Movie Review: Extraterrestrial (2014) – A Horribly Done Cliché of Horrible Horror


Just a quick question. When has the statement “hey, what was that light that just came out of the sky and crashed somewhere in the woods? Let’s go investigate it!” turned out well for anyone involved? I mean, let’s be honest. It’s never a brand new Lexus filled with beer and Supermodels, is it? It’s always some kind of horrible baddy from outer space, here to reap destruction on the human race.

So why do people keep investigating? Seriously people, if you’re alone in the woods at night and you see a mysterious shooting star, don’t head towards it. Head away. Hell, best case scenario, you’re going to find a big old wad of frozen airplane poop. It is not worth risking your life.

Public service announcement aside, let’s give you the premise. Virginal April (Brittney Allen) is having trouble dealing with her parent’s divorce. Her friends decide what she needs is some quiet time in the woods. Of course, enter mysterious sky light, and her dumb as a door nail boyfriend (Freddie Stroma) leads the group into the woods so they can all get serial killed by aliens.

Whoops, spoiler alert. Although it’s not much of one, because I promise this. Based on the style choice in lighting, you’re going to have a very hard time telling what the heck is going all. Periods of pitch black are broken by flickering flashlights and flares and of course, spaceship lights. For the most part, you’ll spend the movie squinting at the screen, wondering if you’re going blind.



Relax, you aren’t. The directors are just that clueless. Just so you know, all that thrashing you hear? Yeah, that’s aliens murdering people.

The script was pretty much recycled from every horror movie ever made, with absolutely nothing unusual. The aliens are your standard, long limbed, slimy freaks that you see on black light posters. The cast is made of up your regular horror movie stereotypes, without managing to actually poke fun at the stereotypes, and literally not one original thing happens in this entire movie. They couldn’t even resist the completely clichéd, completely over done anal probe joke.

If I was forced to say something nice about this movie, I’d have to point out that at least most of the movie was in focus and there was very little found footage. Also, Brittney Allen is still pretty, even when she’s covered in alien goo.


If it has been a tongue in cheek movie, where they were actually making fun of how heavily clichéd it was, it might have worked. But that sad fact is, about 3 minutes into watching you come to the horrifying realization that these guys were dead serious when they made this. That fact is way scarier than any of the overdone jump scares or ‘frightening’ rustling noises.

If you’re interested in seeing this movie, I could probably suggest that you see…pretty much any movie ever done in the genre before this one. If you’re looking a twist, I’ll suggest Killer Clowns From Outer space. But as for Extraterrestrial, don’t bother to investigate the mysterious bright light that just crashed into the ground. I assure you, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.

We Gave it: 1 Star: Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below

1 star

[youtube id=”XEbU28tMJaQ” width=”680″ height=”383″]


Movie Review: Big Hero 6 (2014) – A well written, well animated, Future Classic


I watched this movie for one reason. To find out what the ‘6’ means. I was pretty sure that this wasn’t a sixth sequel, as I’d never heard of Big Hero’s 1 through 5.Turns out, it was the name of the team.

This movie is set in the futuristic town of San Fransokyo. Two orphaned brothers, Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) is and Tadashi (Daniel Henney), have their own obsession with science. Hiro is into creating robots for robot fights whole Tadashi is more into design and brainiac concepts. Of course, in standard Disney manner, disaster strikes leaving Hiro all by is lonesome, isolated and depressed. His only companion is Baymax, a personal hygiene robot he designed. The two stumble onto an evil plot and must hook up with Tadashi’s street fighting pals in order to take down the bad guys.

In a time when most children’s movies are focused on super powers or physical prowess, it’s nice to see one where brains matter. All the heroes in Big Hero 6 have their own special area of science that they have mastered. They use their brains more often than their muscles and I think this sends the right message to kids.


There’s an Asian fusion element with this story that I find very clever. Even the name of their city, San Fransokyo plays on this, given the movie a multi-cultural feel that is rare, especially for Disney, who generally acts like places outside of the US don’t exist.

The CGI is very well done, with colorful, fun characters which practically scream “merchandizing revenue”. I imagine there will be more than on Baymax toy on the shelves come Christmas. The details are down, from the way the characters move to the futuristic landscape and a lot of effort was put into the animation.

One area that didn’t fall flat was the story line. Too often, animated movies contrive to focus on the animation and action without giving a plausible back-story. In this movie, the story unfolded in a way that made it feel complete and organic. There were no plot holes to be plugged or forced coincidences.

