Thursday, July 28, 2016

Movie Review - About Elly

About Elly (Darbâreye Eli) 
(US Release: 2015/Original Release: 2009)
Starring Golshifteh Farahani (Sepideh), Shahab Hosseini (Ahmad), Taraneh Alidoosti (Elly), Mani Haghighi (Amir, Sepidah husband), Merila Zarei, Peyman Moaadi, Ahmad Mehranfar, Rana Azadivar, and Saber Abar
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

There aren't too many directors anymore whom I make a point of seeing their films simply because they stepped behind the lens.  However, after 2011's fantastic A Separation and 2013's slightly less fantastic, but still very good The Past, Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi is one such guy.  Also a screenwriter, Farhadi crafts family melodramas with moments of slight Hitchcockian suspense that emanate from aspects of Iranian culture and the psychologies that accompany that society.  About Elly continues this tradition.  "Continues" is perhaps an incorrect verb, however, as About Elly was Farhadi's second film which, while filmed in 2009, finally received a US release in 2015 following the success of his last two features.  (Farhadi's debut feature - Fireworks Wednesday - just was released this year -- nearly ten years after its actual Iranian premiere and I'll certainly be placing that in my queue.)  Nevertheless, About Elly is a tale strongly steeped in the values from where it takes place -- values that create problems for the film's characters that may not have occurred had the story been transplanted to another country.

Eight adults converge on a beach house for a weekend vacation.  Three couples (and their young kids) along with their single, newly divorced friend Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini) have known each other for several years, but Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani) has decided to invite along her child's preschool teacher Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti) for the weekend in an attempt to lighten the teacher's seemingly sullen spirits by introducing her to Ahmad.  While Elly is appreciative, she proves to be shy and a bit secretive.  Her reactions become all the more confusing to the group when she goes missing one afternoon.  Where has she gone and why has she left?

As the story unfolds largely via dialog, the layers of the tale are slowly revealed to the audience and to the characters that make up About Elly and those characters react in ways that are intrinsically believable and unique.  The less known going in, the better, but About Elly isn't about surprise reveals or big "moments."  Instead, we glimpse the reality of Iranian life as the women and men come to grips with how a more regimented society can react to certain aspects of a looser, less conservative culture.  With an incredibly talented cast headed by the aforementioned Farahani who captivates, About Elly doesn't quite reach the exquisitely dramatic moments of writer-director Farhadi's A Separation, but it shows another glimpse of how Farhadi is able to craft drama and individualized characters that are inherently steeped in his culture, yet make them accessible to all audiences.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Movie Review - Mustang

Mustang (2015)
Starring Günes Sensoy, Doga Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Tugba Sunguroglu, Ilayda Akdogan, Nihal Koldas, and Ayberk Pekcan
Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

France's submission for Foreign Film at this year's Academy Awards, the nominated Mustang is the first film from director and writer Deniz Gamze Ergüben.  Although submitted by France, Mustang takes place in a remote Turkish village with Turkish being spoken -- so the Academy's rules are mystifying to me, but so be it.  Mustang is an indictment against the conservative mindset that still rules over women in some Turkish communities and while it's an intriguing watch in that it allows us a view of a society with which we Americans aren't familiar, it also is written in such a way that it feels like a debut from a screenwriter still learning the ropes.

On a sunny day, five sisters (the actresses are the first five names listed above) bid farewell to a female teacher at their school.  The youngest sibling, Lale, is particularly saddened by her teacher's departure, so the girls decide to walk home instead of taking a bus.  On their walk, they meet up with a few boys from the school and end up having a fun afternoon playing in the nearby water.  Shortly after they arrive home, their grandmother (Nihal Koldas) and uncle Erol (Ayberk Pekcan) hear other villagers speaking badly about the girls' scandalous afternoon.  To the typical person, the girls did nothing wrong, but in this particular Turkish community, tradition and values are highly regarded and this commingling with boys is unacceptable.  Uncle Erol and the girls' grandmother (who have watched after the five sisters since their mother and father died) decide to lock them in the house, not allowing them to leave for any reason (including to go to school) except to parade them around to the locals in hopes of marrying them off one by one.  Despite the girls' obvious dismay, the quintet slowly begin to be broken up, with girl after girl being forced into marriage against their will.  (Lest you forget, these are school age girls being bound into marriage.)

