THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (2016) – My rating: 7/10

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thegirlonthetrainThe trailers really did serve their purpose marketing The Girl on the Train. I didn’t know whether to expect a sexy, psychotic women out of control or a female peeping tom with an obsession. The Girl on the Train wasn’t a big hit with movie fans (only achieving 6.7 on IMBD). Some people told me the movie was too predictable. I, on the other hand, felt The Girl on the Train was pretty good. I like to think of myself as above average figuring out who done it. While I briefly suspected who the guilty party was, I dismissed my resolve because I couldn’t completely make it stick. The Girl on the Train, Rachael Watson (Emily Blunt) turns out to be an alcoholic who divorced her husband, Tom Watson (Justin Theroux), after catching him cheating on her with their real estate agent, Anna Boyd (Rebecca Ferguson). The train…

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THE ACCOUNTANT (2016) – My rating: 9.3/10

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theaccountantThe Accountant is an extraordinary thriller, about a very high functioning Autistic child, Christian “Chris” Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is also a mathematical genius.  Chris grows up and becomes a forensic accountant, tracking insider financial deceptions for numerous criminal enterprises brokered to him by a mysterious figure known as “The Voice”, contacting him only by phone.  There are many surprises in this movie and the excitement never ends. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time. I don’t believe there’s anything predictable about this film.  Much care and research had to go into the making of The Accountant.  Watching how Chris compensates for his mental deficiencies to make himself more concise and better able to do what’s necessary to get the job done is nothing short of remarkable.  I was quite impressed with the movie.

As a child, Chris’ parents (Robert C. Treveile and Mary Kraft)

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BIRTH OF A NATION (2016) – My rating: 8.5/10

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birthofanationBirth of a Nation is a history lesson that can leave you pretty emotionally drained.  This version of Nat Turner’s rebellion against White slave owners is based on a true story and takes place between 1800 and 1831.  While there is much controversy surrounding the facts in this movie, one thing is certain, there is lots of blood shed, hate and injustice.  Nat Turner(Nate Parker) was a legendary slave because he was perceived as special among his people with special traits and markings that he was expected to live up to.  How much truth there is to that perception is anyone’s guess but there was no denying that Nat had above average intelligence and skills.  He learned to read and studied the Bible at an early age, taught by his master’s mother,  Elizabeth Turner (Penelope Ann Miller) for the purpose of becoming a preacher.

As the movie progresses…

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missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children “Miss P” was different than I expected but still good. Alertness is the key to this movie because if you miss anything, you’ll be lost. The mystery starts when a young teenage boy named Jacob “Jake” Portman, (Asa Butterfield) who is deeply in awe of his grandfather, Abraham “Abe” Portman (Terence Stamp) receives a frantic phone call and rushes to his grandfather’s house along with his  co-worker, Shelly (O-Lan Jones). They find the house trashed and Jake’s grandfather dying in the woods.  Still hanging on to life, Abe frantically tells his grandson to find “the bird, the loop and September 3, 1943”.  At that moment, Jake sees a gigantic, tentacled humanoid monster, which resembles the ones described by his grandfather, creeping up behind Shelly.  After warning his co-worker, she shoots her pistol into thin air and the adventure begins. Abe spent many years…

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QUEEN OF KATWE (2016) – My rating: 9.5/10

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queenofkatweI really wondered how interesting a movie about the game of chess played in Africa, focused on a young girl could be. Out of curiosity and because I really like Lupita Nyong’o, I saw the movie, Queen of Katwe.  Honestly, it was beyond my expectations. I loved the way Queen of Katwe made no apologies for their impoverished country nor their impecunious people. No victims here, just extremely hard working, very poor souls, trying to ensure they had food and shelter every day for their families. This was a stretch for Disney as they tried to maintain a balance between showing a normal day to day happy and hopeful existence along side crime and extreme poverty. My emotions “runneth over” throughout the entire movie. There were many highs and lows. A mother of five children lived in what I’d describe as a shack and all who were old enough…

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016) – My rating: 8/10

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magnificentsevenThe Magnificent Seven reminded me a lot of True Grit. Who better than Denzel Washington as Sam Chisolm to pull off the lead character as a sharp shooter and warrant officer with the monumental task of taking out an evil, greedy villain like corrupt industrialist, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard).  The Magnificent Seven takes place in 1879 and focuses on a gold mining town called Rose Creek.  The town, filled with regular GOD fearing folk, is overpowered by Bogue and many of the locals are slaughtered, including Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer) who tried to stand up to Bogue.  After the slaughter, Matthew’s wife, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) along with a friend, Teddy Q (Luke Grimes) leave town in search of someone who can help stop Bogue and return Rose Creek back to the people.

After listening to Emma’s story and learning of the culprit’s name, Chisolm sets out to recruit a group…

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45 YEARS (2015) – My rating: 7.5/10

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45years45 Years is a British romantic drama about Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff Mercer (Tom Courtenay) who has been married 45 years. Due to Geoff’s bypass heart surgery on their 40th anniversary, they waited five years to celebrate on their 45th anniversary instead. Kate and Geoff are an average, somewhat boring couple as was the film. One day, Geoff received a letter from Switzerland informing him that his former girlfriend’s body, of some 50+ years ago, had been found. The letter was written in German which caused Geoff to turn to a German-English dictionary in order to interpret the contents of the letter. With Kate by his side, Geoff was able to find out that after all these years, Katya,  was thawing out in the Crevasse where she had fallen back in the 1960s while they attempted to climb a mountain. Because they pretended to be husband and wife, Geoff…

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