01 September 2014

Film: A Most Wanted Man and Locke

A Most Wanted Man  *** 1/2 (out of 4)

Philip Seymour Hoffman's last starring role. A meticulous, tense, very finely balanced and written spy thriller. Precision editing and cinematography. Keeps you guessing to the end, along with the characters. Convincing performances by all the leads, with Hoffman captivating in his weariness, distrust, and impatience. The post-9/11 world from behind the scenes, and it's a dour, shifting, confused world.

Locke  *** (out of 4)

Just Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke in a car on a long drive to get to a hospital in London for the birth of a child conceived during a one-night stand. He's trying to do the right thing, he says, as his life (job, family) disintegrates in the course of the drive. Locke proves to be a fascinatingly complex, troubled, coiled-up man. The claustrophobia of the car matches, perhaps, that of his life. Hypnotising.

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