Movie Review – Mojave

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Mojave (2016)
Written & Directed by William Monahan


Tom is an incredibly famous and successful Hollywood director who is drowning the sorrows of his personal life in alcohol and partying. After a particularly draining bender, he drives his jeep off into the Mojave Desert for some solace. Tom is in an accident that flips his vehicle over, and he continues on foot only to encounter a malevolent stranger who is stalking the sands. Jack is a grizzled and articulate man wandering the desert armed with a hunting rifle. Tom suspects no good can come of this and a physical struggle ensues that leaves Tom with the gun and on the run from Jack. Tom’s paranoia leads to a tragic mistake that Jack intends to use against him even after the director escapes the desert.

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Movie Review – Dark Places

Dark Places (2015)
Written & Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner

dark places

In 1985, a brutal murder occurred in Kinnakee, Kansas. The culprit appeared to Ben Day; the victims are his mother and two of his sisters. Little sister Libby Day survives and goes on to testify that she saw Ben committing these acts. Jump to present day, Libby has squandered the last of the money she got from her book about the events and the goodwill of people who have heard her story has dried up. She is approached by Lyle, a member of the Kill Club, a group of amateurs that takes murder cases and reopens them to try to solve them. They believe Ben is innocent though he’s never appealed his life sentence. Libby is skeptical but eventually agrees to pursue their leads and uncovers the secrets of those final days of her childhood innocence.

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Movie Review – You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here (2018)
Written & Directed by Lynne Ramsay

you were never really here

Joe is a man who lives a brutal life. He rescue girls caught up in human trafficking, typically being forced to work as prostitutes. This way of living, of earning money is catching up to Joe. He continually has flashbacks to his childhood abuse and depends on prescription meds to calm his mind. A new call comes in from a state senator, Albert Votto. Votto’s daughter is a frequent runaway, and he has word she’s being held in a brothel in the middle of Manhattan. Joe ventures out to rescue her and finds himself caught in a web of lies that started with Votto. But his mind and body may not be able to handle this one.

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Movie Review – Cut Bank

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Cut Bank (2015)
Written by Robert Patino
Directed by Matt Shakman

cut bank

Cut Bank, Montana is the sight of a brutal murder of a local mail carrier, Georgie Wits. The whole incident is caught on video by Dwayne Mclaren and his girlfriend Cassie while they are hanging out at their spot in a field outside of town. Dwayne turns the video over to Sheriff Vogel who must now deal with the first homicide the city has ever had. But all is not as it seems and what was caught on video is only one perspective of the truth. While Vogel learns there are deeper layers to what occurred, town recluse Derby Milton snaps when a parcel hasn’t been delivered to him on time. Milton begins his own reasonably active side investigation to track down the mail stolen after the murder.

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Movie Review – Thoroughbreds

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Thoroughbreds (2018)
Written & Directed by Cory Finley


Amanda arrives at the home of her estranged friend Lily for a surprise invitation to “hang out.” Amanda quickly realizes this is a tutoring session set up by her mother, worried about Amanda’s borderline personality disorder getting in the way of meaningful friendships and her ability to do well in school. We learn that the two drifted apart after Lily’s father died and her mother remarried Mark, an incredibly wealthy man who demands the two women in his house comply with his rules. Amanda remarks that if Lily’s stepfather is causing her such grief, she should just kill him. At first, Lily shies away from this idea but the more she lingers on it, the more she wants to work to make it happen.

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Movie Review – A Most Violent Year

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A Most Violent Year (2014)
Written & Directed by J.C. Chandor

most violent year

In 1981 New York, Abel Morales has brought his heating oil company to the verge of dominating the city’s market. He is in the midst of acquiring property from Hasidic businessmen when a series of truck robberies put his future into jeopardy. Abel is convinced that his rivals in the oil business are behind these hijackings. His wife, Anna, is upset that he seems frozen to take action and that is endangering their family and the company. At the same time, the city’s Assistant D.A. has been conducting an investigation on possible illegal practices in the industry and is filing charges against Abel’s company for possible price fixing and tax evasion. Despite all of these pressures, Abel is determined to follow a virtuous path but how long can he hold on to this?

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Movie Review – Revenge of the Green Dragons

Revenge of the Green Dragons (2014)
Written by Michael Di Jiacomo and Andrew Loo
Directed by Wai-Keung Lau & Andrew Loo

revenge green dragons

In the early 1980s, an immigrant named Sonny becomes embroiled in the Chinese-American gang The Green Dragons. They operated out of Flushing-Queens and are a group of young upstarts attempting to use brutal force to push out their older rivals. As Sonny and his adopted brother Steven move up the ranks of the gang, they begin to personally experience the cost of their involvement. Meanwhile, the NYPD and FBI are becoming increasingly more aware of the Green Dragons and their growing presence on the New York organized crime scene.

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