Custom Search




tel:18003484095

banner3

banner3

banner2


The Darkest Hour

All The Money In The World

December 28, 2017

The Darkest Hour (** ½) PG-13

The historical drama The Darkest Hour is basically a retelling of events previously depicted in director Christopher Nolan’s smashing success from last summer Dunkirk, and the end result is roughly the same. Which is to say, not entirely successful. Joe Wright (Atonement) directs from a script by Anthony McCarten and this film succeeds where Dunkirk failed (in the fleshing out of characters) and fails where Dunkirk succeeded­—in the cinematic interpretation of the material.

The Darkest Hour contains lots of scenes of talking heads that eventually wear out their welcome as British Prime Minister frets about what to do when the allied forces find themselves stranded on the shores of Dunkirk as they attempt to fend off the onslaught of the Nazi regime. Perhaps if these two scripts had been meshed into one then we might have had a powder keg of a film. As it stands The Darkest Hour is good but not great and succeeds as well as it does mostly as a result of its credible cast and, especially, its standout central performance.

Scott-Thomas & Oldman in ‘Darkest Hour’

Gary Oldman is certainly not the first actor who would come to mind when casting a WWII drama with Winston Churchill at its center. And yet, he delivers the goods. He’s virtually unrecognizable as the British Prime Minister by being encased in what is referred to by some as a fat suit. He’s got the voice and mannerisms down pat as well and it’s amazing to watch him at work much in the same way it was a joy to watch him in years gone by portraying such public figures as Lee Harvey Oswald, Sid Vicious and Beethoven. He’s a great actor to be sure and there’s no arguing that The Darkest Hour rests and falls on his shoulders. He’s the whole show and without him this is the kind of film that wouldn’t even receive a mention come awards time, although Kristen Scott Thomas brings some notable competitive edge in her performance as Churchill’s wife.

Unfortunately, the film’s script never reaches the dizzying heights of Oldman’s performance. It’s interesting, for a while at least, to watch Churchill go back and forth as to whether he should negotiate with Hitler or take another approach to liberating the allied forces stranded on the beach. Unfortunately, there’s only so much drama that the filmmakers can get out of that scenario and the film eventually buckles under the weight of the overall stodgy feel. Oldman’s performance is good but it can never quite mask the fact that The Darkest Hour is a film tailor made to court the Oscar vote as much as anything else.

This movie is playing in Charlotte at press time.

All the Money in the World (***) R

Director Ridley Scott’s second film in the calendar year of 2017­­­—that in itself being quite an accomplishment for a film director who is now in his eighties—was being groomed as an early Oscar contender in early fall. The film is a dramatization of the kidnapping of legendary billionaire J. Paul Getty’s grandson in 1973 and the early praise was being directed at actor Kevin Spacey’s performance in the role of the elder tycoon. Shortly thereafter came the allegations of the actor’s sexual misconduct, which sent things spinning in an entirely new direction for the film’s director. The curiosity swirled as to what would become of the film. Scott hastily recast the role with actor Christopher Plummer in the part and shot all of the scenes in a nine-day marathon session, announcing that the film would still make its release date.

And now the question remains as to what effect Plummer’s participation has had on the film. The short answer is that he’s one of the best things to be found in the film and, had he not won an Oscar just a few years back for his role in the film Beginners, he would most assuredly be a front runner this time around. In fact, he’s so good it leaves one wondering why he wasn’t cast in the role in the first place instead of Spacey. The unrealistic old age makeup applied to Spacey, seen in the early trailers for the film, certainly made me scratch my head in bewilderment. Plummer, in my estimation was certainly the wiser choice.

Christopher Plummer in ‘Money’

Now that I’ve gotten that business out of the way it’s time to move on to the film itself. It works well enough and tells a fairly compelling story as it relates the attempts of the elder Getty’s daughter in law, Gayle’s (Michelle Williams, also turning in some good work) attempts to scrape together the funds to pay off the ransom note. The old man will have none of it, reasoning that if he pays off one kidnapper then more are surely to come out of the woodwork. Instead he opts to let his adviser, Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg, woefully miscast here and one of the film’s weak links) play the role of negotiator and do the dirty work before time runs out. Of course, it’s a foregone conclusion that Gayle and Fletcher will eventually join forces and come up with a plan to rescue Gayle’s son.

