• A strong introduction to a dark and very British suspense trilogy


    This is the first part of a trilogy about a serial murderer that kidnaps, rapes and kills little girls. As a young and emotional rookie journalist does his own investigations concerning the most recent and third murder, local police officers, entrepreneurs and even his own boss try do everything to hide a mysterious secret surrounding the murders. No one is innocent in this circle of corruption, power and abuse.

    The first part of this trilogy is a very atmospheric film noir. It is a slow paced investigation that takes place in a rainy, grey and desperate entourage and where the main character discovers the evil that men do. While the beginning of the movie is a little bit boring and doesn't explain enough the first murders of the possible serial killer, the film gets more profound, intense and even shocking towards the ending and you really get absorbed by a dark and destructive atmosphere during the last thirty minutes of this movie that makes you watch the follow-up immediately.

    The story is complex and many characters are introduced in the frustrating beginning but towards the end of the movie, you get used to all those characters and are able to create connections between them and that helps you to understand and appreciate the movie more and more. The actors are doing a quite well and authentic job and not only because of the very particular accent and entourage. Andrew Garfield plays a solid role as a young, naive and emotional journalist that does many mistakes during his quest for the truth. Rebecca Hall is doing a great job and plays the role of a disturbed and mysterious femme fatale with a tragic destiny. Sean Benn does an incredible job by playing the role of a rich, cold and dangerous businessman.

    The best part of the movie is its very brutal and yet twisted ending that is filmed in a very intense way. The director did a great overall job in this movie and created some very intense footages that add a lot to the atmosphere of the movie. The way he cuts the final scenes and also the dream or hallucination sequences is very eerie and special. Concerning the end of the movie, I would like to give you the advice to check out the three deleted scenes on the DVD that add a special something to the atmosphere of the movie and to its end. I don't understand why those scenes have been deleted because they are all very strong and not filler material.

    I've mentioned a lot of positive points and you might ask yourself why I didn't give eight or even nine stars to the movie. That's because of the slow paced beginning, the cliché that everything and everybody is corrupted, evil and brutal and that some events during this movie are too predictable because of that. The movie is intense and absorbing but up to the last thirty minutes there isn't much tension. There is also especially one scene that I found strange, as the young journalist gives the life's work of his deceased partner and friend to a young police officer. This scene has simply a lack of logic in my opinion and doesn't fit with the behaviour of the journalist that did everything on his own without caring about laws or instructions and that had some very bad experiences with the police.

    But all in all, this is a very absorbing and authentic film noir with an excellent ending that makes me look forward to watch the follow-up quickly. If you like this genre, this movie is a most-have and highlight for you and if you like ordinary movies about criminal investigations you may get disturbed by the dark and brutal ending of the movie that distinguishes this film from the ordinary ones. No matter in which category you fit, I would highly recommend you this film and encourage you to not give up during the overlong introduction because the second part of the movie is more than worth the wait.


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  • Archangel (2005)


    As a big fan of history and Russian culture, I was excited to watch this movie but didn't expect very much from a TV production. Useless to say that this movie is a must seen for anyone who likes Russian history, society and lifestyle. But it is also easy to watch and understand for someone who doesn't know much about the topic because most of the sings are told in the interesting past sequences of the movie. I've travelled to Russia and seen and lived a lot of particular things there and must admit that the behaviours of the police, the military and the government in this movie are not a stupid cliché but quite close to reality. Even the locations chosen for the shootings remind me of the modern Russian post-soviet lifestyle even though most of the scenes have been filmed in Latvia.

    Well, I got largely surprised as this movie is really intense and has a realistic scenario that makes you think a lot about nowadays's societies and ideologies. The movie is really entertaining and I have watched it several times without getting bored at all. The characters and the story are well and profoundly developed. The surprising element in the movie is not such a big twist but that isn't negative because the main idea is quite original and the maintain of the tension is always guaranteed in this movie. The movie's finale is dramatically and interesting.

    The most positive surprise in this movie is the acting of Daniel Craig. I've always known him as the cool, emotionless and somehow mediocre James Bond actor but he is really convincing in this movie. He plays with emotions, with conviction and with an unknown diversity. The only time he played as well was in "Defiance" which you would also like if you like this movie.

