Black Mass Makes the Gangster Film Boring

It’s pretty hard to go about making a film about Whitey Bulger, because how do you make it not like every other sub-Scorsese, heated-up-bullshit gangster movie? All the basic elements of the Whitey Bulger story – corrupt feds, brother on the other side of the law, paranoiac crime lord – are well-worn clichés in the…

The Past is Unwrapped in Joel Edgerton’s The Gift

The Gift opens on ominous shots of an abandoned, modernist mansion, grey stone and brown wood gleaming dully in the afternoon L.A. sun. Soon, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), a professional couple from Chicago, will be escorted through the hollow house by a real estate agent. But for now it lies dormant, the…

Joel Edgerton in Felony (2013)

Felony (2013)

Australian cop flick Felony opens with a perfunctory action scene – the only scene in the film that fits that description. Detective Malcolm Toohey (Joel Edgerton, star and screenwriter) gives chase to a crim fleeing the scene, and earns a deposit of lead in his bulletproof vest for his trouble. Struggling to his feet, he…