The Exception (2019) Movie Review

The Exception – Twist Filled Thriller

Director: Jesper W Nielsen

Writer: Christian Torpe (Screenplay) Christian Jungersen (Novel)

Starring: Danica Curcic, Amanda Collin, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Lene Maria Christensen, Olaf Johannessen

Plot: Four women work together at a small NGO in Copenhagen that specialises in genocide. When two of them receive death threats, they suspect a Serbian war criminal; but then they start suspecting and turning against each other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Exception starts as we meet the four women Iben (Curcic), Malene (Collin), Anne-Lise (Knudsen) and Camilla (Christensen) who are working in Copenhagen on working exposing the truth behind genocides by the Serbian war criminals, with their latest work exposing Mirko Zigic (Veselko) one of the most violent of all.

When one of the women receives a death threat, the women soon start to turn on each other, when they are looking for the truth, before learning who is really behind the leak and who has the connection to everything.

Thoughts on The Exception

Characters & Performances – Iben is part of the team investigating genocide, she is the one that will remain in contact with all three other members of the team, no matter what is going on, making sure she doesn’t jump to conclusions, while having her own darker past about what she has been through while reporting. Malene is the closest friend to Iben, she starts to suspect one of the other women early on with her connection holding the truth. Anne-Lise is the one that will spend more time away from the rest, she starts to feel isolated and is considered a threat, even though she ends up uncovering the most about what is happening. Camilla is the fourth member of the team, she often just gets on with her work, while she knows more than she wants to let on. The four leading women are all wonderful to watch, showing the intensity they find themselves thrown into.

StoryThe story here follows four women that are working to expose a war criminal that committed genocide, when they find themselves fighting within, while learning the truth about their connections. This story does start by looking like a basic investigation into war criminals, it is interesting to see how they are looking for the truth, but when they start turning on each other, we are thrown into a web of twists that constantly keep us on edge, wondering what could be revealed next. By keeping us guessing we are left to try and piece together the truth in a way we wouldn’t expect to see coming.

ThemesThe Exception is a thriller that is filled with twists that will keep each character in a form of peril, as we don’t know the truth about who might be after them.

Final Thoughts The Exception is a tense thriller that will keep you guessing, with four wonderful lead performances.

The Exception will released across all major UK Digital Platforms on 22nd January including iTunesAppleTV, Sky Store, Google Play, Amazon, Virgin, Curzon Home Cinema & Chili (& BT on rental only from 1st Feb)


Trafficked (2017) Movie Review

Director: Will Wallace

Writer: Siddharth Kara (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Judd, Brian Thompson, Elisabeth Rohm, Sean Patrick Flanery, Anne Archer, Jason London, Courtney Gains

Plot: In this story inspired by real characters, three girls from America, Nigeria and India are trafficked through an elaborate global network and enslaved in a Texas brothel, and must together attempt a daring escape to reclaim their freedom.

Tagline – Last year slave traders made $100 billion.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opener

Story: Trafficked starts as we see how Amba (Banker), Mali (Obilom) and Sara (Washington) get taken from their different worlds and shopped around the world before finding themselves meeting in a Texas brothel.

Simon (Flanery) runs the brothel with the deal being 500 men and they can leave, the three learn to survive in this environment, hear the other victims stories, learning just how deadly the world is for everyone involved.

Thoughts on Trafficked

Characters – Sara was raised in a catholic school, reaching the age to leave, she is promised a bright life away where she could achieve great things, only she is tricked and taken to the Texas Brothel, forced into complying with the promise of freedom. Amba is from India looking to break away from the traditions and find herself dreaming of studying in America, she is taken after rejecting a marriage plan, passed around Europe before arriving in Texas. Mali is a Nigeran woman that has been in the brothel for a while, she takes the younger woman under her wing, trying to find a bright light to survive the situation. Simon runs the brothel, he is strict and doesn’t let the girls leave, he has his finger in nearly every pot, controlling everyone around him. We do meet many other people who arrange the deals around the world, along with many other victims who face a darker fate.

PerformancesThe performances from the three leads, Kelly Washington, Jessica Obilom and Alpa Banker are very strong showing how hopeless the situation feels for them, showing us just how bleak the future will be for them. We do have some big names like Sean Patrick Flanery and Ashley Judd, but they don’t take anything away from the three leading ladies.

StoryThe story here follows three victims from around the world, kidnapped and sold into the sex trafficking business who meet in a brothel, where they must learn how to survive, while waiting for any chance to escape. This is an eye opener to the cruelty and suffering experienced by women all over the world, we might only focus only three women who all get their own stories of how they ended up here and what it would mean to escape. How everything unfolds is similar to what we have seen before, offering little new to the overall story side of the film.

ThrillerWe are left on the edge of our seats with what might happen to the women, if they could escape or what would happen if they don’t follow instructions.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the Texas brothel, before hand we do get to see how the normal lives did get ripped apart from the young girls, showing how this is a global problem.

Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – That this is happening.

Final Thoughts This is an eye opening drama that shows us how profitable a business that abuses people around the world, with three young stars shining through the film.

Overall: Must Learn Movie.

Imperial Blue (2019) Movie Review

Imperial Blue – Culture Clashing Thriller

Director: Dan Moss

Writer: Dan Moss, David Cecil (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Fagerberg, Rehema Nanfuka, Esteri Tebandeke, Andrew Benon Kibuuka, Paul Dewdney

Plot: Hugo Winter a roguish American drug smuggler, travels to Uganda in an attempt to export a large amount of Bulu, a sacred herb that grants the user visions of their future. Upon arriving in Kampala, he soon discovers that his only means of achieving this is through two sisters with competing agendas, born-again Kisakye and rebellious Angela, who come from the remote village of Makaana where the Bulu is grown. As they lead Hugo deeper into the jungle and further into their web of deceit, it is unclear if his drug-addled prophecies are helping his quest or clouding his future.

