Thriller/Suspense

[5.5] Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds are among the scientists on the International Space Station who discover a tiny, peculiar life form in a piece of debris from Mars. When the life form cripples a colleague and starts to grow, the station’s crew begins to worry. Then the body count begins. Life is another in a long line of ‘Ten Little Indian’ creature …

[9.0] Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made their first pairing in this adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel about an American boatman (Bogart) who reluctantly sticks his neck out for the French Resistance in World War II Martinique. Along the way he falls in love with a sultry young singer (Bacall) and risks more lives than his own when he agrees to give a pair of …

[8.0] Alec Baldwin takes on the mantle of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in the action-thriller The Hunt for Red October. One of the joys of this movie is seeing Baldwin, previously known mostly for co-starring in Beetlejuice, become a leading man before your very eyes. And a smart one, at that. Sharing the screen with him is Sean Connery as a Russian captain whose new …

[4.5] Tilda Swinton stars as a mother trying to cover-up the accidental death of her son’s aggressive gay lover. But things get even more complicated when a strong-arm (Goran Visnjik) tries to extort the dead man’s debts from her. Tilda Swinton can make the best of a lot of roles, but this character’s timidity and fecklessness are hard for me to deal with. Since the …

[6.0] Dustin Hoffman and Renee Russo star as an estranged married couple both working government jobs in the area of infectious disease control. When a fast-acting deadly virus begins spreading in America, the two find themselves working together to control the spread and locate the source of the outbreak — an African monkey let loose in suburban California. The screenwriters weave in a layer of …

[6.0] You only get to see his face in the film’s final moments, but Vincent Price otherwise stars as this sequel’s titular character. The film has loose narrative ties to James Whale’s 1933 classic, and is as much a remake as a sequel in its execution. Both films center around a man whose taken an invisibility potion that gradually drives him insane. Whale’s take is …

[7.0] Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon) directs this crime thriller about a wealthy businessman (Mel Gibson) whose young son is kidnapped and held for ransom. With the boy’s life hanging in the balance, Gibson must decide whether to take the FBI’s advice or go with his gut on the best way to see his son alive again. Ransom moves briskly and offers a few …

[5.0] Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Strange Days) co-writes and directs this female cop thriller starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis plays a new cop on the New York streets who shoots a grocery store bandit to death. The film takes a bonkers turn when one of the witnesses hides the bad guy’s gun and starts killing innocent citizens with it. The bullets he uses have …

[2.0] Dennis Quaid stars in this remake of a 1949 thriller about a literature professor who has 24 hours to live, and he spends that time trying to figure out who poisoned him and why. I like Dennis Quaid a lot, but nothing can save this movie from the fact that it was made by pretentious film school hacks with an absurdly improbable screenplay. Quaid’s …

[5.0] A masked killer stalks four teenagers at the prom, six years after they accidentally killed a fellow classmate. Prom Night is part of the slasher boom of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Jamie Lee Curtis stars as the sister of the killed classmate. Leslie Nielsen also appears as her father. Neither of their talents are put to especially good use here, though. The …

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