The dialog is cute, snappy and age appropriate for this boy genius. The conflicts aren’t forced and the sidekicks are fleshed out. This truly was a well written script.


One gripe I do have is this movie is more of the Hiro and Baymax story. While the secondary characters were given great personas and voice actors, they didn’t show up until well into the film. The marketing of the movie didn’t really make it clear that “Big Hero 6” was a team of superheroes, hence my initial confusion in thinking I missed the first five movies.

Other than that, I have no complaints. This is going to be one of those Disney Pixar insta-classics and I’m sure we will be seeing more than a few actual sequels. This is a well written movie, with great characters and great animation. Though the beginning does have some rough scenes for younger viewers, it’s sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.

WE GAVE IT: 4.5  Stars: Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below

four and a half stars


[youtube id=”8IdMPpKMdcc” width=”680″ height=”383″]


Movie Review: Interstellar (2014) – Like the Grapes of Wrath in space


I’m sure the people who made Interstellar are still shaking their heads about how they got their butts handed to them by Big Hero 6 opening weekend. Sitting firmly in the number 2 spot, Interstellar is making money, but I’m sure it was a lot less money than Paramount intended.

Matthew McConaughey takes a break from filming pretentious Lincoln commercials to play Joseph “Coop” Cooper, a widowed engineer with ace piloting skills. For some reason, despite being an ace pilot, he’s farming corn with his father-in-law (John Lithgow) and two kids, 10-year-old Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and teenage Tom (Timothée Chalamet). The planet is dying and schools are teaching farming, while everyone is waiting to suffocate from air filled with gas. Stuffed into the movie are info-dumps where old people talk, documentary style, about how it used to be before we ruined the planet. Now, the people on Earth have two goals. Farm corn and find another planet…probably to farm more corn. So, because the best person to send into space is a corn farmer, Coop is sent along with sexy copilot Amelia (Ann Hathaway), an astrophysicist (David Gyasi), a geographer (Wes Bentley), and some robots to find a new place to live.

The effects in this movie are awesome and it does have it’s moments of gripping the edge of your seat thrills. It’s a thrill ride, while at the same time, just a bit depressing. This is not Star Wars. It’s more like the Grapes of Wrath in space. From Coop’s rural dystopia, to his travels into space, everything has an air of desperation and depression.



It almost seems like someone tried to stay as close as possible as to what the real apocalypse would look like. Forget old testament stories of lightening coming down from the sky and mass floods, if there is an end to the world, this is what it will look like. People slowly dying off because we can no long make food and the chemicals we put in the atmosphere are coming back to get us. In that, this movie is highly realistic.

This movie is scientifically cutting edge and I wish they’d just focused on that, rather than sticking all this sticky sweet sentimentality and messages of hope into it. That’s where it falls flat for me. I feel like the director is in the audience punching me in the face, screaming “cry, already!” while I’m sitting there saying, “but I want Mathew McConaughey to die!”

Matthew McConaughey was a big problem for me during this movie. His good ole boy “awe shucks’ charm feels like a poor fit for such a desolate, depressing place. He has this air of cockiness that you just can’t shake, whether he’s playing an aging cowboy with Aids or a dude who refuses to move out of his parent’s basement. In those roles, it worked, while in this one, I found it distracting.

Interstellar is a decent movie, but it’s also a bit forgettable, as far as I’m concerned. While it did a great job when it came to the science, I felt that it fell apart when it came to the human connection. Regardless, it’s still a film that’s worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars



[youtube id=”2LqzF5WauAw” width=”680″ height=”356″]


Movie Review: Horns (2014) – I’ll never call Daniel Radcliff “Harry Potter” again.


When it comes to the horror genre, very few things have never been done before. Surprisingly, Horns, the comedic/drama/horror manages to do just that. Of course, just because they came up with a unique concept doesn’t mean they’ll be able to pull it off. After all, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a unique concept and look how well that was done.

Horns stars Harry Potter as you’ve never seen him before, which is probably why he elected to take this roll. Daniel Radcliff plays Ig. At the start of the movie, we see him canoodling with love of his life, Merrin (Juno Temple). Of course, as is apt to happen in movies like this, that pretty much seals the young ladies fate. Jump forwards a few months and she’s dead while he’s a drunk who’s been accused of her murder. After one particularly bad night, where he breaks a statue of the Virgin Mary and then pees on it, he wakes up with a handy set of horns. Once the horns come in, the movie turns from “Gone Girl” to “Liar, Liar” with a bit of a reverse take. When people see Ig’s new horns, they feel an immediate uncontrollable urge to confess all their darkest, evilest desires.

