Reel Shorts | Devil

17 09 2010

This weekend at the movies, there is something for many tastes — whether they lean toward comedies, thrillers or horror films. These low-budget flicks have one thing in common, they’re all very well done and definitely worth your money. Here is a quick glance at what’s new in theaters.

M. Night Shyamalan’s first foray into the horror genre is the claustrophobic morality tale, “Devil.” It’s the story of a group of people who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time — and discover that one of them is the devil. Bokeem Woodbine plays security guard Ben, who is among a group of the damned that may pay the ultimate price. The first film from Shyamalan’s “Night Chronicles” series, director John Erick Dowdle’s story gets off to a slow start but once it gets going, boy does it crackle with energy and suspense. Based on a story by Shyamalan, the film largely succeeds because it understands that less is more and employs a creative storytelling device that features an incredible “aha!” twist that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. After the disappointment of “The Last Airbender,” audiences will have a “devil” of a time watching this intelligently made, artsy horror flick!

Grade: B+

Easy A
A nerdy clean-cut high-school student (Emma Stone) uses her school’s rumor mill to advance her image, social and financial standing, taking her inspiration from “The Scarlet Letter.” Director Will Gluck (“Hamlet 2” and “Fired Up”) captures the frustrations and pressures of high school politics as Stone pays the ultimate price for trying to fit in. “Easy A” is a brilliant and funny film that takes its place alongside other breakthrough high school tales such as “Sixteen Candles,” “Ferris Buellar’s Day Off,” “Clueless,” “Election” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Rising star Stone overshadows a formidable cast that includes heavy hitters such as Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow and Amanda Bynes.

Grade: B+ 

The Town
Director/screenwriter/producer/star Ben Affleck headlines a solid cast in the Boston crime thriller, “The Town.” Affleck stars as Doug MacRay a second-generation leader of a crew of bank robbers from the notorious Charlestown neighborhood. Complications arise when they take an assistant bank manager (Rebecca Hall) hostage and Affleck falls in love with her. Pursued by a tenacious FBI agent (“Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm), Affleck must survive one last job if he hopes to secure his freedom. The film features an ensemble that includes Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively and Chris Cooper. After a series of choices that threatened to derail a promising career (remember “Daredevil” and “Gigli?”), Affleck’s followup to his 2007 directorial debut “Gone Baby Gone” is a strong effort that is one of the year’s best films.

Grade: B+




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