Only Live Twice", but it comes damn close. Its as if they wanted to grate my nerves.

BOND 2/5: Connery returns as Bond which normally would be a cause for celebration. But considering that Connery's take on the character is one that doesn't push any boundaries or really seem to care (it was one helluva paycheck though for a half assed job). It really does seem as if the writers weren't writing for the sake of character work and Connery didn't seem to even want to add any of his own work to keep it deep. It's kind of embarrassing really to a solid character who just had one of its best moments in the film prior.

VILLAIN 2/5: Well, they brought Blofeld back. As if he needed another ridiculous plot to help him out. It's not even SPECTRE anymore, but just him. Which kind of sucks really. Not to mention he is played by an actor that was already in a Bond film before as a good guy. You really couldn't get someone new?! What the hell! And after seeing Savalas play Blofeld there is no way you can match. It was just an odd choice and it doesn't really work out for me. Not to mention his henchmen, Mr Wint and Mr Kidd are jokes really. They could have been a vicious duo but they come across as just oddities instead. This is also frustrating.

BOND GIRL 1/5: Tiffany Case is annoying, 2 Dimensional, and quite repulsive as an actress. Her time on screen is wasted, the humor she brings is low brow (when she shot herself off the oil rig I wanted to cheer that she was dead...but alas, she was not), and her actually purpose to the plot is paper thin at best. That's all I have to say.

"Diamonds Are Forever" has it moments like the stellar fight scene on the elevator, but its over the top and cheerio old chap attitude as a follow up to the bleak and serious previous entry makes it feel far too shallow and under dressed for the occasion. It's fun but that's about it. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Shutter Island - 4/5

It's hard not to have high expectations with Martin Scorsese. I mean, the man is a VERY talented director, and with his last effort "The Departed", it would seem as though he was back in the saddle and rearing to tear up the film industry again. So with that, its hard not to be disappointed with "Shutter Island". It's a film that you can't write off, certainly, but at times feels almost pretentious and a bit, dare I say, predictable?

Of course, this is Scoresese we are talking about so the directing is something to be admired. The attention to detail and the overall style of the film are amazing. From the getgo we have these purposeful details that don't fit together in the continuity sense which may bring out the film crazy in you. Characters shift between cuts, pieces of set go missing, and even music cues move in out of sequence order. Its enough to make you think that you are mad and its practically brilliant. I already want to see the film again to catch it all! Its this that makes this film the worth seeing initially.

Of course, once again we have Mr. DiCaprio working on the main character. It's not unusual to see him in a Scorsese film anymore, but his subtle decent into the island conspiracy as he struggles with his own inner demons makes his performance worth every second. I'm not a huge fan of his either so it takes some of my pride to say that this is his show. Of course his supporting cast is stellar. Mark Ruffalo and Kingsley steal their time too (although its less than they should have considering how well they did) and the combinations are pretty solid. The second reason to see this film.

Unfortunately, despite the valiant efforts of directing and acting this film does have its issues that prevents it from reaching the heights it could have. The story is somewhat too standard. It's easy to figure the ending within the first 45 minutes or so and by the end they very much beat you over the head with the twist. Granted it does pay off with the last moment of the film, but for over two hours instead of playing off as a sort of murder mystery that it initially set itself off to be, it becomes an odd character study. Although it works, there still could have been a little more depth to it to keep the audiences more entangled with the story instead of the acting and style.

"Shutter Island" works on a lot of levels but its main one, being a murder mystery, it seems to somewhat fail, which is somewhat disheartening considering all the great things it has to offer. I still highly recommend the film (multiple viewings would be nice as I found out) and the directing and performances are admirable. A good film, but not the great one I was expecting. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 5/5

Massively underrated. That's how I would describe "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Of course, the direction that the Bond films were moving prior to this one was for bigger/more ridiculous plots and stories so when we hit this one its somewhat of a shock. What? A love story? IN BOND?! Ironically, with a new Bond, a new director, and a new focus - this movie slays most of its predecessors and its followers. Its fairly different, even for Bond standards, which allows it to stick out and stick it to you.

PLOT: James Bond is still after Blofeld. But its been two years and despite some valiant efforts, he can't find him. So when he is taken off the case Bond takes 2 weeks leave. Of course, this leave has other intentions than rest and relaxation. For Bond has struck a deal with the devil, after meeting Tracy earlier, he finds himself in a deal to get a lead on Blofeld if he is willing to court and woo Tracy, the daughter of a crime syndicate big man. Unfortunately, the plan goes too well and Bond finds himself in love too with Tracy. But he has a job to finish and heads off to Switzerland to take on Blofeld and his new identiy once and for all.

STORYLINE 5/5: This is what I'm talking about. Despite the fucking ridiculousness of "You Only Live Twice" this one gets back to basics. Lets talk character development, solid pacing, a somewhat believable story line, and generally a film that feels more like a spy movie than an action movie. It does get a bit over the top towards the end with the idea of brainwashing but even that was done in a way that could have easily been done using the SPECTRE ideology that has been shown off before. Not to mention the love story that coincides with the main spy plot is actually quite interesting and believable. Not to mention it all comes together splendidly by the last act of the film and pays off in the final moments making this one of the most emotionally attached Bond films yet.

BOND 4/5: Lazenby is by far the weakest Bond yet. As a replacement for Connery he looks the suave but never really gives us that tough cold demeanor that is necessary for a believable spy. Luckily, his rather lack luster acting is made up for (immensely) by the character of Bond in this one. Bond is not your 2D character that we had in the last one, nor is he that much of a dick like normal. He actually seems human in this one and it gives the film a credibility that we haven't seen before. He still has his quirks and his style, but its toned down for a more realistic approach which I fully applaud.

