– stretches credulity a little too far and definitely not up to the standard of its predecessor, Searching, but this is nonetheless another creatively directed thriller illuminating the privacy violating, insidious role of technology in our lives. If nothing else, it highlights just how many screens, cameras and notifications are vying for and invading our attention.
– This is some weird juju. It’s a highly original, unconventional revenge thriller plagued (quite literally) by the supernatural. While innovative and strikingly directed – the aesthetic is awesome – it’s too batshit for my tastes.
– foreboding crime thriller apes the aesthetic and tone of hard boiled detective films from the late 90s and early 00s and does it fairly effectively (despite lots of pseudo-psychoanalytical profiling guff) up until the last 20 minutes or so, with an odd and unsatisfying ending that feels like it was scripted by a different writer. Still, worth watching.
– proudly touting Deborah Cahn’s The West Wing credentials, it’s clear from the off that this is a political drama hoping to bridge the gap between politically incisive and conventionally thrilling. Unfortunately, she’s no Aaron Sorkin, and I’m reminded of a story he tells about how executives initially read his pilot script and thought it would be ‘more exciting’ if Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman literally swam out to rescue the Cuban refugees from their rafts. In this, despite highfalutin, quick fire walk-and-talks and political window dressing, the political operatives are embroiled in so much conspiracy it’s laughable. From political assassinations, kidnappings, false flag operations involving the British PM (without informing his foreign secretary), love affairs, CIA stitch-ups – it’s all just so over the top. ‘Trashy’ might be too strong a word, but it’s certainly not realistic. Is it fun though? Mostly. Maybe. Sometimes. Right up until it jumps the shark mid-series, perhaps. I don’t regret watching it, but I’m also not eager to recommend it. A shame it didn’t at least rap up the storyline (or any story arcs), as I’ll be giving Season 2 a miss.
– Belfast police drama is very typically BBC, made-for-TV, ham and cheesy, in much the same way Line of Duty was. It has echoes of The Responder (Martin Freeman), but where that show is so gritty it makes you want to wash, this leans more towards soap opera. That’s not to say it’s bad, not at all. It’s engaging, with some funny dialogue and a few genuinely great characters, but it falls firmly in the light entertainment category. Nothing wrong with that.
– Ritchie’s homage to war interpreters is high tension, gripping and emotionally resonant. He’s overly liberal with his use of slow motion, and the dry bravado and knowing nods of the soldiers is all a bit macho, but the characters are likeable, the scenery and cinematography searing or stark in all the right places, and the soundtrack redolent of OSTs by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, which is to say, brilliantly evocative. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite its minor flaws.
– spanish language kidnap mystery sees a traumatised reporter track down a missing girl. It’s unoriginal, cliché and low production quality. I’d love to offer some positives to balance all that out, but I can’t. Rubbish. Skip it.
– Soderbergh’s lockdown corporate conspiracy thriller, in which a moderator of an Alexa-like smart device hears screams and becomes convinced she’s witness to a murder, is slick enough, but entirely forgettable and not especially exciting in the moment either.
– maybe Guy Ritchie’s lost his mojo because there’s something soulless and money-grabbing about this shiny, over the top action thriller that’s as glossy and mechanical as the power tool peddling laminated pages of an Argos catalogue and offering similar levels of excitement. Even the script, usually crackling with Ritchie’s wit and acerbic one liners, feels like a first draft pieced together from scraps recovered from the waste paper bin in his office. What happened?
– grisly Iranian serial killer thriller is excessively gruesome and nasty – with protracted close up strangulation scenes – and explicit, as prostitutes sordidly practice their craft. The combination makes for uncomfortable and, frankly, unpleasant viewing. Even if I’d enjoyed it, which I didn’t, it would be very difficult to recommend.
– for once, finally, a genuinely impressive and faithful adaptation of a video game, and a brilliant one at that. As a huge fan of Naughty Dog’s series, I was apprehensive about this, but it echoes everything I loved about the games and mirrors the aesthetic almost exactly (practically shot for shot in places). The casting is spot on and the acting, convincing. The script’s entertaining banter and joshing is sometimes lifted verbatim from the games. I’m excited to see how they tackle series two, given that the second game is so much darker and generally more unpleasant.
– illuminating and novel as it is to see a stylish, Tokyo-set, Yakuza-centred Western crime drama, this is nothing to write home about. Adelstein’s offensively forward, and on balance, quite unlikeable journalist is improbably fortunate in his every venture, is a magnet for any girl he sets eyes on, and has a more active nightlife than most first year students. His backstory is paid lip service, and the interesting hints of nationalism and racism that he endures in the first episode or two are forgotten entirely as the various plots – involving a hodgepodge of call girls and their patrons – develop. Of the handful of characters the viewer is invited to care about, only Sato the gangster’s story emotionally resonates, and the lack of conclusions by the end of the series is frustrating. At least the core power struggle between rival Yakuza gangs and Adelstein’s mission to document it proves mostly engaging, if not substantive.
– the key to a decent con movie is two fold: stay ahead of your audience and ensure they’re rooting for the conmen. This lifeless heist drama fails on both fronts, though does so with strong performances and enough polish that it’s not a total waste of time.
– the northern cop drama concludes with the same confident delivery and feisty scripting of the last two series. The acting throughout is superb. Sarah Lancashire is made for the role, and although the menacing Tommy Lee Royce storyline had definitely already run its course by this season (how many times can this dense guy evade the law, pop up and cast a shadow over little Ryan?!), it still proved an engaging and thrilling enough ride. It’s a shame the writer(s) relied quite so heavily on ‘made for TV’ contrivances and rushed the subplots.
– CIA action thriller is just a few missteps short of masterful; polished, slickly produced, and with top tier acting and cinematography, particularly from director Pablo Trapero. It comes off the boil towards the end, and there are a few too many contrivances, including at least one that’s borderline insulting, but as an overall package, this is stunning, edge of the seat stuff. I’m not really sure why everyone isn’t talking about it…
– there’s definitely a rising darkness from the very start of this somewhat depraved but very engaging crime thriller. Vincent Cassel excels as the grotesque protagonist, but performances are strong across the board, and if you can stomach excessively graphic explicit scenes, this is recommended.
– underwhelming adaptation of Stephen King’s time travel misadventure pales next to its source material (which had its own problems) but remains quite fun. The whole thing is shot with a sort of levity that makes it hard to take seriously (in part because Franco is so woefully ill-equipped as an actor) but the flip side is that this slapdash approach facilitates suspension of disbelief, an aid to ignoring the gaping plot holes and bad character decisions. It’s not high end, but is at least moderately entertaining.
– while the premise is implausible and the obsessive, hysterical characterisation of the lead smacks of sexism, this is quite an engaging spanish language thriller, mainly let down by sloppy direction and a pervasive sense that it could have been so much better.
– sadly, this spanish language crime thriller feels a bit amateur hour, without much of anything to engage or excite the viewer. It’s not offensively bad, just dull.
– Israeli spy series with comically chirpy music dangles promise in its opening sequence, then deteriorates in quality minute by minute, with unbelievable scenarios and dodgy dialogue. The characters are roundly annoying and mostly unsympathetic, and ‘hacking’ is used, as per usual, like magic. To conclude on a cliffhanger is particularly galling for viewers, like me, who have no intention of continuing to watch but nonetheless would have appreciated a resolution. It’s more than passable entertainment for sure, but the foreign spy thriller bar has been set impossibly high by Le Bureau (a must watch if you’ve missed it until now), and with recent British spy thrillers (A Spy Among Friends) also operating on an elevated level, this just can’t compete.
– scandinoir does the usual scandinoir shuffle. At this point, finding a decent crime mystery series is like spinning a tombola, liable to leave you disappointed. Mostly they’re a string of increasingly outlandish crime scenes, shady characters with high profile roles in the community and absurdly devious motivations, predictable twists and eye-rolling contrivances. Sadly, this is no different. If you’re desperate for gnarly murders and dour landscapes, this will just about keep you sated, but gone are the lofty days of The Killing, The Bridge and Nobel.
– The Fox family misadventure falls apart at the seams, with ill conceived and half arsed plot swings, idiotic decision making and each family member dumbed down until their motivations are practically visible as straight lines on a story board. An ignominious exit for the series.
– Deliciously outlandish little horror mystery is both a swipe at the insatiable ultra rich and a parody of pompous fine dining. It goes off the boil in the third act, when it reveals itself to be much less clever and less mysterious than initially suggested, but it’s inventive and enjoyably outrageous enough overall to warrant watching.
– lightweight fast food trash, completely unbelievable and frustratingly irrational from start to finish. Classic low effort, low quality content fodder of the kind that populates streaming services with flashy front covers and titillating trailers. Rubbish.
– caved and watched this Nic Cage end of the world thriller on false intel that it’s been overlooked and is underrated. It hasn’t and isn’t. It’s absolute balls. Avoid.
– the silly spy drama continues, thankfully as hilarious and engaging as ever. This is one of those once in a blue moon, high quality, light hearted but intellectually stimulating shows. What it lacks in depth it makes up for with a lot of fun. Really pleased it’s been renewed for Season 3.
– Hugo Blick’s latest is a vengeful love story in the Wild West. The acting is excellent, particularly from the central cast, and wonderfully hammy where appropriate (Rafe Spall excels as the arch villain, for instance). The cinematography, though theatrical and stagey, is striking and darkly beautiful. The issue is that the plot meanders erratically, running either too fast or too slow, with characters introduced to be killed in short order, and verbose, uninspired soliloquies aiming for profundity and landing flat. Ultimately, at only 6 episodes, it is worth watching, but it’s definitely massively overrated.
– ludicrously twisty and (typically) hysterical Spanish language psychological thriller keeps you enjoyably guessing, but if it wasn’t so impossible to take seriously it’d be a borderline offensive depiction of both mental health patients and their doctors.
– ITV’s cerebral and utterly engaging spy thriller is an absolute treat; an intellectual, highly charged and sometimes profound examination of friendship and mixed loyalties. It’s so refreshing to watch a series that credits the viewer with the nous to fill in blanks and read between the lines. Anna Maxwell Martin is perfectly cast as a surly, abrasive interrogator trying to extract the truth from professional liars after senior British intelligence officer, the infamous double agent Kim Philby, defects to Russia. Embodying Philby, Guy Pearce toes the line between ebullient and desperate with skill, larger than life charm one moment and soul searching from inside of a bottle the next. But the bulk of the story falls to Damian Lewis, and he is a master at work. From Life to Homeland to Our Kind of Traitor and now this, Lewis has a penchant for these spy roles and it’s evident why – he excels in them. Aside from his natural charisma, in the best possible way, there’s something vaguely duplicitous about him, as though every line or action is calculated and there’s always an ulterior motive at play. It’s a joy to watch. If there’s any scope for criticism, it’s that the national and international stakes aren’t as clear as they might be, such that, albeit endlessly intriguing, it lacks genuine jeopardy or peril, and the framing of it as a spy game, nothing more than a battle of sharp wits, seems fairer than perhaps it should.
– Taylor Kitsch is a smooth talking American police detective in Berlin in the immediate aftermath of WW2 (1946) on the hunt for his brother, who’s been left traumatised and vengeful after witnessing war crimes. He takes charge of a ramshackle police force doing its best with no resources, but finds himself pulled in all directions by the forces at play in the city. It’s not a bad premise, but even Kitsch at his most likeable is simply too thin on charisma to make me care about any of the plot strands, whether criminal, political or romantic. Generously, this is a middling crime drama. Less generously, this is very dull.
– submarine action thriller is exactly what you expect from 2012 era bingy TV: no depth (despite the sub) and low intelligence, two dimensional drama. Easy, lazy, moderately enjoyable viewing for when the thought of engaging your brain is off-putting.
– what starts out as a visually arresting, striking vision of a dystopian future, after a few episodes, through some quirk of ‘made for TV’ homeostasis, becomes far too conventional for its own good, with the innovative aspects of the lore taking a back seat in favour of painfully familiar themes – crime families, evil scientists, PTSD suffering soldiers, forced romantic side plots – and infuriatingly complacent, arrogant protagonists. There’s hardly a character who isn’t self-satisfied and hubristic, making them quite irritating to watch. The highly futuristic and impressively realised sci-fi elements – peripherals, sims, melding psyches, parallel universes and cross temporal communication, apocalyptic pandemics and artificial environments – novel areas that would be fascinating and potentially original territory to explore, all end up as almost farcical gimmickry in the service of telling very unremarkable, even boring stories. After receiving the start of the series enthusiastically, disappointingly, I’m not excited at the prospect of another. A shame, as it’s a waste of diverse talents, not least from the VFX crew.
– Liam Neeson doing his ageing assassin bit. Again. So bad I’ve forgotten it already.
– arguably even more successful than its predecessor, Knives Out, this is another joyous whodunit spoof featuring Daniel Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc that excels in both its premise and delivery. It’s in turns hilarious and, despite much silliness, far smarter than it admits to: a damning satire lampooning celebrity culture, Big Tech and capitalism in general all while meticulously spinning a twisty web of intrigue. A marvellous spectacle. I could watch it again right away.
– a reminder that aggregate ratings can be misleading or straight up wrong. Director Martin Campbell turns his GoldenEye to this slick, well composed action thriller, shooting excellent combat set pieces from London to Vietnam. The arch villain is relegated to a hollow McGuffin, and the story as a whole feels slightly undeserving of the high polish and stellar cast, but when that cast includes Michael Keaton, Samuel L Jackson and Maggie Q and they decide to step up and bring the charisma, they put on a helluva show.
– unexpectedly deep prison set crime thriller explores the journey of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s rich city-boy ‘Jacob’ as he transforms into fear inspiring lifer inmate, ‘Money’ Harlon. This is that rare film with such a range of themes and stories it could benefit from additional run time. He’s such an intriguing lead, as are each of the supporting characters, it’d have been interesting to see some of the gaps in his descent filled in, particularly his history with various inmates, and his wife’s new life trajectory. What’s there is great though, powerfully acted and compellingly directed. For the most part it sadly feels all too believable, even if the prison politics and hierarchy stretch credibility a little.
– above average contemporary horror, complete with dodgy Airbnbs, #MeToo moments, and social commentary. Given its eye-rolling premise, it genuinely surprises with the directions it takes and the high calibre of its execution.
– it’s not a clever or slick heist thriller and the main plot is uninspired, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find it enjoyably weird, from its comically accented, awkward protagonist to its overlooked zombie outbreak setting and peter out ending. I was thinly entertained.
– every now and then a film is so bad that you marvel at the (mis)steps involved to get it green lit and into production. How did the script get sign off to be printed, let alone influential people taking the time to read it and money spent on getting it made? This is 90 minutes of stupidity. Russell Crowe’s psychotic killer rampages unhindered across a city to violently murder the loved ones of a random woman who honked him at a light. Time I’ll never get back. I implore you, don’t make the same mistake.
– taut and convoluted crime thriller begins so slowly and laconically as to be off-putting, but gradually ramps up the stress and tension until, as it all ties together, its endlessly plodding pace and quiet tone is at odds with your racing heartbeat. Edgerton is good in roles like this, and Sean Harris scarily impressive, too. Ended up pleasantly surprised.
