Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

It had seemed, for a little while there, that Liam Neeson had tired of the “AARP action hero” phase of his career: Run All Night, his third thriller with director Jaume Collet-Serra, came out early in 2015, and since then it’s been nothing but respectable roles in respectable movies: a small but hugely critical part […]

It is called Taken 3. Not Tak3n. I can’t express how disappointed that fact makes me, and if I were able to, it would probably just make you suspect that I had some severe emotional problems. So anyway, the grand finale that isn’t to a trilogy that wasn’t supposed to be, and who among us […]

For the viewer who has thus far found the “Liam Neeson is a broken old man who kicks ass and pummels bad guys to stave off facing his inner demons” genre to be devoid of any real merit, Non-Stop provides no counter-argument (also, if a viewer could hold that belief in the wake of The […]

If Taken 2 had merely been exactly what it looks like – a carbon-copy retread of 2008’s Taken, the film with which Liam Neeson ushered in his very unexpected late-career reinvention as a savagely effective action star – that would have already raised its share of questions, like “okay, why?” Not that studios ever both […]

I spent some time trying to massage “Blandleship” and “Baddleship” into a form that didn’t just hurt to look at it, and as you can tell, I failed. Anyone who has an idea for how to get to the pun I have in mind without such a grating neologism would be thanked. So, anyway, Battleship. […]

I haven’t seen this pointed out elsewhere, which doesn’t mean it hasn’t been, but: The Grey stars Liam Neeson as a man who responds to the tragic and premature death of his wife by journeying to extreme places to take jobs that require him to kill things. I shall absolutely not go so far as […]

Unknown – not the first film by that title, not by any means, but the only one that’s a Euro-thriller starring Liam Neeson – as I was saying, Unknown ends with a hokey, hackneyed twist that you can undoubtedly see in the abstract if not in the particulars from miles and miles away. I begin […]

Early in the breathtakingly unnecessary The A-Team, remade from the iconic & not especially good ’80s television series, Col. John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson) hears the name of a hated rival with CIA ties, and derides the man’s lack of subtlety when it comes to matters of espionage: “He’s a caricature.” At this moment, a […]

Maybe I was just in a really good mood when I saw it. But I found Taken to be an absolutely great movie. It is unquestionably a trashy action movie of no particular aesthetic merit, a shallow pleasure at best. But oh, how very pleasurable it is. The movie stars Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, […]