***** A classic. Should be a part of any serious film lover’s permanent library.
**** Excellent with only a few minor flaws.
*** Worthy of renting or streaming.
** Below average, but mght have limited appeal to some tastes.
* Should be avoided at all costs.
No stars All copies should be confiscated and destroyed for humanity’s sake.
Click on title to see the film’s trailer.
Standoff *½ Directed by Adam Alleca. Carter (Thomas Jane), a troubled veteran, gets a chance at redemption by protecting a 12 year-old girl from an assassin (Laurence Fishburne) after she witnesses a murder. Writer-director Alleca is better at the keyboard, cooking up chewy tough talk, than behind the camera. The shootout stuff is only passably staged, and the blood-bursts (not entirely his fault) look digitally added, in some places.
The Forest *½ Directed by Jason Zada. A woman (Natalie Dormer) goes into Japan's Suicide Forest to find her twin sister. The ever-game Dormer and that lovely green forest — which is, according to the press notes, played by a photogenic woodland in Serbia — deserve better.