Tag Archives: The Djinn

May 2021 capsule reviews: Wrath, Mauritanian, Maud, and more

Clockwise, from top left: About Endlessness, Saint Maud, The Dry, Wrath of Man, Come True, and The Mauritanian.

Wrath of Man: Guy Ritchie’s latest is lean, mean, twisty, and violent. In other words, it’s ideal for a return to the movies. Jason Statham, reunited with Ritchie after the disappointing Revolver, brings just the right mix of stoicism and barely concealed rage to this vengeance-driven tale of cash truck heists. I was a fan of the director’s previous effort, The Gentlemen, but Wrath might be his most effective film since The Man From U.N.C.L.E. B+

The Mauritanian: Kevin Maconald’s film about a prisoner from Mauritania held in Guantanamo Boy is at times formulaic and predictable. However, the performances from Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster are revelatory. Rahim, especially, is stunningly powerful. He and foster lead a stand-out cast that also includes Benedict Cumberbatch and Shailene Woodley. It is a flawed film that certainly deserves to be seen, and I expect it will find a larger audience at home. (Now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.) B-

About Endlessness: A Roy Andersson film will never be mistaken for one by any other filmmaker. Quite frankly, his darkly comic takes on reality and fantasy are unmistakable. His latest, About Endlessness, is my favorite since Songs From the Second Floor. The sketches are a bit les surreal than some of his past works, but no less compelling and moving. The most memorable recurring character is the older man continually fixated on a former classmate who ignored his greeting. (Available to rent.) A-

The Djinn: This horror film centered on a mute boy recovering from family tragedy has style and atmosphere to spare. However, the story is ponderous and the frustrating. The lead performance from young Ezra Dewey is notable. The film, sadly, is not. (In cinemas and on-demand.) C-

The Dry: Eric Bana makes a welcome return to the big screen in a reasonably involving take on Jane Harper’s detective novel. Bana is fine as a federal agent who returns to his hometown to deal with the murder-suicide of a friend from his youth. The end twist was rather obvious, but The Dry is never boring, and packs a surprising punch. (In cinemas and on-demand.) B

Come True: Anthony Scott Burns’ psychological horror film scared the hell out of me — and ensured I’ll never participate in a sleep study. Julia Sarah Stone is heartbreaking as a troubled teen both desperate for — and haunted by — sleep. Come True deserves cult classic status, and I hope to see its rep grow over time. (Available to rent.) B+

Saint Maud: For months, there was growing buzz around Rose Glass’ British horror film, Saint Maud, and it continued unabated when A24 delayed its release. The wait was worth it, and the hype was completely warranted. We are unlikely to see a better performance in 2021 than that of Morfyyd Clark, whose devout nurse becomes increasingly unhinged. It builds to a fiery conclusion that is, in a word, unforgettable. (Now streaming on Hulu.) A