Category: Suspense


eastStarring: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, Jason Ritter & Julia Ormond
Written by Zal Batmanglij & Brit Marling
Directed by Zal Batmanglij

An operative for a private security firm is sent to infiltrate an eco-terrorist group known as The East.


That True Blood guy gets
naked and people will do
anything for him.

Grade: B+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
The East is playing now in select cities.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1869716/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

purgeStarring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey & Rhys Wakefield
Written and directed by James DeMonaco

A security expert and his family are held under siege during the Annual Purge, a 12-hour period when all crime–including murder–is legal.


You mean the king of
security’s never heard
of a panic room?

Grade: C+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Purge is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2184339/

side fxStarring: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum & Ann Dowd
Written by Scott Z. Burns
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

When a psychiatrist prescribes an experimental drug to a young woman suffering from terrifying anxiety, the side effects have deadly consequences.


No drug can fight the
depression that will come if
Soderbergh retires.

Grade: B+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
Side Effects is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2053463/?ref_=sr_1

awakeningStarring: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West & Imelda Staunton
Screenplay by Stephen Volk and Nick Murphy
Directed by Nick Murphy

A woman who debunks supernatural hoaxes is called upon to investigate a ghost that allegedly haunts a boarding school.


I say ghosts are just
what you need to keep a school
full of brats in line.

Grade: B-


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Awakening is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1687901/?ref_=fn_al_tt_5

alex crossStarring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols, Cicely Tyson, Giancarlo Esposito, John C. McGinley & Jean Reno
Screenplay by Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson
Directed by Rob Cohen

Detective and psychologist Alex Cross hunts down a serial killer known as Picasso.


Who knew underneath
Madea’s wig, dress hid an
even worse actor?

Grade: D+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
Alex Cross is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/5/13.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1712170/?ref_=sr_2

house end streetStarring: Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows & Elisabeth Shue
Screenplay by David Loucka
Directed by Mark Tonderai

A mother and daughter find themselves in danger when they move next door to a young man whose parents were murdered when he was younger.


If you leave your plot
twists in the window, you’ll end
up in foreclosure.

Grade: C-


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
House at the End of the Street is available on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1582507/

Haiku Review: Arbitrage (2012)

arbitrageStarring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth & Brit Marling
Written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki

A corrupt business tycoon finds the sale of his company threatened while trying to cover up both fraudulent bookkeeping and a scandalous accident.


Hey, it’s hard out there
for a corrupt, entitled
corporate sleazebag.

Grade: A-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Arbitrage is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/21/12.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1764183/

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Toby Jones, Joely Richardson & Elizabeth Olsen
Written and directed by Rodrigo Cortés

When two veteran paranormal researchers seek to debunk a legendary blind psychic, they find themselves in grave danger.


The skeptics: zero
Believers in hokum and
crappy endings: one

Grade: C+


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Red Lights is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1748179/

Starring: Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Stephen Moyer, Odette Yustman & Martin Sheen
Written by Michael Brandt & Derek Haas
Directed by Michael Brandt

After a U.S. Senator is murdered, a retired CIA operative teams up with a young FBI agent to hunt down a Soviet assassin who was long thought to be dead.


Cold War-era spies
return in a film that’s as
fresh as the Cold War.

Grade: C


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Double is available on Blu-ray and DVD.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1646980/

Haiku Review: Argo (2012)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber & Tate Donovan
Screenplay by Chris Terrio
Directed by Ben Affleck

The true story of a CIA agent who set out to rescue six endangered American diplomats during the Iran Hostage Crisis by creating an elaborate cover that involved posing as the producer of a Hollywood science-fiction film.


On-screen roles aside,
Affleck can direct the f@#%
out of a movie.

Grade: A


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Argo is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024648/