Experienced but still hopeful FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by a government task force including an elusive consultant, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), and an even more mysterious figure Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), in a effort to wage a war against drugs at the U.S./Mexican border. But will her objectives be made before her hope is crushed? Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy) with cinematographer Roger Deakins and score by Jóhann Jóhannsson, this thought provoking boa constrictor work of art tightens its noose in such a perfectly calculated manner that oscar nominations are ripe within. Poignant and almost satirical at times this dark look to governmental control of very real hydras in our world hits hard and will not be forgotten easily. Pure Gold! Sicario is rated R.
After a tragic exodus from Mars, Astronaut and botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead and left on the planet’s surface. Having survived, Watney awakens to find himself stranded on the red planet with minimal supplies. Intellect, ingenuity, and the will to survive drive him forward, but will that be enough to save him before NASA can conjure up a rescue mission? Based on the thoroughly researched book by Andy Weir, screenplay writer Drew Goddard has sufficiently boiled the 387 page book into 141 minutes casting aside much of the scientific reasoning and cause/effect rationale that fans of the book have come to appreciate. However, what remains is still a stand up and cheer good time, with solid laughs, strong pathos, and what feels like genuine interaction, bureaucracy, and problem solving at the NASA level. No stranger to space, Director Ridley Scott hits easy gold with this less controversial but more inspiring crowd pleaser ushering the rest of his ensemble including Jessica Chasten, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Sean Bean to a moderately predictable outcome. Space as we know it, with a strong case of “What if,” worthy of your time and dollar, The Martian is rated PG-13.
Detailing the true events surrounding the work of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in 1974 and his crossing of the gap between New York’s twin towers. The Walk is a tale of one man’s dream, the impossible odds stacked against him, the will continue, and the insanity to make magic happen. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) this culmination of near perfect visual effects, entertaining story, and on point acting is a reminder that family friendly films don’t have to be droll and in fact can be amazing, inspiring, and riveting. Peppered with simple but smile inducing appearances by Sir Ben Kingsley and spiced with love interest Charlotte Le Bon, this thriller comes together full round, especially with the vertigo inducing and thrill seeking 3D cinematography of Dariusz Wolski, and the well balanced score by Alan Silvestri. Perhaps sometimes a bit overbearing with bittersweet sentimentality yet a great re-inactment piece when paired with 2008’s documentary Man on Wire. Fun for the whole family and a must see in 3D, The Walk is rated PG.