With occasionally awful special effects, a bare minimum of decent acting, and a down-and-dirty sensibility that belies its existence as a mainstream theatrical feature, Lockout feels less like Die Hard on a space prison than No Contest on a space prison.
On the surface, Goon is an assembly-line underdog sports movie. And yes the film hits a handful of familiar story beats along the way. But there is a subtle intelligence to the picture, with characters that are far less broad than you'd expect and a screenplay that feels authentic.
Despite the R-rating and the profanity and occasional violence to justify it, this is a truly warm and openly sweet movie about two unlikely friends and how their on-the-job crisis affects their relationship.
Detachment works as a powerful character study and a searing indictment of the institutional disinterest in education that allows seemingly dedicated educators to eventually become as much a problem as a solution.
When I go to a movie, I want to enjoy it. Critiquing it isn't my goal. So I focus mostly on what works, because that's what makes or breaks the experience. If the good parts don't match your taste, why worry about the nuances?
What kind of film is worthy of the sacrificial lamb slot that is the first release of January? Why, that would be The Devil Inside, yet another attempt to recast horror through the blurry lens of the mockumentary.
After reading about the record-breaking box-office returns for The Devil Inside, I had to ask myself, "Self, why do people choose to spend good money on a bad movie, even when I've just told them the movie is bad?"