A Most Violent Year - ★★½☆☆
It's a struggle, writing (a scene, a sketch, a feature film) about NOT doing something. I felt a little resentful at how much of the movie is in the trailer. There's not that much story to go around here, and the trailer used up most of it. There is, however, a lot of plot. So I guess I'm grateful that we got through it all in just a couple of hours, instead of 13 hours on AMC with a cliffhanger ending and a cancellation notice.
I suspect this may have been a movie centered on someone who is not the main character in the story.
Identity - ★★★☆☆
This was more fun than I remembered. I know when I saw it in the theater I had a theory that the ending was re-written and how, but it didn't stick out to me this time around.
Resolution - ★★★½☆
I understand that I'm probably taking the wrong lesson from this movie, but I think I would have been just as happy without any of the fantastical elements involved. The mysterious plot elements were never as interesting to me as the characters and their set up.
Mortdecai - ★½☆☆☆
Given the track records of just about everyone involved, and the really polished production, I kind of have to assume the books this is based on are terrific. A passion project gone awry.
The trouble is summed up in a line from Gwenyth Paltrow, who tells Mortdecai, "don't be tiresome." The character's primary characteristic, his comic conceit, is that he IS tiresome. So no wonder audiences aren't crazy about it. I hope it works better in print.
(Also to say: it seems like every professional review of the movie I read took a moment for the reviewer to sigh heavily at a character called "Jock Strapp." Wikipedia tells us this is so, but I'm pretty sure his last name is never given in the movie or the credits. I just thought that was odd. Of those reviewers, I mean.)