The biggest quibble to be found with the film is in its playing loose with the facts. There are multiple scenes that, when readily researched, appear to be nothing more than the concoction of the screenwriter’s imagination. Even worse are annoying anachronisms such as the inclusion of the 1969 pop hit Time of the Season, which pops up in a scene set in 1964. If Scott and his team hadn’t been so sloppy with factual errors then All the Money in the World would be a slam-dunk. It’s a compelling film as long as you remember it’s just a film bearing just a passing resemblance to the actual story.

This movie is playing in Hickory and around the area.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at filmfan1970@hotmail.com.

 

ARCHIVES:

Downsizing,The Shape Of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Disaster Artist, Wonder Wheel

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri • Last Flag Flying

Justice League • Lady Bird

Daddy’s Home 2 (**) PG-13

Murder On The Orient Express Thor: Ragnarok

Suburbicon & The Florida Project

All I See Is You & Only The Brave

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House

Blade Runner 2049

Brad’s Status & Battle Of The Sexes

American Made

mother!
Kingsman: The Golden Circle

It

Good Time

Logan Lucky • Crown Heights

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power • Wind River

13 Minutes & In This Corner Of The World

Annabelle: Creation & Detroit

A Ghost Story

Maudie & Atomic Blonde

War For The Planet Of The Apes • Dunkirk

The Big Sick • The Hero

Spiderman: Homecoming

The Beguiled & Baby Driver

All Eyez On Me

It Comes At Night & Paris Can Wait

The Lovers • The Mummy

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales & Wonder Woman

Alien: Covenant

Snatched

Guardians Of The Galaxy & Volume 2

The Lost City Of Z

Colossal

The Fate Of The Furious & Going In Style

T2 Trainspotting

Life • Wilson

The Sense Of An Ending

Kedi

Kong: Skull Island

I Am Not Your Negro & Logan

Get Out & The Red Turtle

A Cure For Wellness & Fifty Shades Darker

Rings & John Wick: Chapter 2

Gold

Split • The Founder

Silence • Patriots Day

A Monster Calls & Hidden Figures

Paterson & 20th Century Women

Jackie

Fences • Sing • Rogue One

Nocturnal Animals • La La Land & Collateral Beauty

Why Him?

Manchester By The Sea Allied • Loving

Rules Don’t Apply • Moana & Bad Santa 2

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them • Moonlight

Arrival & Dr. Strange

Hacksaw Ridge

Inferno & Ouija: Origin Of Evil

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

The Girl On The Train & The Accountant

Masterminds • Deep Water Horizon • Birth Of A Nation

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Snowden & The Magnificent Seven

Bridget Jones’ Baby & Blair Witch

Sully

The Light Between Oceans

Hell Or High Water & Don't Breathe

Sausage Party & Indignation

Florence Foster Jenkins & Pete's Dragon • Café Society

Eat That Question & Suicide Squad

Star Trek Beyond & Jason Bourne

Lights Out

Ghostbusters

The Purge: Election Year

Independence Day: Resurgence • The BFG

Free State Of Jones & DePalma

Now You See Me 2 & Finding Dory

The Conjuring 2 & Me Before You

X Men: Apocalypse Love And Friendship

The Lobster & The Meddler

Money Monster • The Nice Guys Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Miles Ahead

Elvis And Nixon Green Room

Midnight Special Everybody Wants Some

The Jungle Book

I Saw The Light • The Boss

Hello My Name Is Doris & Krisha

Divergent: Allegiant & Batman v Superman

10 Cloverfield Lane & Brothers Grimsby

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot & London Has Fallen

Triple 9 & 45 Years

Eddie The Eagle• The Witch

Where To Invade Next & Son Of Saul

Deadpool • The Choice • How To Be Single

Hail Caesar & Fifty Shades Of Black

The Finest Hours & The 5th Wave

Mustang & The Lady In The Van

Anomalisa • 13 Hours: The & Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

The Revenant • Youth

Carol • Joy • The Hateful Eight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens • The Big Short • Concussion

Daddy’s Home • Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip

In The Heart Of The Sea • Krampus

Creed • Brooklyn

Spotlight

‘Mockingjay Part 2’ • All Things Must Pass • The Night Before

Trumbo

Spectre & The Peanuts Movie

Steve Jobs & Our Brand Is Crisis

Crimson Peak & Room

Bridge Of Spies & Goosebumps

99 Homes

The Martian • Sicario & The Walk

The Intern • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials • Everest

The Visit & Black Mass

Mistress America

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl A Walk In The Woods

American Ultra • No Escape • Sinister 2

Straight Outta Compton, The End Of The Tour, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Irrational Man & Fantastic Four

Ricki And The Flash & The Gift

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation • Southpaw • Vacation

Ant-Man & Trainwreck

Self/Less

Amy • Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, Ted 2

Inside Out & Dope

Love and Mercy & Jurassic World

Insidious Chapter 3

San Andreas & Aloha

Poltergeist &
Tomorrowland

Mad Max: Fury Road

Hot Pursuit

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Ex Machina

While We’re Young & Unfriended

The Longest Ride

Fast & Furious 7

It Follows

Divergent

Cinderella

Chappie

Focus & The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Fifty Shades Of Grey

Jupiter Ascending

Still Alice

The Imitation Game A Most Violent Year

American Sniper Inherent Vice

Selma & Taken 3

Unbroken

Big Eyes • The Interview

Night At The Museum The Secret of the Tomb • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Top Five • Wild • Annie

Foxcatcher

Whiplash & The Theory Of Everything

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 • Horrible Bosses 2

Dumb And Dumber To

Birdman & Interstellar

Nightcrawler

Ouija

Fury

The Judge

Annabelle & Gone Girl

The Equalizer & Happy 75th, GWTW!

The Drop • A Walk Among & The Tombstones

No Good Deed

The Identical

As Above, So Below & November Man

If I Stay & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

The Giver • Code Black & The Expendables 3

Boyhood • Into The Storm & Magic In The Moonlight

Get On Up & Guardians Of The Galaxy

Lucy

Begin Again & The Purge: Anarchy

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Chef & Tammy

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Jersey Boys

22 Jump Street & How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Fault Is In Our Stars & Edge Of Tomorrow

A Million Ways To Die In The West

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Maleficent

Godzilla • Summer Preview

Neighbors • Godzilla

The Amazing Spiderman 2 & Belle

The Other Woman & Brick Mansions

A Haunted House 2 & Heaven Is For Real

Oculus & Rio 2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Noah

Divergent

The Grand Budapest Hotel & Veronica Mars

300: Rise of the Empire

Non-Stop & Son Of God

Three Days To Kill

Robocop & The Past • About Last Night

The Monuments Men

Labor Day

I, Frankenstein

Inside Llewyn Davis & Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Lone Survivor & August: Osage County

Her • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Anchorman 2

The Hobbit: The Desolation & Of Smaug • Nebraska

Dallas Buyers Club & Oldboy & Out Of The Furnace

Philomena & The Book Thief

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Delivery Man

About Time & All Is Lost

Thor: The Dark World & 12 Years A Slave

Ender’s Game & Last Vegas

Bad Grandpa &The Counselor

Carrie & The Fifth Estate

Captain Phillips, Enough Said & Machete Kills

Gravity & Runner Runner

Metallica: Through The Never , Rush & Don Jon

Prisoners & Rush

Insidious: Chapter 2 • The Family & The Spectacular Now

Riddick

Getaway

The World’s End You’re Next

Lee Daniels’ The Butler • Jobs • Blue Jasmine

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters & Elysium

2 Guns

Blue Jasmine • The Wolverine & Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station • The Conjuring & The Way Way Back

Pacific Rim & Grown Ups 2

The Lone Ranger & Despicable Me 2

The Heat & White House Down

Monsters University, World War Z, Before Midnight & The East

Man of Steel & This Is The End

The Internship & The Purge

After Earth, Now You See Me & Frances Ha

The Hangover Part III Before Midnight

Star Trek: Into Darkness & Fast and Furious 6

The Great Gatsby & Frances Ha

Iron Man & Peeples

Pain and Gain & Mud

Oblivion & Lords of Salem

42 and Scary Movie 5

Evil Dead & Jurassic Park 3-D

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Tyler Perry’s Temptation

Spring Breakers Admission

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone • The Call

Oz: The Great And Powerful West Of Memphis

Jack the Giant Slayer The Last Exorcism, Part II

Dark Skies & Snitch

A Good Day to Die Hard & Safe Haven

Side Effects & Identity Thief

Bullet To The Head Warm Bodies


 

 

 

BannerEventAd-01.jpg   fanjoylabrenz.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm | focusnews@centurylink.net

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.