Published Jan 20, 2012This weekend at the box office, Steven Soderbergh unveils a new leading lady, Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut, and it's the end of the world as we know it in Xavier Gens's The Divide. Read full reviews of the following highlights and more at Exclaim!'s Recently Reviewed section.
First up, mixed martial arts champion Gina Carano exercises her acting chops in Steven Soderbergh's action-thriller, Haywire (pictured). Carano's physicality takes centre stage as she plays double-crossed ass-kicker Mallory Kane, a special ops agent working to bring down the system she was once a part of. Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Antonio Banderas also star in this thoroughly entertaining spy saga.
Anthony Hemingway's Red Tails offers a trite depiction of Tuskagee-trained African-American pilots during the Second World War. But impressive aerial combat scenes can't compensate for the clichéd dialogue and creaking narrative in this George Lucas-produced flop.
From one war flick to another, The Front Line depicts the bitter struggle between North and South Korea in the early 1950s. Despite some inspiring imagery and hints at plot complexity, The Front Line's familiar tale of brotherhood on the battlefield may prove tedious for some viewers.
Also out this week, Ralph Fiennes brings the Bard back to the silver screen with his adaptation of Coriolanus. While the contemporary setting doesn't entirely work, stellar performances from an all-star cast including Gerard Butler and Vanessa Redgrave make Fiennes's take on this Shakespearean tragedy well worth a watch.
Xavier Gens delivers a deeply dark affair with The Divide. The film follows nine survivors of a nuclear attack who seek shelter in their apartment building's basement. Fear and dwindling supplies take their toll in this sardonic portrayal of human nature at its most desperate.
Finally, fresh from winning the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, Iranian movie A Separation gets its box office release. This superbly acted and intelligent human-interest drama picks up our Exclaim! Mark of Excellence this week.
To read full reviews of these picks and more, head over to the Recently Reviewed section at Exclaim.ca.