Although I've read a few commentaries that say Ergüven's film doesn't properly depict these more regimented Turkish societies, I'd venture to believe that there's some truth here.  The problem comes from the fact that Ergüven takes things a step further insinuating some malfeasance on the part of Uncle Erol that throws things for a loop for me.  In fact, the biggest issue I had with this important plot point is that it was so vaguely implied that I totally missed it until I was reading some info about the flick.  This major, though deceivingly inferred, topic threw me for a loop.  Granted, I may have turned my head from the screen once or twice during this subtitled flick, but I should have felt some impact.  Funnily enough, during one scene where Erol's said misdeeds are hinted at, I caught the hint, but then said to myself, "There's no way that could be, because this whole film hasn't even discussed this concept."  Granted, I understand that I'm being vague and circuitous here attempting to avoid spoiling a major plot point, but believe me when I tell you this intrigue either needed to be explored more or eliminated.

All this being said, Mustang gets some fine performances from its young cast and it's certainly watchable.  It presents a culture with which I was unfamiliar, but I think in more experienced hands it would've been a better film.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Movie Review - The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur (2015)
Featuring the vocal talents of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin, and Sam Elliott 
Directed by Peter Sohn

As much as I say Pixar is without faults, churning out one hit after another, that's perhaps being overly generous, overlooking the fact that films that some people love -- Finding Dory, Up -- just don't hit the mark with me.  Unfortunately, The Good Dinosaur joins that lukewarm bunch.  While the scenic animation is gorgeous and incredibly photo-realistic, the character design is the most basic we've seen from Pixar yet and the story feels like a retread of better animated films of the past.  All in all, The Good Dinosaur is one of Pixar's biggest disappointments.

The story has some strong similarities to The Lion King, although it obviously pales in comparison.  A young dinosaur named Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) is the runt of his family with a brother and sister bigger and more capable than he.  His father (Jeffrey Wright) decides to take Arlo on a journey to try and make him braver and more confident in himself.  However, on this journey, a horrible flood rushes down a riverbed and carries Arlo's father away.  Pushed to safety in his father's final courageous act, Arlo finds himself on a journey home where he meets several unique creatures including a dog-like four or five-year-old human he names Spot who he befriends on his trek.

Yes, humans and dinosaurs co-exist here and I just couldn't help but think that the potential for this premise could've been more fully realized.  While it's true that Spot is the most engaging character in The Good Dinosaur despite the character not speaking a word, the co-mingling of these two species is disappointingly developed.  Obviously, it doesn't help that the film's main character - Arlo - is bland, paling in comparison to the amusing Spot.  Sure, Simba in The Lion King may not have been the funniest or most unique character, but we cared about his plight.  Arlo's plight lacks a captivating thread for some reason.

Although there are certain aspects of the film that are stellar - a great score by Jeff and Mychael Danna and some beautiful environmental imagery, the story (by a slew of people) and the design of the dinosaurs feel pre-schoolish which doesn't allow for anyone older than the age of ten to really connect with the proceedings.  The Good Dinosaur is a big disappointment and quite possibly my least favorite Pixar film to date.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

Friday, July 22, 2016

Movie Review - The Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)
Starring Billy Crudup, Michael Angarano, Moises Arias, Nicholas Braun, Gaius Charles, Nelsan Ellis Keir Gilchrist, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Mann, Ezra Miller, Logan Miller, Chris Sheffield, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, James Wolk, and Olivia Thirlby
Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez

Absolutely fascinating.  That was my reaction all throughout The Stanford Prison Experiment which is one of the year's most riveting edge-of-your-seat films.  While not a horror movie, director Kyle Patrick Alvarez's film plays like one as twenty-four young college students are recruited to portray either prisoners or guards and, over the course of what was supposed to be a fourteen-day mock prison experiment, form reactions and attitudes that these men had no idea were inside them.

