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The Hot Spot

  • Optimistic ▶ No thanks
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The Square (2010)

Raymond (David Roberts) is a supervisor on a construction site. He's married, but having an affair with the pretty Carla (Claire van der Boom), who lives across the way. Carla is married to a loutish thug, Smithy (Anthony Hayes), who, for some reason, has a pile of cash lying around the house. Carla approaches Raymond with the notion of stealing some of the cash, and using it to escape and build a new life for themselves. Raymond balks, but for Carla, it's the money or nothing, and so Raymond reluctantly agrees; to make the theft look convincing, he hires an arsonist (Joel Edgerton) to make it look as if all the loot has burned. read more...
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    • Anxiety Level ▶ I like my stomach in knots

The Square (2010)

100.0% Match

  • With: David Roberts, Claire van der Boom, Anthony Hayes, Joel Edgerton, Peter Phelps, Bill Hunter, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Brendan Donoghue
  • Written by: Joel Edgerton, Matthew Dabner, based on a story by Joel Edgerton
  • Directed by: Nash Edgerton
  • MPAA Rating: R for violence and language
  • Running Time: 106 minutes
  • Release Date: 06/15/2008
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The Wife (2018)

I finally caught up with The Wife now that Glenn Close has won a Golden Globe and received an Academy Award nomination (her seventh) for her lead performance. That may be a little too much pressure to review the film objectively, and certainly Close is outstanding. But I think I agree with the IMDB commenter who said, "A very good movie which I didn't like." Close plays Joan Castleman, the wife of novelist Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce). Joe has just been chosen to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the family -- including grown son and aspiring writer David (Max Irons) -- are off to Stockholm for the ceremony. Through flashbacks (young Joan played by Annie Starke and young Joe played by Harry Lloyd) we learn of a "shocking" twist, that the film decides to reveal well past the halfway point. To start, for a movie all about the art of writing, The Wife is, at times, annoyingly pedestrian. Whenever the pesky would-be biographer Nathaniel Bone (Christian Slater) shows up, Joan explains that she doesn't want to be seen as a victim, or the long-suffering wife, yet that's pretty much what she is. When Joe asks "why did you marry me," her answer is "I don't know." And we don't either. Oddly, the flashback scenes seem to work the best, and some of Slater's scenes are interesting, but when it centers back around to present-day Joe and Joan, as they fight and talk about Joe's eating, medication, and extramarital affairs, it turns into hackneyed melodrama. Perhaps if the screenplay had laid everything on the table all at once, then all the characters could have been more fully developed. But as it is, The Wife is a partly-effective exercise that will likely be forgotten after awards season ends. Elizabeth McGovern, of all people, appears in one scene as a bitter published writer that warns the young Joan against pursuing a career in prose. read more...
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    The Wife (2018)

    100.0% Match

    • With: Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Max Irons, Christian Slater, Harry Lloyd, Annie Starke, Elizabeth McGovern, Johan Widerberg, Karin Franz Körlof
    • Written by: Jane Anderson, based on a novel by Meg Wolitzer
    • Directed by: Björn L. Runge
    • MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content
    • Running Time: 99 minutes
    • Release Date: 08/16/2018
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    Spinning Man (2018)

    This little thriller, part lurid potboiler and part philosophical quandary, plays like a sturdy little "B" movie; it won't change the world, but it may keep late-night viewers from changing channels. read more...
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      Spinning Man (2018)

      100.0% Match

      • With: Guy Pearce, Minnie Driver, Odeya Rush, Alexandra Shipp, Pierce Brosnan, Clark Gregg, Freya Tingley, Jamie Kennedy, Sterling Beaumon, RJ Walker, Carlo Rota
      • Written by: Matthew Aldrich, George Harrar
      • Directed by: Simon Kaijser
      • MPAA Rating: R for some language including sexual references
      • Running Time: 100 minutes
      • Release Date: 04/05/2018
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      Regression (2016)

      This is a movie that, because it deals secrets, promises thrills and possibly a measure of terror. But in fact, everything is based on an anti-climax, and the end result is a resounding "so what?" In the beginning of his career, Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar made a superb, mind-bending thriller, Open Your Eyes, that inspired an America remake (Vanilla Sky). He followed it with the terrific ghost story The Others, but since then, his work has become turgid and spotty. read more...
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        Regression (2016)

        100.0% Match

        • With: Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke, David Thewlis, Devon Bostick, Aaron Ashmore, Dale Dickey, David Dencik, Lothaire Bluteau, Adam Butcher, Kristian Bruun, Aaron Abrams
        • Written by: Alejandro Amenábar
        • Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar
        • MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent and sexual content, and for language
        • Running Time: 106 minutes
        • Release Date: 02/04/2016
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        London Fields (2018)

        Based on a novel by Martin Amis, this shabby, wildly uneven neo-noir is a total mess, coasting on the surface of several cartoonish characters as they interact without rhyme or reason — or purpose. read more...
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          London Fields (2018)

          99.0% Match

          • With: Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess, Theo James, Cara Delevingne, Jason Isaacs
          • Written by: Roberta Hanley, based on a novel by Martin Amis
          • Directed by: Mathew Cullen
          • MPAA Rating: R for sexual content/nudity, language throughout, some violence and drug use
          • Running Time: 118 minutes
          • Release Date: 10/25/2018
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