Below are capsule reviews for four movies I didn’t get around to writing about during the year.
The Captive—Ryan Reynolds (who’s admittedly very good) plays a beleaguered father whose young daughter vanishes without a trace. The police suspect him, but actually she’s been kidnapped by an ultra-creepy predator who’s part of a network of child abusers. In its own way, The Captive works. It’s effective, but it’s probably the most unpleasant movie experience of the year, particularly because of the absolute misery the film puts its characters through. Rosario Dawson plays a detective who specializes in finding predators. (Her character is put into a ludicrous situation that hampers the film’s credibility.) With Scott Speedman, Mirielle Enos, and Kevin Durand. Written by the director, Atom Egoyan, and David Fraser.
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me—Equal parts maudlin and amusing, this documentary about the blowsy comedian is interesting and yet, it’s kind of depressing to see old celebrities having to essentially whore themselves out in order to make ends meet. (It’s not unlike the Joan Rivers doc from a few years ago.)
The Heart Machine—A dull indie drama about a man whose girlfriend—whom he meets online—may be putting one over on him. He believes her to be living in Germany on a writing fellowship, but then he sees a girl who looks just like her on the subway one day. Is she a doppelganger or is his girlfriend lying to him? The film isn’t nearly as interesting as its premise.
The LEGO Movie—I just wanted it to end.