Two new thrillers take center stage in theaters this weekend: a political thriller starring Jessica Chastain and a crime thriller that takes place in Texas.
Miss Sloane is an insider film all about a political lobbyist in Washington. In this case, a high-powered female lobbyist who believes in "winning at all costs."
Chastain is terrific, playing an intensely focused Washington lobbyist who takes on the fight against the powerful gun lobby.
She has flaws, but she fights to win and operates in and out of a messy industry riddled with egos, bad behavior, and in this case, criminal activity.
Miss Sloane is directed with a good dose of verbal fireworks by John Madden, who also directed "Shakespeare In Love." But his film suffers from a heavy-handed, underwhelming screenplay.
For a movie about smart people, the story could use an intelligence upgrade. It's good, but never great.
Nocturnal Animals is a great film but it comes with price. This is an intense, R-rated film about art snobs, jealousy and revenge, starring Amy Adams as an ice queen reading a new novel written by her ex-husband, played well by Jake Gyllenhaal, and dedicated to her.
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It's a movie within a movie, with part of it taking place between Dallas and Marfa during a terrifying road rage crime spree.
Designer Tom Ford writes and directs a perfectly tense thriller that has meaning and substance in every frame. It's tough to watch, but it's also an intoxicating piece of work with plenty of Oscar potential.
Nocturnal Animals is a risky film, and it's not for everyone, but the payoff is tremendous. This is one of the best films of the year.