A master at the ancient art of phantom punching, Cronenberg's examination of the Russian mafia's sex trade, currently flourishing in London, doesn't hit you till you're a good quarter mile out of the theater, as you're still contemplating Viggo Mortensen's slicked-back hairdo. Like a cccwolf right before the hunt, Mortensen snarls and calmly stalks as Nikolai, the driver for a sect of the elusive crime syndicate Vory V Zakone, a specter that arose from the ashes of Stalin's work camps. Nikolai works for Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and Semyon's volatile son Kirill (Vincent Cassel), taking care of their transportation and their criminal refuse. When Nikolai snaps off the fingers of a corpse, he asks Kirill and his business associate Azim (Mina E. Mina) to leave... but the audience is allowed to stay.
Continue reading: Eastern Promises Review
Adapting a novel by Rupert Holmes, writer-director Atom Egoyan (Ararat) guides the story of a reporter in the '70s digging for dirt on a defunct '50s comedy team Lanny and Vince (Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth, respectively). In doing so, he has created a fusion of noir mystery and showbiz tell-all, which explains why it's interesting even when it's not making much sense, and also why all of the women in both of the movie's eras look like femmes fatale.
Continue reading: Where The Truth Lies Review
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