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Darkest Hour (2017)


Darkest Hour (2017)

I have to admit that prior to seeing this film, my history knowledge of Winston Churchill was a little fuzzy.

Gary Oldman is a wizard when it comes to his ability to become whoever he is supposed to be portraying on screen.  I became more interested in seeing Darkest Hour after I found out that Oldman was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, even though I am fed up with the Academy Awards.

Darkest Hour is based on the true story of when British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill was forced to decide whether or not to negotiate with Adolf Hitler when all of Western Europe was being threatened by the Nazis in 1940.

The movie was directed by Joe Wright and the noteworthy cast includes Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stephen Dillane, Nicholas Jones, and David Strathairn.

Gary Oldman successfully transformed into Winston Churchill.  He was a mumbling, bumbling, blabbering, grumpy old man.  It is hard to believe that anyone else could have done half as good a job as he did in his role.

The U.K. in the 1940s was duplicated convincingly and artistically in Darkest Hour.  Watching the movie, it was very easy to be pulled into that time and place.  It was as if you were there witnessing Winston Churchill make history.

It is always interesting to me how movies with similar subjects get made around the same time.  It is no accident that Dunkirk (2017) came out the same year as Darkest Hour.  Hollywood likes to capitalize on one concept by showcasing similar movies in the same year.  I guess that they assume that if one movie does well, everyone will be curious about the other movie of the same type and will go to see it while the idea is still fresh.

Darkest Hour is about what is going on behind the scenes while Dunkirk is happening.  In this case, the two movies do make good companion pieces to each other.

The problem with Darkest Hour is that everyone in the movie besides Gary Oldman felt like an afterthought.  His character development improved as the movie went on, but there was not much care placed on the other characters.

The other main thing that was wrong with the film is that it just felt like it took way too long to make its point.  It probably could have been 30 minutes shorter.  I think that this would have made it more enjoyable.

It felt historically accurate and Oldman’s performance was superb.  Without him, this movie would have really struggled.

The film felt a little bit like The King’s Speech (2010).  This is not one of those movies that you will want to watch over and over again.  It was tasteful and informative, but I will be OK with only seeing it once.

Darkest Hour is a well put together World War II period piece.  It is a good depiction of some historical events, however it is overly drawn out and therefore falls a little short.

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

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Dunkirk (2017)

The King’s Speech (2010)

Lincoln (2012)

Leon: The Professional (1994)

True Romance (1993)

Schindler’s List (1993)

The Pianist (2002)

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Aviator (2004)

Cinderella Man (2005)

J. Edgar (2011)

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12 Strong (2018)


12 Strong (2018)

Besides what I saw in the trailer, I was not aware of the true story that this film depicts.  How was this not more widely publicized?

12 Strong is a true story about 12 Special Forces soldiers sent on a covert operation in Afghanistan, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  They are the first boots on the ground.  The group teams up with an Afghan leader, and together on horseback, they try to take down the Taliban.

The movie is based on the book “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton.  It is directed by Nicolai Fuglsig.

The noteworthy cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, Austin Stowell, Rob Riggle, William Fichter, Fahim Fazli, Numan Acar, and Taylor Sheridan.

12 Strong is the best war movie that I have seen since American Sniper (2014).  It is done in a similar style as Lone Survivor (2013).  It is an amazing untold story that everyone should know about.  It tells the story about America’s immediate response after the 9/11 attacks.

This is easily Chris Hemsworth’s best film.  His role as a soldier was quite believable.

Michael Shannon and Michael Pena also give very likable performances.

The flow to the story was very fluid.  I credit the film quality to the unknown director Nicolai Fuglsig.  A film with such epic proportions cannot be easy to direct.  Especially one this good.

The convincing sets and realistic battle scenes make you feel like you are watching on the battlefield.  It is a war movie, so there is a lot of quality brutal violence.  The special effects are good, but not overdone.

The story itself, was what was most surprising to me.  The U.S. sends twelve men into Afghanistan to respond to the 19 terrorists that took out the World Trade Center.  The covert operation sees those twelve men joining forces with Afghan soldiers on horseback to try to systematically takedown the Taliban.  Horses against tanks, rockets, and other heavy artillery.  Who would’ve thought?

That is fascinating to me.  It’s the 21st century.  The greatest country in the world is attacked with their own planes.  And, their response is on horses in the desert.  Reading that out loud sounds pretty harsh.  But, that is why this is such an interesting and incredible story.  This is not me talking down about the story it all.  That is me praising it.  If you have not seen it and it sounds interesting to you, go see it now!

