Mission: Impossible (1996)

mission_impossible

An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization. (IMDb)
The bounty of slick dialogue (delivered well by the solid cast) and the brooding, twist-filled espionage plot make it a little hard to follow at points (see the double mole-reveal near the end) but give the film a certain class and timelessness that mask its dated effects and on-screen technology, and elevate it above other 90s action flicks (though the action of the CIA heist was certainly a highlight). Tasteful underlying humour (“Relax Luther, it’s much worse than you think”) rounds it out.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

Holes (2003)

A wrongfully convicted boy is sent to a brutal desert detention camp where he joins the job of digging holes for some mysterious reason. (IMDb)
An already unique premise here is given a delicious second layer of back-story that pops up in the current tale in a peppering of delightful past-present parallels and fulfilled prophecies that work well with the bleak but intriguing desert setting. LaBeouf’s hard-luck Stanley, meanwhile, leads an enjoyable cast of characters that includes a loveable gang of misfit adolescents and three wonderfully nasty bad guys, bringing some heart to this immensely satisfying mystery story.
7/10 (Good)