– silly but fairly entertaining thriller about a tribeswoman fed up of being the gatherer in her hunter-gatherer community who decides to tackle the new threat facing her tribe, only to discover it’s an advanced alien predator. Lightweight but slickly produced with some beautiful landscape shots.
– Olivia Wilde’s high profile sci-fi thriller is a mess. It spends so long establishing its manicured 1950s suburbia that by the time it tries to find a story or say something worth saying, it’s already lost the plot and squandered any audience interest. It wants to be Shutter Island, or The Truman Show, or A Cure for Wellness, but falls short on intelligence, creativity, originality and every other metric. Frankly it seemed like it was throwing shit at the wall to see what stuck, and the answer is, none of it. Perhaps the production really was as much of a shambles as has been reported, or perhaps it’s just a god awful script. Either way, not recommended.
– this standout, above average French conspiracy thriller is exactly what I’ve been craving. Turns out I’m an absolute sucker for the attentive acoustician sub-genre (for another check out The Wolf’s Call, also French (Le Chant Du Loup)). Highly recommended for suspense fans, despite some icky Hollywoodised moments.
– Aubrey Plaza’s Breaking Bad is a competent but loveless crime drama, delivered without panache. It feels functionally like a solid film, but is wooden, lacking some key ingredient that would make it enjoyable, be it passion, emotional connection, excitement or just style. It’s a shame as the components are there, just assembled into something not worth assembling.
– in an uncharacteristic action thriller role, Allison Janney proves she can play any part convincingly, but the weirdly lit cinematography never seems like anything other than a Hollywood set, and drab direction makes the whole thing feel run of the mill.
– if season one was flirting at the edges of technological plausibility, this time around the BBC’s deepfake conspiracy thriller goes full blown sci-fi, with just about anything with a lens compromised by spies, facial recognition operating at a magical 100% accuracy – with face masks and without racial bias – and Holliday Grainger growling her way through more MI5, CIA and Big Tech board rooms than there are in Silicon Valley…in London. But farcical as it is, it’s also a good crack, with those early 00s ‘24‘-style cliffhanger endings and enough twists to tie its own shoe laces together. All in all, silly and totally misrepresentative of technology, but quite fun.
– blistering one take drama in a high end restaurant kitchen at Christmas feels grotesquely realistic, rushing from urgency to panic with the entire ensemble delivering such vulnerable, human performances, you want to reach into the screen and give them each a hug. It is a little overcooked by the final curtain – the stress was certainly peaking without the need for its arguably hyperbolic conclusion – but what an achievement, nonetheless.
– convoluted Korean sci-fi thriller riffs on the Groundhog Day repetitive loop. It’s intriguing up to a point, but also overly contrived, and the characters’ behaviour and motivations are unconvincing and eventually a little tedious.
– polished supernatural crime thriller has a distinctly Stephen King vibe to it. Some of the underlying themes have merit (standing up to bullies), but there’s not enough substance to the story and not enough development of the villain (Ethan Hawke in what is surely one of his easiest roles). The eponymous black phone remains a mystery throughout.
– Visually sumptuous and immersive when it counts, Peele’s UFO thriller vacillates between downright dull and epic sensory overload. While a narrative thread eventually emerges, it flaps loosely, such that the various subplots seem barely attached to the greater whole, instead an excuse for supernatural scene setting and jump scares. It’s hard to say if the end result works, but at the very least, it includes breathtaking elements: a confused, technically masterful and quite beautiful cinematic work, but not a particularly good film.
– after Le Bureau proved such an accomplished French export, I hoped this might be another. Alas, not so. Totems takes the scientific-office-bod-turned-super-spy trope and runs with it through Soviet era Russia and East Germany, using an unconvincing romance as a crutch. Nothing about it is noteworthy, let alone remarkable, and mostly it’s just bad. After more than four hours, I decided it’d be gambler’s fallacy to carry on.
– there’s a criticism often levelled at action thrillers: that in the absence of a decent story, they compensate with gunfire and explosions. Never has it been more applicable. It’s nearly forgivable in this case though, enjoyable as it is to watch Gosling and Evans gallivanting across the world executing preposterous stunts in protracted, high octane sequences. Exactly how the epic destruction of Prague was ever going to be swept under the rug is unclear, but this isn’t a film that gives two wits about accuracy or smarts, it’s all about the dance, and between the nonsense, it’s got a few decent moves.
– this doesn’t achieve anything The Rescue documentary didn’t already, and viewing this subsequently, knowing exactly what to expect and when, I found it underwhelming. But it’s not bad by any measure, and as a standalone film I’d imagine it does a good job conveying the extraordinary drama of the rescue.
– strange to think this is how they used to make them: all soft crossfades and sharp lighting, six packs and flapping flags. It’s silly in all the ways you expect a sequel of this profile to be silly, but beneath the macho willy waving and thrilling stunts, it’s also surprisingly gentle, optimistic, and ultimately feel good. In other words, a classic old school blockbuster. Might have to spin up a VR flight simulator now…
– All the terror and trauma some men inflict on women generation after generation stem from a desire to be loved. Or at least, that seems the thesis explored by Alex Garland in this characteristically weird and shocking horror. It’s about a woman convalescing in a rural cottage after her husband’s suicide who finds herself beset by hostile locals, violent stalkers and home invaders. To say it’s visually disturbing is an understatement. This is some f*cked up brand of crazy. I almost turned it off in the final few minutes. If macabre abstract art is your cup of tea, or you like to be viscerally challenged at the cinema, maybe you’ll stomach this. For everyone normal, it’s not recommended.
– engaging and polished crime thriller with some impressive (if weirdly stylised) performances and a suspenseful atmosphere. Disappointingly, the script goes on some strange and unconvincing tangents, with implausible dialogue, irrelevant subplots, and disconnected scenes. The result is compelling but unnecessarily rushed and nowhere near as tight or satisfying as it could have been, or as some comparable shows, like True Detective S03.
– I genuinely have nothing positive to say about the experience. Bad acting, a disastrous script and unimpressive visuals. Initially I assumed the stilted weirdness was deliberate, a stylistic choice, but on reflection, it’s just crap.
– Its drab name belies the best spy thriller since Le Bureau. The Old Man puts the craft in spy craft, with a heavyweight, serious cast, each at the top of their game, and thoughtful direction that commands your attention with subtle hints, careful pacing, and the refreshing use of space: both for the cast to shine and the suspense to marinate. Despite a proclivity for showy, literary monologues, its intelligent scripting weaves what could easily have seemed a farfetched narrative into a convoluted but pleasantly adhesive web, while its tastefully unadorned, gritty aesthetic helps add authenticity. A shame season 1 only lasts an irregular 7 episodes, but gladly, FX have renewed it. This one is highly recommended.
– Chris Pratt’s military revenge thriller is very silly and takes itself far too seriously, but it’s also a lot of fun, kinda like early Prison Break vibes. When Pratt’s Navy SEAL one man killing machine is finally let loose as a full blown psychopath on the run from the FBI, it ticks all the boxes for classic binge material: cliff hangers, predictable twists (that you still want to see resolve so your guesses are vindicated), cathartic violence (albeit at least once much too excessive – no-one wants to watch a man gutted and forced to unravel his own intestines)… the tone of the whole thing is very morally questionable, if not morally reprehensible, but if you can reconcile yourself with that, it’s very entertaining. I even think I’d watch a Season 2. You know, if the brain tumour gets resolved.
– aims for the suspenseful slow burn and it works up to a point, but it feels like it should have done more with the time allotted. Not bad, just underwhelming.
– tightly gripping true crime documentary shows the extraordinary plight of two oblivious girls caught up in one of the most high profile political assassinations of our time – Kim Jong-Nam. Though staid in style, the story is so captivating it really doesn’t need added panache. Brilliant.
– if the name conjures intrigue, the conceit proves depressingly straightforward and low intelligence: a villainous, charismatic pharma-CEO uses prisoners to test drugs that co-opt their emotions. What does he do with this super power? Makes them have sex, laugh maniacally and cower from staplers. It’s tonally and stylistically schizophrenic (as many of Netflix’s ‘films by algorithm’ are), with a typically facile depiction of scientific transgression. That it remains compelling is largely thanks to Hemsworth and Teller’s aptly indelicate performances.
– meta silliness is Hollywood’s new toy. Don’t Look Up, The Matrix Resurrections, and now this. Nic Cage as Nic Cage in a 90s style blockbuster action thriller full of references to Nic Cage movies. The irony is that without Cage, its entirely plausible this still gets made, just as a typically bad b-movie. With Nic Cage it’s the same bad movie, only with a self awareness that introduces some light comedy. At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, this doesn’t rehabilitate his image, nor work as a platform for his ‘massive talent’. He comes off as a good sport at best, and a tiresome egomaniac at worst.
– not to be confused with the 2017 absurdist comedy drama of the same name, this dour Australian effort begins compellingly, with all the ingredients for a twisty ride, but in its reliance on tropes (phone battery dying, phone out of earshot, body buried in a building site, to name a few), and determination to make each scenario go from bad to worse, it derails itself, ultimately resulting in quite a bland and unexciting crime thriller.
– Not sure what the deal is with this flurry of absurdist, taboo-oriented, weird shit I’ve been watching recently. After this, The Death of Dick Long, and Fresh, it’s about time for something more vanilla. This is a focused, almost theatrical crime drama detailing the manias and twisted vendettas of residents in a single tower block. Scott Speedman gives a surprisingly great performance, but the pacing is off (it’s a drag), and the conclusion is so abrupt and dark it leaves you yelling at the screen. Definitely NSFW.
– the midseason break didn’t do the show any favours. It limps to the finish line despite the escalating insanity of every scene, falling to the same hurdle as so many other great dramas: likeable characters sacrificed on the altar of ‘dramatic intensity’. The humour is practically non-existent by its concluding episode, plot strands are introduced only to be resolved an episode later, and its attempt to go out with a literal bang left this viewer unconvinced. A great shame for the finale of such an epic show, but perhaps it was inevitable it wouldn’t meet its own high bar. Now it’s over, yet another reason to unsub to Netflix (if you didn’t already…)
– Nearly as weird a horror as The Death of Dick Long was a drama, this takes its cues from American Psycho, but lacks its depth. Quite compelling, fairly original, absolutely nauseating. Can’t recommend it.
– Apple’s MI5 black comedy spy thriller is an absolute romp. From the opening sequence to the cynical ending, it’s a series of biting exchanges and phenomenal performances, particularly from Gary Oldman (still original and hugely watchable after a ludicrously prolific and diverse career), and relative newcomer Jack Lowden, who I last watched in Calibre (which I also highly recommend). Great to see there’s a series two already lined up and shot. Lowden surely a shoo-in for Bond after this?
– noir, low lit and low key reimagining of the caped crusader might be too ponderous and grimy for its own good. Pattinson’s Batman is a greasy straggle haired emo, a scarred wreck of a man, his aesthetic more misanthropic, washed out rocker than billionaire playboy. His tech is lo-fi and clunky, his boots thicker soled than Trinity’s. But there’s nothing wrong with Pattinson’s performance, nor his chiselled jaw or inevitably gravelly voice. It’s no fault of his that director Matt Reeves wanted sombre and sluggish over suave and swift. Nothing says sleek like jumping off a building, snagging a parachute on a bridge, getting hit by a bus then bouncing along the pavement like a discarded coke can. Every movement, be it a kiss or a car chase, feels unrealistically, achingly slow. The runtime could have been halved if characters just moved and spoke like normal people. But credit where it’s due: when all is said and done (three hours later), it is this stylistic choice, derivative of the noir serial killer detective thrillers of the late 90s, that conjures the thick atmosphere and carries the action. It’s not a great film, but it’s not bad either, and that makes it stand out in the superhero panoply.
– German serial killer thriller is overly graphic and about as silly as the genre gets but is so committed to its mystery and so outlandish, it works quite well as escapism.
– neatly crafted little crime thriller, only a few missteps short of brilliance. With its unity of time and place, it’s more like watching theatre than cinema, but no less engaging for it, and perhaps more so.
– frustrating World War 2 spy drama begins with a rape then expects you to cheer for the rapist, just one of the many villains it depicts as misguided but well-meaning characters. The romance is just a series of sex scenes; unbelievable, gratuitous and thin, while every character exists to prop up the central trio or nudge the absurd plot along. Thankfully, the spy drama, political intrigue and suspense, particularly towards the end, compensates to some extent and the result is a vexatious but still quite enjoyable few hours.
– Don’t think I’ve enjoyed a cop comedy this much since I was a kid. Inane from the get go, this is a silly rollercoaster ride, with laugh out loud slapstick, some genuinely sharp wit, and a few slick action set pieces. It’s a little too reliant on the latter towards the end, and could easily have shed some runtime cutting back on that, but highly recommended nonetheless.
– Del Toro’s latest is hugely overrated. It’s super immersive, with atmosphere and intrigue in spades, but the lack of rationale for key story developments is problematic. Despite the (excessive) time we spend with the characters, they feel thin, and ultimately we’re left with too many unanswered questions. The grimy gothic circus setting could have made for an interesting series though.
– misled by a higher than expected TMDb rating, I ended up watching this. It was terrible. Don’t waste your time.
– French language crime thriller does a phenomenal job of portraying an explosive dynamic between police and drug gangs in the ghettos of Marseille and includes some electrifying set pieces, but the first and final acts drag, the lack of real resolution is frustrating, and after the plot takes an abrupt change in direction, the concluding emotion is one of disappointment. A near miss at greatness, but still very watchable.
– as funny on a repeat viewing as it was the first time, albeit somehow even more hammy
– endlessly simmering bent cop thriller stops just short of boiling point but still cooks up some of the best BBC drama of recent times. Martin Freeman is unrecognisable as copper Chris Carson, (looking like Russell Tovey’s dad), risking his marriage, his career and hard time while trying to stay on the right side of a mental breakdown as well as his new rookie partner (another terrific performance from Adelayo Adedayo). The script crackles with deliciously black humour and the soundtrack keeps your heart rate elevated a notch above comfortable. Excellent and just a few decisions away from masterful – but all the ingredients are still there, so maybe the inevitable sequel will raise the bar further.
– the family continue in the same blackly comic macabre vein that has been their hallmark throughout, and thankfully, the script and story have upheld their standard, too. This is one of Netflix’ best.
– affecting submarine thriller is all the more shocking given its ‘true story’ origins. Hugely underrated, with excellent performances and smart, delicate direction.
– thriller set inside a prisoner transport truck is mostly gripping while it lasts but proves forgettable. Javier Gutiérrez is excellent as ever, but as a whole, this doesn’t hold a candle to the best Spanish language crime thrillers.
– season 9 or season 1 of New Blood? Officially S01, but hard to envisage a S02 after the events of this one. The plot is as silly and impossible as ever, but it’s still a pleasure to see Michael C Hall step back into the familiar shoes of Dexter Morgan, serial killer. Despite annoyances and story inconsistencies that would never have plagued the first few seasons of the show and cement its massive drop in quality, surprisingly, it remains fun to unwind to and to second guess. The ending, then, puts an abrupt and unexpected stop to that and will prove hugely divisive (or straight up hated).
