Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) has a secret double life; the former US marine officer may seem to be another Wall Street executive but secretly he’s on a mission to track down who’s behind a massive terrorist plot in Moscow.  When Ryan discovers his employer does business with a known Russian criminal, Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) and certain accounts have been blocked from him he has a legitimate excuse to fly to Moscow to investigate. This is where the fireworks really begin.

Being directed and co-starring Kennth Branagh and also starring Pine, Kevin Costner and the wooden acting of Keira Knightley may lead you into a false sense of security, don’t let that fool you. Even though this is actually an original script from the well known author Tom Clancy, this “action thriller” just looks like every Bourne film ever released. No original storyline, nothing remotely new to entice you in, maybe a bit of eye candy for the girls with Pine and macho explosions for the boys. This really is a bit of a dead fish.

SEE IF YOU LIKED: Mission: Impossible Ghost  Protocol, The Bourne Identity.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a young folk singer in 60’s America; the story covers Davis over the course of one week where he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene. Davis is at cross-roads in his life. With his guitar in tow against a bitter New York winter, he struggles to make it as a musician against impossible obstacles, some of which are of his own making.

If your familiar with the award winning Coen Brothers (Burn after Reading, True Grit), then you should already know what kind of film to expect. A dark “comedy” full of depressing lighting, equally depressing and rather drawn out script which really doesn’t make much sense.  Yes Justin Timberlake may be in this film, but don’t get too excited it’s only very brief and should not be the sole reason you choose to watch this rather dull, tedious snore fest. I think the only decent thing about this film is the highly talented Carey Mulligan. Don’t know if you could tell but I’m certainly not a fan of the Coen Brother’s films.

SEE IF YOU LIKED: A Serious Man, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

August: Osage County.

The Weston family are a family full of strong-willed women, whose lives have not quite turned out exactly how they expected. Due to a family crisis the women are forced to visit the home they grew up in and to the dysfunctional woman that raised them, their mother, Violet Weston (Meryl Streep). It’s not long before the pretence starts to fail and major cracks appear in this “united” family. With Violet’s cruel streak towards her family oozing out of control, one by one she forces them all away.

With George Clooney amongst the producers of this film there is no wonder a whole host of stars signed up to be in this. Not only do we have Streep, but Julie Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sam Shepard, Ewan McGregor and Dermot Mulroney, we are in danger of an overwhelming amount of acting but can this amount of talent still make this storyline bearable? This clearly wasn’t made for the mainstream, everyday movie goers and has festival film written all over it. If you’re not a bit of a nerdy film buff, a bit like me, you’ll hate it.

SEE IF YOU LIKED: Little Miss Sunshine, The Royal Tenenbaums.

Grudge Match

Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) and Henry “Razor” Sharp are two local Pittsburgh fighters, who in their prime, where in the national spotlight for their fierce rivalry. Each had scored a victory against the other in their heyday, but in 1983, when Razor suddenly announced his retirement on the eve of the decisive third match refusing to explain why it put an end to both their careers. 30 years later, boxing Promoter Dante Slate Jr (Kevin Hart), seeing great big dollar signs in his eyes, makes them an offer they can’t really refuse: the enter the ring and settle the score, once and for all.

This is yet another film this week not to be fooled by the big names. Mind Stallone has never really made any good film since the very first Rocky and De Niro, no matter how much of an acting legend he is, to be frank, hasn’t appeared in a great film for quite a few years now. So to see these aging wrinkles’ in a boxing ring is enough to turn any stomach. With a script that is sporadically funny and loaded with clichés throughout, some might say this is so bad it may just be good.


So this week I’ve decided to rename MY PICK OF THE WEEK to THE BEST OF A BAD BUNCH as I refuse to put my name to any recommendation.


By Zehra Phelan