Backtrace (2018)

Director: Brian A Miller

Writer: Mike Maples (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Ryan Guzman, Meadow Williams, Matthew Modine, Colin Egglesfield, Christopher McDonald


Plot: The lone surviving thief of a violent armored car robbery is sprung from a high security facility and administered an experimental drug.


Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Dull & Messy


Story: Backtrace starts with a bank robbery gone wrong as the three get gunned down, with Macdonald (Modine) being the lone survivor, detective Sykes (Stallone) arrives at the scene to figure out just what went down, hoping Macdonald can give him the answers.

With his memory lost Macdonald is offered a way out of a security prison by Lucas (Guzman) and Erin (Williams) so they can get to the bottom of what happened, for their own reasons using an experimental drug to unlock the memories he has of the robbery.


Thoughts on Backtrace


Characters – Sykes is the lead detective trying to piece together just what happened with the shootout and bank robbery along with the problem when the only survivor goes missing. Lucas leads a group that have taken the lone survivor as they look to backtrace his footsteps to learn just what happened for their own motivation. Erin is the nurse that uses the drug on the survivor, she makes sure he stays alive through Lucas’s team’s investigation. Macdonald is the lone survivor of the shootout, only he has lost his memory, he wants to know the truth himself and will go along with Lucas and his team to learn the answers.

PerformancesSylvester Stallone is in this movie, but he barely does anything or has much screen time, he is a generic detective figure that just doesn’t get enough time to make any sort of impact on this film. The rest of the performances in the film have little to no impact on anything we are seeing and by the end you will feel flat by the performances.

StoryThe story follows the different groups that are trying to learn the location of the missing money after a robbery goes wrong and only witness has lost his memory. The story tries to put intertwine the different characters which is designed to try and make twists along the way, only for things to become overly reliant on these attempted twists. The concept could have worked, but in the end this story falls majorly flat because the characters are written so dully you simply can’t connect to anyone in the film.

CrimeThe crime side of the film seems to have everybody involved in the story either being a criminal or a crime fighter and we never know which side to trust either.

SettingsThe film follows our characters going back through a crime situation, which only feels tired on just what is needed.

Scene of the Movie –
Ummm pass.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The storytelling process.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull action crime film that doesn’t get the storytelling done well, making most of the film feel boring because we simply can’t connect to the characters.


Overall: Uninteresting.




The Boy Next Door (2015)

boyDirector: Rob Cohen

Writer: Barbara Curry (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth, Lexi Atkins, Hill Harper


Plot: A newly divorced woman falls for a younger man who has recently moved in across the street from her, but their torrid affair soon takes a dangerous turn.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fatal Attraction the DVD Sequel


Story: The Boy Next Door starts by showing the details of Claire (Lopez) and her divorce from Garrett (Corbett), she has been getting through it with her friend Vicky (Chenoweth) but to make thing difficult Claire wants to do the right thing for their son Kevin (Nelson). Claire meets her new neighbour Noah (Guzman) who offers to help around the house as he looks after his ill uncle.

Noah and Kevin start hanging out with Noah showing Kevin certain things mostly handy orientated. Noah wants to get back into school to learn about literature which just so happens to be the class that Claire teaches, this brings the two closer together. Claire is forced into going on a date for the first time in 18 years and things go terrible, leading to Claire to spend the night with Noah, where she regrets the moment she wakes up in the morning.

When Kevin returns we start to see a change in Noah as Noah starts to become obsessed with Claire. Things take a turn when Claire decides to let Garrett have another chance and try and work out their marriage. Noah starts his plan to get Claire by talking Kevin into resenting Garrett for living him for 9 months. We continue to learn about Noah’s past and we see just how disturbed he really is and how much danger Claire has put herself in.

The Boy Next Door is a film that follows the very simple guidelines for stalker obsessed films, everything comes off very standard. We have the let’s get friendly with the neighbour routine, the wildly drunken night, realization of the mistake before the friendly person turns out to be crazy. Now time for the problems, the son really isn’t going to be swayed by a conversation when he was already excited about his parents getting back together. I also feel that Noah’s character really didn’t have any idea what he wanted from Claire because he never explains about running off into the sunset or anything. I don’t expect this to go down as one of the better films of the year but I do feel like that casual fan will get enough entertainment out of it all. (5/10)


Actor Review


Jennifer Lopez: Claire Peterson separated wife, mother and teacher who spends the night with her new neighbour, but when she wants to give her husband another chance leading to her having to fight for her career and life from this obsessed boy. I was going to give Jennifer a good mark but the final act was just terrible from her she looked completely out of place. (3/10)


Ryan Guzman: Noah Sandborn the new neighbour who helps around the house before having a night with Claire. He turns obsessive when he gets told it was a mistake and Claire decides to give her husband another chance. Ryan does a solid job with his character and manages to play both sides nicely. (6/10)


Ian Nelson: Kevin Peterson son of Claire who becomes friends with Noah who then starts to get played by Noah into pushing the family apart. Ian does a solid job but does come off very annoying. (5/10)


John Corbett: Garrett Peterson the husband who is trying to make up for his mistakes and rebuild his family with Claire and Kevin. John does a solid job in the supporting role but never does have enough time on camera. (5/10)


Kristin Chenoweth: Vicky Lansing the vice principal and good friend of Claire’s who is trying to push her into dating but soon has to help her cover up for the mistake that Claire makes. Kristin gives a solid supporting performance. (6/10)


Support Cast: The Boy Next Door doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast with not many characters turn up in many other scenes.


Director Review: Rob Cohen – Rob does a solid job but the final act feels rushed and out of place for the whole film. (5/10)


Thriller: The Boy Next Door does give you the feeling of what will happen next but never pulls you fully in. (5/10)

Settings: The Boy Next Door uses very basic settings, the home, the school and well that seems to be it we have a few scenes here and there but they all work to make the film have the right location feel to it. (7/10)

Suggestion: The Boy Next Door is one to try, it does enough for the casual fan but it doesn’t stand up next to other thrillers. (Try It)


Best Part: Noah beats up the bully

Worst Part: Final act is rushed and escalates the story too fast.

What Could Have Been Better? – Better pacing.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Fatal Attraction


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $37 Million to date.

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: A moment she couldn’t resist, an obsession he can’t control.


Overall: The Boy Next Door really is a bog standard thriller that will easily be forgotten.

Rating 50