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

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Lone Survivor (2013)

American Sniper (2014)

Fury (2014)

Unbroken (2014)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

The Pianist (2002)

We Were Soldiers (2002)

The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

35 Best Independent Movies on Netflix Watch Instantly January 2014


35 Best Independent Movies on Netflix Watch Instantly January 2014

Netflix Logo

Often times, independent, low budget movies can be far superior to mainstream big budget films.  If you are trying to find a good independent movie to watch on Netflix Watch Instantly, then you probably should not look much further than this list.  After searching through all of the independent movies that are currently available on Netflix Watch Instantly, the movies on this list are the best ones, in my opinion.

I have not reviewed all of the movies that are on this list, but if a title is highlighted, then simply click on the title for a trailer, movie pictures, my rating, and my full review of that movie.  If you like what you see, check out the rest of my website.  As I review more films, I will add more links to this list.

Netflix actually has a very good selection of independent movies in their watch instantly library.  Here is the list of the Best Independent Movies that Netflix Watch Instantly currently has to offer:

The Pianist Poster

The Pianist (2002)

Memento Poster

Memento (2000)

What's Eating Gilbert Grape Poster

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)

American Psycho Poster

American Psycho (2000)

Donnie Darko Poster

Donnie Darko (2001)

Reservoir Dogs Poster

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Pulp Fiction Poster

Pulp Fiction (1994)

He Was A Quiet Man Poster

He Was a Quiet Man (2007)

Poolhall Junkies Poster

Poolhall Junkies (2002)

Detachment Poster

Detachment (2011)

Dead Man Poster

Dead Man (1995)

Beautiful Girls Poster

Beautiful Girls (1996)

Leave Poster

Leave (2011)

King of New York Poster

King of New York (1990)

Ghost Dog The Way of the Samurai Poster

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Poster

Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995)

The Gift Poster

The Gift (2000)

Fargo Poster

Fargo (1996)

Following Poster

Following (1998)

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Extract (2009)

Arbitrage Poster

Arbitrage (2012)

robot & frank cover

Robot & Frank (2012)

Clerks. Poster

Clerks. (1994)

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Poster

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

The Other Woman Poster

The Other Woman (2009)

Compulsion Poster

Compulsion (2013)

Powder Blue Poster

Powder Blue (2009)

The World's Fastest Indian Poster

The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)

Swimming with Sharks Poster

Swimming with Sharks (1994)

Hard Eight Poster

Hard Eight (1996)

Pi Poster

Pi (1998)

Stuck in Love Poster

Stuck in Love (2012)

Henry's Crime Poster

Henry’s Crime (2010)

There Will Be Blood Poster

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Saved! Poster

Saved! (2004)

If you enjoyed this list, check out the rest of my Netflix related material by clicking on the Netflix Related icon towards the top of your screen.  I’ll continue to add new lists, and of course, more movie reviews, so check back often at www.brockingmovies.com Movies are what I do.

Wrecked (2010)


Wrecked Poster

Wrecked (2010)

Wrecked is a low budget independent film that may have exceeded expectations if given the proper opportunity.

Before watching this movie, I knew nothing about it except for the fact that Adrien Brody was the main character.  I have been a big fan of Brody ever since I saw the film The Pianist (2002).  He acted his heart out in that movie and I quickly came to find out that he usually does in all of his films.  It’s no wonder that he received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Pianist.

Wrecked Brody Bloody Face

Wrecked is about a man (Adrien Brody) who awakes to find himself badly injured in a mangled car wreck in the middle of a densely wooded area at the base of a mountain in the middle of nowhere.  He has no memory of how he got there, who he is, or who the dead passengers nearby are.  He is stuck inside of the car and is forced to try to survive as he contemplates his past and how he got into his current situation.

The film was directed by Michael Greenspan and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Caroline Dhavernas, Ryan Robbins, Adrian G. Griffiths, Adrian Holmes, and Jacob Blair.

I listed the rest of the noteworthy cast, but in reality Wrecked is a one-man show.  The vast majority of the movie is Adrien Brody acting alone.  The movie has some similarities to 127 Hours (2010), All is Lost (2013), The Edge (1997) and Unknown (2006).

It takes a highly talented actor to make a film like this watchable, let alone entertaining.  Brody was up for the challenge and he was a superb choice for this role.  The pain that his character felt in in the movie appeared genuine in every way.  You feel for his character as if the events that are happening to him on screen are actually happening.

The film is pretty gruesome and intense.  There is a bit of language throughout, but it all serves to make the story more realistic.

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Unfortunately, I think that this movie is underrated and under watched.  It didn’t get the chance that it deserved in theatres.

