Thrills in ‘Mama’ are all relative

Jessica Chastain goes sexy punk in 'Mama'
Jessica Chastain goes sexy punk in ‘Mama’

[rating=3]Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash, Jane Moffat
Directors: Andrés Muschietti
Writers: Neil Cross, Andrés Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti

What makes a thriller good? Is it ingenuity or number of scares? Mama, directed by Andrés Muschietti, dips into the supernatural while still gripping onto such familiar umbrella areas as scary houses and unpredictable children. It’s no fright fest, but it is, for a long time, an intriguing domestic parable. As an exercise in the genre, Mama doesn’t completely redefine its core, but it stretches it to a more limber stage.

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‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is Kathryn Bigelow’s masterpiece

Jessica Chastain delivers outstanding performance in 'Zero Dark Thirty'
Jessica Chastain delivers outstanding performance in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

He tasks me! He tasks me, and I shall have him! – Khan Noonien Singh

The quote above is from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and it is all about Khan’s obsession with hunting down and killing Captain James T. Kirk.  Zero Dark Thirty is a much better tale of obsession, and is hands-down one of 2012’s finest.  While one hopes this is just the latest elevation of the talent of director Kathryn Bigelow, if it turns out to be her magnum opus it would still place her head and shoulders above almost everyone else.

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Shia LaBeouf is woefully miscast in intense ‘Lawless’

 

Tom Hardy in 'Lawless'
Tom Hardy in ‘Lawless’

Lawless comes from a historical novel, “The Wettest County in the World.” It’s the story of three brothers in Prohibition era Franklin County, Virginia. “Forrest Bondurant” (Tom Hardy) is the family’s leader, while his brothers “Howard Bondurant” (Jason Clarke) and “Jack Bondurant” (Shia LaBeouf) follow his lead. They are in the moonshine business and “Cricket” (Dane DeHaan) has a knack for brewing up some of the best ‘shine around.

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