I usually enjoy these interconnected ensemble movies but Even Money never quite gelled though the performances from Danny DeVito, Tim Roth were rather good, but not enough to make this a must rental or purchase.
Rogue One is a solid entry into the Star Wars saga and while it’s not as strong as either the Original Trilogy or The Force Awakens both in story structure and characters, it’s still one hell of an entertaining sci-fi action-er especially a fantastic third act which more than makes up for its flaws.
Taken 3 is a weak sequel and really the epitome of a money grab with a template screenplay by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kasen and frenetic direction by Olivier Megaton of some truly generic action scenes. It is disappointing that the series has devolved to this level but I suppose if you like Neeson and can set aside some of the absurd plot points, Taken 3 might make for throwaway entertainment.
Out of the Furnace never quite took advantage of a tremendous cast, especially Christian Bale, with a story that’s not very compelling and although I get the symbolism Cooper was going for, it didn’t gel for one reason or another. However, is it worth seeing? I don’t think you’ll regret at least giving it a rental as there are some solid performances and a couple truly good scenes.
Pawn is an acceptable mystery-thriller that has a respectable cast who unfortunately seemed to mostly phone it in except perhaps for Michael Chiklis who was having fun with his thick Aussie accent. Otherwise, as interesting as the story was and comparatively well done as the flash backs were, the movie falls apart at the end coming crashing down with an utterly unsatisfying finale.
Phenomenon is a well acted and finely dramatic film that seemed primed to be Oscar bait, especially in the acting category if you see a few of the scenes. However, it doesn’t hold much replay value because while the story is well done and features some fine direction by Jon Turteltaub, it’s just one of those movies that’s only worth one viewing every few years, despite a fine performance from John Travolta.