Liam Neeson

Film Review: The Commuter

by Carrie Kahn on January 12, 2018

Rough commute takes on a whole new meaning in fun Neeson-helmed thrill ride

Commuter Michael (Liam Neeson, r.) tries to save his fellow train passengers. 

If you are suffering from post-holiday malaise and need a pick-me-up, you could do worse than seeing the new Liam Neeson action flick The Commuter. Unlike the usual forgettable fare that typically inhabits the January cinematic wasteland, Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra’s new film offers the sort of hold-your-breath thrills that you would expect from the same director who pitted Blake Lively against a shark in 2016’s The Shallows and who collaborated with Neeson back in 2014 on Non-Stop.
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Film Review: Silence

by Chad Liffmann on January 6, 2017

Scorsese has, at long last, delivered his faithful long-lasting delivery on faith

Bless me Andrew Garfield, for I have sinned.

I’m not opposed to a film with a 160+ minute running time. What I do mind is when that movie doesn’t utilize its extended running time properly. It’s hard to fault Martin Scorsese for ensuring that his new film, Silence, runs a simmering 160 minutes. After all, he had wanted to film this story for nearly thirty years. If you were to finally fulfill a 28 year journey to make a film, it’s likely you wouldn’t want to sacrifice one bit of your efforts onto the cutting room floor, either. There is an arguable purpose to Silence‘s slow pace and narrative repetition, which I’ll get to, but it’s ultimately not enough to warrant the length of the final cut. That being said, the film is more of a cinematic triumph than a failed attempt. Yes, it is a historical religious epic, fraught with troubling but effectively choreographed depictions of religious persecution, but Silence is also much more invested (to the point of fallible self-indulgence) in exploring our contentious personal connections to human nature, faith, and spirituality.

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(see Liam Neeson threaten more people!)

A clue, dear Neeson!

A clue, dear Neeson!

A Walk Among the Tombstones isn’t the first time I’ve had the chance to observe, critique, and celebrate Liam Neeson’s second life in cinema as an action star (see Non-Stop).  It won’t be the last, either (see Taken 3).  It doesn’t matter which film the imposing Irish actor stars in these days, it will undoubtedly be compared to, and its box office receipts still depending on, the popularity of 2009’s Taken.  Neeson as a bad ass, to any degree, will spark endless amounts of “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want” and “certain set of skills” quotes around the workplace and dinner tables (maybe a few “Now’s not the time for dick measuring, Stuart!”).  But in the new drama thriller, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Neeson is able to add layers to his usual badassery — the character Matthew Scudder is more like Sam Spade than Bryan Mills (from Taken).  The film is based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Lawrence Block, and its a callback to the movie detectives of the 1940s and 1950s.  It’s a dark film that plods along the crime thriller genre path, invoking many crime thriller cliches and plot turns, but produces just enough menace, style, and disturbing characters to keep our attention.

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Film Review: Non-Stop

by Chad Liffmann on February 28, 2014

Fasten your seat belts and put your tray tables in their full upright position…and keep your expectations grounded.

non-stop

Liam Neeson has….TAKEN…off.

There are two ways to go into watching Non-Stop, the new action thriller starring the infallible Liam Neeson — 1)  Expecting an intelligently crafted action film … OR … 2) Expecting an implausible and generally ridiculous action quickie that’ll keep you from being bored.  Can you guess which way will result in a better time had?

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Everything about this movie is awesome.

Cast of colorful characters, assemble!

Cast of colorful characters, assemble!

When I first learned of a LEGO movie, I was cautiously optimistic.  I was raised on LEGO.  I still vividly remember setting up Robin Hood-esque forest fortresses, flag-covered castles, and farming villages (yes, the medieval times was my go-to theme).  The instructions that came with each box provided the groundwork for my imagination to later run wild.  The idea of a LEGO feature film confused me, since I couldn’t conceive of a plot worthy of the great expanse of LEGO wonder.  But then I saw the trailer, and it seemed to click.  In a brilliant maneuver, LEGO and the filmmakers have included it all – legos from across “universes” and time periods – into a charming underdog story with a genuinely heartfelt message.  The Lego Movie succeeds in its perfect execution of jam-packed jokes, self-referential humor, pop culture teases, talented voice acting, frenetic action that borders on being chaotic, and jaw-dropping animation.  So yeah, it succeeds all over the place.

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Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna in BATTLESHIP

starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson

written by: Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber

directed by: Peter Berg

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language

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Film Review: “Unknown”

February 18, 2011

starring: Liam Neeson, January Jones, Diane Kruger, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, Frank Langella directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sexual content.

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