VILLAIN 5/5: Now this is fucking Blofeld! Hell's yeah! Telly Savalas as our enigmatic SPECTRE number one is sly, scary, and deviously brilliant. Despite a quirky and thinker that he was previously, he does everything here - cooks up viruses with his own hands, shoots people, and runs a complex all the while playing the pieces like a chess game. His henchwoman Bunt is somewhat lackluster but he makes up for it here.

BOND GIRL 5/5: If I could give a 6/5 for Tracy I would. She is the BEST Bond girl out there. She is not only beautiful and charismatic on screen (her chemistry with Lazenby is quite stellar too) but she isn't a dumb bimbo! She is deep, puzzling, and more human than any Bond girl before. By the end of the film, you are as filled with hope and love as she is - whcih makes the ending all the more impactful.

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is a monster film that stands the test of time and ranks as one of the best Bond films made ever. It's a unique take on the series, with things that would have only worked in this one and despite some minute flaws - is expectional in almost every aspect. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Monster Squad, The - 4/5

"The Monster Squad" is a tough movie to judge. I loved this film as a kid and the 20th Anniversary version of the film brought back some legitimate flashbacks of my childhood so the film has lots of nostalgia credit going in its favor. Other than that, its still a tough film to critique due to its incessant demand that you have fun watching it. Which you will, undoubtedly, as the movie retains that happy go lucky ridiculous 80s vibe that makes it so much fun to watch. Unfortunately, it never really goes beyond that.

Our heroes, pint sized as they may be, are outcasts and nerds. Devoting most of their excessive time outside of school to worshiping and memorizing the details of classic 'monsters' (most of which stem from the Universal classics), they unwittingly come into the middle of a battle between the forces of good and evil as they come into possession of Van Helsing's diary and search for a mystical amulet that can spell glory or doom every 100 years. Of course, bad news is, Dracula has rounded up the ol gang (Frankenstein's Monster, the Creature, Wolfman, the Mummy, and of course his lovely brides) to get their hands on the amulet and let darkness reign on the Earth.

Fred Dekker, the man that brought to us the brilliant Horror/Comedy "Night Of The Creeps" and later on the atrocious "Robocop 3", strikes another solid balance of fun, humor, and horror into a teenage romp through small towns and monsters. If you take this film with a grain of salt, you are going to have a hoot and a holler with it. If you try to take it too seriously, its going to fall flat on its face - since I don't think it was meant to be taken that way. The humor is distinctly 80s with quick wit dialogue, concepts of endearing friendship, and cliches up the ass. What kind of a kid smokes in middle school? Well obviously the tough kid! Duh! That's what makes him badass! Throw on top of that some over the top acting from our heroes, some interesting takes on our classic villains, and we have a tongue in cheek ride worth catching. Take the story with its plot holes on its own accord and just go with it.

There must be a special place set aside for the special effects of the film, which are actually quite impressive. For a film made for younglings and done in a humorous way, the special effects steal most of the show. The updated homages to the classic monsters are quite impressive with nods to The Mummy and Creature (bought time he got some new looks!) in particular. Even the vortex, as blue screen as it may be, seems impressive for the time and film quality. They didn't skimp here!

Don't be afraid to have fun with "The Monster Squad". It's not the best film out there but it stands the test of time with its fun take on the world of kids and monsters. Enjoy it for the fun of it.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

Law Abiding Citizen - 4/5

What's the scariest kind of villain? A tough one that's going to beat the shit out of you? The crazy one? The intelligent one? How about all three of them mashed together in a crazy, smart, brutal man hell bent on spreading a message that questions the limits and grounded logic of justice. Sounds pretty sick, right? Well that's Clyde our resident villain (or is he the good guy?) in "Law Abiding Citizen". The film is a slick thriller with a twisted devious side to it that comes across as ridiculously entertaining - even with its plot holes.

Clyde, Gerard Bulter, watched his family raped and murdered right in front of his eyes during a break in. Yet, our resident hero (or is he the antagonist?) Nick, Jamie Foxx if you didn't look at the box art, is an assistant District Attonery looking to keep a solid conviction rate and makes a deal with the men letting one get off light to get the other one the death penalty. You see, this doesn't sit well with Clyde who believes justice shouldn't be compromised. So he goes off, with a set of skills that would make you want to cry yourself to sleep at night, to exact his revenge and spread a message of how ineffective our justice system is. To quote Clyde with the best line of the film: "I'm gonna pull the whole thing down. I'm gonna bring the whole fuckin' diseased, corrupt temple down on your head. It's gonna be biblical."

This film is a rocking ride throughout. For a 'revenge' thriller, it has quite a few moments that took me by surprise (some being on the more confused side - like the odd graveyard attack), but suspend your belief film audiences and let yourself be taken by the quick pace and edginess of the film. The films flaws come in the idea that it tries to be a smart thriller, and it does work at times, but essential plot holes and an over the top story tend to make it feel far less realistic for its messages to take hold on the audience. Just go with it though and "Law Abiding Citizen" feels like a solid fun time.

The acting is actually what really drew me into it. Gerard Butler isn't making my list for greatest actors ever, but I'll be damned if he hasn't been doing a lot of films I'm digging lately. His performance in this film is quite different than his others and it was impressive to see that darker streak in him. Some of the character work for both Foxx and Butler seem very rushed and thinly painted on to get to the main plot but they carry their own more often than not through the film.

"Law Abiding Citizen" was a fun Thriller packed with insane moments and surreal dilemmas. Don't take it too seriously though (as some of the messages make you want to do) as it is riddled with lots of little plot holes and odd moments that undermine the experience. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider