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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.

Christian Bale in the Brutal, Steel-Town Drama 'Out Of The Furnace'

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • December 4, 2013 8:59 AM
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In Steve McQueen's artful 12 Years a Slave and Peter Berg's fraught Lone Survivor (opening soon), the violence is difficult to sit through, but worth it for those films' serious drama and wrenching realism. Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace doesn't come close to justifying its extreme brutality. This story of two brothers -- Christian Bale and Casey Affleck -- pushed to violence in a Pennsylvania steel town is so overwrought that their problems seem orchestrated by Screenwriting 101 rather than fate.

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