What exactly are the psychological effects of being a prisoner or prison guard?  That's the question that psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) wanted to explore in August 1971.  After placing an ad in the local paper looking for young male college students, two dozen kids were selected and randomly chosen to be either guards or prisoners by Zimbardo and his student colleagues.  On the relatively empty Stanford campus (thanks to summer break), Zimbardo took over a whole floor of his psychology building, creating cells and a variety of areas for the prisoners and guards to inhabit.  While things start out pleasant enough between the two groups of students, the prisoners begin to insist on certain considerations to which Zimbardo tells his guards to "take control" which they vigorously embrace leading to some horrifically chilling moments of psychological torture.

The fact that this happened in real life -- oh, I hadn't mentioned that tidbit yet -- is insane and it makes what unfolds all the more intriguing.  The cast of young men (and one woman) form one of the best ensembles put onto film in 2015.  Tye Sheridan gives his best performance yet as he gradually comes undone as Prisoner 819.  Similarly, Johnny Simmons has a heartbreaking scene as his Prisoner 1037 faces the parole board (yes, this experiment went so far as to have a parole board) and Thomas Mann also captivates as a prisoner brought in towards the end of the experiment who immediately realizes that something isn't quite right.  Kudos also to heretofore unknown actor Chris Sheffield as Prisoner 2093 who has an incredibly moving moment near the film's conclusion that makes Dr. Zimbardo question the ethics of his experiment.

Speaking of Zimbardo, Billy Crudup doesn't have the flashiest role in the film, but he's certainly the glue that holds things together and does a great job of conveying his initially innocent character's insistence of the importance of the mock prison and his slide into the frightening puppeteer who controls everything.  As the lead guard, Michael Angarano gives one of the scariest performances of the year.  His character's ease into strict authoritarianism depicts a frightening side to human emotions that we all may have inside us.  With the exception of Ezra Miller who I thought was playing his character similar to every other character I've ever seen the young actor play, the entire cast of knowns and unknowns kept my eyes glued to the screen.

The Stanford Prison Experiment is a film I didn't want to end.  I'm not a psychology buff in the slightest - I tend to think it's mostly a load of hooey - so for me to be riveted by this film was a complete surprise.  The talented ensemble should take a lot of the credit, but director Kyle Patrick Alvarez deserves much praise as well.  His film doesn't play like an educational documentary.  Instead, this is a tense discomforting two hour journey into human behavior with his camera allowing us to witness both the emotional trauma of the prisoners and the sadistic glee of the guards.  My words at the beginning of this review really sum up my thoughts about the movie as a whole -- absolutely fascinating.

The RyMickey Rating:  A-

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Movie Review - A Brilliant Young Mind

A Brilliant Young Mind (2015)
Starring Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Jo Yang, Martin McCann, and Alex Lawther
Directed by Morgan Matthews

Up front, I think I must say that the film A Brilliant Young Mind found itself at a disadvantage for this reviewer seeing as how I recently saw the Broadway production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  Both tackle an incredibly similar premise - a young boy on the autism spectrum loses a parent, fails to connect with his remaining parent, and, thanks to the help of a teacher, turns to the patterns in math to become more communicative with society - but seeing something unfold live (and unfold live in a rather ingeniously staged way) will always hold the upper hand and that's certainly the case here.  A Brilliant Young Mind is very well acted by the entire cast, but it lacks the emotional gravitas that I wanted and it obviously desired to achieve.

