There’s a fair amount of tension during the first hour of this ludicrous claustrophobic thriller before it almost inevitably falls apart. The entire movie takes place in the trunk of a vehicle in which Jeremy (Stephen Dorff) is trapped. Gradually, clues are revealed as to his identity and the reason for his kidnapping, which center on a possible terrorist plot, as he tries to escape. The concept recalls the recent Buried, which had Ryan Reynolds trapped in a coffin for the whole film and which contained similar structural pitfalls. Here, there are simply too many manipulative gimmicks to generate any emotional investment in the outcome. (Not rated, 91 minutes).
The Deep Blue Sea
Acclaimed British filmmaker Terence Davies (The House of Mirth) scores again with this deliberately paced but quietly powerful romance set in London circa 1950, where a suicidal woman (Rachel Weisz) is torn between her marriage to a wealthy judge (Simon Russell Beale) and her affair with an impetuous former Air Force pilot (Tom Hiddleston). Weisz anchors the film, which is based on a play by Terence Rattigan, with a complex and emotionally conflicted performance. Despite a somewhat intrusive violin score and a stuffy narrative approach that isn’t for all tastes, Davies manages to convey plenty of passion among characters who aren’t compassionate at all. (Rated R, 98 minutes).
Heavy-handed proselytizing trumps genuine emotional impact in this Christian drama about a Deep South college student (Rachel Hendrix) who discovers that her series of illnesses is due to her adoption and premature birth as a result of a failed abortion. After expressing resentment to her father (John Schneider) for withholding that information, she goes on a road trip with a classmate (Jason Burkey) to find out more about her mysterious past. Perhaps there are decent intentions behind this wholesome journey of self-discovery, which has reasonable production values but becomes muddled amid relentless sentimentality and pro-life preaching. It marks the feature debut for directors Andrew and Jon Erwin. (Rated PG-13, 106 minutes).