A chilling horror film that could be best described as a mix between 'The Exorcist' and 'The Amityville Horror' (cleverly referenced at the end of this film). The film makers do a good job recreating the 70's setting and are helped along the way by some strong performances from Wilson, Farmiga and Taylor. Most of the scares work well (especially the Hide and Clap scene) and a nice feeling of dread pervades most of the film. Throw in a creepy doll called Annabel and you have a real Halloween treat. If you enjoyed 'Insidious' and the films mentioned above then you should love this.
A film about superficial characters based on a real-life story that SHOULD be more interesting than it actually is but just feels repetitive and dull. I suppose Coppola should be praised for trying to steer the whole film closer to the reality of the situation but by doing that she's only made half of an interesting film and nothing else. I actually missed the gloss and gimmicks a Hollywood studio would put into the film. Sure it wouldn't be as close to real life but it would certainly be more entertaining! The cast are fine (Watson is good and works well as part of an ensemble) but since the characters are so superficial it's hard to care about them or root for them. A film about unlikable people that didn't have the 'bling' factor for me.
I went into this film knowing the outcome of the title character. Usually that doesn't make a difference to my enjoyment of a story or the tension that is created but here I couldn't get past that and therefore I didn't find the whole thing as gripping as others who saw it with me. That's not to take away from Hanks' performance which is very strong and holds the story together. However the less you know about the real-life situation the more you will get out of the film. The film works best when the characters have less to say and the camera relies on their reactions to convey their emotions. I had a problem with the script for the opening scene of the film between Phillips and his wife (too laboured) but the rest of it felt more rooted in reality. In the end the film is a good drama that works best when Phillips is alone with the pirates (very well acted by newcomers) but is perhaps a little too long for the story it wants to tell.
A fun adaptation of one of my favourite Christie stories. This version sticks pretty close to the novel but changes the end in order for the murderer to get their comeuppance which grates a bit but is understandable considering when it was made. The performances are solid but occasionally are too overdramatic and comic which destroys the tension. I wonder what Christie made of it?