Margin Call (2011)

margin_call_ver3_xlg

A thriller that revolves around the key people at an investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis. (Letterboxd)
For a good while it’s able to coast on its well-crafted rising tension (you know shit’s going down even if you don’t understand all the corporate jargon) but once the stakes are made clear it starts to feel as bloated as everyone’s wallets: half the characters are pointless, the others are rich white men we don’t care about (Bettany’s great though), and the vague melodramatic dialogue hits the wall hard: “Are you sure it’s the only or right thing to do?” “For who?” “I’m not sure” “Neither am I”.
7/10 (Good)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

solo-theatrical-poster_f98a86eb

During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion. (IMDb)
A solid, if unspectacular space adventure with good action (the dangerous short-cut on the Kessel run was a highlight), interesting and likeable characters (many of the charmingly unpredictable “mostly good” variety; others pure comic relief-I loved L3: “Do you want anything?” “Equal rights?”), and an easy-to-follow plan/heist/escape plot with a couple nice twists at the end. Finally, I know this is dependent on seeing the other films, but I smiled big when Chewy climbed in the co-pilot’s seat.
7/10 (Good)

 

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

sgby7vhsahfn5qymx9kj

Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man. (IMDb)
Great action? Sure. But the civil war premise behind half of it is terribly constructed. The initial point of tension was decent but certainly didn’t warrant an all-out brawl (the banter in the airport showdown just proved how dumb it was) and it developed into a misunderstanding that could’ve been resolved just with a good conversation instead of a near to-the-death fight (you were friends, right?). Like, the bad guy just said he wanted you to fight each other. Truly a stupid superhero movie.
6.5/10 (Alright)

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

2006-da_vinci_code-9

A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years — which could shake the foundations of Christianity. (IMDb)
Everyone likes a good treasure hunt, and the one here intrigues from the beginning (a murdered man’s cryptic last words), with a fugitive plot adding extra urgency and excitement, even if Hanks and Tautou don’t wow. But as the clues and twists pile up and the pivotal secret is elaborated upon ad nauseum (the exposition gets excruciating) it all starts to just “sound so stupid”, to quote the film’s Sophie. What began as a decent adventure thriller becomes bloated and self-important schlock.
6.5/10 (Alright)

A Knight’s Tale (2001)

After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight. (IMDb)
Hits all the right feel-good notes, with its rock ‘n roll-infused medieval sports underdog storyline nestled within a moving rags-to-riches tale featuring a memorable cast of secondary characters surrounding Ledger’s stubborn but likeable William (Bettany’s charismatic Chaucer and Tudyk ‘s fiery Wat are particular standouts). Passionate romance and a bevy of deliciously dramatic or humorous moments and one-liners round out this unabashedly straight-forward piece of cinematic candy.
8/10 (Great)