– politically on the nose, no doubt, and with dialogue that it’s hard to imagine soldiers using (particularly the unwelcome excess of word plays), but those niggles aside, this is a well executed and heartfelt military drama with a typically strong performance from Ethan Hawke and a (sadly) believable conceit. Probably deserves more attention.
– quite tragic really. Basically a meta commentary on how Lana Wachowski was coerced into making an unwanted sequel and the subsequent battles with studio execs over what it should be about. Anyone coming to The Matrix now would do well to watch the original and none of the others. A gimmick and a missed opportunity.
– great to hear of this astonishing and repeatedly jaw-dropping journey from the mouths of those who swam it with a singular goal in mind: to rescue 13 people. Given how limited the actual footage is and the lack of access to the kids themselves, the drama is carried entirely by the narrative, the sheer audacity of the divers and the unlikelihood of their success. It’s testament to the incredible story that it’s still such a compelling film.
– Jim Cummings is absolutely electric in an unexpectedly sharp satire about corporate culture, modern romance and suppressed sexual appetite. This blackly comic psychological thriller is altogether more sinister and rewarding than its erotic premise suggests and Cummings is just wickedly hideous. American Pyscho for new audiences and a new era.
– Edgar Wright’s violent and disconcerting ghost story sees the director experimenting with a dazzling gamut of genres, camera angles, sets and costumes, as well as a constant, and constantly furious onslaught of sound. The result is an undeniably impressive, but frankly terrifying, sensory overload that is about as enjoyable as being sat between the cymbals in the William Tell Overture.
– one of the finest TV shows I’ve seen, and certainly the finest I’ve seen from Spain. Barring one strange misadventure in the middle of the series, this is an epic, edge of the seat tour-de-force: smart writing with visually commanding direction and a killer score. The characters are nuanced, sympathetic and compelling, and without exception, the cast deliver their A game. Amazing that this isn’t one of the most talked about shows out there. Creator Isabel Peña is clearly one to watch.
– the latest (final?) film in the Department Q crime thriller saga sees another gruesome cold case unravelled. It’s all a bit over the top, but if you enjoyed the others or generally like an intriguing scandi-noir, this is more of the same.
– Rebecca Hall gives an amazing performance as a widower traumatised by her grief in this artistic and creatively ambitious little horror gem that, despite its supernaturalism, manages to feel grounded and harrowingly realistic. Deeply unsettling and moving in all the right ways.
– Spanish horror rips ideas from so many other films I genuinely thought I was watching a remake and I just couldn’t place the original. Jump scares, blinking lights and radio interference: this is a grab bag of bad horror tropes. If you’ve a high tolerance for the uninspired or are new to horrors, you might like it.
– a smug and unfunny Tarantino / Ritchie wannabe, with plenty of contrived style but bugger all substance. Tedious and self-satisfied.
– on a second viewing Villeneuve‘s epic sci-fi is somehow more compelling, perhaps without the weight of expectation. It’s a visual marvel. I would have liked more upbeat emotional moments where merited, a bit more dynamism from the cast beyond their fight scenes, and it’s a shame that some sequences draw such clear influence from Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, but by and large, this is a worthy adaptation of Frank Herbert’s magnum opus.
– well intentioned drug drama with a strong cast, shame the story is so unimaginatively communicated. It feels like the bare minimum of film making, with nothing to commend it and a plum boring script.
– a fun, if chaotic, multi-lingual scandi-noir, with some interesting forays into grand themes such as race relations, but crammed with too many unrelated stories and a mystic/ druidic undertone that just feels silly. It’s got a quirky sense of humour though and the performances are all really strong, so while not in the league of The Bridge or The Killing, it’s worthy of the time investment.
– A fast paced, phenomenally well acted and convincing depiction of radicalisation that leaves you feeling angry, distraught and excited, but mostly like your nerves have been shredded with a cheese grater. Annoyingly, the narrative is undermined by contrivance and irrational, even farcical behaviour and judgment from some of the characters, but these dubious writing decisions are forgivable when the overall result is so compelling, and it could be argued they provide more opportunity to tell the greater tale. Very scary thriller.
– Mary Elizabeth Winstead is pretty fantastic kicking ass in style, but it’s hard to get away from the fact that this action thriller is a cliché in every respect, and inferior to other titles in the same assassin’s revenge genre. Plus, how annoying is that kid?
– hardly The Killing or The Bridge, but this scandi-noir crime thriller is exactly what you expect from the genre, and a little better than average too. Relish the binge, then forget it.
– compelling and engaging TV crime drama sacrifices believability in a frantic effort to excite, and while it’s predictable and quite silly most of the time, it still mostly works as good fun. Would have been even better if they’d dropped the shoehorned family and relationship backstory.
– Craig’s swan song as Bond is a fitting and fun end to his stint, though the realism of the show continues to be stretched beyond breaking and the writing swings wildly from brilliantly witty to cringingly bad. Overall an enjoyable watch. I hope future Bond’s return to more classical threats from villains who are elaborate thieves or politically motivated terrorists, rather than just well connected and well resourced authors of chaos with a flair for props and set design.
– typical M Night Shyamalan: garishly directed and pulls its punches, but with an original, intriguing conceit that keeps you hooked.
– McAvoy blazes in this stressful crime thriller about a man hunting for his missing kid in the stunningly beautiful Scottish countryside. Grim but gripping, with a continual capacity to surprise.
– practically single cast scifi thriller is bare bones, dubiously grounded in science, and although exciting at times with some genuinely surprising twists, perhaps should have been a short.
– silly spy mystery starts fast paced and intriguing (if nothing else) then proceeds to sprint everywhere but in a sensible direction. A waste of time.
– mediocre and tonally chaotic spy thriller feels more like a BBC drama than a blockbuster but has its moments. An enjoyable enough genre piece.
– an astonishing fly-on-the-wall account of a ten year mission to infiltrate North Korea, so far fetched as to be entirely unbelievable without the visual evidence documented here. Jaw dropping and totally gripping. The only question left is where is the accountability?
– Hugh Jackman speaks a few octaves deeper than a regular human and does his best deadpan Max Payne impression in this densely expositional dystopian sci-fi that leans so heavily into the neo-noir genre it’s practically a parody, with universally unlikeable characters, unfeasible tech and a wretched script offering lines like, ‘The past is just a series of moments. Each one perfect. Complete. A bead on the necklace of time.’ What a load of tosh.
– Spanish language soap-thriller is fast paced, easy (if frustrating) viewing and good practice for learners; as a show, I can’t recommend it. The plot is insane, the script and acting typically hyperbolic, and the direction completely rote.
– Creative direction and sumptuous visuals elevate this story of a mentally ill fundamentalist, but its plot and script feels too thin and two dimensional. Definitely worth a watch for theological horror fans.
– Can’t speak to its value as a survivalists field guide, but this is a dark, anxiety stewing, nail biting and utterly engrossing thriller. A massive shame the final ten minutes are quite so unhinged. A better ending would have made this one to wholeheartedly recommend. Instead, it’s one to very cautiously recommend, maybe, and only to horror fans and cinephiles with strong stomachs.
– two decades ago this sort of ludicrously stupid alien time travel tomfoolery might have landed on its feet, sitting among Independence Day and other mindlessly bombastic blockbusters. By today’s standards, it’s just vacuous nonsense, so formulaic it could have been scripted by an AI.
– gripping unorthodox heist style thriller pits student geniuses against the stringent STIC exam rules. It’s too on the nose at times and pushes the boundaries beyond credulity, but it’s still a thoroughly entertaining watch and enjoyably different from ‘Western’ fare.
– Painfully stupid. It’s embarrassing that Antoine Fuqua has his name attached.
– albeit less remarkable than its predecessor, this is still a high tension and innovative dystopian horror. It depicts the immediate aftermath of the first film: if every couple of days is filled with high drama like this, it’s a miracle any of the characters are alive or sane.
– Taylor Sheridan continues to excel. This is like watching a Cormac McCarthy novel interpreted by the Coen Brothers. A smart script, visuals and direction top notch, amazing cast, heartfelt and thick with metaphor. Enjoyed it a lot.
– Guy Ritchie’s latest is all brawn, swagger and meaty muscle men. His trademark one-liners and quirky English wit don’t translate at all to American, and the opening act is too slow and broody to charm. That said, Ritchie still delivers a polished, stylish revenge thriller, worth watching even when we’ve seen Statham do it all before and know the ending’s a foregone conclusion.
– bank heist caper sports a stellar cast (both English and Spanish) but makes no attempt at realism. It’s just about enjoyable enough for some light evening entertainment. Low effort.
– a compelling crime drama, without a doubt, but for me personally, too oppressively bleak to actually enjoy. Instead, I admired its polish and the guesswork of the whodunnit, and readily moved on when it was over.
– For a movie that wants to be taken seriously, this takes far fetched and stupid to a whole new level. As well as a boys versus girls, playground level interpretation of feminism, it serves a stream of contrivances, and endless vile people to hate with not one to root for. It’s like receiving frustration via IV. What’s the time? Taser time. Absolute balls.
– far from just a Theroux family vanity project. Both in terms of plot and stylistically, this is a cross between Breaking Bad and Ozark. I’m yet to be convinced it’s on a par with either, but it’s not too far off. Its biggest issue is that for the plot to work, it’s contingent on a single contrivance: that in this family fleeing from the US government at all costs, neither of the teenage children, nor the audience, ever learn why they are being chased. That grows thinner and more implausible with each passing episode. Fortunately, they’re just about exhilarating and smartly scripted enough (barring some grimace-inducing social commentary) to keep the McGuffin rolling, but Season 2 will have a lot of explaining to do.
– Russian sci-fi is technically polished and engaging throughout but struggles with a dead-end story and questionable characters. Still worth watching.
– Kiera Allen turns in a strong performance in this predictable thriller that delivers some light suspense but not much else.
– (the one with Helen Hunt and Jon Tenney, not the freaky home video b-movie of the same name and year!) After an unconvincing start, this resolves to be much cleverer than it first appears. It still feels a bit forced, but the plot keeps you guessing and there are more twists (and satisfactory twists at that) than most movies get away with.
– Danish revenge comedy aims for black humour but leans too far into tragedy at times. It’s original, well-cast and acted, though its silliness distracts from an insightful depiction of grief.
– early Line of Duty may have been brilliant at times, but this series was dire. Bad scripting, a made-for-TV gloss and style of editing that feels dated in this day and age, and laughably unrealistic plot turns including shoot outs with automatic weapons in the middle of the street by teams of ‘bent coppers’ which appear to gain no media coverage nor warrant further investigation. About the only realistic thing in the entire show is the ending, which is unpopular because it’s so uneventful. Plus, every character has become a caricature and half of the lines uttered are catchphrases or clichés. So disappointing.
– No more or less than a magnificently choreographed symphony of violence. Cathartic.
– twisting thriller with a stellar cast starts strong then rapidly goes off the rails, stretching implausibility until it snaps and becomes straight up stupidity. A shame, as it seemed so promising, but shows like these – especially Spanish – never let realism get in the way of melodrama, and the standard suffers.
– British black comedy struggles to find the right balance between genuinely smart witted humour and drama, and the resulting dissonance interferes with an otherwise quirky and well played script. Like 28 Days Later meets Shaun of the Dead, but worse than both.
– may one day give this another shot, but at the point I gave up on it, it would have taken a miraculous sea-change to redeem it. Puerile, unfunny, and just really goddam boring.
– bloodthirsty tongue in cheek action thriller in the same vein as Deadpool, Crank and Guns Akimbo. A fun blast, for sure, but its attempts to include a father/ son relationship feel misplaced, and it outstays its welcome by a good thirty minutes.
– apart from its awkward title, this is an awkward film. Though the message is clear and, to some extent, lands, the way it depicts the brutality of gitmo feels gratuitous, particularly as the cast are all a bit too Hollywood-gloss to achieve the grittiness it seems to be aspiring to, and the script, too, feels like it was hammered out to a studio formula. In short, despite its “true story” claims, it feels inauthentic.
– disappointingly, the series never fully recovered after it’s 4th season dip in quality, but at least this is an improvement, and it’s still gripping and above average entertainment. It’s a shame this series adopted a strangely hallucinatory style of editing and direction, and felt a little too self-indulgent with its multiple dream sequences and graphic sex scenes. The final two episodes in particular felt decidedly out of character and tonally off. Nonetheless, absolutely worth watching for fans of the show and still highly enjoyable.
– enjoyably awful Spanish language prison thriller with a crazy and implausible plot, a terrible script, and editing that feels like whole chunks of the show were left on the cutting room floor. That said, the cast put in admirably hammy performances – with Flavio Medina as Peniche and David Chocarro as Santito both particularly riveting. They deserve much better roles. All in all, not worth it unless you’re a fan of this kind of shambolic telenovela melodrama. Shamefully, perhaps, I am.
– well cast but underwhelming, particularly after watching vastly superior TV shows covering similar terrain (see Le Bureau). Not worth the time.
– The first season of the show that feels dangerously close to ‘average’. Malotru is still out of control, buffeted around by circumstances, the loss of a key figure is seriously detrimental to the dynamic, and for some reason, the writers decided they’d lean into the tried and tested magic of hacking and AI for a bounty of deus ex machinas and other plot contrivances. It’s still an enjoyable ride, but this season fell far short of its predecessors, including with its uncertain and slapdash conclusion.
– the French spy thriller’s standard stays high, mostly, and the multitude of stories engaging – if a little familiar, despite a plot development that has the potential to derail the whole series.
– Malotru is back and so is the staggeringly high standard of screenwriting and acting. So compelling and fast paced, it feels like it ran straight into series three. Your love hate relationship with Marina Loisseau starts here…
– high stakes, nuanced and blisteringly tense French spy drama takes an episode to get going and then never lets up. With top notch performances and intelligent scripting, this is that rare gem: a truly great spy thriller.
– Sacha Baron Cohen gives an impressively straight performance as Israeli spy Eli Cohen. The series is uneven, cheesy and rushed at times, but it’s mostly gripping and easy entertainment.
– intriguing sci-fi thriller hugely undermined by a dreary mid-life crisis subplot and less than precise ‘time travel’ logic. Worth it for genre fans though.
– clearly aspired to be better than its end result and I applaud that ambition, but the script isn’t up to scratch and the direction and editing are also subpar. Disappointed this didn’t itch the crime thriller scratch, but nice to see Denzel in anything really….
– Daniel Radcliffe’s comedic accent doesn’t do this survival thriller any favours, but neither does the weird direction, odd editing and generally hammy style. Watchable, but feels like it could and should have been much better.
– even allowing that this is an apocalyptic action thriller starring Gerard Butler, it still manages to disappoint. Dire script, poor visuals, and an ill conceived, threadbare plot. Not since War of the Worlds have so many explosions led to such an anticlimax.
– ten episodes is far too long, and though both leads can hold their audience (extremely disconcertingly in Harry Treadaway’s case), the direction and scripting leaves a lot to be desired, with contrivances and implausible behaviour happening all over the shop. It’s also extremely gratuitous and graphic and generally pretty damn unpleasant to watch. On balance, with the range of high quality TV available now, I’d give this a miss.
– Like a Scottish answer to Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad. Top performances, top soundtrack, and creative direction. A totally unexpected little black comedy gem.
