Jun 092019

Crypto isn’t a terrible movie but like most films in the Grindstone Entertainment portfolio might have a kernel of an interesting story, just not materialized thanks to the script writing, pedestrian direction and relatively cheap budget.




Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Drama, Crime
Lionsgate | R – 106 min. – $21.99 | June 18, 2019

Date Published: 06/09/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: John Stalberg Jr.

Writer(s): Jeffrey Ingber (story), Carlyle Eubank & David Frigerio (screenplay)
Cast: Beau Knapp, Alexis Bledel, Luke Hemsworth, Kurt Russell, Jeremie Harris, Jill Hennessy, Vincent Kartheiser
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Trailer

Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.66
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 40.60 GB
Total Bitrate: 45.74 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.75/5

Plot Synopsis: When Wall Street banker Martin (BEAU KNAPP) is sent to a bank branch in upstate New York, he uncovers suspicious cash flow through a local gallery selling million-dollar paintings. As Martin traces links to a violent Russian mob, he realizes he’s put his nearby family — his estranged brother (LUKE HEMSWORTH) and father (KURT RUSSELL) — in grave danger.

Review: Crypto is a messy thriller with an awkward editing style and a story that felt underdeveloped, and probably could’ve been better streamlined. That said, the acting from most of the cast was passable from Beau Knapp in the lead portraying a somewhat social uncomfortable character. Not sure if he’s leading man material, though acquitted himself well enough.

The supporting cast includes Luke Hemsworth who has a somewhat smaller part as a war veteran back home dealing with PTSD, and has personal issues with Martin; Alexis Bledel was fine in a limited role and twist toward the end, one that wasn’t set up very well, though it is nice seeing her in a significant part; and last is Kurt Russell making his first foray into the on demand/direct-to-video realm, and in a Grindstone Entertainment film no less, and delivers a fine performance, albeit in a limited role (probably only 10 minutes of screen time). I can only hope he doesn’t make this a habit (see: Bruce Willis).

The film was directed by John Stalberg Jr. making only his second feature film following a 2010 comedy called High School starring Adrien Brody and Colin Hanks. The script was written by Carlyle Eubank & David Frigerio (2014’s The Signal), and although it does have a plot that delves into current issues regarding crypto-currency, and tries to dumb it down so us laymen can understand how it works, but the structure never quite gelled right.

Crypto is kind of your typical Grindstone Entertainment movie. Not good enough to be memorable nor bad enough that could be mocked MST3K-style. That said, it is one of the studio’s “better” movies. Take that for what you will.



This release comes with a semi-glossy and title-embossed slip cover, inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Not a ton of features, but there is an Audio Commentary with Director John Stalberg Jr. and Co-Writers David Frigerio and Carlyle Eubank, Creating Crypto (9:02) making-of featurettes and the Trailer (1:59).


VIDEO – 3.75/5

Crypto is presented with an unusual 2.66 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture isn’t especially amazing where detail is okay but can appear soft at times while colors at least look natural, otherwise it is a clean transfer with no noticeable flaws.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track does have its moments. Dialogue comes through with fine clarity and the front and rear channels are relegated mostly for ambient noises, especially noticeable in the bar room scene. Where it’s uneven is with the LFE track, kicking on and sounding a bit too aggressive to the point where it was overwhelming.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Crypto isn’t a terrible movie but like most films in the Grindstone Entertainment portfolio might have a kernel of an interesting story, just not materialized thanks to the script writing and/or pedestrian direction, coupled with the cheap budget. The Blu-ray itself has acceptable video/audio transfers and although nothing amazing, at least there was a commentary track included.




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

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