This week at the movies, we’ve got demonic possession (The Last Exorcism, starring Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell) and a big score (Takers, starring Matt Dillon and Idris Elba). What do the critics have to say?
The Last Exorcism marks an attempt to merge a demonic possession storyline with a mockumentary framing device. How well do these venerable horror movie tropes work together? Better than you’d, expect, say critics, who call The Last Exorcism a stylish, smarter-than-average creepshow. Patrick Fabian stars as a charismatic preacher who brings a camera crew to film an exorcism on a troubled young woman (Ashley Bell) in rural Louisiana – and soon finds he’s gotten more than he’s bargained for. The pundits say The Last Exorcism is filled with strong performances and several terrifying scenes. However, some also note that the film’s resolution is a major letdown.
Everyone loves a good heist movie — the kind in which a motley crew of colorful crooks concoct the perfect plan but are unable to foresee every possible outcome. However, critics say that while the slick Takers features a couple electric action scenes, it’s ultimately more stylish than substantial. Takers stars T.I. as a felon who, fresh out of jail, joins a team of professional thieves (including Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Paul Walker, and Hayden Christensen) for one last big score. However, a grizzled detective (Matt Dillon) has other plans. The pundits say Takers has some decent twists and a strong sense of pacing, but overall it doesn’t add up to much more than a flashy collection of heist movie clichés. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Dillon’s best-reviewed movies.)
Also opening this week in limited release:
Mesrine: Killer Instinct, the first installment of a two-part biopic of the legendary French criminal, is at 81 percent.
The Milk of Sorrow, an Oscar-nominated drama about a woman dealing with a rare disease and the death of her mother, is at 80 percent.
Centurion, a period action flick about the Roman army’s siege on Britain, is at 55 percent.
Change of Plans, a comedy about a group of dinner party attendees that reveal the kinks in their marriages, is at 20 percent.