Asa Butterfield is Nathan Ellis, an autistic teen who had a strong connection with his father Michael (Martin McCann) only to have the relationship shattered by a horrible car accident when Nathan was younger.  With his father dead, Nathan's mom Julie (Sally Hawkins) finds her son distant and unwilling to emotionally interact with her, but she also recognizes his innate ability with mathematics.  Sensing this strength, she enrolls Nathan (played at this age by Edward Baker-Close) in a few specialized math classes under the tutelage of Martin Humphreys (Rafe Spall), a bit of a curmudgeonly teacher who is dealing with his own medical problem of an onset of multiple sclerosis.  Under Martin's teachings, Nathan blossoms intellectually (though not particularly socially) and Martin pushes Nathan to try out for a prestigious worldwide mathematics olympiad which forces Nathan to step out of his comfort zone and work with teens his own age.

As mentioned, A Brilliant Young Mind is well-acted and that's undoubtedly one of the reasons I found myself interested in the story.  Young Butterfield is compelling, Rafe Spall gives the film a nice comedic touch, and Sally Hawkins continues to be one of the more underrated actresses of this era.  However, their performances aren't enough to boost the desired emotional impact I wanted and didn't get from the film.  I wanted the chasm between mother and son to really hit home, but this key aspect of the story didn't make it there for me.  Once again, I do think the film was at a disadvantage as I simply saw a better telling of a similar story a short time ago.  That said, had the film achieved the pivotal and necessary dramatic moments, it still would've felt like a successful cinematic experience.  As it stands now, A Brilliant Young Mind is just a little better than fair.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Movie Review - Grandma

Grandma (2015)
Starring Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Judy Greer, Nat Wolff, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott, and Marcia Gay Harden
Directed by Paul Weitz

I watched Grandma on the first night of the 2016 Republican National Convention.  I say this only to prove that this conservative reviewer can push aside his political leanings when watching a film and judge it based on its cinematic merits and Grandma is a surprisingly funny and touching film about the title character Elle (Lily Tomlin), a bit of a hippie lesbian old lady,  who spends the day traveling around to a variety of friends and enemies attempting to pool up money for her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) to be able to get an abortion.  While I'm sure I'd be shunned for appreciating this film by many members of my political affiliation, its story is well told and comes across surprisingly natural.

Plot-wise, there's not much else to talk about as the short under-eighty minute runtime of Grandma keeps things moving.  On its surface, writer-director Paul Weitz's film is really just a series of vignettes with Elle and Sage meeting a variety of kooky (and not-so-kooky) people.  Digging a little deeper, the film allows the character of the somewhat curmudgeonly Elle to blossom a little with each successive introduction of people in her life.  As her layers are revealed to the audience and to her granddaughter, we get a surprisingly multi-dimensional character for such a lighthearted film.  Kudos to Weitz and Lily Tomlin for creating this depth-filled woman whom I may not necessarily agree with all the time but at least has a purpose for having her story be told.

While the film does suffer from what I like to call Finding Nemo Syndrome in that it always feels like we're just moving from place to place for quick little meet-cutes with a variety of characters, Grandma still proves to be much more successful than I ever could have expected.  While its somewhat nonchalant way of dealing with abortion won't suit everyone's tastes, part of the reason the film works and feels decidedly not preachy (despite one horribly blunt scene outside an abortion clinic that is unnecessarily bashing of pro-life supporters) is that it's not really about abortion.  It's about an older woman coming to grips with things that have haunted her past and because that's the focus, the film comes off well.  Well acted by all members in the cast -- with a particularly moving and somewhat heartbreaking small cameo from Sam Elliott -- Grandma succeeds with me when I didn't even think it had a chance.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Movie Review - By the Sea

By the Sea (2015)
Starring Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Richard Bohringer, and Niels Arestrup
Directed by Angelina Jolie Pitt

Due to circumstances not involved with the film, I had to stop watching By the Sea at just about an hour and fifteen minutes into my first viewing.  Upon returning to the film a mere few hours later, I had to re-find where I had stopped.  For the life of me, I couldn't.  Why is that?  Because By the Sea is essentially two hours of the same scenes over and over and over again - a mopey couple sitting around a luxurious French seaside hotel (either together or alone) pontificating about why their relationship went south and what they can do to make it better, whether that be attempting to connect with one another sexually or watching another younger couple connect sexually through a peephole.  Stagnant in its drama and overly repetitive, By the Sea is an interesting departure from Angelina Jolie's previous directorial feature Unbroken, but it's unsuccessful in its attempt to mimic some classic 1970s relationship dramas.