    I really can recommend this entertaining and surprisingly well done and produced movie even though most of the critics are actually too negative.


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  • XIII (2008)


    I have never played the computer game and haven't read the comic series yet, but after watching this movie, I will surely try to check both things out! It is true that this movie has many similarities to The Bourne series and that many films have the same concept and that's the reason why I don't give this movie a top rating.

    But the story is well thought, there are many nice action elements, a lot of tension, some surprises and a little twist in the ending. The acting is well done, especially by the bad boys, but not outstanding. The movie is well directed and has some really good images and the dialogues are also well composed unlike many other films of the genre, you can really see that there has been some budget in this movie and that it is a high quality product. It is sad that the movie hasn't been in every country's cinemas though. I watched the about 180 minutes long version in one shot as it came out on DVD and I didn't find a single minute of boredom in the film what is quite exceptional.

    In conclusion, this movie is more creative than many other similar movies with the same ideas and very entertaining so that I can't understand most of the negative critics. This movie is nothing revolutionary, but still one of the best of its kind.


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  • Double Identity (2009)


    Although this is low budget thriller with some little goofs, I found this movie extremely entertaining and surprising.

    Val Kilmer might have become a slow and fat guy, but he is still a very charismatic and talented actor and is credible in his role as a hesitating and nervous doctor who becomes more and more determined to find the pieces of a mysterious and complicated puzzle even if he could have played his role with a little bit more emotions. The charming and beautiful Izabelle Miko does also a great job as a "femme fatale" and double-agent in troubles. Bulgaria is an interesting shooting place for this movie and presents us a little bit of a foreign culture and city.

    Concerning the story line, this movie has several surprises and is sometimes difficult to follow with all its intrigues, conspiracies and double-agents. I think that the story is well elaborated and deserves us some surprises and twists. That's maybe why many people don't understand the goals of some organizations. But if you watch this movie with more attention again and do not concentrate on the question if the cars are more recent than 1992 when the story is settled (who really cares) or if several criminals speak in Russian (by the way, it is logical that especially the Russian criminals tried to get a better life elsewhere after the downfall of communism and the creation of many "new" countries), you might understand more and more all the details and connections in this well done agent movie.

    This movie is surely nothing innovating or extremely suspenseful, but good entertainment and a twisted and surprising movie with two interesting main actors.


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  • Les sept jours du talion (2010)


    This movie is a very intense psychological thriller filmed in very grey and depressive images and words that create a perfect atmosphere for this doom slow paced movie. The movie seems to be a simple vengeance story, but it goes far beyond this. Let me warn you first: There are not many torture scenes in this movie, so if you expect some gore stuff here, you may not be satisfied at all in the end. The title and trailer could be somehow misleading.

    The film has in fact a very philosophical touch and questions about the sense of life and death as well as vengeance or forgiveness. The movie shows how difficult such topics are and has almost some documentary influences as it shows the reactions of the society, the police, the victim's families. But there are also metaphoric elements in this movie like the scenes with the dead deer body that represents the dead body of the raped and killed daughter that lead us slowly towards a melancholic end that many find unsatisfying but which fits perfectly to the whole atmosphere and intention of the movie. The story is surprisingly realistic. All those points I really like about this great Quebecker movie.

    What I rather dislike is that there is something like a highlight missing. When the father has kidnapped the murderer of his daughter and the police is looking for him, you expect that the tension and action raises, that each character's profoundness may be developed and that there are some disturbing twists but nothing happens at all. The movie concentrates on the profoundness of the main character but I think that the characters of the murderer, the police officer or the kidnapper's wife could have been more developed. The movie also concentrates too much on the logical follow-up of the story and the tension goes really down at some point in the movie as there are no real surprises or turning points like in the heavier and more disturbing shocker "5150 on Elm Street", a movie based on the novel by the same author as this one. This movie's strength is its depressive atmosphere and the main actor's brilliant acting but it has too much of a one man show.

    If you are looking for an alternative depressive psycho thriller with some philosophical elements, I highly recommend this movie for you. But if you are looking for a bloody shocker with a twisted ending, just forget about it.


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