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As an opinionated cinephile, I love to review movies. I began sending reviews to a few friends, but interest has grown over the years. Now you can find many of my reviews in one spot!


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Man Down

Hold onto your seats! This post-apocalyptic drama/thriller will leave you exhausted as you watch a Marine recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan as he desperately searches for his son. When the home front is so much like the battlefront, all a Marine can do is what seems necessary.
Director Dito Montiel ("Empire State") worked with author Adam G. Simon to create an R-rated screenplay based on Simon's story. There is very little I can tell you because the effectiveness of this film depends on you, the audience: what you see, what you figure out, and what you learn as a result. And there is plenty to learn!

The cast:
  • Shia LaBeouf ("Transformers") is Gabriel Drummer, frantic about his son Jonathan, and what might have happened to him. He is also haunted by a devastating event.
  • Jai Courtney ("Terminator Genisys") Devin is Gabriel's best friend since childhood. We see them suffer through Marine boot camp together and then later, watch him help Gabriel look for Jonathan.
  • Kate Mara ("House of Cards") is Gabriel's confused wife Natalie.
  • Charlie Shotwell ("Captain Fantastic") Jonathan WANTS his father to find him and tell him everything will be okay.
  • Gary Oldman ("Dawn of the Planet of the Apes") Counselor Payton is there to help, but I felt his manner was supercilious and LOADED with 20/20 hindsight. ("How did you FEEL?") I agree with Gabriel's assessment.
In my opinion, every family with loved ones who have experienced traumatic events should see this excellent film. It provides better insight into these issues and their effects on the participants than anything else I have ever seen. And despite his rocky personal life, Shia LaBeouf is a talented actor who should have a stellar future. He just has to overcome that rocky personal life... Good Luck, Shia!
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There is only one trailer:
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