Jolie and her real-life husband Brad Pitt are Vanessa and Roland, a couple married for fourteen years who find themselves in obviously troubled relationship times.  Roland is a writer who is finding himself blocked so he decides to take a journey to a quaint, tiny French seaside town.  Upon arrival, Vanessa is distant, detached, emotionless and, quite frankly, a bit of a dramatic ice queen.  Inferences are made to something having happened in their past that has led to the emotional chasm that affects them now and while Roland hopes that this trip will help them reconnect, he finds himself met with reticence from Vanessa.  While Roland works in a local bar, Vanessa mopes around the hotel room where she discovers a circular peephole that peeks into the adjacent room where she watches the lives unfold of recently married and honeymooning couple Lea and François (Mélanie Laurent and Melvil Poupaud) whose lust for life stand in sharp contrast to her obvious depression.

I was along for the slow ride of By the Sea for nearly its first hour.  Sure, it had a meandering pace, but I was particularly interested and surprisingly invested in Brad Pitt's writer character and his struggle to get his wife out of her emotional funk.  However, as the film's second half came into focus, By the Sea felt like a film that didn't know where it was going, instead circling around the same scenes and themes over and over again.  Jolie (who also wrote the film) has crafted a movie that looks beautiful and sumptuous, but fails to create a substantive story to match the visuals.  Rather than feel well-rounded, her character Vanessa is excruciatingly one-note in her emotions.  Even when she begins to blossom after spying on the honeymooners, Vanessa's motives never seem reasonably explored.  And, quite frankly, the less said about that aforementioned something that caused Vanessa's deep depression, the better.

I'm oddly pleased that I gave By the Sea a chance because I'm still mildly intrigued by the notion of Angelina Jolie as a director (as I mentioned, the film looks gorgeous and the first hour was uniquely lensed), but she's missing something as a writer.  It's in the screenplay that By the Sea flounders and unfortunately it flounders too much to even think about recommending.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

Monday, July 18, 2016

Movie Review - In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, and Brendan Gleeson
Directed by Ron Howard

On a rainy night in 1850, young Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) arrives at the home of the grizzled Tom Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), a seasoned seaman, who tells the aspiring author about his time on the whaling ship Essex in 1920 and the horrible events that led to its sinking.  Nickerson's memories about his time as a young boy (played by Tom Holland) capturing whales for their oil alongside the Essex's first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) and captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) paint a vivid portrait of sea life for Melville.  Of course, with Melville being known for the epic tale of man vs. nature Moby Dick, it's easy to see that In the Heart of the Sea isn't always a pretty picture -- sometimes nature wins out.

Shockingly, Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea was one of my most anticipated films of 2015 thanks to a fantastic first trailer.  It was due to be released early in the year, but was then pushed back to December which many assumed was a ploy to garner awards recognition.  Well, it came up empty with every awards body, Star Wars ate up all the screens at the box office in mid-December, and In the Heart of the Sea didn't even stick around for the holiday season.  So, with my palette failing to be satiated in a theater, I recently rented the film and found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

While the film isn't without its faults -- some of the special effects on the sea disappointed, the production design of the New England towns often appears fake, and Chris Hemsworth's accent veers heavily from Bah-stonian to his native Australian oftentimes within a single scene -- its story is a fascinating one, more than holding my interest throughout.  Ron Howard does a great job of placing the audience on the boat, squarely in the middle of the action.  We palpably feel the excitement as we go whale hunting and we certainly become anxious and tense when the inspiration for Melville's novel comes into the picture and begins to wreak havoc on the crew.

