Tag Archives: Rated R

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Directed by: Patrick Hughes Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, Elodie Yung, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Tine Joustra, Joaquim de Almeida Rated: R for strong violence and language throughout It can be very freeing to walk into a movie with low expectations: either the movie is bad (and you’re right) or it’s good (and you get to watch a good movie). “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” invites low expectations. The previews make it look full of slapstick humor without an actual heart to anchor it. Thankfully, the previews are wrong. This is not a perfect film, but it’s mostly a very enjoyable one. Our titular protagonists are Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), a bodyguard and hitman respectively. Bryce has fallen on hard times after losing a client, and is offered a chance to get his reputation back if he escorts Kincaid to the Hague to testify against a villainous Eastern bloc dictator

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Life

Life

Directed by: Daniel Espinosa Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Olga Dihovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare, Ryan Reynolds Rated: R for language throughout, some sci-fi violence and terror There are only a few requirements for a horror movie to be really good without being ironically good or campy: decent production values and acting, genuinely horrifying things happening on screen, and refraining from the ridiculous. “Life” succeeds amply in the first two categories, but face-plants in the third. How much ridiculousness it takes to ruin a film is a matter of personal taste, but some generalities are true of a whole lot of people, and “Life” checks several of those boxes. The setup is a familiar sci-fi and horror trope: half a dozen people are trapped in a structure along with a malevolent entity that’s picking them off one by one. “Life” adds in the requirement that the protagonists have to make sure the alien doesn’t get down to

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Get Out

Get Out

Written and Directed by: Jordan Peele Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lil Rel Howery Rated: R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references Jordan Peele is probably best known for being half of the comedy duo “Key and Peele.” When previews for “Get Out” started appearing, the prominent inclusion of his name as writer-director combined with the not-campy clips made some folks wonder if it was a satire, or maybe something in the vein of “Shaun of the Dead.” It’s neither. It’s a straight-up horror/thriller movie that has a central thread of social commentary in it. It’s also really, really good. The film opens with a Black man walking in a neighborhood at night. A car passes him, then turns around and rolls up slowly beside him. We know how that story usually ends, and by evoking that cultural knowledge, “Get Out” reminds us how

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John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick: Chapter 2

Directed by: Chad Stahelski Starring: Keanu Reeves, Common, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose Rated: R for strong violence throughout, some language and brief nudity. “John Wick Chapter 2” is a solid sequel – if you liked the first film, you should definitely see the second. If, on the other hand, you disliked the first film, chances are very good you should stay away. The dog in this film is not brutally murdered as a plot device, which definitely helps if, like this reviewer, you are an animal-lover and strongly put off by that kind of thing. It shifts the overall tone of the film enormously. That’s pretty much the only difference between the two, though. The story starts in the middle of Wick finishing up the revenge spree from the first film – there’s no interlude of emotional storytelling. The plot is still basically John Wick (Keanu Reeves) vs. the underworld of assassins and

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Written and Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson Starring: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken Rated: Rated R for sequences of violence throughout The latest installment in the popular “Resident Evil” franchise of films is out. As a collection of increasingly spectacular battles between humans and zombies, it’s right up there with the rest of the collection. It also tries to put a new spin on the events of every single previous “Resident Evil” film with several big revelations. How successful that is for you will depend on how demanding you are about the plot consistency, continuity, and coherency of this series of zombie movies. Like all the films in the series, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” revolves around Alice (Milla Jovovich). It opens with a monologue from her to bring any new viewers up to speed, then dives pretty much straight into action. If you like watching pale and pretty women

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Underworld: Blood Wars

Underworld: Blood Wars

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, Charles Dance, James Faulkner Directed by: Anna Foerster Rated: R for strong bloody violence, and some sexuality “Underworld: Blood Wars” is the fifth installment in this fan-beloved and critic-despised franchise. If you haven’t seen the others, don’t worry – what little information you need to enjoy the film is recapped in an opening narration and occasional flashbacks. This is not a subtle series, but “Blood Wars” tries its best to have a complex and interesting story. What matters to most of us, though, is whether it’s awesome or not – and rest assured, it is exactly as awesome as the rest of the series. Elite vampire warrior Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is back in her immaculate black latex and flowing coat, but rather than pursuing vengeance, she just wants to be left alone. The previous films have left her bereft of everyone she cares about, and she

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Mechanic: Resurrection

Mechanic: Resurrection

Directed by: Dennis Gansel Starring: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Sam Hazeldine, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh Rated: R for violence throughout and language Summer movie season has pretty much wrapped up, and we’re heading into the Halloween crop of scary movies before the big family flicks of Thanksgiving and Halloween. If you haven’t quite gotten your fill of explosions and mayhem, “Mechanic: Resurrection” is here, hoping to fill that gap for you. Unfortunately, unless you want to go mock a movie relentlessly, you’re probably better off staying home. The first film, a remake of a 1972 Charles Bronson movie, was a gritty action flick that kind of fell apart toward the end. The new film never gets things together enough for them to fall apart. This feels like someone took pages out of a bunch of cheesy old action flicks, shuffled them together, and started filming. Sadly, it doesn’t have the charm of those campy

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

  Directed by: Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone Written by: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone Starring: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Tim Meadows, Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, Chris Redd Rated: R for some graphic nudity, language throughout, sexual content and drug use Comedy trio The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone) first gained notice doing music videos like “Lazy Sunday” and “Like a Boss” for “Saturday Night Live.” The three of them have worked in a handful of movies, but their latest is the first where all three have written and starred in it. “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” is everything you’d expect from a Lonely Island movie. It’s absurd, crass, and full of the over-the-top bravado that is Samberg’s signature. If you like most of Samberg’s work and/or The Lonely Island, “Popstar” is a must-see. The story focuses on Conner4Real (Samberg), a solo hip-hop artist who was once

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Keanu

Keanu

Directed by: Peter Atencio Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish Rated: R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity Fans of the TV show “Key & Peele” have real reason to celebrate: the comedy duo’s new film, “Keanu,” includes many of the things that made the show great. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele successfully transition to the big screen and bring us an action movie with two hilariously regular dudes at the center of it. For added comedy and pathos, their motivation is a hyper-adorable, fluffy kitten. Rell (Peele) has just gone through a bad breakup. In his darkest hour, when life seems to have no meaning, a kitten appears on his doorstep. He names the little guy Keanu and adopts him – completely unaware that the cute ball of fluff is the escaped pet of a local drug dealer. When his place is broken into and Keanu goes missing, Rell strongarms his

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Deadpool

Deadpool

“Deadpool” is one of those rare comic book adaptations that works for both the long-time fan and the newcomer. For those of us who’ve been longing for a feature film about the merc with the mouth, this is the movie we wanted. For folks who don’t even know who the heck Deadpool is, if you like black-as-sin comedy, gloriously over-the-top violence, and fourth-wall-breaking meta-commentary, this is the movie you want, too. There’s a reason this film broke all kinds of opening-weekend box office records.