One thing I didn’t like was the flowery prose. Come on, the guy pees on the Virgin Mary in the first 20 minutes of the movie, and then he’s tossing out lines like “She was my Garden of Eden,” when talking about his dead ex. I feel like the symbolism was a bit too on the nose. Merrin was apparently everything good about this kid. That’s further evidenced by flashback scenes where they bond over a rosary, or even with Merrin’s occasional angelic presence. She was the angel to his devil, the yin to his yang, the jelly to his peanut butter. I get it already. Let it go!



It’s a clever story. I’ll give it that. Think a Liar, Liar universe where everyone is really mean or secretly a serial killer. One problem I had with the timing was when Ig’s horns come in and he realizes what they do, instead of using these incredibly useful tools to hunt down his girlfriend’s murderer, he goes around town asking everyone what they think of him…or just life in general.

Then, when it comes to the big reveal and the action part of the movie, it feels rushed and everything moves terribly fast. It’s like the producers realized ‘crap, we only have 20 minutes left” and had to rush to tie up all the lose ends.

Don’t get me wrong. Horns juggles a lot of balls and for the first half of the film, does so expertly. It’s just when it comes to the end, they lose control and everything falls flat. Possibly a bit more time focused on solving the who, what and why of the movie would have been better. I mean, Ig is believed to be a brutal murderer/rapist living in a close knit lumber town. Does he really not know what people really think of him? Did I really need to see half an hour of people telling him they don’t like him?

Despite some flaws with pacing, it’s a good story with a few funny parts set in to break of the tension. It’s a dark movie, but a good effort…and I’ll never call Daniel Radcliff “Harry Potter” again.

WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

3.5 stars


[youtube id=”B8s_1UcdoNI” width=”639″ height=”359″]


Movie Review: St. Vincent (2014) – A refreshing Throwback to the Old Bill Murray


St. Vincent is a clever indie comedy that isn’t getting much attention. That’s a shame, because it’s fun to see Bill Murray back in full funny form.

The premise is this. Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) has just moved to Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Like most single moms, Maggie has to work long hours to support her kid. With no babysitter or family around, she’s forced to rely on her neighbor, Vincent (Bill Murray) to keep an eye on him. While Vincent’s love of gambling and booze hardly make him the ideal babysitter, the two quickly bond. As Vincent drags Oliver through his daily routine, with the help of pregnant stripper Daka (Naomi Watts) Oliver finds a father figure in the misunderstood Vincent.

One thing I like is the character development. The whole single mom depending on manly neighbor has been done before, but Vincent is different. He’s not a lonely, grumpy old man. Instead, he’s a hard partying certified bad ass living the life of a hedonist. While the female characters could have been clichés (frazzled single mom and stripper with a heart of gold) the power of the actresses in the roll redeemed what could have been one dimensional characters.

It’s awesome to see Bill Murray back in a funny form again. I haven’t seen him this funny since the 80s. While his whole redemption might have been vomit worthy sap, Murray offers enough comic relief that it doesn’t come off as yet another movie about a man being redeemed by the innocence of a child.



McCarthy was pretty much wasted in the role. Her gift for comedy goes largely unused throughout the entire film. While she does bring a sweet vulnerability to the character, I feel like they could have given more depth to her character. I’m not sure why they would spend the money to get Melissa McCarthy if they weren’t going to use her.

Watts was equally good as Daka, Vincent’s occasional fling. While she was a bit too cartoonish playing the Russian prostitute/stripper, she still shined in the role and gave me a few laugh out loud moments.

The script is good, the dialog punchy and they managed to avoid getting overly sentimental or sappy with the direction of the movie. The comedy is well balanced with the more emotional scenes and the pacing is good.

For the story, the run time of 1 hour and 43 minutes is a bit lengthy. I mean, there’s not a huge story here. It’s mainly the story of a debauched man being redeemed by a child’s innocence. I felt like it could have been at least 20 minutes shorter.

Some things didn’t work for me, especially with McCarthy’s character. This is a woman who’s not getting child support, and working long hours to support her family because she wants Oliver in the best possible school. In order to do that, she needs him to be babysat by a man who is possibly the worst influence in the world? I feel like they were trying to find a way to force McCarthy to be desperate, when all they really had to do was say she’s a single mother living in New York. We didn’t need the addition of an incredibly expensive private school to explain that.

