Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

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The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. (IMDb)
The massive scope of the worldwide adventure plot and the monster lot is great and it’s pretty cool rooting for Godzilla as the film’s superhero of sorts–a reclusive and proud personality taking on all the big bads even when he seems down and out. The human side of things is a harder to engage; props for effort but the family drama is a bit convoluted, the environmental discussion is one and done, and overall it bloats the film. Dr. Serizawa’s emotional monster moment was a nice touch though.
6.5/10 (Alright)

 

The Commuter (2018)

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An Insurance Salesman/Ex-Cop is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home. (IMDb)
The bulk of this is a generic (*cough*Non-Stop*cough*), lazily-written (how do these villains know everything, and what’s their motivation?) thriller (more on-screen Farmiga would’ve helped-she was an enigmatic delight in her early scene), but the production value is notably above average (the opening credits sequence was a brilliant bit of editing showing the “same but different” angle of the daily commute; the cinematography is also quite slick throughout-see the swirling guitar fight).
6.5/10 (Alright)

 

Source Code (2011)

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A soldier wakes up in someone else’s body and discovers he’s part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete. (IMDb)
I really wish it had ended with that surprisingly touching bittersweet freeze frame that brought the character-driven emotion underlying this mind-bending thriller to the forefront, instead of the less daring “all’s well” happy ending (even if it did offer another sci-fi twist). Regardless, this is well-acted, well-paced, and highly engaging throughout, with a nice balance between the subtle moral drama at headquarters and the more straight forward whodunit tension and deja vu fun on the train.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

The Departed (2006)

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An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston. (IMDb)

The double-deception plot is almost too perfect, given all the suspense and intrigue it generates, and with DiCaprio’s violent Billy and Damon’s more subtly unscrupulous Colin, offers a nuanced take on good guy and bad guy archetypes that’s further complicated by a smoky love triangle sub-plot and capped off by a bloody, twist-filled final act (the final shot was admittedly a bit much). Colourful dialogue and great gritty music and cinematography round out this impeccably acted crime drama.

8.5/10 (Amazing)