Friday, September 2, 2011

The Debt - 3 stars

In the 1960s a group of 3 Moussad agents (played by Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, and Marton Csokas) sneak into East Berlin to capture a Nazi war criminal, the Surgeon of Birkenau (Jesper Christensen).

In the present day scenes (set in the late 1990s), the 3 agents are reunited. They are played respectively by Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson. Mirren's daughter has just written a book about their mission, and the story of their mission has become legendary. But it seems there may be a secret about what really happened during their mission.

The movie moves back and forth between the time periods, although most of the screen time is devoted to the younger actors and the mission. There are some really good scenes of tension, including a scene where Rachel (Chastain) poses as a patient of the Surgeon of Birkenau, now a regular doctor running a practice in Berlin. The entire time he is examining her, we are wondering whether he suspects that she knows who he is.

The mission is exciting, but the older actors are much more interesting to watch. Unfortunately they don't get much screen time. But I still enjoyed the movie. It is a good thriller, and while I had some problems with the ending, I would recommend The Debt.

Attack the Block - 3 stars

Set in the slums of London, this movie is about an alien invasion. The lead characters are a gang of teenagers. The aliens are these dark furry monsters with razor sharp teeth that glow an eerie green color.

The entire movie takes place over the course of one night. Their evening begins when they mug a woman as she is walking home from work. Then the aliens arrive, they kill one and they wonder what it is. They take it to their friend, a dope dealer, because "he watches discovery channel and animal planet all the time. He'll know what it is."

Then more aliens come, people start getting killed, and the fun starts. This movie is kind of a comic horror movie, rather than being a stragiht up thriller. At times I had a hard time understanding their thick accents and the slang they used, but for the most part I understood everything. There was plenty of action, but I felt the movie could have been better. I liked it enought to recommend it, but its just a mild recommendation.