This is a good movie that will remind you bit of Bill Murray in his heyday. While the female leads could have been more fleshed out, it’s still a fun, sweet flick and definitely worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars



[youtube id=”9dP5lJnJHXg” width=”680″ height=”356″]



Movie Review: Ouija – Like the real game, All Hype no Substance.

Ouija 2014 movie still 4

It’s horror season at the movie theater and one film that has been in the spotlight is the heavily marketed Ouija board. You know, the mystical board game that doesn’t work. I have to admit, I’m a little surprised it hasn’t been done before.

In Ouija, we meet a gang of highly photogenic high school friends who have just lost one of their equally photogenic friends to suicide. Of course, these kids can’t take the hint and elect to contact their friend via a Ouija board (which I’m assuming Hasbro has an excessive stock of and is looking to unload.)

Let’s be honest. Game board movies don’t really do so well. Clue was utterly clueless and Battleship sank pretty fast. But I have to admit, it takes some pretty big cojones to try again.

Cojones aside, the effort still falls a bit flat.

To start off, they had to find a way to contrive to get the main character into her friend’s house in order for the game to work. What do they do? They have a couple of grieving parents ask a teenage girl to house-sit for them. You know, because teenagers are such great house sitters.


Ouija 2014 movie still

Ouija 2014 movie still

On the upside, instead of throwing a massive kegger and destroying all their stuff, our heroine Elaine instead opens a portal to the other side. How this happens isn’t 1000% clear, as teenagers have been messing with Ouija boards for decades. But I guess in a universe where people turn their homes over to the care of a 17-year-old girl, that’s fine.

But it’s not really scary. In fact, the plot is a bit recycled from final destination, with a group of teens being marked for death because they played the wrong game while asking the wrong questions. That’s good enough, but then they have to throw a murder mystery in there as well and everything gets a bit confusing.

There is no gore, and it’s one of the few horrors that earned itself a PG-13 rating, so it might be great for people who don’t like their movies too scary. It comes across not exactly groundbreaking or memorable. The effects however are well done. It’s certainly not a low budget job.

It’s just nothing special. While teenagers might find this movie entertaining, adults might get a little ‘bored’ with Ouija. The scares are recycled from various other films. There’s a jump scare or two as well. But it’s just not that entertaining.

One the upside, they didn’t go with the found footage gimmick, which was great. The cast was proficient but forgettable. Ouija just fails itself with a miserable plot line, or should I say plot lines

Maybe it’s because games are a poor inspiration for movies, or maybe it’s because in an age where you can attend a séance on Skype, no one’s really scared of a board game anymore. For whatever reason, Ouija failed to live up to its hype. Much like the real Ouija game, it’s all hype and no substance. This is one to skip.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars



[youtube id=”IbtRMXeTd2s” width=”633″ height=”356″]


official ouija (2014) move poster

Movie Review: John Wick (2014) – An Action Movie by Guys who Really Know Action

Keanu Reeves as John Wick holding up a dog

While revenge fantasies have been well covered in the theater, there’s still something about them that sucks us all in. Produced by two former stuntmen, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, this is a movie made for people who like action, by a couple of guys who really know action.

Keanu Reeves plays the title character, John Wick. When we meet Mr. Wick, he’s living the quiet life in New Jersey, happily spending time with a puppy bought for him by his dead wife. Then, enter some Russian mobsters, who see his flashy car decide to break into his house and beat the stuffing out of him, as well as murder his dog. What these mobsters didn’t know was that Wick is a retired assassin and apparently, a very passionate dog lover. What follows is Wick leaving a trail of bodies from New Jersey to New York, with no plan to stop until just about everyone is dead.

My biggest gripe? Puppy murder. I really can’t handle that. When a dog dies in a movie, I get so upset, it’s usually pretty hard to concentrate on anything else. On the upside, because it’s a revenge flick, I was able to get behind Wick’s killing spree. Still, I wish they had made it a cat instead.

John Wick Movie Still fight scene

Reeves doesn’t have much range. Let’s admit that. But in stylish action, he knows how to shine. He’s pretty much played the same character since the Matrix, but he plays it well. He’s a one man killing machine.

The movie isn’t all about the big explosions. Instead, it follows the slow escalation. Wick’s initially going after some street thugs, and then eventually he’s taking on the entire Russian mob.

Another problem occurred towards the end, when Wick has finally been caught by the Russians. Despite knowing that Wick is just about the deadliest assassin who ever existed, the head of the family decides to talk to him for ten minutes and then leave the room, sure that his henchmen will be able to carry out the murder. Of course, that doesn’t happen.

