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:
American Sniper (2014)
The Kite Runner (2007)
No Escape (2015)
American Assassin (2017)
Prior to seeing this movie, I had no knowledge of Ted Kennedy’s infamous scandal. This is not something that is talked about in school. I remember having class discussions about the assassination of JFK. However, I never heard a word about how JFK’s brother, Ted tarnished the family name. It makes you wonder about all of the things that get left out of the history books.
Chappaquiddick is based on the true story of when in 1969 Senator Ted Kennedy fled the scene of a car accident in which his woman passenger was left to drown in his submerged vehicle on Chappaquiddick Island.
The movie was directed by John Curran and the noteworthy cast includes Jason Clarke, Ed Helms, Jim Gaffigan, Kate Mara, Bruce Dern, and Clancy Brown.
The movie let the story speak for itself. It was slow and methodical and seems factual. This is certainly not a feel-good film, nor is it a movie that you are going to want to rush out and see a second time.
Ted really disgraced the Kennedy name. I always hear about the bad luck that surrounded the Kennedys, but there was also a lot of scandal that surrounded them. I believe that you make your own luck in life. Obviously, a lot of the things that happened to the Kennedys were awful, but it does make me wonder how much of the scandalous stuff they brought on themselves. Just think about how many conspiracy theories revolve around the Kennedys.
The almost full theater that I was in was eerily quiet after the film ended. I think that was because the story was a sick display of what people with a position of power, especially in government, are capable of.
This was a disturbingly vile true story of how America was duped and Ted Kennedy successfully swept manslaughter under the rug. He seemed to show no remorse for being responsible for a woman’s death. All he cared about was protecting his political career.
It is a travesty that Ted was able to go on to be one of the longest running senators in history. It goes to show just how corrupt the government can be.
I have not been a big fan of Jason Clarke. He just has not been very likable in anything that I have seen him in. He played his part of Ted Kennedy well in this movie, however. To the point where I do not like him because of how bad his character is. That is how you know an actor is decent; when he is a believable bad guy.
The thought of two comedians (Gaffigan and Helms) in serious roles in this film made me nervous, but they were both likable for the parts that they played.
The filmmaking of Chappaquiddick was not overdone. They told the story and did not sugarcoat it. With how far left Hollywood leans, I am a little surprised that this film even got made, and furthermore, made wide release. The movie felt impartial politically, which I felt was tasteful. Too often movies will attack one political party with slanted views and opinions to further their agenda. Chappaquiddick seemed to just stick to the facts and try to tell both sides of the story without choosing a side.
I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
All the President’s Men (1976)
Wag the Dog (1997)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
The Ides of March (2011)
The American President (1995)
State of Play (2009)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Citizen Kane (1941)