Logan Lucky (2017)

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Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. (IMDb)
Strangely slow-paced for a heist flick, and maybe a little meandering, but as it sinks in you realize that’s part of its unique, down-to-earth charm. The pace provides time to invest in the cast of quirky, blue-collar characters (steady Clyde and hard-luck, hard-working Jimmy have a great dynamic) and the heist is still lots of fun (the jail stand-off was a highlight). It may not have the flash and pop of a Rihanna hit, but it’s got the staying power and folksy warmth of a John Denver classic.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

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Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son. (IMDb)
Eckhart’s Nick is a slippery spokesman for smoking that you can’t help but root for in spite of his “flexible morals”, thanks to his charismatic quick-talking. The film follows suit, presenting with wicked wit and entertaining editing (see the film pauses and brief inner narrations) its darkly humourous characters (see the outrageous Merchants of Death and Simmons’ abrasive B.R.) and fresh subject matter. Nick’s more serious father conundrum could have been taken a step further though.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Batman Begins (2005)

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it. (IMDb)
There is the exciting action and fun one-liners common to most superhero movies here, but it is the gritty human feel of the movie that gives it a depth uncommon amongst its genre peers. Intriguing dialogue about justice and morality is weaved throughout an excellent story that does well at balancing a good guy vs. bad guy plot with the fascinating tale of Batman’s “beginning”. The acting and music are also top notch and complete a great film that makes you so excited for the next one.
8.5/10 (Amazing)