In between doing "Taken" sequels and cashing paychecks for dross like "Battleship" and "Wrath of the Titans," Liam Neeson manages to sneak in projects of real quality – films that remind viewers of the strength, sensitivity and wounded vulnerability that made us love him in the first place.
If you see one film about walled-in males this fall, it should be the savage and powerful British prison drama "Starred Up," a superlatively acted father-son story played out behind bars and starring up-and-coming Jack O'Connell.
Somebody dies. Family gathers to mourn. Everybody’s stuck in one house, with all their quirks and foibles and enough emotional baggage to fill an aircraft carrier. What could go wrong? Ha ha. What couldn’t?
Embrace the subtitles.
"The Drop," a taut, atmospheric, exceedingly well-written thriller adapted by Dennis Lehane from one of his short stories, commits one of the most egregious sins in fiction, introducing an adorable puppy early in the proceedings, only to trot it out at regular intervals to stoke the audience's growing sense of impending doom. "That's a good-looking dog," goes a running line in the film. Its usual predicate — "it would be a shame if anything happened to it" – remains queasily implicit.
Containing all the elements that made the 2011 original boy and his dolphin story a hit with audiences and critics, Charles Martin Smith’s “Dolphin Tale 2” is another engaging film inspired by the real-life inhabitants of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Here’s a bit of Elvis Presley trivia that might surprise some: The King was a twin. His brother was stillborn, and Presley, by some accounts, was haunted and fascinated by this twist of fate. He always wondered what his life would have been like had his brother survived.
Unable to find her second directing project, Angelina Jolie took to sifting through “generals.”
“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” is the inscription uncovered by a gang of 20-something treasure hunters in the catacomb-hopping horror flick, “As Above, So Below.” But the warning could easily apply to viewers checking out this rather hopeless mash-up of “The Descent” and “(Rec),” not to mention a dozen other found-footage movies that have clogged the screens over the past five years.
One-time 007 Pierce Brosnan embraces a darker take on spycraft in Roger Donaldson’s “The November Man,” playing a former CIA agent whose autumnal nickname acknowledges his tendency to leave few alive when he passes through a town.