Archive for the Crime Category

The Snowman

Posted in Crime, Mystery, thriller with tags on January 25, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Tomas Alfredson.
Screenplay: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan, Søren Sviestrup.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloë Sevigny, J.K. Simmons, Jonas Karlsson, Adrian Dunbar, James D’Arcy, Genevieve O’Reilly, Toby Jones, Val Kilmer, David Dencik, Jamie Clayton, Michael Yates, Ronan Vibert.

“You could save them you know… gave you all the clues and everything”

Michael Fassbender may be of the one of the most talented and reliable actors of his generation but the same can’t always be said about some of his film choices. Assassin’s Creed only added to another failed video-game adaptation and his work with Ridley Scott on Prometheus, Alien: Covenant and The Counselor also failed to impress (although, I was admittedly one of the few admirers of the latter film). My point being, though, is that he’s not quite as bankable as he once was. Over recent years, you’re just as likely to catch a stinker as you are a work of quality and The Snowman doesn’t do anything to remedy this issue. Continue reading


American Made

Posted in Action, Biography, Crime, Drama with tags on January 15, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Doug Liman.
Screenplay: Gary Spinelli.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones, Lola Kirke, Jayma Mays, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, E. Roger Mitchell, Jed Rees, Mauricio Mejía, Jason Warner Smith.

“It ain’t about room, alright? It’s about weight”

Say what you will of Tom Cruise as I’m fully aware that some don’t take to him at all but, personally, I’ve always been a fan. That said, it’s been some years since I’ve fully embraced a film of his as nothing has really showcased his abilities. As good as they were, I turned a little cold on the Mission: Impossible series where Cruise seemingly focused on being an action star for a while. American Made, however, sees him return to what he does best. This is a tailor made role for the likes of Cruise’s cocksure mannerisms and shit-kicking grin. In fact, the film thrives on him in the lead which makes this very enjoyable entertainment. Continue reading


Posted in Crime, Drama, Foreign Language, Mystery, thriller with tags on November 19, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Alberto Rodriguez.
Screenplay: Rafael Cobos, Alberto Rodriguez.
Starring: Javier Gutiérrez, Raúl Alévaro, Antonio de la Torre, Nerea Barros, Salva Reina, Jesús Castro, Manolo Solo.

“This place swallows you up”

In 2014, just before he won a leading Actor Oscar, Matthew McConnaughey was at the height of one of the biggest career turnarounds. It was a time that became gleefully known as the “McConnaisance” and one of the major projects that he was involved in was HBO’s television series, True Detective. It’s a surprise then that more people didn’t pay attention to Alberto Rodriguez’s Spanish thriller, Marshland. That said, it was a huge hit in its native Spain and while it made a brief arrival on the film circuit with many critics lavishing praise on it, it still seemed to disappear fairly quickly. It’s a shame as this is a dark, murder mystery that’s thoroughly deserving of a wider audience and shares many similarities with the aforementioned TV show.  Continue reading

Baby Driver

Posted in Action, Crime with tags on October 23, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Edgar Wright.
Screenplay: Edgar Wright.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Flea, Lanny Joon, CJ Jones, Sky Ferreira, Lance Palmer, Hudson Meek, Paul Williams, Hal Whiteside.

“The moment you catch feelings is the moment you catch a bullet”

With his “Cornetto trilogy” and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Edgar Wright has amassed a fervent following. He’s a director that can seemingly do no wrong in many people’s eyes but this enthusiasm is one that I’ve often questioned. I don’t think that Wright has produced enough overall quality to be considered so highly in people’s estimations. Stylistically, he’s fantastic and there’s always an energy and a plethora of good ideas on display but I’ve always struggled with how much mileage he tries to squeeze out of his material and how he brings his stories to a close. Baby Driver, as enjoyable as it is, suffers a similar fate.  Continue reading

Mulholland Falls

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery with tags on July 7, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Lee Tamahori.
Screenplay: Pete Dexter.
Starring: Nick Nolte, Chazz Palminteri, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Jennifer Connelly, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich, Treat Williams, Kyle Chandler, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Dern, Louise Fletcher, Daniel Baldwin, Ed Lauter, Titus Welliver, Richard Sylbert, Virginia Madsen, William Petersen, Rob Lowe.

“This is L.A. This is my town. Out here you’re a trespasser. Out here I can pick you up, burn your house, fuck your wife, and kill your dog. And the only thing that’ll protect you is if I can’t find you. And I already found you”.

Released in 1996, Lee Tamahori’s Mulholland Falls has largely been overshadowed by the Oscar winning L.A. Confidential – which followed a year later. Although I often find fault with the Academy, on this occasion, I’m not going to split hairs with them and argue that Tamahori’s film is as good, because it’s not. But that’s no shame in Tamahori’s efforts as, for me, L.A. Confidential is one of the best films over the last 20 years. Mulholland Falls is a very admirable attempt that doesn’t deserve to have become a forgotten addition to L.A. themed noir.  Continue reading

Triple 9

Posted in Action, Crime with tags on June 27, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: John Hillcoat.
Screenplay: Matt Cook.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Clifton Collins Jr, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michelle Ang, Terence Rosemore.

“You’re a bank manager. You should be smart enough to know that the monster has gone digital. Be careful what you instagoogletweetface”.

After his relentlessly grim debut The Proposition and it’s equally grim follow-up, The Road, director John Hillcoat carved a reputation as a less than cheery filmmaker. However, he was clearly one with an undeniable ability to capture a time and place. His third feature – Lawless – proved again that he had a great eye for detail – even though it was lacking a depth of narrative. With Triple 9, Hillcoat, yet again, showcases his gritty realism but it suffers the same problems in terms of the story. Continue reading

Free Fire

Posted in Action, Crime with tags on June 1, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Ben Wheatley.
Screenplay: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump.
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Jack Reynor, Baboo Ceesay, Noah Taylor, Enzo Cilenti, Mark Monero, Patrick Bergin.

“I told you, I don’t wanna work with anyone who’s carrying a loaded weapon”

In a short space of time, Ben Wheatley has fast became one of the most interesting and intriguing of director’s and it’s beginning to look like he wants to try his hand at many genres. Kill List was a heady mix of kitchen-sink drama and horror, Sightseers was a black comedy, High Rise was a dystopian morality tale on class divide and now with Free Fire, he sets out to deliver an unashamed action piece.  Continue reading