Foxcatcher: REVIEW

A slow-burning crime drama, Foxcatcher follows the true story of Olympic gold medal-winner Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), who was invited to train for the upcoming Olympics at the estate of an eccentric millionaire by the name of John du Pont (Steve Carell).

Steve Carell, known internationally for his hilarious turns in The Office, Anchorman, and Despicable Me, is almost unrecognizable here as the wealthy and erratic wannabe-wrestling-coach. It is a chilling role which will surely allow Carell to be considered for even more heavy parts in the future.

The film is slow, yet compelling throughout – it plays more like a stage play than a film, full of dramatic speeches, long unmoving scenes, and weighty dialogue. It is fully engaging, despite a whiff of pretentious storytelling.

It’s a wonder to see such talented actors disappear into their roles, weaving together a tale of jealousy, delusion, addiction, and psychotic self-destruction. But though it may be a well-told drama, Foxcatcher will probably be remembered more for Channing Tatum and Steve Carell’s willingness to take on dramatic performances than for it actually being a solid film.

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Foxcatcher is rated R for drug use and brief violence. 

Buy your tickets now!

© Matt Tory, 2014. 

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Begin Again: REVIEW

Recently dumped by her songwriting-partner/boyfriend, Gretta (Kiera Knightley) gets a fresh start when she befriends a recently fired music studio exec (Mark Ruffalo), and the two begin to make music on their own terms.

This light comedy about fresh starts and fresh music is a fun, enjoyably sappy ode to do-it-yourself creativity. Begin Again has a solid collection of original songs, most sung by Kiera Knightley herself (who knew she could sing?), and the chemistry between her and Ruffalo make the film pop.

The movie’s overly sappy and it wanders a bit, but Begin Again is a delightful and refreshing story for anyone who loves music, or a tale of entrepreneurial creativity.

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Begin Again is rated R for language. Unfortunately, the film is full of it. So even though the story might scream “family-friendly,” the movie’s just too full of R-rated language for younger viewers to join in. 

© Matt Tory, 2014.