‘Point Blank’ – pulse-pounding French thriller on Amazon Prime

The French crime thriller Point Blank (France, 2010), not to be confused with John Boorman’s 1967 post-noir masterpiece, opens in full sprint and pretty much stays in that adrenaline-pumping state. There is one peaceful interlude, a flashback to the calm before the storm with nursing student Samuel (Gilles Lellouche) and his pregnant wife (Elena Anaya), […]

Jalmari Helander directs this satirical holiday adventure thriller from Norway

‘Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale’ on Prime Video, Hulu, Shudder and more

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Finland, 2010) comes from the land of the original Father Christmas but he’s no cuddly old man who hands out presents at Christmas. This Santa Claus, who has been buried in a man-made glacier like a wooly mammoth, is a child-snatching demon who punishes the naughty with the help of […]

‘Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster’ on Netflix

Our story so far: the title character (played by Hong Kong martial arts maestro Donnie Yen) is the real-life martial Chinese arts teacher and proponent of Wing Chun style who was a hero during the Japanese occupation of Manchuria but is more famous to the western world for mentoring the young Bruce Lee. Which is […]

Sylvain Chomet's animated film of a Jacques Tati script

‘The Illusionist’ on Criterion Channel

With The Illusionist (France, 2010), animator Sylvain Chomet (of the delirious The Triplets of Belleville) transforms an unproduced script by they great French auteur Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle) into a tender tale of a French magician and a Scottish girl in the theater-folk society of London as the old world of stage performance gives way […]

‘The Expendables’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Sylvester Stallone has a spotty track record as a writer/director: passably effective at best, painfully misguided and lost in blind alleys of melodramatic kitsch as worst (Driven). He’s best at serving his own screen image (especially if already established by a previous filmmaker, as in the Rocky and Rambo sequels). With The Expendables (2010), he […]

‘Red’ – Bruce Willis is deadly funny on Showtime Anytime

Red (2010) isn’t a name (or a color) in this comic-book movie about retired covert agents who are roused back to action to teach the new breed a thing or two about the spy game. It’s a designation that stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” Bruce Willis headlines an ensemble that includes John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman […]

Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine in the horror comedy 'Tucker & Dale vs. Evil '

‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil’ – Gory horror comedy free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) turns a classic horror movie trope– the good looking group of city kids tormented by grimy rednecks and hermits in the backwoods – and turns it inside out, creating not so much a horror comedy as a comedy where the clueless characters think they’re in a horror film and […]

Chloë Grace Moretz stars in the American remake of the Swedish horror film, directed by Kodi Smit-McPhee

‘Let Me In’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Let Me In (2010), a remake of Let the Right One In, the Swedish coming-of-age horror movie-turned-adolescent survival drama in the wilds of suburban civilization, is as unexpected as can be: an American revision of a celebrated European film that honors the original while translating its anxiety and unease to a distinctly American setting. If […]

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the Oscar nominated film by Debra Granik

Jennifer Lawrence arrives in ‘Winter’s Bone’ free on Kanopy

Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone (2010), set in the crime and poverty of the Ozark Mountains, is a coming-of-age survival story in an outlaw culture where meth labs have replaced moonshine stills and the code of silence is enforced with pitiless finality. Jennifer Lawrence was revelation as the 17-year-old Ree, who has grown up fast to […]