John-Wick gun shooting Keanu Reeves movie scene

This is a good effort for a revenge movie and I liked what he was getting revenge for; puppy murder. Who can’t get behind a guy going after a bunch of pricks who would murder a puppy? I know John Wick is my personal hero for that reason alone. Has anyone considered giving him Michael Vick’s address?

I like it when action doesn’t go over the top in ways of huge explosion and hour long fights, and this movie does well in that. The build up does come to a pretty satisfying conclusion, but you’re not going to go deaf from listening to explosions every twelve seconds.

It’s a unique twist on a revenge movie and the plot is well driven, unfolding at an even pace. It’s entertaining, but not over the top. This is not an action movie that tries too hard. Instead, it’s a stylish movie with a bad guy you can really hate (puppy murderer) and a good guy you can get behind. While not all the plot points meet up, it’s still worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars


[youtube id=”2AUmvWm5ZDQ” width=”633″ height=”356″]


Movie Review: Box Trolls (2014) – Intelligent Animation with an Adorable Weirdness

The Boxtrolls Movie Image Gallery


The Box Trolls have been creeping me out since I was a child, which is why I was hesitant to see them. But as a parent, I feel responsible to review other children’s movies that I think parents might be dragged in too. It is my duty as a reviewer… no matter how much those friggen things might haunt my nightmares.

In this twisted horror movie, an innocent orphan boy named Egg is raised by a family of terrifying monsters made out of cardboard. Ok, so that’s my personal bias shining through. I can’t help it, these things really used creep me out. I don’t know why. When I was a kid, the book that this was based on, “Here Be Monsters” by Alan Snow was enough to give me nightmares for a week.

But something amazing happened when this came to the big screen. I no longer found the Box Trolls terrifying. In fact, they were surprisingly charming. The characters are almost something out of a Dickens novel, with the added weirdness that is simply adorable.

This team of editors had their work cut out for them and they did an admiral job. The stop-motion animation is completely fantastic. This weird, colorful world is creative, interesting and based on reality without being too realistic. Think along the lines of Nightmare Before Christmas in it’s strange, stop-motion take on an alternate universe.




Even the names of the characters are clever. The troll names are made of the things they’re made up of like Fish, Shoe, Oil Can, Egg, etc. They have a cheese based economy. It’s pretty much child centric world building at its best.

The story is well done and intriguing enough for adults with some potential digs at certain political parties. From Mr. Gristle (Tracy Morgan) who is using the Box Trolls as scapegoats to further his own political career, to the evil Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) who is intent on exterminating every last one of them, the bag guys are nefarious and surprisingly familiar.

This is one of those rare finds that’s actually enjoyable for adults as well. While it might be a bit scary for younger viewers, it’s still a fun, cute movie with a fish out of water twist.

Most enjoyable is Egg, the human adopted by the Box Trolls who really has no idea how humans interact with each other. Watching him trying to get along in the human world is sweet and hysterical.

It’s weird that I was ever scared of these things when I was little. Of course, part of that is on my mom for reading me a story about a group of monsters that steal children when I was five. But the more I got to know them, the more I got to like them.

It’s surprisingly political for such a simple movie, with a big focus on social standing and social climbing. It has a valuable moral and intelligent, but simplistic dialog. I’d dare call this the smartest animated film I’ve seen in a long time. If you are a parent, or even if you don’t have kids to drag you to this movie, Box Trolls is worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars



[youtube id=”Q2dFVnp5K0o” width=”633″ height=”356″]



Movie Review: Thanks For Sharing (2013)…Thanks for Sharing!

thanks-for-sharing-movie-poster-2Every now and then, when I think everything has been done and there is nothing new left to do, a movie comes along to prove me wrong. Thanks for Sharing is a not your standard addiction recovery movie. Instead, it takes a look at a new twist on addition, specifically, sex addiction.

Adam (Mark Ruffalo), is a handsome environmental consultant who is 5 years in recovery for his sex addition. The sex addiction is easily believable because Ruffalo is actually hot enough to have scores of willing women tossing themselves at him. His love interest Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), comes with conflicts of her own, as a former breast cancer survivor and dater of an alcoholic. Also sharing the spotlight is the long-married Mike (Tim Robbins) who plays Adam’s sponsor and Neil (Josh Gad), who plays a fellow sex addict (though with a bit more of a pervy twist). Even Pink plays a part, as Dede, a female addict just coming off her own 12 step program.

