Gringo’s circuitous narrative never allows for a character or storyline to develop in a particularly efficient way.
Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire reduces the modus operandi of the action movie down to its starkest elements.
Its self-consciously witty dialogue is meant to paper over gratuitous violence with a veneer of nonchalance.
The film’s ruefully honest tone is periodically drowned out by the blare of stagey coincidences.
The film’s unbelievably precise choreography of action seeks to tap into a universal feeling of powerlessness.
Its exasperating atonality washes out any legitimate idea about identity, education, nature versus nurture, or artificial intelligence.
There’s a fascinating video essay waiting to be made on the use of Jolie’s face throughout, but unfortunately, the rest of the film is a CGI sleeping pill.
We may have all wanted to know the story behind those famed horns, but the mystery was far preferable to having Maleficent defanged and declawed in the process.
An unsung 21st-century American noir receives the audio-visual treatment it deserves. But don’t expect much in the way of supplemental context.
Individual moments linger, but Gonzalo López-Gallego’s film is merely a rough draft of a thriller.
It loses the one thing that really worked in the original, the sense of moral complication emerging out of the intertwined action of two men hell-bent on retribution.
Neill Blomkamp strides closer to the muscular, subversive genre terrain of Carpenter and Verhoeven, but he still continues to lay his pathos on just a bit too thick.
After a while, it’s hard to escape the fact that the audience is watching a potential monster movie in which most of the fun stuff—i.e. the monster—has been pared away.
Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi apartheid allegory is defined less by uniquely novel ideas than the shrewd synthesis of classic genre predecessors.