Saturday, March 16, 2013
An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.
Fairly suspenseful mystery with some Gothic touches, but with a repetitive plot and therefore a bit overlong.
Halliwell **: "Psycho-like suspense melodrama, too extended for comfort and too restricting for the actors, but effective in spurts."
A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.
What otherwise would be a pulp sci-fi horror story is turned by masterful direction into a disquieting psychological thriller with some nasty details.
Halliwell (no star): "Overlong science fiction which concentrates on the nastier elements."
Maltin **1/2: "Rather plodding treatment of interesting idea, aided somewhat by great (if yucky) special effects."
Friday, March 15, 2013
Based on the true story of Jack DiNorscio, a mobster who defended himself in court for what would be the longest mafia trial in U.S. history.
Refreshingly lighthearted and humorous courtroom drama with a sursprisngly off-kilter performance by Vin Diesel.
Maltin ***: "Diesel gives a wonderful, transformative performance...Better than most crime fiction, this lively courtroom-mob saga is impeccably cast and directed with brio by Lumet, whoalso cowrote the screenplay. Putting Louis Prima on the soundtrack doesn't hurt, either."
Thursday, March 14, 2013
A juror on the inside and a woman on the outside manipulate a court trial involving a major gun manufacturer.
Although the plot is far-fetched and at times almost confusing, intelligent direction and the stars provide for an entertaining courtroom thriller with a satisfying ending.
Halliwell *: "Moderately enjoyable, if implausible, melodrama of jury tampering."
Maltin ***: "Entertaining if longish adaptation of John Grisham's novel...Finale doesn't have the emotional punch it should, but it's such a treat to watch these actors at work it almost doesn't matter."
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
A house dog is abducted and brought to the north as a sled dog.
Simplistic, but highly effective adventure movie, in which the dog is indeed the true hero.
Halliwell (no star): "Closer to the book than the previous versions, but curiously scrappy and unsatisfactory."
Maltin **1/2: "Lacklustre version of the Jack London adventure classic, produced by a multinational film combine and wasting the talents of a diverse cast. One redeeming quality: the striking Finnish scenery."
Trainees in the FBI's psychological profiling program must put their training into practice when they discover a killer in their midst.
Standard thriller fare with a serial killer touch, mildy entertaining, although a bit far-fetched.
On second view: far-fetched it is, but a premise one can follow as entertaining.
Maltin **: "Moderately suspenseful and well-acted thriller sticks close to the TEN LITTLE INDIANS formula."