I genuinely didn't know how the film was going to end -- although I could have seeing as how this was all based upon a true story -- so as the story unfolded, I was riveted as I watched the crew attempt to survive.  This flick was unjustly maligned by both critics and the public upon its release and while In the Heart of the Sea may not necessarily land on my awards charts either, it didn't disappoint.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

Monday, July 11, 2016

Movie Review - The Diary of a Teenage Girl

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
Starring Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig, Madeleine Waters, and Christopher Meloni
Directed by Marielle Heller

San Francisco.  1976.  Fifteen year-old Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) has just lost her virginity, finding herself newly sexually awakened, but still unsure of her beauty and worth in the world. Complicating things ever so slightly is the fact that Minnie was deflowered by her mother's boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) which, despite the obvious "ick" factor, leads to complications keeping this from Minnie's bohemian and laid-back mom/Monroe's girlfriend Charlotte (Kristen Wiig).  Minnie soon finds herself exploring not only her sexuality, but also the drug-fueled landscape of the 1970s which makes the young teenager even more of an emotional mess.

A dramedy of sorts, The Diary of a Teenage Girl - the debut of writer-director Marielle Heller - is a strangely uncomfortable watch...but I guess that's partly the point.  As Minnie explores her teenage years, the audience feels her confusion right alongside her.  Twenty-four year-old Bel Powley does a great job of showing the conflicted, carefree, and emotionally befuddled mind of a teenage girl who sees no great problem in falling for a man two decades her senior.  Monroe is never made out to be a sleazy guy by either Heller or Alexander Skarsgård and your mileage may vary as to whether you agree with that interpretation or not.  For all intents and purposes, he's a pedophile, but this film never makes that law-breaking its driving force -- or any force, for that matter.  While certainly treated with the emotional baggage that such an odd relationship would carry, you do find yourselves sometimes questioning the way the connection between Minnie and Monroe is portrayed.

Ultimately, The Diary of a Teenage Girl never quite clicked with me.  While Powley is captivating and capable of carrying the hefty film on her shoulders, I was never drawn in to her character's plight.  I think part of the reasoning for this is that her initial exploration into her sexuality was treated with humor and lightness.  When the film switches to a more serious tone -- the time when I really thought I should be "feeling" for Minnie -- I never connected on an emotional level with the characters.  Perhaps it was the tonal switch or perhaps it was just some unconscious voice in my mind saying that "she got what was coming to her," but despite wanting to become invested in Minnie, I never got there.  That said, the film shows promise for writer-director Heller and places young Bel Powley on the map of up-and-coming actresses.  Here's hoping for a bit more solid cinematic contributions in their future.

The RyMickey Rating: C+

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Movie Review - Burnt

Burnt (2015)
Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl, Matthew Rhys, Alicia Vikander,  Uma Thurman, and Emma Thompson
Directed by John Wells

Burnt is a well-acted film about a once great Michelin Star-earning chef named Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) who lost it all when drugs and horrible behavior upended his career at an early age.  After taking time to reflect on his wrongs back home in the United States, Adam returns to London to start his career again, opening a new restaurant and trying to right the wrongs of his past.

Despite the aforementioned notion that Burnt is well-acted, it's a film that just kind of sits there and doesn't excite the audience in any way.  Director John Wells paces the already short film in such a way that it doesn't engage us and pull us in to Adam's life.  Sure, the glossy and well-lit scenes of kitchen work are pretty, but once we move beyond the boiling pots, buttered-up pans, and fancy sous vide machines, there's no dramatic tension in this otherwise typical film about a formerly unpleasant guy becoming pleasant.

Bradley Cooper is quite good and his character is at least a little bit captivating.  His relationships with his sous chefs (Sienna Miller, Omar Sy), his front-of-house staff (Daniel Brühl), and rival (Matthew Rhys) are all pleasant enough and all well-performed by the cast.  Unfortunately, there's very little for the actors to sink their teeth into which goes hand-in-hand with the lack of any tension and significant plot.  Burnt isn't a particularly bad movie, but by the end I just shrugged my shoulders and moved on.

The RyMickey Rating:  C