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Caryn James

Visceral, Tough, Apolitical: Mark Wahlberg in 'Lone Survivor'

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 10, 2014 12:21 PM
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With its solid but conventional filmmaking, Lone Survivor looks like one more popcorn–action movie, this time about Navy SEALS on a mission. But as it puts viewers in the center of a fatal fight in Afghanistan, Peter Berg's fact-based story becomes something timely and deeply important.

'Savages': Oliver Stone Collides with the World of 'Breaking Bad'

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • July 6, 2012 9:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Savages begins with an image of severed heads, and like so many Oliver Stone films, the story sounds as if it has substance beneath all its violence. A Mexican drug cartel  has sent this head-rolling video as a warning to a trio of beautiful young things living in idyllic Laguna Beach: Andrew Johnson as Ben, a smart and sensitive grower of the world’s best weed; Taylor Kitsch as Chon, his tattooed, hot-headed Iraq-vet partner and best friend, and Blake Lively as O. (for Ophelia) the lithe blonde they share equally and happily. Character, suspense, action, what could go wrong? Well, like so many Oliver Stone films, this one turns out to be vapid after all.

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