Mar 242018

Acts of Violence is a misfire of a movie that probably wanted to tell a serious story about human trafficking but never quite got there thanks to a clunky script and some thinly written characters.



Acts of Violence

Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 87 min. – $21.99 | March 27, 2018

Date Published: 03/24/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Brett Donowho
Writer(s): Nicolas Aaron Mezzanatto (written by)
Cast: Cole Hauser, Bruce Willis, Shawn Ashmore, Ashton Holmes, Melissa Bolona, Sophia Bush, Mike Epps
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Interviews, Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 43.3 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 2.25/5

Another year, another movie from Grindstone Entertainment co-starring Bruce Willis, and makes Acts of Violence his ninth collaboration (at least in my own collection). As Grindstone movies go, this is by no means terrible, but awfully clunky in the storytelling and a plot that is just a more action-packed, and better production value, version of a Lifetime Original Movie, down to the human trafficking angle.

The story, set in Cleveland, revolves around the McGregor brothers: Deklan (COLE HAUSER), Brandon (SHAWN ASHMORE) and Roman (ASHTON HOLMES), the two former being ex-military. When Roman’s fiancée Mia (MELISSA BOLONA) is kidnapped and held as part of a human trafficking ring headed by crime lord Max Livingston (MIKE EPPS), the trio band together to rescue her before it’s too late.

Also on the case is Detective James Avery (BRUCE WILLIS) who has been on the hunt for the gang who have been kidnapping girls all around town, Mia not only being the latest but one who was not living on the outskirts of society with the others have been homeless or “damaged”.

Acts of Violence is a simple enough concept and could’ve been an entertaining little thriller but instead we get a mishmash of ideas — such as at the beginning Deklan with PTSD which really never is brought up again — going on with some lazy filmmaking which I guess makes sense considering the film reportedly only took 15 days to film (that’s quite the turnaround). What we get in the end is neither a film that isn’t nearly bad enough to mock nor good enough to remember.

To that end, this is yet another movie co-starring Bruce Willis who spends a good 80% of his screen time sitting behind the desk with only an action piece in the opening (though I’d wager a portion of that was a stunt double) and a couple pick-up shots in the middle of the end where he’s actually out of the office. As one would expect, Willis didn’t particularly turn in a great performance even with a thinly written character and seemed like another quick payday (one day of shooting for him).

The other cast members were adequate enough, I suppose. Cole Hauser never really rose out of mediocrity and here he gives a convincing enough performance at least and effective in the lead; Shawn Ashmore who was fun trying to portray a bad ass military guy since I always will remember him for playing “Jimmy” Olsen on Smallville; Ashton Holmes is a non-factor playing the concerned boyfriend; and Melissa Bolona has a few strong moments. Oh, and if anyone remember Mike Epps, he shows up as the movie’s main villain.

All in all, Acts of Violence isn’t terrible but nothing special either. It’s a poorly executed film from a run-of-the-mill plot. As Grindstone Entertainment movies go, this is certainly not the worst I’ve encountered; take that for what you will…



This release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed, slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary — Director Brett Donowho is a pretty decent track as there are very few lulls and manages to give insights into certain camera angles, filming locations, working with the actors and other bits of trivia.

Making of Acts of Violence (12:19; HD) is a behind-the-scenes featurette that is basic and includes interviews from the cast and crew, much of them seen in the compilation below.

Cast and Crew Interviews (TRT 51:30; HD):

  • Director Brett Donowho (12:58)
  • Cole Hauser (6:42)
  • Mike Epps (3:41)
  • Sophia Bush (4:38)
  • Ashton Holmes (6:30)
  • Director of Photography Edd Lukas (9:40)
  • Shawn Ashmore (7:18)

These were standard EPK interview soundbites with the actors explaining what drew them to the project and their characters while Donowho and Lukas delves into some of the technical aspects.

Trailer (2:26; HD)

PreviewsThe Commuter, Unlocked, First Kill, Inconceivable, Black Butterfly


VIDEO – 4.25/5

Acts of Violence is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition transfer. For the most part, this is a pleasant looking picture, detail is relatively sharp throughout, particularly any close-ups, skin tones appear natural and there are some splashes of color despite the dark tones that involve human trafficking.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is standard but effective outputting clear dialogue along with some moderate depth through the action scenes as the bullets start to fly as well as an explosion in one instance, and the LFE channel does kick in for some extra measure. This is not going to knock your socks off or give your surround sound system a workout, but still decent.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Acts of Violence is a misfire of a movie that probably wanted to tell a serious story about human trafficking but never quite got there thanks to a clunky script and some thinly written characters. Although it’s by no means terrible, this does seem to be a bargain bin type of film in the near future. The Blu-ray itself has good video and audio transfers and some okay bonus material.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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