The movie grabs on to you in the very beginning and keeps you guessing what will happen next.  It is slow at times, but that is to be expected when there is basically only one person in the film.  The suspense holds your attention throughout as Adrien Brody’s character is injured in the wild and facing what the wilderness has in store for him.

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

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked Wrecked, then you will probably enjoy the following films:

127 Hours (2010)

All is Lost (2013)

Trance (2013)

The Edge (1997)

Unknown (2006)

Buried (2010)

Brake (2012)

The Book Thief (2013)


The Book Thief Poster

The Book Thief (2013)

 

 

The Book Thief is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of innocence, stolen.

I’ve always been drawn to stories about World War II.  Movies about WWII have a tendency to be very powerful films if done correctly.  I think that this is because it was such a hard and troubling time in the world when Hitler was in power.

The Book Thief Rush Watson Girl

The movie is based off of the novel with the same name by Markus Zusak.  The film is about Liesel (Sophie Nelisse), a young girl without a family in Nazi Germany during WWII.  She gets taken in and adopted by a couple who also hide a Jewish boy under their stairs.  With all of the terrible things going on around her, Liesel takes comfort in learning how to read.  She begins to read whatever books that are available to her.  Eventually she starts stealing books and sharing them with her new family.

The film was directed by Brian Percival and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer, Joachim Paul Assbock, Kirsten Block, Roger Allam, Nico Liersch and Sandra Nedeleff.

The film was slower, but a true drama.  It depended solely on acting and story to get its point across.  Don’t expect an action-packed war movie.  However, a story about Nazi Germany during WWII is intense enough.  Although the story is pretty serious, I liked how there was a bit of humor thrown in to cut the tension and make it more enjoyable.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief had some similarities to the movie The Pianist (2002), except that it was not as intense.

I will admit, the touching story made me shed a few tears.  The movie does a great job of making you care about the characters.  The acting draws you into the story.

Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nelisse both deliver genuinely heartfelt performances.  The presence of Rush was what was needed to make everyone act on a higher level.  He was the glue that held the movie together.

The set was a work of art.  Germany during the late 30s and early 40s was duplicated very believably.  That task could not have been a simple one.

The only thing that I thought was a little weird about the movie was the way that it was narrated.  The only explanation that I can think of as to why it was done the way that it was is maybe that was how it was narrated in the book.  Regardless, it comes off as a little odd.  The narration style does not seem to fit the type of film that The Book Thief is.

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I applaud the filmmakers for getting a movie like this one made.  In a movie world so consumed with special effects, action, sequels, superheroes, and unoriginality, The Book Thief is the type of film that we need more of.  It’s a genuinely refreshing story that takes plenty of risks.

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

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

InAPPropriate Comedy (2013)


InAPPropriate Comedy Poster

InAPPropriate Comedy (2013)

 

I did not have very high expectations for InAPPropriate Comedy.  However, I was a little curious as to why Oscar winner Adrien Brody would have any part in the making of this movie.  The fact that Brody was in it was what made me give the film a chance.  Lindsay Lohan and Rob Schneider are also both in the movie and that lead me to believe InAPPropriate Comedy was likely doomed.

InAPPropriate Comedy Brody Gun

The movie is not really a movie at all; it is rather a series of skits.  There are multiple categories pertaining to the different skits which are displayed as APPs on a computer screen.  Most of the skits are parodies of movies, television shows, or famous events.  A man on screen cycles through and selects the different APPs on the computer and as he selects them, they are what are shown next in the film.  Each APP is either racist, raunchy, out of control, blatantly wrong, or otherwise inappropriate.

The movie was directed by Vince Offer and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Ari Shaffir, and Dante.

The film is obviously meant to be inappropriate and it succeeds in achieving its goal.  It is like a glorified dumber, more vulgar version of the television show Saturday Night Live.

InAPPropriate Comedy Brody pink pants

Some of the skits have their moments of humor, while others are mostly pretty awful in every possible way.

In Adrien Brody’s defense, the skits that he is in are pretty funny.  They are crude, but funny.  However, it just goes to show that Brody’s career has plummeted since his success in The Pianist (2002).  It is laughable and a little sad that he would even be in a movie like this one.

Given all of the bad media that constantly surrounds Lindsay Lohan, her part in the film was actually okay.  Her performance was short and sweet and somewhere in between good and bad.

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Overall, InAPPropriate Comedy is just plain bad.  There are not enough laughs in the movie to make up for how appalling the rest of the film is.  It is inappropriate in almost every way possible.  Wasting your time watching this movie would be inappropriate.

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

Buy, rent, or run?  RUN!

