AMBULANCE – Review by Rachel West

Ambulance is a Michael Bay boilerplate thrill ride throwback to the 1990s that desperately hopes its audience will hang on for the wildly absurd ride. Based on a 2005 Danish film of the same name, Bay’s latest entry into to his explosive filmography is a near two-hour chase scene overstuffed with some quippy one-liners that feel resurrected from the director’s mid-90s action blockbusters The Rock and Bad Boys. Viewers needn’t worry if they forgot about those movies because Chris Fedak’s script will literally remind you they exist with characters referencing and quoting from each of them.

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THE GUILTY – Review by Martha K Baker

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the producers of this remake of the Danish entry as Best Foreign Film of 2018. He gives his character, Joe Baylor, a wide range of hysteria, fright, concern, and frustration. He plays up Nic Pizzolatto’s screenplay, which is more sensational than the original, which felt creepier for being subtler. Still, “The Guilty” is unpredictable, heart-stopping, and, most of all, imaginative.

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THE GUILTY (TIFF 2021) – Review by Pam Grady

Twenty years after his breakthrough film, Training Day, Antoine Fuqua returns to the environs of the Los Angeles Police Department to deliver a very different, more subdued drama. A remake of a 2018 Danish thriller of the same name and shot under COVID protocols, it is a film where interest never flags but one that is hampered by its shaky night-in-the-life-of scenario, delivering a too shallow portrayal of the life of a troubled man.

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THE GUILTY (TIFF2021)- Review by Leslie Combemale

“Broken people save broken people.” That’s how Christina Vidal as Sgt Denise Wade explains Jake Gyllenhaal’s character Joe Baylor in Antoine Fuqua’s incredibly tense new film The Guilty. If the movie proves one thing, it’s that nothing is simple, and nothing is what it seems. Here, Fuqua teams up with Gyllenhaal in a pandemic-era story that unfolds in real time, bringing the audience on a gripping 90 minute wild ride, while the cameras stay almost exclusively in one room.

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SPIRIT UNTAMED – Review by Diane Carson

I endorse the supportive friendship among the three girls, the interracial group of characters, and the condemnation of animal abuse, a positive lesson for all viewers. However, this level of anthropomorphizing animals should have been abandoned long ago.

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SPIRIT UNTAMED – Review by Leslie Combemale

What a pleasure to see such committed, genuine friendships shown between young girls, especially as it relates to the love of horses. Lucky, Pru, and Abigail are the tween version of ‘ride or die’, as they repeatedly risk everything for each other. They are also shown to be brave in terms of their commitment to save the horses, and fearless in how they find ways to problem solve on their journey, doing it together as a team.

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WILDLIFE – Review by Brandy McDonnell

A first-time screenwriter, Dano, known for his performances in “There Will Be Blood,” “Love & Mercy” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” adapted “Wildlife” alongside his actress/screenwriter partner Zoe Kazan (“The Big Sick,” “Ruby Sparks”) from Richard Ford’s 1990 novel about thoughtful teenager Joe Brinson, who watches his parents’ marriage unravel shortly after the family’s move in 1960 to small-town Montana.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Oct. 27-Nov. 2: NIGHTCRAWLER

Opening Oct. 24, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Nightcrawler, the blistering directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy (The Fall, The Bourne Legacy) which features a career-best performance from Jake Gyllenhall as a young man who immerses himself in the shadowy nocturnal world of LA crime journalism. Part satire, part psychological thriller, it’s a whip smart Halloween must-see. Read on…

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