Review by Jeff Webb (A)
Jack Reacher is an outstanding movie. It may be my favorite movie of the year. Yup, I said it.
The movie quite literally starts with a bang. We are taken on a ride through a murder mystery - of the plot I can say no more as that would spoil the fun. Jack Reacher skillfully peels layers of the onion away as the movie progresses keeping you hooked and waiting for more. The pacing is perfect - reminiscent of The Bourne Identity or Heat.
Jack Reacher is based on the book One Shot, from a series of Jack Reacher novels. Having not read those I cannot comment on how faithfully Cruise portrays the character, but the character is played with great precision and is quite likeable. This may be Tom Cruise's best performance since A Few Good Men, or I may just be happy that he wasn't playing Ethan Hunt or Roy Miller as the previews suggested.
The movie does not try to do or be too much - the fight scenes are tough and gritty and the acting is solid. Strong performances are given by Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo and less well known Jai Courtney.
The guilty pleasure and pure treat is the inclusion of Robert Duvall, who despite continuing to play his crusty old self, is a delight. Cruise and Duvall have not seemed to have lost any chemistry since Days of Thunder and have a nice scene that makes you want to watch the NASCAR classic.
The mooding of the film is dark and the score is pitch perfect. There are no crazy special effects, 3D wizardry or 64 fps gimickry - just good, solid filmmaking. If anything the movie may be at fault for playing it a bit too safe - while I really loved it I just don't believe this is the type of film that can win at the Oscars. Which is too bad, because it plays the 70's film noir to near perfection.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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