Puncture (3 Stars)
Released in 2011, Puncture combines a fascinating true story with an engaging central performance to create a solid legal drama. The story follows a small law firm run by Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) and Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen). Together they mount a monumental case against a medical supply corporation over the lack of safety needles used in hospitals. The film operates on a small scale with a basic format, but the power of the story helps the film rise above that of merely adequate based-on-a-true-story movies seen in this genre. Chris Evans holds your attention throughout with a great performance in the lead role, portraying a flawed figure with nuance and heart. Overall, it doesn’t break any ground from a filmmaking perspective, but the engaging true story and lead role make it a solid watch.
The High Cost of Living (3 Stars)
Released in 2010, The High Cost of Living is a quiet drama that provides some strong performances as it lays out a slow, but intriguing story. It centers around Natalie(Isabelle Blais) and Henry(Zach Braff), two individuals who have a chance encounter that creates ripple effects in each of their own lives. The strength of the film is in the acting, with Braff and Blais both delivering quality dramatic performances. Braff in particular shows a side unseen throughout much of his comedic career. The story is a bit somber, as it taps into the harsh reality of the world we live in, but is worth checking out nonetheless for the layered portrayals.
The Express (3 Stars)
Released in 2008, The Express is a quality sports drama that shines a light on an important figure in college football’s history. The story follows Ernie Davis(Rob Brown), a running back for Syracuse University from 1958-1962 who, with the guidance of his coach(Dennis Quaid), becomes the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy for best college football player in the nation. The screenplay is nothing unique, as it taps into many of the typical sports clichés that are witnessed time and again, but the inspirational story sets it apart. This is an important moment worthy of being adapted for the big screen. Led by strong portrayals by Brown and Quaid in the leading roles, The Express becomes a solidly crafted sports drama that possesses a good message.