– not a patch on the original Unabomber series. The scripting is farcical at times, and it’s dismaying that most of the story and characters are completely fabricated. Honestly though, for fans of high stakes crime thrillers, this is still an engaging and easy-viewing romp.
– thoroughly enjoyed this crime thriller. Though the casting is a little distracting, the story keeps you guessing right up to its gritty ending. One of the best shows I’ve seen in a while.
– aaaand I’m up to date. No great surprises here. The sexual slack between Cardinal and Delorme is tied into a bow while the duo plod through snow investigating revenge killings.
– not to be confused with the classic of the same name (or any of its incarnations), this is a gritty, high intensity police thriller that plays out like a French remix of City of God and Training Day. At once tender and brutally, shockingly savage, it’s a pièce de résistance and a must watch.
– spanish thriller along the same nasty lines as Mientras Duermes. Javier Gutierrez is strong as always, but it’s just too damn unpleasant to enjoy. The spaniards excel at this skincrawling format.
– well-titled, sinister stalking thriller is a bit too focused on its two leads, and compelling as their performances are, it needed diluting with a subplot or a few more characters. Overall, this punches above its weight.
– much like series one, this is short and easy viewing. Not such a good story as the first season – often stupid and predictable in fact – but it (just about) hits the crime spot.
– quite gruesome but enjoyably straightforward cop show, short episodes and a short season. This is no True Detective, but it’s ideal for filling the gap between bigger and better TV shows.
– as expected from one of the writers of (the original) The Killing, this is an above average scandi crime thriller with twists aplenty and a delightful capacity to surprise. Though imperfect, it’s an enjoyably puzzling mystery for anyone with an appetite for the genre.
– this spanish-language bank robbery comedy is enjoyably lighthearted, but in some ways, the calibre of the crime deserves a more serious retelling.
– so hackneyed it has an E5 postcode. Also, bad.
– silly action shooter provides slick choreography and a lot of entertainment if you can check your mind at the door. I’d watch a sequel.
– a fantastic and fantastically timely piece of cinema. Sorkin’s script is characteristically sharp and pacy, and the cast are at the top of their game. Rarely do I feel so animated by a film, but this is certainly stirring. A must watch.
– really didn’t expect much going into this, but despite the glossy poster boys clearly chosen for their chiselled jaws rather than their acting chops, this was extremely compelling and quite emotionally affecting as well.
– fair to say this is an above average kidnapping thriller, and the vexing reliance on contrivances to make it all work is offset by its patient direction and performances. Shame it’s so damn nasty, but that’s the genre I suppose.
– the bad title sets the tone for this ludicrously stupid but improbably engaging serial killer thriller featuring the magnetic Robert Sheehan. I haven’t shouted at the TV so much in ages. Quite cathartic actually…
– a brilliant cast and cinematic direction elevates this above the mainstream. Thoroughly gripping, even though you know what happens next…
– Ozark-vibes comedy finds humour in the blackest of places. It fluctuates between highly entertaining and hugely depressing, and its slow pace might be off-putting to some, but it’s pleasingly original.
– both leads are phenomenal in this fast paced, slickly shot headscratcher that’s as confusing as it is engaging and either too clever or too tangled for its own good. Not as enjoyable as Nolan’s last few films (excluding The Dark Knight Rises which is a bad anomaly).
– light-hearted sci-fi scandi crime series playfully ridicules modern and historic societal attitudes while erring on just the right side of spoof. Definitely not high art, and definitely unfinished after one series, but there’s enough fun and mystery here that I’m happy to recommend.
– thin and unremarkable depiction of a plane hijacking. Nothing egregious, it’s just very plain. (Boom boom!)
– a semi-interesting premise is kneaded over and over but remains as shapeless as it did at the start. Plants gas-lighting their growers? It’s like The Happening 2.0. Weirdly amateurish at times, too.
– Hanks’ U-boat thriller is gripping and exciting, even while not particularly interesting, but it’s unremarkable when compared to the genre as a whole. Much better war films in recent years.
– Dave Franco’s cautionary tale of a risky fling gone awry disappoints with last act slasher. Fairly predictable and conventional, but good enough for discerning horror fans to get a (slight) kick out of.
– fairly standard scandi-noir, some duff writing, stupid coincidences and a lot of personal relationship drama that dilutes the intrigue and distracts from the plot, but it’s watchable enough if murder mysteries are your cup of tea.
– Koresh gets a (somewhat) sympathetic depiction in this immediately compelling dramatisation of the Waco catastrophe. The filmmakers caveat their portrayal to some extent, and it remains unclear how factual it is, but this is a pretty hard hitting indictment of the ATF and FBI’s approach to the standoff. Gripping from the off, and definitely recommended.
– Romanian Spanglish crime drama is convoluted in the extreme, with allegiance switching and betrayals galore. It’s sumptuous to look at and keeps you guessing, but the conclusion doesn’t tie things as neatly as hoped, and the tone is too deadpan to be fun.
– a predictable, unpleasant and unconvincing concoction that long outstays its welcome.
– hesitant to award the Smiley not because it’s undeserving, but because it’s like having boiling hot water splashed on your face for two hours. It’s emotionally scolding, furious and furiously intense, with a soundtrack that’s as dominant as the powerhouse performances it lifts. I felt damaged after watching it, but somehow a little bit stronger too.
– by and large, this is an engaging and addictive drama but its innumerable flaws (dated gender stereotypes, predictable twists, endless contrivances, to list a few) lead to an underwhelming and disappointing conclusion.
– on a second viewing this still holds up as an intense cinematic experience, though as a result of the current political situation and rioting in the USA, it feels a little less comfortable as entertainment.
– Italian crime thriller reaches for high stakes but descends into melodrama instead. The story is an absurd, rambling, meandering mess, beleaguered by endless contrivances. There’s nearly nothing here to like.
– for an emotive premise, the Devs cast seems to have been carefully selected and briefed to be devoid of emotion. It results in dry and deadpan delivery that’s a real turn off, and in some cases downright infuriating (see preachy, expressionless Alison Pill as Katie who seems to be trying her hardest to stop viewers wanting to engage at all). As a fan of sci-fi, I’ve come to expect some pseudo-science-philosophy-waffle, it’s often required exposition, but here, presumably in an attempt to be profound, the explanatory science and logic is told in a condescending, imperious fashion, and the line between confident, self-assured plot, and smugly complacent “we know something you don’t know”-ism is crossed time and again. It’s a shame and especially frustrating as predeterminism is not even a particularly challenging concept. There’s so much going on here, and some of it is brilliant (like the soundtrack, set design and Nick Offerman’s simmering performance), but unfortunately, it ties itself in knots trying to one-up the viewer, and ends up collapsing inwards. If this was a first draft, the potential would be so exciting, but as a finished product, it falls very far short.
– typical Roland Emmerich action thriller (Independence Day, 2012): talking torsos surveying destruction as it unfolds on a green screen and flag waving as they stare down the barrel of inevitable defeat to ultimately triumph against the odds. If glorifying war wasn’t enough, it also features some of the thinnest female characters ever committed to screen. Yeah, it’s a Sunday movie, and absolutely undeserving of its current IMDb/ TMDb ratings.
– it’s open warfare in the streets as Hemsworth trades hammer for Glock, struts his Jason Bourne, rips some limbs, kicks some ass and racks up an easy three figure body count. Where are the press? Where is… pretty much everyone other than the goons getting nailed? Nobody knows. This is some old school action silliness right here. Slick but utterly absurd. Good fun though, and with a name like Extraction, did anybody expect any different?
– this sci-fi is a really underrated little cracker. It looks great, has a credible script and taps into all the fears you’d expect being 7 miles underwater. I think it’s fair to suspend disbelief when it comes to the guys wandering around down there, even if it is against the science of it. (Incidentally, on that front, there’s a phenomenal piece in The Atlantic on this very subject, it’s fascinating!) Anyway, I went in with no expectations (other than that it’s a Eubank film and in general, I’m a fan), and thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me of Pandorum, but under the sea instead of in space.
– To contrast with the Smiley of Approval, maybe I should introduce a sad face for truly disappointing films. Given my fondly nostalgic memories of its progenitors, this pitiful, unfunny excuse for an action comedy would certainly deserve one. A generous viewer might argue the buddy cop duo themselves at least retain a degree of charisma, but even that’s a stretch. A great shame.
– when brilliant writing meets convincing acting and memorable cinematography is cut with creative direction, you end up with a show as consistently compelling as Better Call Saul. Jimmy has come a long way since we were first introduced to his origin story, but Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould pace his development just right, with barely a foot wrong. Unfortunately, the wrong foot in this season falls in the final episode, which is a real clanger given the deliberate realism of the series so far. This might well be the best show currently on TV though, and over 50 episodes, the occasional misstep can be forgiven.
– though the black witted crime drama remains a cut above most of its competition, this season dips in the middle, returns to retread some old ground, and has a sense of inevitability about it that is dangerously close to tedious. That said, it ends with a bang, the comedy remains laugh out loud at times, and the main cast are as terrific as ever. It’s a shame the writers lean into ’emotional conflict’ so heavily they could be following notes from a university lecture on creative writing. It grates.
– Edge of Tomorrow meets The Terminator, with none of the ingenuity or humour, and evidently none of the originality. Clichés, Hollywood tech nerds and pseudo science abound. If you enjoy brute force action, there might be something for you, but I promise it’s nothing smart.
– a masterpiece of creativity and a reminder of why superhero movies ever became popular in the first place. This is a self-referential, hilariously witty and inspiring animated genre mash-up that leaves every other superhero movie looking tired and tropid. A pleasure from start to finish.
– So many shout at the TV moments in this horror/ thriller, everything from the premise to the predictable script (where nobody communicates clearly about anything and every twist is preannounced), to the crazy ‘science’ of the invisibility suit, which apparently works perfectly even when wet, covered with paint, smashed to pieces with plates, frying pans, a pen etc. etc. It’s also nasty, in the same vein as Mientras Duermes (Sleep Tight), which is just a horrible trait for a film to have. Quite terrible. Everything other than Elizabeth Moss’ performance.
– gruesome spanish-language horror begs for dissection and analysis as it portrays a hierarchical class system in a barren, despairing prison called The Hole. Excessively violent and graphic, and cursed with a frustrating ending, but still thought provoking.
– if every character wasn’t so annoying, and the plot wasn’t so ludicrous, this very-BBC-TV cop thriller could have been good. As it stands, it’s certainly bingeable, and paced fast enough you might overlook its endless irrationality. I’m afraid I couldn’t.
– corrupt cop thriller is formulaic, predictable and contrived, but more egregious still: it’s boring.
– Had an absolute blast watching this. Did not expect that. In a similar vein to Zombieland, everything about it is stupid, starting with the premise, through to the tattooed, gleefully whining villain, and including the immature humour. Yet somehow, if you don’t think too hard about it, or think about it at all really, it absolutely works as an overall package, and is massively, embarrassingly, entertaining; a riot.
– suspenseful cop thriller with tight direction and strong performances, particularly from leads Stephan James and Chadwick Boseman. A shame they opted for so many shoot ’em ups rather than a smarter script, but what it does, it does well.
– Radcliffe starring prison thriller isn’t short on suspense once it gets going, even contrived as it is, but that’s about it. Easy viewing, nothing to get excited about.
– very ‘made for TV’ binge mystery starts intriguing but farfetched and gets progressively more and more inane. None of it adds up, none of it is remotely plausible outside of the realms of TV land, and it’s stupid even by those low standards. Save yourself the eyerolls and vexation: avoid.
– enthralling and compelling horror nods to The Shining but is very much its own tale. Though weakest when retreading old ground, it does so softly, without desecrating it. A shame it’s so long and the slow start doesn’t help the runtime, but stick it out.
– a pretty derivative addition to the ‘superkid’ dystopian sci-fi genre, very obviously ripping on Stranger Things and X-men. More than half way through it musters some excitement, but still ends with too many questions to ignore.
– Not quite a masterpiece but certainly a masterful piece of TV storytelling. Racism, identity, time travel, religion and transgression are just some of the themes considered, all under the guise of a slickly produced and extremely stylish action thriller. Nice work.
– international detective story boasts a cast at the top of their game, a hugely witty script and more excitement by episode three than most series have reached by their finale. Unfortunately, it struggles to sustain its focus, becomes diverted by petty relationship dramas and ill thought out plot strands and so misses the bullseye. That said, fantastic TV show, highly recommended. Great soundtrack too.
– the clues to this convoluted, slow-burning, skin-crawling mystery emerge through a combination of supernatural horror and black humour. It’s a claustrophobic drama, brilliantly acted, wonderfully intriguing and often very funny, but it’s also inconsistent, juggling a plethora of ideas and themes that are too meandering (almost random), and left underdeveloped and ultimately a bit thin (echoes of Lost). Perhaps an expanded cast and range of locations will help flesh it out in season two.
– The problem with this style of cinema is that it’s massively distracting. It invites more time spent wondering about the production methods, hidden cuts, and how the environment is mapped out than engaging with the characters and story. Without the self-imposed constraints of the single take impression it could have been a better film, and still included long takes where appropriate. Instead, it belongs in the same category as Gravity: an incredible feat of film-making at the cost of storytelling. But like Gravity, is an unmissable spectacle and deserving of accolade.
– There’s a tongue-in-cheek humour behind the theatrical overacting and folkloric hijinx, but it didn’t tickle me enough to make the black and white viewing experience any easier, nor the abstract, art-house visual and mumbled poetry any more engrossing. Both actors give memorable performances as flatulent, Gormenghastly characters trapped in an increasingly manic, maritime-gothic nightmare, but their accents are at times indecipherable and the hideously grotesque and sordid scenes, though perhaps appropriately deranged, are nonetheless too depraved for my tastes.
– another disappointing video game adaptation, this one hoping to capture the Game of Thrones audience with a moody atmosphere, the requisite conspiratorial plotting and plenty of gore. Though a huge fan of the games, I found this dull and confusing.
– it is a relief to see such a proficient return to form from Guy Ritchie who delivers an innovative, irreverently funny and fast paced helter-skelter ride featuring his by now trademark one-liner quips, slickly stylised direction, and an hilariously addled narration by Hugh Grant’s oleaginous private investigator. Everyone is at the top of their ham game, and this is an absolute riot.
– without doubt a brilliantly concocted and immersive feat of film-making, but it’s so relentlessly high stress, angst-ridden and chaotic it’s hard to enjoy. Adam Sandler utterly embodies the role though, his finest performance.
– fairly thrilling racing film with a lot of unnecessary sentiment padding its excessive runtime. Entertaining, no doubt, but could have been better.
– Dwayne Johnson’s charisma carries this explosive, rip-roaring action thriller. The plot is ludicrous and the formula tired, but it entertains.
– a politician scapegoated in a financial scandal frantically tries to prove the corruption runs deeper. Excellent performances and a fast paced, compelling script, but the plot is occasionally confusing, and the ending is an outrageous disservice to viewers. Almost brilliant, but falls short.
– JK Simmons’ doppleganger sci-fi definitely suffers from an overly ponderous pace and dour tone, but if you’ve the patience for it, there’s a smart spy thriller at its core, with a pleasantly convoluted and twisting plot, fantastic acting and an evocative musical score.
