“Free Fire” (R)
The shoot-em ‘up movie genre gets a welcome unique spin that unfortunately falls flat too soon with “Free Fire.” Set in 1978, “Free Fire” stars Oscar-winner Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy (“Batman Begins”) as part of a group of criminals who meet a gang of arms dealers in abandoned warehouse to make what should be a simple exchange of cash for a cache of high-powered weapons.
But when a fight breaks out between opposing gang members, the fisticuffs escalate into a shoot-out with bullets flying from every which way.
As a dark comedy, we discover in “Free Fire” most everybody involved is a terrible shot, resulting mostly in flesh wounds as the bumbling criminals crawl around the warehouse trying to figure out a way to exit.
It’s an amusing take on the genre at first, but the idea quickly wears thin, making the movie feel way too long, even with a 90-minute run time. Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley (“District 9”) also star.
Lammometer 5.5 (out of 10)
Listen to Tim’s reviews of “Free Fall” and “The Promise” with Tom Barnard and Michele Tafoya on “The KQ Morning.”
“The Promise” (PG-13)
Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon deliver stellar performances in “The Promise,” a heartbreaking historical drama that chronicles the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Turks before the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
The always-great Isaac (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) plays a medical student in Constantinople in 1915, just before the Turks begin to round up Armenian Christians for systematic execution.
Bale is terrific as usual, this time as Associated Press journalist reporting on the horrors of the genocide to the West, while Le Bon is a French-Armenian teacher caught in a love triangle in-between them.
The film is a compelling tale that brings to light a forgotten part of history that the Turkish government still fails to recognize today.
Lammometer: 8 (out of 10)