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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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Death Wish (2018)


Death Wish (2018)

Why do we like vigilante justice?  I think that it is because someone does exactly what we are thinking should be done or we would like to do, ourselves.  Also, vigilante justice in the movies is often portrayed as sticking up for ones that cannot stick up for themselves.  If you are like me, then you enjoy rooting for the underdog.

Death Wish is about a doctor who decides to take matters into his own hands after an attack on his family.  He decides to find the men responsible and serve up his own form of vigilante justice.

The movie was directed by Eli Roth and the noteworthy cast includes Bruce Willlis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, and Ronnie Gene Blevins.

I am not usually one to be into remakes.  It seems like Hollywood remakes or reboots just about everything these days.  Often, I say leave well enough alone, but sometimes the right remake idea comes along and the right actor is cast in the lead role.

In this case, Willis was very fitting for the role in Death Wish.  It was his best performance since Looper (2012).  He has been making a lot of B-rated straight to DVD movies lately, so it is nice to see him return to his former glory.  I am glad to see that he has not gone the way of Nicolas Cage (spitting out one piece of trash after the next).  Death Wish is a one-man-show and Bruce was clearly up for the task.

This movie is a scary concept because of how realistic it is.  What I mean by that is that it shows just how worthless the police department and justice system can be sometimes.  Too often, it is the people that deserve to see justice be done, that are the ones stuck without any justice at all.  It also goes to show just how vulnerable we all are.

The likable Dean Norris has quickly been typecast as the police or detective type thanks to the success of the television series Breaking Bad.  His part in this movie is good, but it does quickly make you think of Breaking Bad.

There are a few noticeable gruesome scenes in this movie that had Roth’s signature all over it.  So far, I believe that this film is Roth’s best work as a director.  He did a terrific job setting the tone of Death Wish and sticking with it throughout.

It has been a very long time since I have seen the original Death Wish (1974), but watching this version has made me want to go back and watch the original sometime soon.  The new film is a quality remake done with today’s technology.  The original movie is now 44 years old and it shows its age.

This movie is a murky suspense/thriller with good old fashioned popcorn-popping action.  Willis as the protagonist doing bad for good reasons will keep you on the edge of your seat hoping that justice gets done.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Death Wish (1974)

Death Sentence (2007)

The Brave One (2007)

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Man on Fire (2004)

The Equalizer (2014)

The Punisher (2004)

Sin City (2005)

Harry Brown (2009)

RED (2010)

RED 2 (2013)

John Wick (2014)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Prisoners (2013)

Defendor (2009)

The Best Movies of 2014


The Best Movies of 2014

 

Below is my list of the best movies that I have seen that were released in 2014 (even if some were made in 2013).  I have included trailers for each movie.  I would love to eventually write a review of each of these films and talk about why I enjoyed them so much.  But for now, just know that I highly recommend all of these movies.  I will continue to add to this list if I see any more movies from 2014 that are worthy of this list.

 

American Sniper (2014)

Fury (2014)

John Wick (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)

Nightcrawler (2014)

Interstellar (2014)

Still Alice (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

The Imitation Game (2014)

Unbroken (2014)

Exodus: Gods & Kings (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Dumb and Dumber Too (2014)

Neighbors (2014)

Non-stop (2014)

 

Good movies that did not make the cut were:

This is Where I Leave You (2014)

The Equalizer (2014)

The Judge (2014)

The Gambler (2014)

Sex Tape (2014)

Let’s Be Cops (2014)

22 Jump Street (2014)

Sabotage (2014)

3 Days to Kill (2014)