Tag Archives: ‘Eye in the Sky’

At the movies: Top 10 of 2016 (and worst)

From comedy, drama and mystery to action, animation and adventure, 2016 produced a lot of great movies from several different genres. But perhaps the best came from true-life historical tales that haven’t been unearthed for the masses until now.  Find out what the best of the best were in this look at the top movies from last year.

10. “The Finest Hours” An incredible true story of a Coast Guard member’s (Chris Pine) act of selflessness over selfishness – a heartening tale from the 1950s that has amazingly been lost at sea until now.

9. “Kubo and the Two Strings” Laika’s latest and greatest – this time about a boy’s mystical quest in ancient Japan – is a stop-motion masterpiece.

8. “Fences” Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are a powerhouse duo in the big-screen adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

7. “Deadpool” Ryan Reynolds redefines the superhero genre with a bombastic, laugh-out-loud R-rated look at the origins of the Merc with a Mouth.

6. “Nocturnal Animals” Writer-director Tom Ford takes a big step away from the fashion world with an ultra-intense story within a story about lost love and revenge.

5. “Eye in the Sky” Helen Mirren is a force to be reckoned with and Alan Rickman takes his final bow with grace in this heart wrenching war drama about a dilemma surrounding a pending drone strike.

4. “Manchester by the Sea” Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams deliver two of the best performances of the year in this heartbreaking family drama where a man is forced to return to his hometown and must confront his tragic past in the process.

3. “Hell or High Water” Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster command your attention throughout in this smart, intense crime thriller about a pair of bank robbing brothers on a collision course with an aging Texas Ranger.

2. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” The best “Star Wars” film since “The Empire Strikes Back” cleverly fills in the gaps between “Episodes III” and “Episode IV,” with a prequel about how exactly rebels stole the plans to the Death Star.

1. “Hacksaw Ridge” Director Mel Gibson has created an enduring masterpiece with this compelling true story of forgotten World War II hero Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a battle medic who single-handedly saved 75 soldiers, one by one, in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. An inspiring, in-depth look at Doss — the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor – “Hacksaw Ridge” not only best film of the year but maybe the best film in years, and its message of courage, selflessness and sacrifice will echo for generations.

Honorable mentions: There are at least a dozen other films worthy of praise, including “Sully,” “Moana,” “Finding Dory,” “10 Cloverfield Lane,” “Don’t Breathe,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Deepwater Horizon,” “The BFG,” “Jackie,” “The Jungle Book,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Patriots Day.”

Worst of 2016: The 10 worst films of 2016, in no particular order: “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Office Christmas Party,” “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Blair Witch,” “Keanu,” “Zoolander 2,” “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Warcraft” and bonus pick, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” (wife’s pick).

Most overrated of 2016: Most critics loved these movies, but I simply didn’t get the fascination: “La La Land,” “Arrival,” “Midnight Special.”

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Movie reviews: ‘Divergent: Allegiant, Part 1,’ ‘Eye in the Sky’

Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment

By Tim Lammers

“The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Part 1” (PG-13) 1 1/2 stars (out of four)

A promising big screen adaptation of the “Divergent” book trilogy hits the wall full-force with “The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1,” a dull and predictable first act in the four movie saga. A familiar-feeling tale akin to “The Hunger Games,” “Allegiant” appears to be heading to an even worse big-screen fate than its literary predecessor “Mockingjay.”

Shailene Woodley is back as Tris in the post-apocalyptic city of Chicago, where the city’s residents are no longer divided into five factions based on different virtues: Abnegation (those who are selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honest), Dauntless (fearless) and Erudite (intelligent). The system was an devised to prevent anyone will

fully acting out on their own and threatening the other residents of the city.

However, when an uprising against the system (detailed in the second film) yields unpredictable results, Tris and her Divergent companion, Four (Theo James), along with a small group escaped the towering walls of the city to discover high-tech facility housed at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, where they discover they’ve been part of an experiment – and it’s not over yet.

While the first “Divergent” posed an interesting premise and the sequel, “Insurgent,” maintained that promise, “Allegiant – Part 1” has just turned plain silly. Once gritty and engaging, the series makes a jarring shift into a sleek, plastic sci-fi film with the new film, where even the actors seem bored. The acting is terrible and even stalwarts like Jeff Daniels, the architect of the experiment, seems to be phoning in his performance. The filmmakers and actors for “Part 2” have some serious work cut out for them if they’re to salvage the series.

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“Eye in the Sky” (R) 3 1/2 stars (out of 4)

An intense debate over the costs of a deadly but necessary military action plays out in the deeply compelling “Eye in the Sky,” an expertly-directed war thriller by Oscar-winning filmmaker Gavin Hood. Helen Mirren is at her best as Katherine Powell, a no-nonsense British military colonel who after six years ferrets out a group of high-level Al Shabaab terrorists holed up in Kenya. But when the mission turns from capture to kill as it’s discovered two of the members are being prepared for a suicide bombing, a crisis of conscience arises as an innocent 9-year-old girl wanders into the kill zone to likely become a victim of collateral damage.

Aaron Paul also stars as an American drone pilot wrestling with dread as he prepares to pull the trigger on the mission; and Alan Rickman appears in his final big-screen role as decisive British general trying to get the go-ahead on the mission from a group of wishy-washy politicos.

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