100 Word Review – Dogma (1999)

Abortion clinic worker and half-hearted Catholic Bethany (Linda Florentino) is visited by an angel (Alan Rickman) and instructed to stop a couple of fallen angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) from ending the world.

Written and directed by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), it somehow manages to satirises institutional Catholicism without criticising those with genuine faith.

Co-starring Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Salma Hayek and George Carlin, the film is a mixture of toilet humour, road movie and religious dogma that somehow works. For fan’s of Smith’s work, don’t worry; Jay and Silent Bob lend helping hands.

100 Word Review – The Departed (2006)

If the film that (finally) won Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Shutter Island) his Oscar isn’t worth watching, then I’m not sure what is.

Screenplay by William Monaghan (Body of Lies, Edge of Darkness), it’s set in the duplicitous world inhabited by Boston’s mafia and law enforcement.

Intense, beautifully shot and with a cast to die for (Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Ray Winston), it has a truly brilliant soundtrack.

With four Oscars and at #43 on IMDb’s Top 250, I’d call it perfect, if only there were some strong women in it.

100 Word Review – The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

This is Sci Fi on a personal scale with potentially international consequences. 

A politician (Matt Damon) meets a ballerina (Emily Blunt) he should never have met. Can their love survive or will the Adjustment Bureau restore order as fate intends it?

Based on the short story by Philip K Dick (Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Blade Runner), adapted by director George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum, Ocean’s Twelve), this film falls somewhere between Sci Fi paranoia and all out action.

Co-starring John Slattery (Mad Men) as Richardson, this is a film about destiny, choice and fighting for what you believe in.

100 Word Review – The Martian (2015)

Based on Andy Weir’s novel, more than a rescue-Matt-Damon-movie.

Presumed dead, Mark Watney (Damon) is left alone on Mars. Will he get a signal to NASA? And if he does will he survive as the only person on an inhospitable planet?

The cast for this film is extraordinary, but the best thing about it’s the combination of Sci Fi with actual science and a sense of humour. Adapted by Drew Goddard (The Cabin In The Woods) and directed by Ridley Scott (Alien), it pulls away from the “realistic” Sci Fis of recent years managing to be serious, tense and fun.