– basically an extended bar brawl with a foul-mouthed cockney narrator. Oddly characterful and entertaining, though some dodgy production gives a B-movie feel.
– surprisingly good dystopian teen sci-fi is comfortable wearing genre tropes and carries itself with aplomb. Vaguely reminiscent of Equilibrium (2002).
– insightful and cerebral drama about crimes by the CIA against detainees post 9/11. Top performances and intelligent scripting, but the volume and density of information makes it hard work at times.
– a partially-sighted, beefcake cop pursues criminals with an unwilling, goofy Uber driver. Yep, this is absolute rubbish.
– despite a poor setup, weak script and uninspired direction, Will Smith’s gimmicky doppleganger action thriller is at least somewhat entertaining.
– a mixed bag of mystery and intrigue whose brilliant cast and sometimes sharp script is tempered by bad subplots and ludicrous allusions to the supernatural. An enjoyably compelling experience overall, but proves ultimately disappointing.
– albeit too long, often absurd, and filled with the usual cultural melodrama, this inventive zombie thriller from Korea provides heart-racing, palm-sweating tension in spades.
– from Gattaca writer Andrew Niccol comes another solid dystopian sci-fi noir. It’s sometimes contrived but, on the whole, is intriguing and smarter than average.
– gator thriller is an easy 80 minutes, with some genuine tension at the expense of all plausibility and logic (upstairs or across the infested flood?)
– perhaps the most bingeable of the show’s seasons despite a jarring and tedious historical plotline about Smurf. The writing is smarter and wittier than the last series (admittedly a very low bar to beat), and the plot moves at a fast pace through major, character-changing events. If you were on the fence about carrying on after S03 (and I wouldn’t blame you), this is worth resuming. If not, I wouldn’t bother starting Animal Kingdom at all.
– there’s nothing more criminal in this series than the way it has turned a menacing, high stakes crime drama into a chaotic, madcap and asinine catalogue of errors; as if the writers decided as long as they included the stock ingredients of drug-taking, sex and random acts of violence, they could avoid actually having to drum up a compelling storyline or any innovative new heists. This is terrible writing with nearly nothing to redeem it. As a fan of series 1, I can only hope they seriously upped the game for season 4. I’m not holding my breath.
– engrossing as this sometimes is, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before (and in this show no less). The Narcos formula begins to feel tired; thin on ideas and excitement, with twists and turns bordering on predictable, and plot strands that run to nowhere. It doesn’t help that the characters this season aren’t charismatic and the ending, when it comes, concludes nothing.
– not to be confused with the excellent Fracture (2007), this is an operose psychological thriller which, between the name, its title sequence, and the opening shot, reveals its hand before it ever gets going and continues to patronise throughout. Tiresome.
– very much a sequel to offer closure on Jesse Pinkman’s story. It plays more as an extended episode of the show than a standalone film, with some slightly laboured exposition to help fill the gaps. It’s an unnecessary but no less welcome return to Breaking Bad, and although it doesn’t bring anything new, Gilligan’s trademark camerawork and strong performances make for another engaging and competent production.
– whether its ambition is to highlight the depravity of greed at all costs or not, this dog eat dog thriller is sick and repellent, depicting a viciously sadistic sequence of events it would be indecent to recommend. Grim indeed.
– low budget, fringe end of days thriller suggests there’s little more to humanity than venal hedonism and selfishness. It’s an unflattering and pretty unoriginal vision, and even for a short film takes too much effort to engage with.
– Cool conceit and initial set up is let down by plotting that seems contrived to keep costs low, resulting in an underwhelming, slow thriller that never realises its latent potential.
– where Heath Ledger’s Joker exploded on screen in a dazzling spectacle and jolt of adrenaline, Joaquin Phoenix’ character deteriorates like rot, until sympathetically unhinged becomes fully detached and he sucks chaos towards him like a black hole. It’s a masterful performance. Kudos, too, to Scott Silver and Todd Phillips, who have dared to introduce shades of grey to a genre dominated by black and white, added enough social commentary to stir up the zeitgeist, and still crafted an utterly compelling origin story for one of the most loathed and adored villains in the superhero catalogue. It’s only appropriate to award the smiley…
– refreshingly original and thought provoking take on the time travel genre, where time and its nature is the centrepiece rather than a cheap plot device. Things escalate a little too fast, but overall this is fairly excellent, and has flown remarkably low under the radar. Deserves more attention.
– Somewhat goofy time travel thriller offers thinly plotted entertainment value, but nothing more substantial.
– wildly original as well as just plain wild, this is a superhero misadventure with more dark twists and psycho kinks than a comicon in a bondage dungeon. The script is often too try-hard, whether in attempts at shock or humour, and the characters and Machiavellian scheming sometimes just too obvious, but as a cocktail, it’s hard not to swallow the lot with a giddy smile and extend the glass for more. Cross Deadpool with Banshee and you’re somewhere close – Antony Starr sure can pick ’em.
– teenage kicks turn sour in this contrived and unemotional little thriller, tightly knit, but too frivolous to excite (or even entertain).
– the crazed family of thieves continue to trample each other and everyone nearby in their attempts to earn a quick buck, get high or get laid. While there are some major plot developments this series and it remains easy viewing, the show feels less even-handed and considered than its prequel, with a reckless, scattergun approach that is messy and unconvincing.
– why I’m still watching these is a valid question, and one I ask myself often. Every now and again, they surprise with an enjoyable few hours. This is one such time. Heavy on the humour and overall, good, silly fun.
– some will hate its overt comic book stylings and video game sensibilities – the shamelessly titillating nudity, caricatured villains and vividly graphic violence – but for fans of the genre this is a slickly produced and exhilarating ride.
– tight little crime thriller shot nearly entirely within a getaway car. Boasts a surprisingly strong cast and innovative direction to keep the intensity rolling.
– Really wanted to like this despite the brazen and hamfisted rip-off of the Stranger Things aesthetic, but it’s protracted, humourless and unoriginal, with unsympathetic characters and drab direction.
– An hour or so in, this flag-waving, chest-thumping, oohrah-ing submarine thriller proves better than expected, though the usual formulaic ingredients of rallying speeches, classified intel and trigger-happy Russian villains don’t feel any fresher.
– compelling if unremarkable Australian war film.
– there are plenty of problems with this show, but none register for long before they’re superceded by a nailbiting thrill or a move that leaves you squirming. Though it wallows in gratuity – the whole cocktail of sex, drugs and violence – and the whole conceit stretches plausibility, it goes to plenty of dark places that a lesser show might not, and though the dialogue can seem trite at times, the cast (nearly) uniformly deliver even the weaker lines with an unhinged edge that keeps you gripped and their deranged characters intact. Echoes of Bloodline (2015) but far less restrained.
– exciting and tense French crime thriller feels as though it’s missing something, but remains a very solid effort.
– fairly engaging but its plodding pace would have benefited from more detective work and less wishy-washy romance. For a vaguely similar story, far more compellingly spun, watch True Detective S03.
– typical shark attack thriller with a few jump scares, a bit of suspense, lots of tiresome panic, and an utterly pointless first act. Quite a smart surprise at the end though. If you’re in the mood…
– If there was ever such a genre as straight-to-DVD, bargain basket thriller, this is the epitomy. An extended and exhaustingly uninspired car chase from start to finish.
– deliberately dry and burdensome style could be off-putting to some viewers, but those with patience will be rewarded with a slickly directed, well shot and wrly amusing heist thriller of the sort that are few and far between these days.
– The snipey, cut-throat world of art is depicted through maladies, melodrama and macabre murders as galleries, buyers, museums and their staff fawn over the newly discovered works of a dead artist. Campy good fun despite despicable characters and an hysterical plot.
– This film had so much potential. The premise is delightfully deranged, albeit not fleshed out enough, and the cast are strong, but it fails in its plodding execution, and unwillingness to assert any definitive plot details. Its implications and suggestions, whilst initially intriguing, grow irksome, and the open ending feels lazy rather than suspenseful. It’s a shame, because it hints at a much more successful thriller.
– brilliantly crafted historical drama depicts the harrowing tragedy informatively and ungratuitously whilst remaining utterly engaging. A rare feat that more than deserves the acclaim and audience recognition it has received.
– engaging WW2 war thriller with a twist. Whether the twist adds to the film or detracts from it, I’m uncertain, but it packs a punch either way.
– though on the surface the conceit has some echoes of Disturbia (2007), this is a much more compelling and convincing film, with a plausible set up, backstory and conclusion. The puerile teenage interludes are tedious, but the overall execution is suspensful and engrossing. A pleasant surprise.
– Despite an almost unbearably insipid and on the nose family drama subplot, the bulk and set up of this thriller is mostly well choreographed and very suspenseful at times. Hardly award-winning but sufficiently entertaining to recommend.
– given the subject matter, its depiction as a sort of Ocean’s 11 style pithy-witted spy thriller is tonally jarring, but it’s more than serviceable, and better than one might expect from Netflix.
– Wow. How a film can continue to conjure such immediate wonder, excitement and hope after 20 years defies explanation. An absolute thrill ride, every bit as fresh as when I first viewed it all those years ago. A once in a generation, maybe even once in a lifetime masterpiece.
– a sillier season than its predecessors, with some annoyances like Hopper’s incessant rage and shouting, and Will’s neck-scratching demotion to near irrelevance, but overall, fans of the franchise will still be entertained, and it promises another fun follow-up.
– dark and tonally dissonant crime drama with a B-movie feel but methodical execution. Unfortunately reveals its hand early so surprises are few and far between.
– A satisfying mystery that intrigues and excites thanks to carefully calculated performances from a cast at the top of their game, and a sharp and quick witted script.
– Sadly far inferior to its predecessor, this time it forgoes the cat and mouse excitement for a focus on relationships, resulting in the kind of banal drama found in any other run of the mill TV show. There are enough key ingredients to entertain, but it’s disappointing.
– Wonderfully dramatic French thriller – such a refreshing surprise. Yes, it’s full of absurdly Hollywoodised moments, but they have a kind of hammy charm, and the overall suspense and tension is terrific throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed this one!
– Scrappy and chaotic dystopian scifi thriller. Despite some heavy hitter casting, none of them have the opportunity to really engage the viewer, who is buffeted from one frenetic sequence to another before ever becoming invested in the story, setting or characters. Ambitious and nearly redeemed towards the end, but remains a missed opportunity.
– Polished if formulaic gun slinger following a pair of washed up lawmen on the trail of Bonnie and Clyde. Unimaginative and a bit flabby, but serviceable.
– comparisons to Inherent Vice are deserved, though I think the snowballing mystery in this is actually far more satisfying. Don’t be fooled by the gently intriguing trailer, this is a conspiracy movie for conspiracy theorists. It’s like watching a cheerful descent into mental illness.
– this script was not nearly deserving of such a strong cast. The dire writing and absurd plot leaves even actors of this calibre looking like soap stars. Crap.
– this sharp and quick witted political thriller provides a contender for career best performance from Hugh Jackman, while JK Simmons, Vera Farmiga, Mamoudou Athie and Molly Ephraim all turn in terrific supporting roles. In fact, I can’t remember a time when the cast as a whole was so thoroughly deserving of acclaim. The direction is spot on, subtle, understated, and leaving judgement to the viewer. This has been criminally underrated by reviewers and critics in general, but I highly recommend it.
– This Spanish time travel thriller is engaging enough and fun to watch unfold, but its production feels low-fi and the story and acting are hammy.
– a gripping enough way to spend a few hours, but surprisingly plain. The wasted potential is especially disappointing given its stellar cast.
– serviceable thriller that spends far too much effort trying to be smart and ends up ponderous and predictable instead. Not bad performances though. I quite like Joel Edgerton these days.
– Stark, overly stylised small town noir thriller with a snarky script and lots of hammy performances from the all star cast. Despite all of that, it remains quite dull.
– above average crime thriller following four US students who plot an art heist. Slick storytelling and direction with an excellent soundtrack.
– as per the plummeting trend, the eye rollingly stupid crime thriller is more gratuitous and more ridiculous than ever. Waste of time.
– unimpressive but solid enough crime drama a few beats too short of a thriller, and a few scenes too short of an ending. Humdrum.
– confusing plot portrayed in a gripping and restrained manner. Worth watching this political thriller, but you might need a quick Wikipedia history lesson afterwards. (I did.)
– bat shit crazy and wildly original vampire thriller from the Russians. Innovatively directed and compellingly played. Not quite tight enough for excellence, but way better than anyone could reasonably expect from the genre.
– a whisker short of perfection, but still a masterpiece of acting and direction. The attention to detail, pacing… just the general craftmanship are all top notch. A first rate Danish thriller.
– exactly what you’d expect from a Jason Statham action thriller about a super shark attacking a research centre (or maybe a bit worse). Brainless, ridiculous, and not particularly entertaining either.
– often laboured, often indulgent, but original, unusual, terrifically well done, and so grand in scope (perhaps too grand) it can be forgiven its minor flaws.
– gratuitous and trashy whodunnit crime thriller with no wit, charm or smarts. The few bits of genuine intrigue remain unsolved at its conclusion, and the murderers motive (and unexplained obsession with Poirot) is farcical to the point of annoyance. Avoid.
– if you can withstand the first 45 minutes of painfully bad scripting and acting to match, then you’ll be rewarded (sort of) with a moderately entertaining final half. Or maybe I’m being generous. This is a really bad thriller by any standards.
– original thriller, creatively depicted and utterly compelling from start to finish.
– absurd and not particularly cohesive US war thriller. Cheesy propaganda filled with clichés. Ideal for a lazy Sunday when making a movie decision is already too much effort.
– mostly engaging and sometimes suspenseful war drama highlighting the extreme endurance of a soldier isolated behind enemy lines. It’s no doubt an extraordinary feat of survival that saw him return home, but it doesn’t always make for the most enthralling viewing experience.
– Serkis goes full on Lord of the Rings in his direction of this loose Jungle Book adaptation. It’s polished and easy viewing, but the superfluity of CGI is a constant barrier to getting truly lost in the trees. Good family-friendly adventure though.
– highly stylised but excellent spy thriller. It’s overindulgent at times, but maintains a high calibre and taut atmosphere throughout.
– forgettable and unexciting Hollywoodised newspaper thriller. Citizen Four much better on every level.
– not as good as the first one. More of a generic beat ’em up, shoot ’em up action thriller and much less slickly presented.
– A film about corruption, patriarchy, racism, domestic abuse, prostitution, police shootings, adultery, greed…too many ingredients ultimately undermine this thriller, but it still packs a punch and delivers vastly better entertainment than the usual fare.
– a second viewing holds up just as strongly as the first. Great thriller.
– after the initial depiction of the event itself, which is morbidly compelling despite being more shocking and grotesque than you might even imagine, the extreme tension dissipates into extreme tedium as the usual dramatic beats take over, and a long and unexciting court case gets underway. There’s little here to entertain.
– the celebrity clique continues their witty repartee even as the galaxy is dismantled around them. The latest superhero adventure is another 150 futile minutes of baffling, headache inducing CGI. It’s like watching a firework display. That said, if video game cut scenes and Marvel lore are your bag, this one will keep you hooked.
– there are so many threads here, each more splendidly fucked up than the last. Great and twisted psychological thriller. Highly recommended if you’ve the stomach for nastiness.