20 Best Drama Movies Based on Real Life Available on Netflix Watch Instantly


Netflix is constantly changing its movie selection.  Here is a list of 20 of the best drama movies based on real life that are currently available to watch on Netflix Watch Instantly.

There is something about movies that are based on true stories.  Knowing that what happened in the movie might be similar to how it actually happened in real life makes the movie that much more interesting.  I especially enjoy watching a movie based on true events that I already am familiar with.  It’s interesting to see the director or the writer’s take on what they think happened.  Sometimes a movie is supposedly based on real life, but it may be way different from what actually happened in real life.  If you are a fan of these types of movies, then you will probably enjoy the films on this list.

Here is the list:

Netflix

20 Best Drama Movies Based on Real Life Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

The Conspirator Poster

The Conspirator (2010)

The King's Speech

The King’s Speech (2010)

Into the Wild Poster

Into the Wild (2007)

Zodiac Poster

Zodiac (2007)

United 93 Poster

United 93 (2006)

World Trade Center Poster

World Trade Center (2006)

The World's Fastest Indian Poster

The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)

Hotel Rwanda Poster

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

The Pianist Poster

The Pianist (2002)

Man On The Moon Poster

Man of the Moon (1999)

October Sky Poster

October Sky (1999)

Braveheart Poster

Braveheart (1995)

Rob Roy Poster

Rob Roy (1995)

King of the Hill Poster

King of the Hill (1993)

Hoffa Poster

Hoffa (1992)

The Doors Poster

The Doors (1991)

The Krays Poster

The Krays (1990)

Eight Men Out Poster

Eight Men Out (1988)

The Untouchables Poster

The Untouchables (1987)

Hoosiers Poster

Hoosiers (1986)

Next time that you are trying to find a good movie on Netflix Watch Instantly that is based on a true story , I recommend you choose one of these movies as part of your movie night.

If you enjoyed this list, click on the following links below for more netflix related material:

Netflix Watch Instantly Movie Reviews September 2013

13 Best Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Romantic Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

20 Best Classics Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Mind-bending Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best War/Military Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Gritty Action/Thriller Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

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Are you thinking about seeing a movie that is currently in theatres?

Click here for Now In Theatres Movie Reviews August 30th – September 5th.  You will find previews, poster artwork, and my full review of all of the movies that I have seen that are currently in theatres.  You’ll be able to see which movies are out right now and it might just help you decide which movies are worth seeing.

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Are you a fan of Redbox?

Click on the links below for Redbox related material:

Current Redbox Movie Reviews September 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews August 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews July 2013

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 4

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 3

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 2

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies from

Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies

Happy movie watching!

13 Best War/Military Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly


Netflix is constantly changing its movie selection.  In honor of Memorial Day, here is a list of 13 of the best war/military movies that are currently available to watch on Netflix Watch Instantly.  There is a wide range of different wars and different types of military on the list.  Here is the list:

13 Best War/Military Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

Braveheart Poster

Braveheart (1995)

The Pianist Poster

The Pianist (2002)

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Poster

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

The Last of the Mohicans Poster

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

I was a Male War Bride Poster

I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Top Gun Poster

Top Gun (1986)

Hotel Rwanda Poster

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

We Were Soldiers Poster

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Tears of the Sun Poster

Tears of the Sun (2003)

Taps Poster

Taps (1981)

MESSENGER_Award1Sht_CAN_27X40.indd

The Messenger (2009)

The Sum of all Fears Poster

The Sum of All Fears (2002)

Windtalkers Poster

Windtalkers (2002)

Next time you are in the mood to watch a great War/Military movie, check out one of the movies on this list.  They are all currently available to watch on Netflix Watch Instantly.  There is a wide range of movies on this list, but if you think that it looks good, then you will probably enjoy it.  Happy movie watching and Happy Memorial Day!

If you enjoyed this list, click on the following links below for more netflix related material:

Netflix Watch Instantly Movie Reviews September 2013

20 Best Drama Movies Based on Real Life Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Mind-bending Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Romantic Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Gritty Action/Thriller Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

20 Best Classics Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

Movie Tickets Popcorn

Are you thinking about seeing a movie that is currently in theatres? 

Click here for Now In Theatres Movie Reviews August 30th – September 5th.  You will find previews, poster artwork, and my full review of all of the movies that I have seen that are currently in theatres.  You’ll be able to see which movies are out right now and it might just help you decide which movies are worth seeing.

redbox box and posters

Are you a fan of Redbox?

Click on the links below for Redbox related material:

Current Redbox Movie Reviews September 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews August 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews July 2013 

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 4

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 3

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 2

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies from

Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies

Happy movie watching!