Maksim's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Son of Saul
Son of Saul (2015)
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A gut-wrenching, emotionally draining and totally unforgettable cinematographic experience, Son of Saul is an overwhelming and disturbing piece of art which will make you feel extremely uncomfortable and appalled by the Holocaust. Technically flawless, brilliantly acted and above all painfully touching, Laszlo Nemes' movie is a delivery that will be studied in movie classes in the future.
The first and most important thing is that one should have no idea on the story and what is it about. The fact that it concerns a group of prisoners in a concentration camp is just enough to start watching the movie and to slowly get fully consumed by it. In order not to spoil the experience, nothing in terms of content will be described in this review. On the other side, a whole thesis could be written on the quality of film-making showed by director Laszlo Nemes. Restrained, and yet shockingly graphic and brutal, Son of Saul is a delivery that will keep you glued to the screen. Huge amount of the impact on the audience is also achieved by the technical qualities of the movie. The camera-work is shaky and still always in control, the settings are quite horrifying and among this atmosphere there is a group of unknown actors who deliver brilliant performances.
Much could be said about this movie, but the truth is that everyone will experience it in its own way. Son of Saul is certainly not an entertainment. It is a cinematographic experience depicting a part of the human history which will appal you and deeply unsettle you. It will shock and you will remember the atmosphere of the movie, its actors and some scene long after you have seen the movie. A must see delivery for every self-respecting movie-fan and a most deserved Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film.

Criminal (2016)
17 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Undeservedly panned by many critics, Criminal is a dark, neo-noir thriller with sci-fi scientific elements that explores an intriguing concept and satisfies with solid heavy-weight performances. Far from being convincing or consistent this Kevin Costner-vehicle is a gloomy and restrained action thriller which will certainly mildly appeal to older audiences and fans of the genre.
When Special CIA Agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is killed in action, there is only one experimental way to recover his memory and abilities in order to prevent a dangerous plot of an international villain. The only option for the CIA Lead Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman) is to trust the unproven method offered by Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) and to experiment on the sociopath Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner). As it could be expected, the operation is not as successful as Well has hoped and Jericho seems to remember only part of Bill's past and memories. When he manages to escape from the CIA he starts to search for answers related to the past of the person whose memories have been implanted to him.
The overall concept of Ariel Vromen's delivery is pretty intriguing, but it never truly convinces to be a plausible story. The scientific part simply does not make sense and from the very beginning this will somehow prevent you from taking everything seriously. On the other side, Criminal satisfies with a dark and serious mood, which is supported by the presence of heavy-weights as Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones. Both have the charisma to add-up a certain level of CIA-credibility to the movie which combined with Costner's renegade character compensates for the unconvincing story. Speaking of Costner, it should be said that he delivers an impressive performance as a confused sociopath and it is pleasing to see him capable of developing his character throughout the movie.
On a side note, it should be mentioned that Ariel Vromen's taste for music is outstanding. Criminal has a killer soundtrack and you will find yourself fully enjoying Solomun's remix of Late Night by Foals. M83's Outro or Madsonik's Drift and fall Again.
In conclusion, Criminal is certainly not a bad neo-noir thriller. It fails to fully convince, but so do many other similar deliveries. Trashed by the critics, this movie deserves as far better reception and I would certainly recommend it if you are looking for a decent home entertainment.