– a spanish language narcotics soap opera, a telenovela in every respect but production values. The story is predictable, character behaviours stupid, and every episode follows the exact same formula: risk of arrest being averted by a litany of increasingly absurd coincidences, contrivances, and deus ex machinas. If it wasn’t for the love of the language, it’s unlikely I’d have watched past episode two, and all the warning signs are there in episode one. If you want an amazing thriller about drug trafficking, there are so many to choose from, don’t choose this one.
– fresh and exciting spanish language thriller exploring the chaotic events of one night in a Paraguayan market when a boy is asked to transport 7 crates of unknown merchandise across the town. Brilliant, fast paced and often funny, with a great soundtrack and creative camera work.
– despite some excellent performances, this isn’t a thriller that warrants its outstanding cast. Albeit engaging and, for the most part, intriguing, the two storylines it plays with overlap too tenuously and the viewer is left baffled rather than satisfied.
– An above average whodunnit wrapped in political intrigue and cultural hierarchies and deferences. Our fascinating protagonist isn’t some blundering alcoholic battling with his demons as he solves cases; he is shrewd, capable, relentless, he sees much and says little, he is enigmatic but sympathetic, and his performance is fastidious and crisply delivered. The programme is soap operatic in many ways, excessively long (episodically and as a series), and it does suffer curious quirks and melodrama that are a million miles from realism or even plausibility, but overall these inadequacies don’t undermine its value as fun and extremely engaging television.
– mercifully short and mostly engaging spanish thriller. Everything about it is either bog standard or subpar, and there’s little to really recommend it, but the story is intriguing enough to keep you guessing. The premise is never explained or justified and one can’t help but think a better film could have been made.
– ropey low budget sci-fi thriller with Lee Pace. Its basic direction and cinematography leaves a dystopian vision that never quite convinces, while even with great actors delivering the lines, the script is so clunky they still feel stilted. Disappointing.
– extremely intense and suspenseful thriller with beautiful cinematography, artful pacing to ramp up the tension, and convincing performances from all involved.
– don’t be misled by the stellar cast, this is exactly as tedious as you would expect a Neeson action thriller to be, even down to the cheesy romances shoehorned in.
– Slow burning tension escalates throughout this inconspicuous and unsettling psychological noir thriller. Great cast who all turn in effective performances. Suffers some pacing issues, no doubt, but still underrated.
– two dimensional action thriller with a bare minimum of character, sense or story and a surfeit of gratuitous violence.
– moderately entertaining, but not a patch on the trilogy that came before. Unfortunately it emulates Ocean’s 11 so closely it feels unoriginal and trite, doing no favours for its screaming effort to be a female showcase for a female audience (Doncha know there’s nothing women love more than shopping, glamour and jewellery?! An ‘A’ for effort Hollywood…)
– it’s definitely aged since 2003, seeming so over the top now as to border slapstick, but the premise, direction and delivery are all still top notch. A great shame that Cusack hasn’t continued with this standard of work. Great thriller, best watched in your teens!
– Gripping, if entirely unrealistic thriller. After a strong and furiously fast paced start, the pacing drops off a cliff and padding crops up detailing superfluous soap opera relationship drama. It’s a shame. Furthermore, the ending, when it comes, is so abrupt it feels like no ending at all, with slapdash contrivances that undermine all the efforts of the protagonists (and the audience) to have come so far. The same story in 8 episodes would have been a blinder. Expect I’ll still watch season 2 though.
– hugely underrated British horror film using suspense and grotesque idolatry as the root of its terror. The symbolism and metaphors are a little too on the nose at times, and the script can be gratingly vituperative, but overall this is enjoyable, edge of the seat stuff.
– disappointing film overall, especially given the absurdly high rating it has on TMDb (and elsewhere…) It also doesn’t make a lot of sense at times, in a way that I’m not sure was down to the translation/ culture.
– With masterful direction, XX creates a searing sinister atmosphere and palpable suspense. It’s beautiful and sensual and mysterious from the opening frames, so it’s a shame that the climax, when it comes, fizzles rather than explodes, and leaves its audience deflated.
– this murder mystery is short on quality in just about every regard. the acting and direction is bland, the script stunted, and it’s so strangely and scrappily edited as to leave you feeling you’ve watched two thirds of a thriller. The ingredients for a much better film are there, but they’re served up uncooked and cold.
– Henceforth destined to be called simply ‘Soldado’, this sequel to the cartel thriller matches the suspense of its predecessor beat for beat and imitates its visual style mostly successfully. The ending feels too hastily wrapped up and slightly sloppy, with some niggling unresolved questions, so it doesn’t feel quite as polished or perfectly packaged as the original. Nonetheless, this is one hell of a film, brilliantly acted and scripted. It’s certainly a worthy sequel. Shame about the crap title.
– Gory and hopeless drama cum thriller about a paltry resistance effort during WW2. Depressing and not particularly compelling.
– Unconvincing acting and scripting make this low budget post-apocalyptic survival thriller near unwatchable.
– Slow burning and suspenseful, this indie, low budget emotional thriller is very effective, but feels overwrought and try hard at times.
– enjoyable continuation of the conspiracy thriller, but clutching at straws and contrivances in a way that series 1 didn’t need to. Still great entertainment, I’m just glad it was wrapped before it descended into farce.
– the one gripping heist sequence towards the end is very tightly executed, but the rest of this macho thriller is so testosterone fuelled and trite it’s off-putting. Too long as well.
– An intriguing and arresting pilot episode is followed by what must surely be one of the finest and most original conspiracy thriller series Britain has produced. There are some occasional lines of cheesy expositional dialogue, and the plot frequently strays into absurdity, but for sheer entertainment and thrilling momentum, this is an instant classic. Neil Maskell in particular is a rivetingly sinister villain.
– great thriller, even if it doesn’t hold its secrets quite so well on a repeat viewing.
– albeit a children’s film through and through (hence extra-condescending exposition), this is a brilliant dystopian sci-fi adventure – a love letter to video game nerds and pop culture nerds alike, filled with a ton of references and Easter Eggs. Thoroughly entertaining.
– not without its problems, but this is an extremely effective and original suspense thriller – much more exciting than scary. Well worth catching in the cinema (or on a big screen) if possible.
– engaging and suspenseful thriller that tries to be as dark and brooding as Se7en but hasn’t got the narrative to back it up. Devolves into generic exorcism fare.
– a bit too long, but this is an engrossing and suspenseful thriller with an ambiguous ending that might throw off some viewers. Strangely comedic too.
– hairbrained comedy thriller. Hardly high art, but this is a mostly enjoyable farce. A good weekend time waster.
– idiotic thriller that starts exciting and rapidly deteriorates.
– marginally better than average revenge action thriller with something vaguely resembling real acting from Vin Diesel. Easy viewing.
– thankfully not as gratuitous as the last spate, but it falls victim to the same underlying issue: the beauty of the original Saw was that the twist was so simple it needed no explanation. Every subsequent film has been so convoluted it’s needed a few minutes explainer to justify the final reveal. That’s a failure.
– A classic, conventional crime thriller. Compelling, with various intriguing twists and turns. If only the ending wasn’t so drawn out it would be even better.
– a demonstration of how to make a terrible space thriller with a great cast. Criminally wasteful of talent. It’s inconceivable that someone gave this unwatchable mess a green light.
– stupid action thriller complete with cackling madcap villain and cliched set pieces. Very disappointing.
– This is bleak and brutally violent. The colour palette is drab, and the script minimalist too, but there’s a steely determination in the protagonist and a sense of tremendous injustice against him that really makes you want to follow the story through and see him come out the other side (if only for a moment…!) A really engaging thriller.
– frantic and suspenseful Iranian drama, gripping and full of mystery and intrigue, but the end, when it eventually comes, is less of a conclusion than an abrupt stop. A shame.
– wonderfully different love story fantasy thriller with a video game aesthetic and comic book wit. Brilliantly cast and directed and engaging from start to finish. Michael Shannon is the new Ed Harris.
– such an absurd film I initially mistook it for a comedy, this Korean action thriller is undeniably stupid but no less compelling.
– horribly violent, bleak and macabre Korean crime thriller, too unpleasant to recommend.
– superficial social media thriller. Irrational behaviour and stupid lines of dialogue make for frustrating viewing. The soundtrack is the only occasionally worthwhile aspect of the whole experience.
– brilliantly suspenseful and well constructed Korean crime thriller of the sort that’s all too rare these days. Great film.
– Fast paced, wholly gripping Korean heist thriller. Quick witted and adrenaline filled. A great ride.
– gorgeously shot and stirring crime thriller that grips from the brutal opening sequence and doesn’t let up. Gets under your skin.
– for once the critics didn’t batter it unfairly. This is fairly appalling.
– fantastic, suspenseful and stunningly beautiful war film. Unexpected given its modest renown.
– a spooky soundtrack provides the majority of the artistry in this maddeningly abstract erotic thriller. Visually interesting but narratively tedious.
– German noir crime thriller, mostly gripping, if a little over the top. The plot is undermined by a plethora of extraordinary coincidences, but for fans of the serial killer genre, this is worth a watch.
– average Spanish-language crime thriller
– what starts as a trashy Spanish heist thriller turns borderline unbearable as the plot twists itself into a ludicrous, inconsistent and often nonsensical mess. Then after 13 absurd episodes, the season ends abruptly and unsatisfyingly. Unless season two is a work of utter genius, I cannot recommend this.
– Chan is not such a happy Jackie in this dour and somnolent revenge thriller. One to avoid.
– Surprisingly innovative given its limited cast and location. Very well directed and well acted, but still feels an effort at times. Worth watching though.
– slow burning revenge thriller, a bit too grim and grisly for entertainment, but quite affecting in its own way.
– self aggrandising and smug tale, hero worshipping Barry Seal and the drug-running, CIA informing lifestyle he led. Easy and generally entertaining viewing though.
– Noomi Rapace is excellent as always, and the film has a stellar cast. Unfortunately, the plot, for all its twists and turns, is beyond ludicrous, and Orlando Bloom’s laddish-quipping-sidekick routine is embarrassing. That said, very engaging thriller overall, shame it’s held together with such a feeble thread.
– Madhat and brilliantly conceived. Great performances from Noomi Rapace. Lots to unpick and ridicule, but still good fun.
– often agonisingly difficult to watch, this spanish black comedy thriller is mostly unfunny, gratuitous, and poorly produced. One to avoid.
– I don’t think masterpiece is too strong a term for this marvellous conspiracy thriller. Way ahead of its time in terms of cinematography and directorial style. Vastly better than I could have imagined after so many years. Utterly convincing.
– disjointed but compelling thriller.
– Like a magic trick, I loved it right up until I discovered how it was done, and then it just seemed so boringly straightforward. Still an excellent and gripping thriller though.
– fairly average period crime thriller. A great cast but still underwhelming.
– surprisingly enjoyable and gripping mystery thriller with another strong performance from Kate Hudson (Triangle). This isn’t as good as that film, but it’s still a pleasant surprise given the average calibre of horror movies these days.
– great show, a little slow on the uptake, but once the first few episodes are out of the way it’s gripping and suspenseful to the end. In some ways, it’s more entertaining than the first two episodes, and some of the cast members are just fantastic; hat tip Andrea Londo and Matias Varela.
– a spectacularly menacing and then outright batshit crazy visual assault. Recommended if only for the masterful film-making, this is an unpleasant allegory with the subtlety and nuance of a battering ram. (Key clue: Mother! is Mother Nature).
– ludicrous and slapstick action thriller that unexpectedly entertains. Perfect for a sunday afternoon.
– well plotted yankee doodle thriller with Soderburgh’s trademark style and slick cinematic design.
– Fast paced action thriller, as plausible as Prison Break but similarly enjoyable.
– even on the second viewing in three months, this is a fantastic thriller, and the painstaking care in laying out the breadcrumbs to the twist doesn’t go unnoticed a second time. Great stuff.
– somehow marginally more entertaining than Taken 2, but equally ridiculous.
– innovative and powerful war film. Hardly something to get excited about though. Nolan’s worst in my view – at least in terms of enjoyment.
– unclear about the tremendous hype for this one. A bit of a tedious slog to watch kids kill themselves and each other on an island. The premise is never satisfactorily explained and the bizarre conclusion offers no actual conclusion. Weird.
– Utterly absorbing and gripping thriller that keeps you guessing even when you’re confident you’ve preempted its delicious finale. Rare to find such a high calibre thriller these days and this one has been criminally overlooked.
– hugely disappointing, chaotic and superficial heist thriller. Engaging, but utterly devoid of substance.
– disappointing crime thriller, particularly given the rave reviews ahead of its release. Not even close to the benchmarks set by The Bridge and The Killing.
– amazed this has been so well received. Perhaps it simply hasn’t stood the test of time, but there’s barely even echoes of a quality film in this supernatural thriller.
– plodding thriller that makes an effort to present with style but can’t escape its tedious plot
– sinister suspense thriller. No masterpiece, but it’s a pleasure to be drawn into the web of lies.
– sinister suspense thriller. No masterpiece, but it’s a pleasure to be drawn into the web of lies.
– a spectacle at the very least. Drawing strongly on Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now influence, this is a fast paced action thriller that ought to entertain even the most passive of audiences.
– ludicrous but thoroughly engrossing and engaging to the bitter end. And it is a bitter end. I hope they pull S05 back from the edge of the abyss.
– captivating thriller, a little hectic and disordered in the wrong places, but mostly great entertainment
– far better than the second season, and its mistakes easier to forgive. It follows the same tropes and gives itself to tedious moralising at times, but this was a good fun whodunnit.
– well acted but unconvincing and occasionally boring thriller.
– brilliantly sinister and multivalent thriller impelled by strong performances, creative visuals and dark social commentary. Very timely.
– effective if low budget suspenseful drama. Unfortunately many of the performances are substandard and after a strong start, the plot meanders and fizzles.
– slow but solid drama, inaccurately billed as a thriller. It draws some questionable conclusions about the nature of fundamentalism, enemies and loyalty, but it kind of works anyway.
– fun, fast paced and exciting hacker thriller. Contrived and implausible but easily forgiven for its entertainment value.
– so much more impressive on a second viewing, perhaps in part with maturity and in part from a greater and more complete understanding of the trick. A fantastic film to be sure.
– surprisingly gripping and somehow endearing thriller about the titular oil disaster.
– slick but cold political thriller. Very engaging, but the eponymous missy is just a bit too unlikeable. Worth watching though.
– wishes it was a Guy Ritchie thriller with kooky lines and convoluted story, but it’s flat, unfunny, very boring and almost unwatchable. A great shame given the cast.
– disappointing war film, less thriller, more romantic drama. Not bad, but too glossy for the genre, and not especially engaging.
– engaging German thriller with a fantastic soundtrack and strong performances. The plot could have been tighter, but this is well worth watching.
– Terrific performances, tight and well executed sequences and a really compelling script in this near perfect little Norwegian thriller. I loved it.
– interesting, well made, but disappointingly unexciting and longwinded political gangster thriller
– enjoyable thriller, unfortunately framed around an insubstantial (and irrelevant) love interest. But that’s easily overlooked and the film works quite well in any case.
