Written July 26, 2014
No spoilers here. I am not going to say anything about the story, except that it was much deeper and more interesting than I expected. The story, in fact, was what moved me most about this film. There was a lot of action and suspense in this film -- I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. But it was far more than "just" an action or suspense film, because the characters were so beautifully drawn. I found myself thinking about the characters the next day -- as though they were people whom I knew in real life, wondering what they were doing now. I care about these characters. I relate to them, although they live extremely different lives than I do -- but that's part of the fascination.
The acting was incredible. Every single character was perfectly cast and did a superb job. Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes exude a smoldering raw sexuality and energy. Gosling's make-up was fascinating. Directing: brilliant. Photography: beautiful.
Take a chance and just go see this film.
Written December 29, 2014
The movie was only moderately interesting to me. While it had a cast of gifted actors, the director did not seem to get much out of them. Two standouts were Ben Mendelsohn and Emory Cohen in supporting roles as a well-meaning auto repairman and a drug-obsessed high school bully, respectively, although it defied any credulity to think that the twenty three year old Cohen, often sporting a heavy five o'clock shadow, was young enough to still be in high school.
The other problem was that the story line did not seem all that interesting. Alienation and dysfunction between fathers and sons? So what? Even this was not really explored in any interesting detail.
Written December 25, 2014
Portrait of America, where the most calculating and ruthless among us always win. However, there are no stock characters--no good guys or bad guys, no apologists for criminals--nor are there kudos for what passes for heroism in our country--the story only shows that beneath the veneer of civilization, the tooth-and-claw struggle for dominance still reigns supreme--perhaps never more than now.
But the movie does not preach, only I am preaching here--the movie is a thrilling epic story so beautifully acted, photographed and directed, with such a fine script, that I wanted to keep watching--I was immersed and in no hurry to re-emerge. Simply wonderful.
Written December 28, 2014
An amazing film with breathtaking scenes. Surprising twists, parallels, and you will leave thinking of it for days. It sticks to your bones. This is not Hollywood, it's Schenectady. Gritty, ugly, and heroless. Not for the frou frous, but so well developed and shot, it's worth the pause.
Written August 02, 2014
I lost my father back in December, so this Father/Son epic hit pretty close to home.
I suggest going in and seeing this movie with no spoilers. It was much more enjoyable and surprising to me, by going in with no expectations or prejudice.
If you liked the trailer and planned on seeing it -- GO SEE IT.