Director: Hany Abu-Assad Starring: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Austin the Dog, Raleigh the Dog Running time: 103 mins
The Mountain Between Us opens on Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) with a skilled American accent and an arsenal of questions, a complete contrast to Ben’s (Idris Elba) British stoic suave. They are total strangers, thrown together by bad weather and circumstance. They arrive at the airport to find out all flights to Denver are cancelled, but with Ben flying out to perform a surgery and Alex trying to make it to her wedding, they can’t wait until the next morning. Alex charters a plane, piloted by a sweet old man and his faithful dog, and having overheard his troubles, she invites Ben to tag along. Disaster ensues.
Director: John Hillcoat Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofer, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins Jr., Norman Reedus, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet Running Time: 115 minutes
Here’s an exercise: take 20 cop/crime films that have come out since Heat. Out of each of those, pick one scene at random, and edit them together in whatever order you like. Congratulations, you have now created Triple 9, a film by John Hillcoat about crooked cops, rookie cops, one last job, not knowing who you can trust and so on and so on and so on and bleeurrgh. Triple 9 is so determined not to show you anything that you haven’t seen before that it’s closest cinematic equivalent is a CCTV camera with a photograph taped over the lens, which may actually be one of the only older-than-dirt crime thriller cliches that isn’t found in the film itself.