– gripping psychological thriller with a delicious villain in the shape of James McAvoy. It’s a shame we don’t see all 23 identities, and there’s definitely room for improvement, but this is fun.
– mostly engaging but unsatisfactory revenge thriller, with less thrills, and more cockney platitudes. Stylishly, if jarringly, edited.
– vastly superior to its first season, this crime thriller drama is very engaging TV. It suffers from some clumsy exposition and occasional offtone acting, but largely this is an excellent ride.
– good undercover drug bust thriller with some irritating directorial choices and cliches that impair the overall effect
– engaging thriller requires too much suspension of disbelief for plausibility, but is nonetheless fun to watch unfold
– solid enough thriller, and probably the best of the trilogy, but still falls far short of the ‘greats’ of the genre
– Effective as a taut horror cum thriller, and inventively directed, but laden with problems, making for occasionally frustrating viewing.
– Those people suggesting this season has “nose-dived” in terms of quality, I suspect were just hangers on from the beginning. If anything, by the end of Season 2, I am far more invested in all of the characters and the overarching plot. The series is surreal. Undeniably so. But that’s pretty brave for the creators, and it’s so unusual and unlike anything else we’ve seen on TV, it’s worthy of praise for originality alone. I can’t wait for Season 3 – this season ended with much more suspense than Season 1. I hope they can maintain the standards and ignore the naysayers.
– The original “Next Three Days”. Solid enough performances and a polished delivery given its date. Tidy French thriller if nothing remarkable.
– a good, old-fashioned, classic adventure story. A few pacing issues, but not bad at all
– happily surprising and unique time travel sci-fi thriller. So much better than reviews or its reputation would imply. Highly recommended.
– this is a classic genre thriller, the plot makes little sense, the circumstances are contrived and 99% of the cast is male. Of the other 1%, one is used as a topless distraction, another is shot, and the third’s a prop for the bad guys. That said, it’s quite good and silly fun and demonstrates why Idris Elba definitely shouldn’t be Bond.
– brilliantly fast paced thriller. Very french, very enjoyable.
– thin but engaging seafaring thriller, little better than average but not bad.
– effortlessly engaging if fairly whack thriller, wouldn’t recommend it, but you could do a lot worse than watching it on a slow Sunday
– a paper thin plot acts as a hook for a number of fairly well executed fight scenes, but the thriller ends almost as soon as it began, with no development, no questions answered, and no satisfaction whatsoever.
– highly entertaining if utterly predictable drama thriller. Much better SFX than comparable Hollywood films, and beautifully shot.
– Those people suggesting this season has “nose-dived” in terms of quality, I suspect were just hangers on from the beginning. If anything, by the end of S02, I am far more invested in all of the characters and the overarching plot. The series is surreal. Undeniably so. But that’s pretty brave of the creators, and it’s so unusual and unlike anything else we’ve seen on television, it’s worthy of praise for originality alone. I can’t wait for S03 – this season ended with much more suspense than the first. I hope they can maintain the standards and ignore the naysayers.
– doesn’t get old. Simply a top notch action thriller.
– a dialogue propelled slow burn, but continually intriguing and mysterious. Fun for fans of the psychological horror/ thriller genre.
– brilliant Soviet spy drama, with two excellent lead actors turning in star worthy performances. Good fun.
– A weak set up develops into a surprisingly slick and exciting military action thriller.
– quite riveting old school thriller. Wonderfully sinister and suspenseful despite being lumbered with occasional tropes and a sense of inevitability.
– after a less than exhilarating four or five episodes, the finale packs a punch unlike any other British thriller and offers a payoff that more than justifies the insidious pacing. Performances and scripting are tight, and the direction, at times, is artful. Indubitably one of the best shows on TV. Bring on series four.
– strong acting and cinematography unfortunately don’t compensate for soul, and Black Mass was too dry and dour to be really enjoyable. Worth watching, but don’t expect a thrill ride.
– gripping and well confected courtroom thriller.
– slightly gratuitous spanish language cartel thriller. Oddly sparsely scripted, with the titular character cowering from bullets in lingerie for most of the film. Not recommended.
– macho, gruesomely violent British thriller. Not especially thrilling, uncomfortably coarse, and most egregious of all: utterly unrewarding and unsatisfying. Don’t waste your time.
– wonderfully suspenseful, gripping and hyperbolic le Carré thriller. Perfect as entertainment, even while riddled with flaws and clichés.
– deeply sinister and edgy sci-fi thriller with horror elements. Very effective, albeit almost comically ridiculous!
– dull, thin, and horribly sheened portrayal of espionage hacking. Unbearable.
– creepy, slightly stilted thriller. B-movie production, but a worthwhile concept and script. Unusual and dark enough to appeal to fans of the psychological horror genre.
– deliciously dark and effective thriller
– suspenseful and interesting drama in part Germana and part Spanish. Slightly underwhelming but a good watch nonetheless.
– interesting pseudo-philosophical thriller raising some interesting questions about morality and sacrifice. Underrated.
– beyond underwhelming. Such a disappointment. Devoid of any tension, excitement, charisma or soul.
– self indulgent direction from Tarantino aside (it could have been a good 45 minutes shorter), this is still an enjoyable and suspenseful thriller.
– Disappointing drugs running thriller, especially following the brilliant Cell 211. Not Luis Tosar’s finest hour.
– Light hearted heist thriller.
– Decent journalism thriller about the exposure of the catholic priest pedophile scandal.
– Enjoyable sioux murder conspiracy whodunit. Yup, its a pretty specific genre… I liked it.
– Intriguing journalist conspiracy thriller. Not as exciting as we have come to expect, but some of the set pieces are beautifully suspenseful: doubly so given its age.
– One of those films that has somehow miraculously slipped under my radar until now. Ludicrous, but given the era, it’s a pretty good thrill ride and a lot of fun.
– Fun and engaging soviet spy thriller. Unfortunately encumbered by Spielberg’s revolting obsession with pure, unadulterated cheese of the kind that only he can deliver. Also a pretty thin propaganda piece. All that aside, it’s still a great watch!
– compelling and enjoyable US propaganda spy thriller
– Shockingly violent but entirely riveting and consuming revenge thriller
– not especially riveting and slow paced ‘thriller’
– Striking and artistically directed drug cartel thriller. Fantastic, nail biting, edge of the seat stuff from start to finish. I would see it again in an instant.
– a nauseating script and shiny plastic cast leave little room for any enjoyment of this apocalyptic quake thriller beyond mockery. What an enormous waste of time and money.
– Excellent high concept space odyssey. More drama than thriller so doesn’t really compete on the same page as Gravity, despite the similarities on paper. Solid.
– Fast paced (perhaps too fast paced), drug cartel crime thriller charting Pablo Escobar rise and fall from power in Colombia. Sharp acting and excellent direction, it’s a minor pity that the script frequently borders on US propaganda. Terrific TV though.
– A couple of genuinely funny moments fail to save this feminist spy farce. As modern hollywood comedies go, it’s sadly the usual fare: a whole heap of puerile slapstick, invective and caricature. Still waiting for the next great American comedy after Superbad (and The Other Guys).
– It turns out the US remake was essentially a shot for shot rework of this original danish serial killer thriller which enormously undermined the impact of this for me. Clearly a solid film though, and pleasantly unpleasantly twisted.
– A fantastic crime cum revenge action thriller that grips tight early on and keeps you breathless until its spectacular conclusion. A new favourite in this genre.
– Tedious, predictable and miscast action thriller. Penn ‘in shape’ looks out of sorts and none of the characters are sympathetic. Not painful, but not worth your time either.
– A tad too deadpan and dry for its own good, this is a witty and stylish, if uncharismatic, thriller. The set pieces are fantastic, but leave the conjunctive scenes sapped of energy.
– It’s not often I declare a remake superior to the original, but in many ways I prefer The Departed to this crime thriller. The direction and acting are all top notch, but a couple of story twists were nicely refined for the US version. That said, this happily skips alot of the sappy Hollywood romance and tones down the caricature.
– Watchable and fairly exciting nordic thriller. Promises more than it delivers and the conclusion is a disappointment.
– Still a cracking revenge action thriller from the late great Tony Scott. Holds replay value. Denzel is cool as a cucumber.
– Like early Dexter with 1s and 0s. A twisted and anguished protagonist with an alternative perspective on life. This is a hacker series deservedly praised by laymen and computer nerds alike. A little overly tortured at times, dragging the pace, but overall this is a compelling and novel contemporary thriller, hopefully to inspire a new generation of anarchist hackers.
– Surprisingly compelling depiction of the downfall of soviet spy, Robert Hanssen.
– Fantastic spanish language crime thriller exploring theories surrounding the assassination of Colosio, the Mexican presidential candidate in 1994.
– Another AI scifi flick, a little too dry as it focuses on trying to be a clever thriller, but certainly a worthwhile watch for any scifi fan.
– aside from the fact Hector’s search for happiness is unashamedly unnecessary, implausible and fickle, this is an oddly satisfying comedic adventure. Nowhere near the marvellous Secret Life of Walter Mitty though.
– Deceptively mismarketed kiddie adventure flick. One of the worst films I have ever endured. Just sickeningly bad in every way. Avoid like the plague.
– Try hard surrealist crime thriller in the vein of Twin Peaks (it even sounds similar). Dillon is very watchable but the show is tediously try-hard.
– Enjoyable crime thriller. What it lacks in finesse and style, it makes up for with heart. I’m sure follow ups will be more assured.
– Better than its predecessor. Another nordic crime thriller. A little more explicit and violent this one, the plot doesn’t unravel as suspensefully as it could, but it’s a tightly spun yarn.
– Vacuous heist/ con artist thriller that plays the usual cards and tricks with a hyper modern and unrealistic twist. Nowhere near as fun as it should and could have been, with all the ‘focus’ evidently misplaced on gloss instead of substance.
– forgettable and dry whistleblower thriller. It’s not especially bad, but it’s so unmemorable and bland as to be pointless viewing.
– idiotic deep sea thriller that suffers flaws galore and enough accents to educate a language school. Proof that a good cast needn’t mean a good film.
– A mildly entertaining, if faintly ludicrous, thriller with Samuel L in one of his more likeable roles. One for when you’re really bored.
– Moderately compelling if farfetched and frustratingly dated thriller. Time is better spent elsewhere.
– exhaustingly bad, cliché laden thriller. Tiresome.
– Dated and decidedly average serial killer thriller.
– Inert thriller. Ponderous to the point of boredom. Disappointing.
– superb spanish thriller, dark and layered. Similar to True Detective in style and tone.
– Biopic drama charting the Kon-Tiki voyage. The film Life of Pi wishes it had been. Uplifting, suspenseful, funny. Blessed with a touch of the Sublime. A pity it’s quite so cheesy.
– unashamed propaganda for the US, this is nonetheless a gripping a war drama and occasional thriller. Sickeningly pro-war, pro-violence and borderline racist, if you can suspend your liberal fury for the runtime, you will probably be entertained.
– Once the ball starts rolling, this IRA thriller rattles along at a breakneck pace. Excellent suspense, well shot and strong acting. The conclusion disappoints, but largely for wanting more.
– Strikingly original quirky thriller sprinkled with very black humour. Gyllenhaal turns in perhaps his finest performance. Hopefully award recognition could see more in this vein in the future.
– Phenomenally well acted and compelling British TV, a thriller of the calibre that rarely graces our screens. A netflix exclusive allegedly, although it has BBC all over it and oddly shows only on the US Netflix. Don’t miss this, the best British cop series since The Shadow Line.
– Curiously desperate attempt to weave an intricate time travel thriller that falls flat, with bad acting, a bad script, and a predictable premise.
– Bog standard crime thriller with Neeson in his usual washed up oldtimer role. Not worth the time.
– First rate thriller exploring home grown terrorism in the UK. Not perfect, but deserving of so much more attention that it received.
– Wonderfully directed, with an almost avant-guarde use of cinematography (given it’s era). It’s not a fast paced conspiracy thriller, but it’s compelling, intriguing, and rewarding overall for viewers who love to think and analyse.
– Danny Boyle-esque drama cum thriller in which a trio of Brazilian lads (literally) unearth the key to political upheaval. Aided by strong direction and solid acting, this rattles along at a terrific pace and is a lot of fun.
– Melancholy, depressing drama cum thriller, following a man struggling to make a living as a security guard amid the dangers of Manila.
– With an exploitative use of the Escobar name, this superficial and horribly preachy drug thriller endeavours to weave a love story with a drug trafficking backdrop. It avoids any sincere exploration of Escobar’s legacy and instead offers skin deep, trashy American propaganda that could have been (and essentially was) entirely fictionalised. Just terrible.
– Surreal thriller that has the script and acting of a drawn out episode of Kyle XY, along with the teen angst and 12A flirting with alcohol and drugs. Allegedly deliberately styled to achieve cult status, for this viewer, that ‘style’ simply translates to “bad”. Time better spent elsewhere.
– very slow though always engaging, introspective drama/thriller exploring paranoia, extreme convictions, and the possible consequences of upholding and enacting those convictions.
– Fincher’s latest thriller is as slick as we’ve come to expect from the director, but leaves a distinctly sour aftertaste. Affleck is great and Pike isn’t bad (if a little too affected), but a trash book adapted well is still a trash film. Everything is horribly contrived and suburban, and consequently it never feels real enough to genuinely thrill. That said, as always, Fincher manages to conjure a few spectacular moments of cinema. Worth watching.
– Gripping, if at times frustrating, Aussie conspiracy thriller. Solid acting in difficult roles, but as is so often the case, the show fails to offer any lovable, or even likeable characters, and consequently isn’t as enjoyable to watch as it could, and should, have been.
– terrible, drab and unenjoyable serial killer ‘thriller’ that suffers from issues left, right and centre. Avoid.
– a ludicrous, phone booth like thriller premise that is as implausible as it is plain stupid. ie. very.
– quite original and very compelling sci fi thriller. Highly recommended for sci fi fans, probably not what you’re expecting.
– interesting and philosophical sci fi noire thriller. More Max Payne than Max Payne ever was, and as multilayered as Existenz, if not Inception. Good fun and intriguing concept, albeit perhaps a tad on the nose!
– Amateur indie-thriller that screams student from the opening shots. That would be fine if it was watchable. This isn’t. Ignore the IMDb rating, this one is not remotely worth your time.
– slick and highly entertaining action thriller from Antoine Fuqua, strongly influenced by Tony Scott style and delivered with aplomb. Denzel is a pleasure to watch. Leave expectations of subtetly and humanity at the door and this will be an absolute treat.
– the first half of this spanish B-movie is one of the most hilarious black comedies I have seen, whilst the second reverts to genre stereotypes and predictable twists. It’s a lot of fun though, and to some degree an original haunted house thriller.
– Gripping and interesting espionage thriller based on real events at the height of ETAs activity in the 70s.
– not since Rubicon was aired on TV has the spy genre been so perfectly depicted on screen. An apt tour de force for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s swansong, devestating though that is, and a hugely successful suspenseful thriller. Just terrific.
– outstanding and offensively underrated spanish crime thriller. Powerhouse acting and superb direction. Deserves further viewing.
– Excellent concept and imaginative indie execution for this (somewhat) original sci-fi psuedo-quantum time thriller. Highly recommended.
