Archive for the Drama Category

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Posted in Drama, thriller with tags on February 18, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Dan Gilroy.
Screenplay: Dan Gilroy.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Hugo Armstrong, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, San Gilroy, Tony Plana, DeRon Horton, Amari Cheatom.

“Each of us is better than the worst thing we ever did”

After his brilliantly dark urban thriller Nightcrawler in 2014, a lot of eyes were on director Dan Gilroy with an eagerness to see what he’d deliver next. Roman J. Israel, Esq. promises to be just as intriguing but it lacks the dramatic drive that made Gilroys’s last film such captivating viewing. That said, it boasts a strong lead performance that’s enough to maintain your interest. Continue reading

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The Florida Project

Posted in Drama, Independent with tags on February 9, 2018 by Mark Walker


Director: Sean Baker.
Screenplay: Sean Baker.
Starring: Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry Jones, Edward Pagan, Jasineia Ramos, Jason Blackwater, Josie Olivo, Karren Karagulian, Macon Blair, Patti Wiley, Sandy Kane, Valeria Cotto, Aiden Malik.

“Excuse me, could you give us some change, please? The doctor said we have asthma and we have to eat ice-cream right away”

Sean Baker is a director that been around for a while but I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t until 2015’s indie drama, Tangerine, that people began to sit up and take notice. In fact, I shamefully still didn’t acknowledge him and decided to overlook Tangerine. That’s a decision that I now regret and must remedy forthwith. Instead, I went straight into The Florida Project having no prior knowledge of Baker’s work and now that I’ve had a taste of his remarkable ability, this is a director I will be watching very closely and one whose back catalogue is now a priority for me. Continue reading

The Shape Of Water

Posted in Drama, Fantasy, Romance with tags on February 6, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Guillermo del Toro.
Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor.
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Nick Searcy, Cyndy Day, David Hewlett, John Kapelos, Lauren Lee Smith, Morgan Kelly, Nigel Bennett, Stewart Arnott.

“The natives in the Amazon worshipped it. Like a god. We need to take it apart, learn how it works”

Guillermo del Toro has found himself to be quite the respected filmmaker over the years but, if I had to be brutally honest, I’d have to say that he’s really only made a few films that could be classed as ‘great’ and he’s not adverse to being disappointing on occasion. His latest films, Crimson Peak and Pacific Rim received a very mixed reception with the latter, in particular, being a huge misfire for me. That said, I do admire the man’s imagination and I keep returning, hoping to see something of the greatness of Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone and most importantly his near masterpiece of fantasy, Pan’s Labyrinth. His latest, The Shape of Water, doesn’t quite hit the heights of the latter but that still doesn’t stop in from being del Toro’s best film for quite some time. Continue reading

Mother!

Posted in Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery with tags on January 18, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Darren Aronofsky.
Screenplay: Darren Aronofsky.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson, Kristen Wiig, Stephen McHattie, Jovan Adepo.

“You never loved me. You just loved how much I loved you. I gave you everything. You gave it all away”

With the Oscar recognitions surrounding them, you could say that Black Swan and The Wrestler have been Darren Aronofsky’s most commercially successful films. In fact, they operate as great companions pieces that explore very similar themes. It comes as no surprise then that Aronofsky has chosen to follow-up his last film, Noah, by exploring similar themes again and approaching another biblical interpretation. Only this time, he does so from a very personal and contentious angle. 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

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on January 8, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Martin McDonagh.
Screenplay: Martin McDonagh.
Starring: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Hedges, Abbie Cornish, Zeljko Ivanek, Kerry Condon, Amanda Warren, Malaya Rivera Drew, Kathryn Newton, Sandy Martin, Brendan Sexton III, Nick Searcy, Jerry Winsett, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Clarke Peters.

“What’s the law on what you can and can’t say on a billboard? I assume it’s you can’t say nothing defamatory, and you can’t say, ‘Fuck’, ‘Piss’ or ‘Cunt’. That right?”

Although Martin McDonagh’s last film, Seven Psychopaths, had a fervent fan base I was very disappointed in it; narratively it was all over the place and I found the humour to be extremely forced. With Three Billboards… it’s good to see that McDonagh has taken stock and decides to deliver something a bit different this time. Like his brother, John Michael, did after delivering laughs with The Guard, he followed it up with a more serious tone in Calvary and it was a magnificent change of direction. This doesn’t quite hit the same level as his brother’s aforementioned film but there’s still plenty to admire here. Continue reading

Jawbone

Posted in Drama, Sport with tags on December 11, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Thomas Napper.
Screenplay: Johnny Harris.
Starring: Johnny Harris, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Michael Smiley, Luke J.I. Smith, Anna Wilson-Hall.

“I don’t know what demons you’re fighting but when all this is done and dusted, just walk away. You can’t fight forever, son”

Let’s face it, boxing is a brutal and unforgiving sport. But it’s also reflective of class. Rarely, if ever, is it taken from the point of view of the privileged or the upper-classes. It’s a sport that offers the working class a chance to break free from their poverty or a chance of absolution from personal demons or afflictions. From Rocky to The Champ or Raging Bull to The Fighter, boxing flicks often provide raw and gritty, blue collar entertainment and Jawbone is no exception. Continue reading