Movie Review: “The Mechanic”

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By Mark Special to The Dagger The latest Jason Statham project finds him playing the type of intense action role that has made him famous, this time in a remake of a Charles Bronson vehicle from 1972. Elite hitman Arthur Bishop (Statham) is given the task of eliminating his mentor, Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland), at […]

Movie Review: ‘The American’

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(Giles Keyte/Focus) It requires careful skill to be an assassin: exemplary marksmanship, precision in movement, and certainty in intention. The same can be said of successful filmmaking, and even of convincing performance. It’s a good thing, then, that Focus Features’ The American, a meticulously crafted, retro-styled exercise in vigilance and meditation, subsists on those who […]

Weekend Movie Review: ‘Salt’ and ‘The Kids Are All Right’

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(Andrew Schwartz/Columbia) “Who is Salt?” inquires the promotional push for the latest Angelina Jolie-starring spy thriller from Columbia Pictures. It’s a question we ponder often during the film, and one whose answer is well explored, unexpected, and not so simple, really. The story proper begins like a punch-line: so a guy walks into the Central […]

Movie Review: ‘Inception’

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Inception (Warner Bros.) (Warner Bros./Stephen Vaughan) So here’s the problem with Inception. Molded from remarkable ambition and complexity, the film must spend a considerable amount of time introducing and explaining its significant set of rules and procedures. At the same time, Inception requires us to understand these rules—to grasp this intricate swirl of concepts—in order […]

Weekend Movie Review: ‘The A-Team,’ ‘Mother and Child’

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The A-Team (20th Century Fox) (Michael Muller/20th Century Fox) Whipped, nipped, and tucked into submission, The A-Team is an expensive-looking, high-gloss action bonanza, so calculative as to feel mechanical, and so unobtrusive or unchallenging in any way that it’s almost spooky. Four renegade army types team up for militaristic operations under the US Army’s banner […]

‘Robin Hood,’ Hero and Patriot

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Robin Hood (Universal) Apparently, we’ve had it wrong all along. To take from the rich and give to the poor, as a classic understanding of the Robin Hood tale might suggest, was not an attempt by the benevolent marksman to redistribute the wealth of his land. In Ridley Scott’s eponymous origin fable, working from a […]