– Excellent, brilliantly directed and shot macabre thriller with a twist that will genuinely surprise, albeit largely due to its implausibility. Unmissable spanish language.
– Disappointing Spanish thriller that is engrossing but ultimately unrewarding.
– Engrossing and enjoyable spanish thriller that takes one too many twists and finds itself stranded, but remains a fun ride.
– An excellent, compelling thriller that grips to the end, even on multiple viewings.
– A couple of great one liners are hidden amidst the quips in this wannabe Sexy Beast london thriller. A good bit of forgettable fun.
– Taught and engrossing thriller that keeps you guessing but ultimately fails to answer any of your questions. That can work, but here it disappoints.
– Hitchcockian spanish language thriller, full of intrigue, novelty and witty black humour. Utterly bizarre and all the better for it.
– Remains an excellent sci-fi thriller even on a second viewing. The CGI is truly worthy of marvel, the apes so human it is difficult to feel anything other than compassion. Not flawless, but a brilliant remake nonetheless.
– Audience insulting twists, police incompetence, bad judgements, gratuity and cliches galore mar what could otherwise have been a moderately entertaining, if intellectually challenged, serial killer thriller. Frustration ruins a TV series though, and my God, this show is frustrating viewing! (We’re talking worse than Dexter S07)
– Forgettable and mildly annoying B movie thriller, whose only saving grace is Aidan Quinn, unfortunately still unable to redeem this. A tangle of twists is simply a knot, even when you see them coming.
– Equally gripping on a second viewing. A great, cutting thriller. Make sure you watch the sequel for more context and balance.
– Gripping and slick 80s Swayze action thriller. Brilliant fun even by todays standards and immediately quoteable to boot!
– Totally misjudged comedic thriller with a bizarre array of performances and incongruous casting. Horribly contrived and tonally schizophrenic but just about bearable.
– Creatively directed by De Palma, but massively overacted and with such blatant and crass exposition it feels hugely dumbed down, particularly as the plot is already so predictable. Still a more or less enjoyable conspiracy flick.
– Basic and with a fair number of tropes, this spy thriller still grips, even if at times it’s a little too much American propaganda. Very much focused on the spies rather than their motives.
– Fast paced and immensely enjoyable spy thriller that falls prey to the usual Hollywoodisms. It won’t stand up to scrutiny, but don’t let realism stand in the way of having a blast! Surprisingly happy to recommend this one.
– intriguing and engrossing revenge thriller, if a little too slow. Pretty average for the genre, but certainly not bad.
– Disjointed, dreary and consequently tiresome. A painfully boring noir ‘thriller’.
– And the award for stupidest, most protracted death scene goes to… 80s thriller that fails in so many ways: an obvious set up, terrible lines of script, bad acting, disposable and ditzy female roles, and totally irrational character behaviour – including a policeman who is told of a murder happening metres away and chooses to arrest the witness. Unfathomable stupidity on every level. How are films like this given the greenlight?
– Lacklustre, unexciting thriller with adequate to good performances all round, but unlikeable characters that demonstrate typically irrational behaviour. Not worth it.
– Decidedly average bent cop conspiracy thriller. Likens itself to Training Day (and is directed by the writer, David Ayer), but operates in a different league entirely. The performances are solid, especially from Whittaker and Reeves, though this remains ultimately dull.
– Watchable if unexciting gambling thriller. Bad acting and dodgy pacing hampers, what at times, is a sharp script. Gets worse with hindsight.
– solid and atmospheric thriller with a stellar cast; happily unexpected.
– Surprising and engrossing sci-fi noir thriller, if hampered by a slightly b-movie feel (perhaps due to dated sfx).
– entertaining if ropey late 90s military thriller with an enjoyable performance from Travolta who tends to be overlooked these days.
– Another fast paced, edgy cop thriller from the BBC that excites right up until the final episode, where true to form, the BBC massively disappoint, yet again.
– Albeit nothing revelatory, this is a solid drug based crime thriller told in flashbacks.
– A little formulaic, but a solid conspiracy thriller, if much, much too long.
– The usual ‘journalist uncovers conspiracy’ style thriller, but Redford’s gentle direction and acting endears itself. Leans a tad heavily on the drama for the runtime.
– An insidious and sinister thriller with convincing performances by the whole cast. Albeit based on the novel by Tim Krabbe, this is very Stephen King in style; innocent characters come face to face with villainy and the seemingly ordinary people who perpetrate it. Better than average if still unremarkable.
– A good enough wilderness survival drama with adequate performances, though it’s not the most compelling premise (with most of the dramatic tension arising from the persistent threat of a bear attack) and consequently feels more sluggish that it needs to. Perhaps more interesting would have been further development in the conclusion of the story: what happens next?
– Somehow both menacing and fun, the first two thirds of this mystery thriller are wonderfully compelling. Unfortunately, as so often happens, the final act is a huge disappointment, with a hokey ‘twist’ and poor resolution. Depp is strong throughout.
– Visceral, violent powerhouse thriller with a great plot and strong performances.
– the premise and set up for this crime thriller are so bad, and so badly executed, that the suspension of disbelief necessary to enjoy it becomes an immediate issue. The chase is adequate, though the cliches and contrivances stack high. Not worth the time.
– Terrific, powerful performances from the entire cast, in particular Ben Mendohlsen who is just fantastic. Standard, tense, exciting prison drama fare.
– Solid Korean murder mystery tackling various difficult themes. Not the thriller that the hype suggests, but very good nonetheless.
– Faster than the first, and better for it. Mistakenly overlooks the conspiracy angle in favour of reshifting the political landscape, but hopefully the third series will pick up where it left off. Very happy to see Jimmi Simpson and Boris McGiver in play.
– Very novel take on vigilantism. Excellent acting, strong characters and a solid script really transform what could have been bargain basement fodder in to an engrossing, clever and moving thriller.
– Long, stylish heist thriller. Very dated and sedate by modern standards, but intriguing and nonetheless riveting. The plot isn’t immediately clear and leaves a lot to speculation.
– Tremendous sequel. Fast paced, utterly engrossing, funny and artistically crafted. Jackson scarcely puts a foot wrong in his latest adventure in Middle Earth. Wonderful.
– Moderately wearisome attempt at a thriller. Cage and Cusack carry it. The script is too revealing to be satisfying, devoid of the intrigue and suspense that’s vital for an effective thriller and without a twist or a solid finishing blow it’s simply too forgettable. The most emotive scenes of the whole film are the factual closing titles.
– Mindless entertainment. Everything you’d expect from a blockbuster with this cast. Government conspiracy and explosions. Good fun!
– Another serial killer thriller centred around a chess genius, this performs better than Uncovered but still feels like a tired cliche. Once the initial chess scene is set, there’s little to distinguish it from the hundreds of other noir thrillers aspiring to be more than bargain basement fluff.
– Tremendous. An absolutely absorbing and edge of the seat thriller. It’s rare that they make them like this these days. Greengrass and Hanks have excelled themselves.
– Exactly what you expect from a Statham action thriller. Heavy on the action, light on the thrills, a ton of one liners and several hospitals worth of broken limbs. If you’re a fan of the Stath, there’s no reason this should disappoint.
– After a slow start, this conspiracy thriller soon picks up pace and fires on all cyclinders, keeping you utterly gripped. Brilliant BBC Drama.
– hugely watchable albeit not especially thrilling thriller. Nothing special here, but it’s a solid enough flick for a Sunday afternoon and you could certainly do a lot worse.
– Initially a suspenseful, well shot and thoroughly arresting nordic thriller, but an abrupt loss of intrigue following the second act results in a disappointing finale, complete with frustrating contrivances and cliches. Worth a watch for The Killing fans, but unfortunately not what it could have been. (Also laden with heavy, almost clumsy parallels to the first Jagarna film, such that it feels a knock off).
– Hugely underrated spy thriller featuring a spectacular performance from the largely overlooked Aidan Quinn. Tense, exhiliarating and extremely well executed, especially given it’s relative age. Maybe one of the best thrillers you’ve never heard of.
– Thoroughly enjoyed this although it brings absolutely nothing new to the table. Straight up, fast paced Zombie thriller.
– I heard so much shit about this movie that I wasn’t expecting much at all. I was practically blown away. Really enjoyed it, a total thrill ride. It was like Ocean’s 11 with Magicians. Really hope there’s a sequel. The critics need to step back and think – is this movie actually a) intelligent and b) enjoyable to the public as a whole. The IMDb rating says yes to the latter, and I’m inclined to believe the former too. More please.
– Original but peculiar viewing. Sandwiched between a thrilling beginning and a (cheesy) straight forward ending, is Hanna’s random (and forced) relationship with an eccentric British family that are like caricatures from a bad ITV sitcom. This is undeniably stylish, but just too ridiculous and plot hole ridden to stand up as an excellent thriller. Not to mention, Wright appears to be obsessed with tunnels and Chemical Brothers. Literally every action scene takes place in a tunnel. Quite bizarre.
– Brilliant. Fairly ludicrous, but played out with such conviction and sincerity that it works. An exciting, novel, action thriller.
– Fantastic, eerie, suspenseful mystery thriller. The best example of cinematic horror since The Exorcist. A real triumph.
– Gripping caving/ diving thriller. Better than average.
– rattling along at a breakneck speed keeps this French thriller gripping, but it inevitably stumbles over horrible contrivances and cliches in order to keep momentum, not to mention more cheese than a Croque Monsieur. It’s a pity because it’s otherwise engrossing.
– Albeit framed around a plot that is as dependent on coincidence as Obama is on latinos, this is a slick and hugely compelling thriller. Extend your disbelief and go with the flow and Statham will be winning you (and the girl) all over again.
– exactly my kind of film; an intriguing, mysterious, original, stylish and creatively directed psychological thriller. Top acting and a great script. All the evidence you need that money doesn’t make a film (this was produced on $60k). Only criticism, a little too pseudo-mathematical, I’m not convinced it all adds up…
– A glossy, overstylised and under realised attempt at a slick conspiract thriller. Some shots are striking, but it feels like it was edited together as an exercise. Oddly off kilter, especially given the cast.
– Straight up, fast moving thriller with Marky Mark doing his action thing. Smarter than most, but unfortunately a little conceited as a result, the impact is lessened by some perfunctory story lines and irritatingly lazy contrivances. Nonetheless, a good yarn at its core.
– An excellent, if too overtly didactic, animated adventure for kids and retro gaming nerds alike.
– An excellently unsettling dialogue driven thriller from down under. Hugo Weaving delivers a very different, but nonetheless brilliant, performance as the victim of a police manhunt. Could have done with a little more resolution.
– a forgettable, largely disappointing suspense horror with tropes and cliches galore. That being said, it’s probably better than average for the genre.
– A compelling if utterly farfetched courtroom thriller. I’m ill quipped to determine how accurate a portrayal it is, but it seems oft too loudly a propoganda machine condemning the eponymous Red state of China, with the innocent persecuted American playing David vs the Goliath of China’s judicial system.
– A superbly compelling, if thoroughly flawed, time travel suspense thriller. Highly recommended.
– overly stylized but technically brilliant psycho-sexual thriller featuring an excellent performance from Matthew Goode. Fails to impact in the same way as Black Swan, but is no doubt well worth watching for any fan of the genre. Some scenes are superb and intensely erotic.
– Intriguing spanish thriller. Compelling albeit peculiarly paced and with a few loose ends left trailing. Thoughtful cinema, but perhaps trying to tackle one too many strands for its own good. Recommended, but not highly.
– Indubitably mysterious and excellent creation of suspense but the final act destroys the qualities of the first two to leave the film faring little better than average.
– after a slow first act, a compelling story and dialogue driven thriller emerges. It’s a little too vindictive and gratuitously nasty in tone for my tastes, and the twists take the movie from a clever critique of pharmaceutical ethics to more standardised, familiar territory, but Jude Law and Rooney Mara are excellent and it is original enough to warrant careful viewing.
– an excellent mob thriller with stand out performances from De Niro and Ray Liotta.
– an incohesive, ramshackle mess. Timberlake gives a bad, inexperienced performance, more sulky teen than Pulitzer hunter, while Freeman and Spacey are thrown in for star factor alone. Inexplicably shifts from conspiracy thriller to flamethrower shoot’em up in the final ten minutes. Avoid.
– a solid, if unremarkable, slow burning spy drama with an unexpected conclusion.
– fast paced and fun, but an undeniably cheap thrill ride.
– another fantastical adventure from Jackson. This is no Lord of the Rings, but it’s still a terrific, warm and well told tale.
– This bizarre and contrived film might raise a smile, but it can’t decide whether it wants to be a comedy, an action movie, or a thriller. Essentially a vanity project for Cruise, and it really shows.
– Old school Michael Mann, synths and all. Classic noir thriller, very worth a watch but I won’t pretend it hasn’t dated.
– There’s a hint of genius in this hilarious animated adventure, and a ton of material for adults too.
– an excellent if not remarkable conspiracy thriller with solid performances all round, don’t be fooled by the cover photo and shoot’em up name
– excellent scandinavian thriller with twists and excitement aplenty.
– British television of a rarely excellent calibre. No Shadow Line, but nonetheless an intelligent and well conceived spy drama.
– awful ‘suspense’ horror, a waste of everybody’s time.
– Disappointing. Despite the hype there is no hint of genius here, but it is a thoroughly engaging thriller.
– A tremendous climax to a heart-pounding trilogy. This is the definition of thriller.
– Hugh Grant in a rare serious role. Excellent mystery and suspense, and a solid script. Highly recommended.
– subpar assassination conspiracy thriller, nonetheless worth a watch if you’re in the mood
– hugely enjoyable, if somewhat dated, thriller with a typically entertaining performance from Hackman
– clever legal thriller, horrible soundtrack but well executed story. Above average (perhaps thanks to Hackman?)
– almost documentary-like conspiracy thriller using a considerable amount of original footage surrounding JFK assassination
– pretty bog standard thriller, very noir
– an oldie, but a fantastic thriller nonetheless. A masterclass in suspense
– claustrophobic and ultimately frustrating thriller, nicely acted
– contrived serial killer thriller with a totally implausible plot
– (just about) above average period thriller
– groundbreaking spanish thriller with superb direction and acting
– terrorism thriller in the heart of the US complete with bells and whistles
– inspirational for amateur film makers but kind of average as an action adventure
– mystery thriller will keep you guessing
– bland wannabe thriller lacking any excitement
– well cast and well acted, a top quality remake
– slow burning, but a top class thriller from the first shot
– shambolic and smug whodunnit in the style of Identity
– surreal and weird mystery thriller, intriguing but not my thing
– fun animated adventure with some great visuals
– Jackie Chan will make you smile, everything else will make you yawn
– a bit whack, some nice suspense though
– excellent thriller with fantastic editing and direction
– a lacklustre serial killer thriller that bleeds out when it incorporates voodoo magic
– a nail biting, taught and suspenseful thriller from Affleck. Excellent.
– above average stylish thriller but a typical Statham venture
– inexplicably acclaimed classic, left me nonplussed
– highly original, cleverly constructed and mindbending horror/ thriller which will have you trawling the forums
– Connery in another nail-biting thriller
– cheesy and tame, cliche ridden thriller