Central Intelligence
17 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Relying hugely on the charisma and the natural chemistry between its two leading actors, Central Intelligence overcomes the obvious flops of its poor story and delivers a fast-paced and well-balanced summer entertainment. A typical buddy-movie, it never takes itself too serious and this combined with the scattered plot elements turns it into a forgettable action-comedy which you will be remember only for Kevin Hart and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Calvin (Kevin Hart) is a middle-aged accountant, dissatisfied with his life and career perspectives, who is desperately missing his old glory days at college when he was "the man of the campus". When he meets Bob (Dwayne Johnson), he realizes the former fat loser of college has become an "alpha" man who has a special secret to hide. Being a CIA Operative, Bob drags down Calvin in a dangerous conspiracy filled with shoot-outs, car chases and international espionage.
There is no doubt the biggest asset of director Rawson Thurber's delivery is the duo Kevin Hart - Dwayne Johnson. Rarely one can see such a natural chemistry between the two leading guys in a buddy comedy and Central Intelligence both are a fine example of on-screen balance. Johnson has the controlling lead, while Hart has the hyper-energized power to keep the audience entertained. Unfortunately, the movie suffers from the typical predictability which normally could be forgiven if the story was simple and straightforward. This time, however, the screenwriters of Central intelligence have tried to create an overly complicated story which not only seems totally improbable, but also confuses the audience when everything develops at fast pace.
Surely, the fun of watching Central Intelligence is guaranteed even if you re not a fan of The Rock or Kevin Hart. Both of them are a wonderful team and it will not be a surprise if a sequel is now in production. Yet, short after seeing it you will remember nothing specific about the mediocre story. In conclusion, Central Intelligence is a watchable, but also a mediocre buddy comedy, suitable for home cinema entertainment.

Barbershop: The Next Cut
18 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A compelling blend of raw humor, sharp social commentary, sentimentality and pleasing acting, Barbershop: The Next Cut is a sort of an escapist comedy will make you laugh whole-heartedly despite its over-dramatic and preachy approach towards the social commentary on racial issues, sexism, violence and politics.
The story brings the audience back to Calvin's (Ice Cube) Barbershop approximately a decade later. The daily routine fun continues for all the members in the barbershop, but unfortunately the local community has been struggling with violence and gang wars threating not only the businesses, but also the security of all ordinary decent families and friends. In a desperate move to cause a truce between the fighting gangs, the members of the barbershop negotiate a weekend truce and in return offer free hair-cuts to all who visit the shop. Amidst wonderful jokes, filled with heartfelt humour, family love, friendship and sharp dialogues, Malcolm D. Lee's movie tries also to be a sharp and thought-provoking commentary on violence, racial issues and sexism troubling the urban US areas (and Chicago in particular).
Unfortunately, the flavoured dialogues and meaningful conversations get somehow soaked with sentimentality, melodrama and unnecessary preaching which, instead of adding up to the emotional load of the movie, disappoint and annoy. The over-the-top drama does not help to further provoke the audience with the socio-political topics discusses and towards the end the story becomes just a sort of unfunny escapism. This also damages the overall fun level of The Next Cut and if the beginning and the mid-part are entertaining, the finale of the movie disappoints.
As a whole, Barbershop: The Next Cut is a polarizing movie. The stronger first part is funny, compelling and quite provoking, but unfortunately the second half almost erases almost all positive things of Malcolm D. Lee's delivery.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant
18 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

An unnecessary stretched addition to the Divergent Series, Allegiant is a further deteriorating in terms of story and acting delivery. Chaotic to a level that it hardly could be connected to the first instalment, the third movie from the franchise is a slight improvement over the second one in terms of action. Yet, yet it still remains annoyingly boring and it totally lacks the originality of the first movie.
After the system change in Insurgent and the shocking discoveries, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) leave Chicago and embark on voyage beyond its walls only to find even a more shocking reality. They find themselves in a merciless battle of interest, politics, scientific ambitions and a final discovery which will make them take desperate actions and will test their love.
Described like that everything sounds pretty intriguing if you have not seen the first two instalments. The main problem of Allegiant is that none of the pieces from the three deliveries match and stay together as a coherent story. Meant to be thought-provoking, the franchise lost its sharpness with the second movie and the overall downfall continues with this delivery directed by Robert Schwenkte. The good action sequences cannot change the fact that you will be completely confused with the story development and you will be desperately trying to connect all the dots and sub-plot lines in the franchise.
In the end, if you are a die-hard fan of the books or a young adolescent, you will probably enjoy Allegiant. Unfortunately, if you are someone who was pleasantly surprised by the first Divergent and wanted to follow the franchise until the end, you will be potentially disappointed and you might even serious consider if it is worth seeing the final instalment set to be released in June 2017.