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Monthly Archives: May 2018

You Were Never Really Here (2017)


You Were Never Really Here (2017)

I was a little apprehensive about seeing this movie.  It appeared like it would be either really good or just really bad.  I have enjoyed most of Joaquin Phoenix’s work, so I thought I would give You Were Never Really Here a shot.

The film is about a hit man who gets in over his head when he is hired to rescue a young girl from a sex slave ring, and make the people involved suffer for what they have done to her.

The movie was directed by Lynne Ramsay and the noteworthy cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, John Doman, Alex Manette, Ekaterina Samsonov, and Alessandro Nivola.

You Were Never Really Here is unflinching and unplugged.  The film does not pull any punches.   The subject matter is as dark as it gets.  This movie is certainly not for everyone.  The movie was unique.  The way that it was filmed raised the level of intensity.  The soundtrack and natural background noise in the movie really set the gritty tone.  It was rough at times, but it was very necessary to tell the story.

Phoenix is ruthless and almost robotic.  It is a cold, hard, Oscar-worthy performance.  He throws everything into his character and continues to reveal to us his wide range of talent and ability as a versatile actor.

I have heard comparisons of You Were Never Really Here to Taxi Driver (1976), and I have to say that I liked You Were Never Really Here better.  I can see the comparison in only the mean streets and loud, tough city.  The atmosphere was reminiscent of Taxi Driver in the way that it was filmed.  However, I feel like Taxi Driver tried too hard and often fell short.  There was a lot more unnecessary shock value in Taxi Driver.  I felt like there was more depth and purpose to You Were Never Really Here (2017).

This movie was in limited release and therefore I had to go way out of my way in order to see it.  Because it was such a dark film, I can understand that it was only in limited release.  Not everybody can handle this type of movie.  However, I am glad that movies like this one are still able to get made.

You Were Never Really Here will leave you thinking about it long after it is over.  That is often how you can tell that a movie was worth seeing, when it sticks with you.  If you are a fan of Joaquin Phoenix and you like grittier films, then you will most likely enjoy You Were Never Really Here.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Bad Samaritan (2018)

John Wick (2014)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Collateral (2004)

Street Kings (2008)

End of Watch (2012)

Training Day (2001)

Crank (2006)

Crank: High Voltage (2009)

Gladiator (2000)

Her (2013)

Triple 9 (2016)

Running Scared (2006)

Run All Night (2015)

Harsh Times (2005)

Out of the Furnace (2013)

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Beirut (2018)


Beirut (2018)

Beirut looked intriguing to me because the always dapper Jon Hamm was finally given the main lead in a serious film.  He has always been likable in every role that I have seen him.  Of course, his boost to stardom was in the leading part in the Mad Men (2007-2015) series.

The film is about a hostage situation that summons a former U.S. diplomat back to war-torn Beirut in an attempt to save his old friend.

The movie was directed by Brad Anderson and the noteworthy cast includes Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Mark Pellegrino, Dean Norris, Shea Whigam, Douglas Hodge, Larry Pine, Ben Affan, and Mohamed Attougui.

The filmmakers did a superb job creating a believable Beirut in 1982 and thereafter.  The not-so-peaceful Middle East was very apparent in the movie.  There was a sort of gloomy undertone to the film and this gave the movie a much darker feel to it.

It was nice to see Jon Hamm in a leading role carrying a film.  He brought a level of class and finesse to his character that made the movie exciting, where it otherwise may have lacked with someone else playing his part.

Rosamund Pike did a good job in the movie.  However, I felt like her character could have been developed better.  She is a strong actress, but this film did not allow her a strong presence.  I felt like her performance in Hostiles (2017) and Gone Girl (2014) were far better than her performance in Beirut because she was able to give those other characters more substance.

Beirut is not a movie that you are going to want to watch over and over again because of the subject matter.  However, it is a well-made, above average film that is worth the watch.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

12 Strong (2018)

Lone Survivor (2013)

American Sniper (2014)

The Kite Runner (2007)

Chappaquiddick (2017)

The Post (2017)

Lincoln (2012)

Captain Phillips (2013)

Darkest Hour (2017)

No Escape (2015)

American Assassin (2017)