It's not the most memorable thriller out there and early on, it's fairly basic Agatha Christie fare but brisk pacing, solid performances and an unexpected twist that reveals that this seemingly ordinary whodunit has more to it than meets the eye make Identity a decent 90-minute film with a few tricks up its sleeve.
Arguably Disney's most well-known sports film, Cool Runnings might be cheesy and cliched but the inspiring tone, fun bobsledding sequences, committed performances and some pretty damn good comedic timing (the one scene where the Jamaicans try to ask John Candy's character to be their coach and nearly give him a heart attack is a bit cringey though, given he died a few months after this film came out) make this story about the first Jamaican bobsledding team a charming "inspired by true events" story.
An improvement over its direct predecessor, the Teen Titans get to shine in their own standalone movie without that pesky Justice League in its way in The Judas Contract. The story might be familiar for some people (note that the shocking plot twist this movie has was also used in the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon) and some moments might feel a bit silly (it feels surreal to me seeing Kevin Smith in this movie as himself; I'm not against it and the context behind his cameo does lead to a fairly poignant ending speech from Beast Boy but given how this universe has avoided casting celebrities as themselves - even Weird Al got to voice a sinister one-scene wonder villain rather than just himself - it seems strange to me; and his cameo in Superman: Doomsday gets a pass because it was the first entry in DC's lineup of direct-to-DVD animated features and because he was only voicing a random civilian designed to look like him for the sake of an inside joke) but this superhero adventure is more fun than its direct predecessor with better action sequences, stronger voice acting, improved characterisations (looking at you, Damian Wayne), a new and improved Deathstroke as he's made a proper threat again and gets a more intimidating voice following his poor showing in Son of Batman and even some surprisingly endearing moments, mainly between Nightwing and Starfire. It might not be a flawless masterpiece (then again, what movie is?) but for anybody who's been wishing for the Titans to be serious crime-fighters again in the wake of their being turned into jokes with the overexposed Go!, you just might get your wish in the form of The Judas Contract, even if the lineup is slightly different than one might expect ("Hey, where's Cyborg? Who the hell are you two?"). Keyword being "slightly" because 4 out of 5 ain't bad.
I mean...it's okay. There's nothing remarkably awful about this movie. It's a more worthwhile watch than Son of Batman anyway. The animation's fine, the action sequences are decent and the voice actors do their best with the material they have to work with. A sequence at a carnival offered Damian some much-needed character growth given how much of an annoying brat he could be in the first two entries of the Bat-Dad Trilogy and I do like how he and Raven start to form a bond around this time. To the film's credit, it keeps the focus on the Teen Titans rather than, as the title would suggest, have them play second fiddle to the Justice League. It does a competent-enough job introducing these superheroes into a continuity not based off of their pre-existing cartoons. The issues come from what I felt were pacing issues affected by a short runtime, a misleading title since the two superhero teams don't properly face off against one another and some baffling directorial choices. The usage of pop songs in the aforementioned carnival sequence was weird in my opinion since DC don't really do this kind of thing for their DT-DVD animated movies (Batman and Harley Quinn gets a pass since it's a much more comedic film than the norm) and feels more like something out of Scooby-Doo than a movie like this with a fairly serious tone. And then there's the infamous Sailor Moon sequence. I know people love the 2003 cartoon which started the trend of making action cartoons drawn to look like anime (but can't legally identify as such since they're produced and written by Americans rather than Japanese people) but the Magical Girl transformation was so random and tonally inconsistent with what's been established in the DCAMU that I can't help but laugh at it in a "so bad, it's good" way. I thought the story was a bit weak as well. The idea of Damian Wayne becoming the newest member of the Teen Titans isn't a bad idea on paper but I don't think they did the best job with it. Largely because only Raven gets proper focus out of the Titans due to her personal connection to the villain (you know, I barely felt Netflix Punisher's presence as Trigon) whilst everybody else is mostly there to kick ass during the action sequences...and also to establish that the mysterious "Kori" we hear Nightwing talk to in the Bat-Dad Trilogy is indeed Starfire. A decent scene, to be fair. I feel sheepish forgetting that Starfire's real name was Koriand'r. As if these movies didn't get enough flak for having the most recent Robin hog the spotlight. I didn't hate Justice League vs. Teen Titans but I was still mostly underwhelmed by it, feeling largely indifferent towards it. Not the best first impression for the first movie starring the Teen Titans that has no relation to their TV shows, huh?
One of the worst action movies of the 2010's, newcomer Ed Skrein tries his best as Jason Statham's successor and Ray Stevenson does a decent job as Frank Martin's dad but action sequences that, while not terrible, are a major step down from the original trilogy which were essentially martial arts movies in disguise, a weak story, production values that look outright cheap at times, cases where I strongly suspect that dialogue was dubbed over due to how haphazard it sounds and occurs when characters' faces conveniently aren't facing the camera and the Transporter being left out of focus in his own movie make Refueled a genuine misfire. At least Taken 3 had a good performance from Liam Neeson and a decent, if cliched, set-up despite its issues with editing and dialogue, among other things. All The Transporter Refueled has is slightly better ass-kicking. At least Ed Skrein would redeem himself with Deadpool a few months later. Given the choice between this movie and the also-terrible Die Hard 5, I would take A Good Day in a heartbeat. Did I mention this movie sucks...a LOT?