Jeremy Renner

[8.0] Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and writer/directors Joe and Anthony Russo hit a home run that should satisfy all Marvel fans with Avengers: Endgame, the climactic finale to what is essentially an 11-year story arc. It begins with the Avengers — Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — all …

[7.0] Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck star in Andrew Dominik’s dramatization of the last months of famous outlaw Jesse James’ life. Pitt plays James and Affleck plays his admirer-turned-assassin, Robert Ford. The young Ford character is smitten from the outset, but ridicule from James and the other gang members slowly hardens his heart. Jealousy eventually turns him against his idol. As James, Pitt is unstable …

[7.0] Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days, Near Dark) won the Oscar for directing this suspense thriller about three soldiers who disarm bombs in Iraq. The movie also won Best Picture, maybe just because nothing better came out during the year (except the REAL best picture, District 9, but I digress). It’s far from groundbreaking and surprisingly predictable — but it’s a brisk, entertaining flick that hits …

[6.5] Ben Affleck stars in and directs this drama/thriller about a bank robber who falls in love with the manager at a bank he recently took down while he plans his next heist and evades the FBI. Affleck is a solid director, especially in the film’s heist and chase scenes, but The Town lacks a bit of the┬átension and thrill found in his earlier films …

[7.0] Amy Adams plays a linguist recruited by the military after aliens (the space kind) make first contact with human beings in twelve separate locations across the globe. Eric Heisserer’s non-linear screenplay (based on a story by Ted Chiang) and Denis Villeneuve’s austere direction make the first two-thirds of Arrival a pretty gripping film for people with the desire and ability to pay attention and …

[6.5] Marginally the best entry in a franchise I never cared about. Some nicely staged action sequences – the Dubai tower scaling and dust storm chase are pretty wicked. I’d like to have been more invested in the characters. Part of the problem might be that Tom Cruise bugs me when he’s in a vanity role like this one (wish he’d do more stuff like …

[7.0] Director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity) does a better job than most others in the past ten years bringing a superhero franchise to the big screen. What makes The Avengers work are character and humor, the elements from which Whedon has constructed a downright rabid cult empire. None of the ensemble cast get slighted in screen-time and Whedon does an admirable job …

[6.5] I never cared much for the Mission Impossible film franchise until Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) took his turn in the director’s chair with the last installment, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I’m not sure Rogue Nation — the fifth in the series — is better than Ghost Protocol, but it’s pretty solid action entertainment nonetheless. Tom Cruise, bless his insane little heart, is still …

[8.0] Two con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) get roped by an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) into a scheme to bring down an earnest mayor (Jeremy Renner) and as many congressmen as possible. But when the mafia (headed by Robert DeNiro) get embroiled in the ruse, allegiances get dicey. American Hustle is from one of my favorite writer/directors, David O. Russell (Three Kings, Silver …