This week’s films include two new big screen releases and an Amazon Prime feature, the first in the “Welcome to the Blumhouse” series of eight movies.


(in theaters)

Things seem back to normal when charismatic aging action movie star Liam Neeson gets a chance to wreak revenge again in an action thriller. Viewers have missed Neeson and his reluctant hero persona. Although “Honest Thief” may not be completely fresh or innovative, it remains watchable and involving because of Neeson and his leading lady, Kate Walsh.

After an 8-year successful career as the bank robber known as the “In-and-Out Bandit,” Tom Carter (Neeson) decides to go straight because of his love for Annie (Walsh).

Unfortunately, making a deal with the FBI doesn’t work out because the two agents (Jai Courtney and Ramon Hall) sent to interview Carter turn out to be less than professional.

Supporting actors Jeffrey Donovan and Robert Patrick portray FBI agents Meyers and Baker.

While director and cowriter Mark Williams fills the screen with the expected sequences – car chases, fistfights and gunfights – “Honest Thief” manages to remain fascinating as its fast-paced plot zooms by. Though the viewer may guess the eventual conclusion, the film takes us on an exciting ride to get there.   

  Rated PG-13

 3 Stars


(in theaters)

Adam Brody portrays 32-year-old Abe Applebaum, a former junior Sherlock who was celebrated in his hometown for his childhood sleuthing successes. But now he’s looked upon as an oddball slacker, who continues in the detective mode when he’s obviously past his prime.

 Abe seems be a grownup Hardy Boy who’s locked in the junior high mode while living in a cynical world. Peter MacNeill is high school principal Erwin, and Wendy Crewson and Jonathan Whittaker portray Abe’s concerned/embarrassed parents

Writer and director Evan Morgan created this arch dark comedy about Abe getting the opportunity to solve an actual murder case. Teenager Caroline (Sophie Nelisse) hires Abe to find out the truth about her brutally slain boyfriend.  

As the plot grows darker, Abe investigates for a while, but then slips into his boozing, druggy ways. When Sweet Caroline finally brings him back into the hunt, Abe finds serious answers to many local mysteries.

  Rated  R

 3 Stars


 (Amazon Prime)

The scary sci-fi horror film “Black Box” is impressively directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. and is the first movie in the 8-part  “Welcome to the Blumhouse” anthology series.

Nolan Wright ((Mamaoudou Athie) suffers from memory loss after a car accident in which his wife was killed.

With the help of his sweet young daughter Ava (Amanda Christine), Nolan tries to get back to his normal life, but he cannot remember anything. He wonders what kind of a husband and father he was before the accident.

His old friend Dr. Gary Yeboah (Tosin Morohunfola) convinces Nolan to try the special treatment offered by neurologist Dr. Lilian Brooks (Phylicia Rashad).

During Nolan’s sessions with Dr. Brooks, he is hypnotized and then is subject to the “black box.,” which takes him deep into a bizarre world. As Nolan realizes that he is being pursued by a mysterious figure, he is terrified.

The audience experiences his terrors as well when an ominous clicking noise occurs. The  hair-raising tale includes a wild twist.

  Not rated

 3 Stars

Alice Reese is a member of the Dallas Fort Worth Film Critics Association. She reviews movies, arts and  entertainment for the Herald-Banner and for KETR.

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