For the most part, even though it was a comedy, the subject was handled with a certain level of maturity. The main problems come from the way Gad’s character was treated in the movie. Gad played the part of Neil, a loveable pervert, well. However, some of his actual scenes (particularly where he rubbed up against women on the subway and filmed up his bosses skirt) had me wondering ‘why is this guy not in prison?’

His character becomes significantly more redeemable when he meets up with Dede, a hairdresser dealing with her own addiction. Pink pulls off a great addict and helps Neil work through his issues when he helps her work through her own. While their recovery is awful quick, it is a movie recovery, so I guess it would have to be. [more…]



The conflict between Adam and Phoebe goes on a bit too long, with Phoebe trying to seduce Adam at every turn and Adam resisting, but it’s still interesting to watch. Mike has his own good scenes, when dealing with his newly sober drug addicted son.

Unfortunately, when explaining the motivation behind the characters seeking treatment, the film falls a bit flat. While Neil is in treatment because of a court order (shocker), Adam apparently decided he was an addict after cheating on his girlfriend with hookers? Well then, pretty much every dude I know who’s ever had a regrettable bender in Vegas is a sex addict.

In the end, the movie was done pretty well. The most surprising breakout star in this one was Pink, who proved to be one of the few pop stars capable of making the transition to film. Overall, the subject was approached with just the right amount of humor, without the actors making slapstick fun of an addiction that can be just as serious as substance abuse. Thanks for Sharing could have turned into an awful sex humor, or it could have gone over the top hokey and preachy. Instead, Thanks for Sharing really managed to strike the right balance between drama and comedy.

Here’s the Trailer and if you’ve Seen the Movie – Leave a Review & Earn Some Points!

Movie Review: Blue Caprice – As Disturbing as the Story it Was Based On

Blue-Caprice-2013-Movie-PosterBlue Caprice takes a chilling, straightforward and realistic look at 2002 Beltway Sniper killings. In this film, we’re led by though the strange, often frightening relationship between the two snipers involved, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.

John Allen Muhammad is played by an absolute terrifying, ranting Isaiah Washington, who before this roll was famous as ‘that guy who got kicked off Grey’s Anatomy’ for making all those gay slurs’. Washington plays a controlling and fanatical Muhammad to a T and reminds us that before the Grey’s incident, this guy could actually act.

Of course, Tequan Richmond is no slouch either, in the roll of impressionable and sometimes even sympathetic Lee Boyd Malvo. His actual dialog is limited, but that makes his ability to clearly portray a needy boy, being manipulated into a cold blooded killer, even more impressive.

The film takes us through Muhammad and Malvo’s’ meeting. Malvo is just a boy who has been abandoned by his mother. Muhammad is the benevolent father figure that rescues Malvo from a life on the streets. He takes Malvo to Washington with him, and little by little Muhammad’s nefarious side starts to show.

One moment he’s teaching Malvo how to drive. Another he’s tying him to a tree and leaving him alone over night. The plot starts to culminate when Muhammad mater-of-factly tells Malvo of his master plan to create chaos, while shopping in the grocery store. [more…]

The actual attacks themselves are sensitively handled by the director, in a memorable but respectful way. The POV is through the eyes of the snipers themselves. The view is that of simple suburban simplicity, and the watcher cringes as the people being targeted clearly have no idea the horror that is about to unfold. These moments highlight the entire films ‘impending doom’ atmosphere.

blue Caprice Still 2

blue Caprice Still 1

The dialog and writing is done well. Much of the decisions are left up to the audience. Was Muhammad looking for a son, or was he a predator intent on using Malvo for his own means? The viewer never knows and Muhammad never says, but Washington’s excellent performance makes you think it could go either way. The characters never try to explain too much and the movie doesn’t focus on answers. This is appropriate, considering that real world situations like this never truly offer any answers.

Of course, there were some problems. The ending is more of a rushed montage of the results of the spree, followed by an abrupt ending.  The blurred focus to regular focus seemed a bit on the nose, and the slow pans following the Blue Caprice were a bit overdone.

Overall though, this is a movie to set out what it intended to do. It clearly set out to show the disturbing relationship between the two perpetrators of this crime. At the same time, it managed to handle the deaths in a mature way. This is a psychological thriller that does exactly what a good psychological thriller is expected to do. It doesn’t tie the answers up for the viewers in a neat little bow. Instead, it makes the audience draw their own conclusion about the motivations behind the 2002 Beltway Sniper killings, while at the same time, making the watcher accept the fact that sometimes, there are no good answers.

Here’s the Trailer and if you’ve Seen the Movie – Leave a Review & Earn Some Points!