Movies out today: young adult action and gritty revenge

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The Maze Runner

When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based on the novel of the same name by James Dashner, The Maze Runner is a worthy addition to the Young-Adult-books-turned-movies. With a solid 3.5 from Kervyn, The Maze Runner’s intense action and mysterious premise is slightly hampered by the fact that the story  doesn’t really finish (to make room for the sequels), but it’s still earned a respectable 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics agreeing that a new franchise has been born, proving that there’s life in the YA genre left.

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The Equalizer

Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) is a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. While Denzel Washington’s performance is magnetic, The Equalizer turns out to be another clichéd vigilante thriller. Kervyn thought that it could have been better, but it has enough action and explosions to keep audience members satisfied, so it’s a decent 3/5.

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Good People

Young American couple Tom and Anna Reed (James Franco and Kate Hudson) fall into severe debt while renovating Anna’s family home in London. As they face the loss of their dream to have a house and start a family, they discover that the tenant in the apartment below them has been murdered and he left behind a substantial stash of cash. Though initially reluctant, Tom and Anna decide that the plan is simple: all they have to do is quietly take the money and use only what’s necessary to get them out of debt. But when they start spending the money and can’t seem to stop, they find themselves the target of a deadly adversary-the thief who stole it-and that’s when very bad things start happening to good people. As a mystery-suspense-thriller type effort, Good People suffers from a hackneyed story and too many illogical plot twists for it to be very entertaining.  With only 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, Good People doesn’t seem like it’s a good movie.

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Planes: Fire and Rescue

In the totally unnecessary sequel to Disney’s unnecessary to start with Planes, world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and that he may never race again. So, he launches himself into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and Ranger’s courageous team, including spirited super scooper Dipper, heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Planes: Fire and Rescue is pretty much what you can expect. More of the same bright colours, lame puns and corny jokes, wrapped up in a simple story aimed at an under-ten audience, which parents might find barely tolerable.

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Sunshine on Leith

Sunshine on Leith is a jubilant, heartfelt musical about the power of home, the hearth, family and love. It’s the story of one tight-knit family, and the three couples bound to it, as they experience the joys and heartache that punctuate all relationships, told to the music of The Proclaimers. Seeing as I only know ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, I thought that The Proclaimers were a one-hit-wonder from the 80’s, but apparently they made enough songs to fill up an entire soundtrack. By most accounts, Sunshine on Leith is an unexpectedly pleasant and heart-warming movie, and with 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, it sounds like the kind of film that critics will lap up, whether they’re fans of The Proclaimers or not.

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Last Updated: September 26, 2014

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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