Movie Reviews: Moneyball, Drive, and Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

Moneyball directed by Bennett Miller

Saying that Moneyball is a movie about baseball is like saying that The Godfather is a movie about equine husbandry.  This is a film about the inevitability of change, and how we cope with it. Some of us embrace it whole heartedly, like Brad Pitt’s Billy Bean. And some of us resist like an archaic dinosaur. It would be easy to label this as just another sports movie, but it’s got a much broader appeal than that. Most sports movies clichés are avoided here, and Bennett MIller lives up to the promise he showed in Capote with a smart, enjoyable crowd pleaser.

Rating: A-

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark directed by Troy Nixey

Here’s the premise: A thoroughly unlikable child gets sent to live with her career-obsessed father, his emotionally stunted girlfriend, and their haunted house. Problem was: I rooted for the house. If you’re going to have a kid in a horror movie, they need to be either a) so loveable that you get upset when they are in danger, or b) so creepy and terrifying that you cringe every time they’re on-screen. Troy Nixey and Guillermo Del Toro went with option c), which was to make their little girl an asshole. This film’s concept had some potential, but the execution is so poor, and so ill-conceived, that it’s almost unwatchable. P.S. You know a movie is in trouble when Katie Holmes is the most interesting actor on the screen.

Rating: D

Drive directed by Nicolas Refn.

Drive is one part David Lynch, one part John Carpenter, one Stanley Kubrik, and all parts “I can’t believe they’re still making movies like this”. However, this is a movie that’s greater than the sum of its parts, and while it’s influences are obvious, they also don’t overshadow what Nicolas Refn is trying to do here. Audiences who come because Ryan Gosling is SOOO good looking and I love the Notebook so much OMG! might be disappointed by Drive’s art house trappings, but those who open their mind to a brilliantly paced crime story will leave happy. Drive is highly recommended and will likely end up as one of my top 10 films of the year.

Rating: A

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