Rob the Mob (4 OUT OF 5 SWANS): Based on a true story, Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda portray a couple of kids who pick on mobsters by holding them up in clumsy, but effective armed robberies. This is a terrifically-acted, well-paced mob comedy up until about the last 15 minutes when it loses all its pace and slows down to a plodathon, complete with Johnny Mathis wailing Dream, Dream, Dream (a pretty 1964 waltz) under a maudlin montage of shots that almost completely destroys what came before. While this continues the old dismaying Hollywood tradition of picturing the mafia as a bunch of loveable, doddering, laughable codgers, it was anything but.
Sabotage (3 OUT OF 5 SWANS): Although you don’t go to an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie like this to watch acting, Olivia Williams gives a good performance, even if she does try to outdo the men in being a tough cop. What’s good is that it has wonderful pace. There’s a mystery that needs to be solved and revenge that needs to be gained. There isn’t anyone contemplating their navels, or anything else that looks like director David Ayers thinks he’s making some sort of artistic statement. It’s just another action picture that’s entertaining enough.
Divergent (4 OUT OF 5 SWANS): Because science fiction films about teenagers set in a bleak future are not my cup of tea, this was not a film I was eagerly anticipating. So I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be as advertised, an interesting action-adventure film that held my interest to the end with exceptional creation of war-ravaged Chicago 150 years from now and fine performances by the entire cast.
On My Way (4 OUT OF 5 SWANS): Writer/director Emmanuelle Bercot presents two delights, Catherine Deneuve impulsively jumping in her car to strike out on her own to change her life, and a terrific road picture shot on location in Brittany. Using mostly non actors in key roles, there’s a lot more to this film than merely seeing a ‘60s-era beauty as a still beautiful older woman. In French.