The Italian Job (2003)

italian_job_xxlg

After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally. (IMDb)
The first two acts hit all the right beats for a fun heist plot, including a couple well-timed “wrench-in-the-plan” twists, keeping it engaging through some less-than-stellar humour and characterization (Theron’s Stella is tragically reduced to nothing more than a “got girl” by movie’s end in a vomit-inducing end credits scene). The great car-chase action of the third act, meanwhile, leads to a less than satisfying deus-ex-machina ending courtesy of some unnecessary side characters.
6/10 (Mediocre)

 

Cellular (2004)

cellular

A young man receives an emergency phone call on his cell phone from an older woman. The catch? The woman claims to have been kidnapped; and the kidnappers have targeted her husband and child next. (IMDb)
A great popcorn thriller: There’s the exciting central premise (admittedly dated, offering a few cringe-worthy moments–the final credits in particular), the goofy secondary characters (snobby Porsche guy is fun to love to laugh at), and hilarious well-timed one-liners (“It’s a day spa, you fuck!”), with an average plot boosted by a solid threesome of protagonists (Basinger’s resourceful victim, Evans’ good guy-turned-action star, and Macy’s kind-hearted cop–see his saving of the goldfish).
7/10 (Good)

Spy (2015)

spy2015-2

A desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent diabolical global disaster. (IMDb)
A forgettable plot is saved by its fresh and funny characters that subvert the spy genre’s typical line-up by poking fun at the alpha male (Statham’s satire is gold–see his hilarious boat farewell) and putting the females at the forefront, with Byrne as the ridiculous villain and McCarthy (still with her usual arsenal of great vulgar one-liners) as the unassuming desk worker who’s actually super smart and bad-ass. Surprisingly awesome action is also notable (see Susan’s kitchen fight with Lia).
7/10 (Good)