Tagline – In Africa, the future lies

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Imperial Blue starts when drug addict and dealer Hugo Winter (Fagerberg) sees his latest deal get busted in India, leaving him with just one pouch of a mysterious new drug known as Bulu, after he takes it, he learns it sees into the future. Back in England, he needs to make up for losing the deal, offering the man he owes a chance to get Bulu, which means he will have to travel to Uganda.

In Uganda, Kisakye (Tebandeke) and Angela (Nanfuka) two sisters who have lost their home and gone separate ways meet Hugo, both offering him a chance to get Bulu, but this only sees him getting caught up n the middle of the bigger battle in the village, turning to the very product he wants to sale, to try and survive.

Thoughts on Imperial Blue

Characters & Performances – Hugo Winter is a drug addict and dealer, he travels the world to find his latest fix and deal, which sees him in India, almost getting busted and losing his latest deal, forcing him to return with nothing but a new powder, Bulu, a drug that shows him the future, in England he is not accepted around his son and forced to make up for losing the money a bigger dealer has lent him. Hugo continues his travels by going to Uganda in the search for more Bulu, something he believes will clear his debts, but here he will learn of a new level of violence and a new way of thinking, or he will face being left there with nothing to take home. Nicolas Fagerberg brings us this character and shows us just how his character’s life is spiralling out of control, isn’t afraid to put his foot in it and the worst possible time and has become reliant on the drugs. Kisakye is the born again Christian that is willing to help Hugo back at the village, she knows the money on offer could help her family have a home again, she does get closer than she thought to him, which does make thing more complicated for her beliefs and the battle to stop her sister making the mistakes in life. Angela is the rebellious sister that has mixed with the local gangs, finding her way towards drugs, she is drawn towards Hugo for her own gains, despite her sister trying to help her. Esther Tebandeke and Rehema Nanfuka are both wonderful in these two performances, showing both sides of the life they could have fallen on.

StoryImperial Blue has a story which follows a drug dealer & addict as he goes in search for a new drug to help pay off his own debts, one which will take him to Uganda, where he must learn a new culture if he has any chance of getting out with the drugs. When we look into the story of travelling somewhere new for drugs, it doesn’t offer much new of the desperate hunt for something new, but does put the highlight on the rising gangs within a developing country, showing how easily people can lose everything and only turn two ways, greed or poverty. Hugo’s side to the story does show us how the dealers and addicts will use whatever they want to get the upper hand on anyone who could help them make money.

ThemesImperial Blue does take us into a crime world, one which will move across three continents, from Asia, Europe and Africa, showing how the different people are drawn into the world and will end up making the mistakes once they are trapped in them. This does help use the settings to show how the characters operate in each of these different countries.

Final Thoughts Imperial Blue is a thriller that will show us just how the clashes of culture can only make the drug war more intense.

Alone (2020) Movie Review

Director: John Hyams

Writer: Mattias Olsson (Screenplay)

Starring: Jules Willcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald, Jonathan Rosenthal, Katie O’Grady

Plot: A recently widowed traveler is kidnapped by a cold blooded killer, only to escape into the wilderness where she is forced to battle against the elements as her pursuer closes in on her.

Tagline – What Are You Running From?
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Alone starts when Jessica (Willcox) is looking to leave the big city after the death of her partner, which will see her pack up a van and drive to her new destination, along the way she clashes with a slow driver known only as Man (Menchaca), which does start off harmless enough, until it becomes too often.

Jessica knows this man is dangerous and tries to escape, only to find herself abducted and locked away by the man, but she isn’t going to go down without a fight.

Thoughts on Alone

Characters – Jessica is moving away from her life after her husband’s death, she needs a fresh start, a new city and a new life, which will see her travelling across country. She finds herself bumping into the same car and man behind the wheel, who eventually abducts her, which will give her a chance a fight to survive. The man drives around looking for his victims, he has seen Jessica as his latest victim and has already planned the routine he wants to see his twisted game.

PerformancesJules Willcox does most of the work in this film, with her performance that you can see how down and out from what has happened and the determination to fight back and survive. Marc Menchaca does give us the creepy performance in the serial killer role too.

StoryThe story here follows a woman who is looking to start a new life after a personal tragedy, but on her journey, she finds herself being the latest victim of a serial killer. This is a cat-n-mouse type battle between victim and killer, which is broken up into chapters, this will play out how you would imagine, with the meeting, escape and alluding re-capture being the main parts of the story. The fact the story is chopped into chapters gives us the feeling, we are leading up to a moment before moving onto the next, which can make things a tad predictable at times.

ThrillerThis is a film that will keep us on the edge of our seats leading to the battle between the two.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the open road covered in woodlands, which will see the environment being used to the advantage of Jessica in her escape attempt.

Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The chapter breaks.

Final Thoughts Alone is a tense thriller that will play perfectly into the cat-n-mouse style movie, which with Jules Willcox shining through the film.

Signature Entertainment presents Alone on Digital HD from December 28th

Daniel – Coming to UK Digital HD from 18th January

Starring Toby Kebbell (Dead Man’s Shoes) and Ebsem Smed (Follow the Money),
Daniel is the shocking and harrowing real life story of Danish photographer Daniel Rye.
From Oscar nominated director Niels Arden Oplev (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and
the producer of TV’s Mr Robot.

Daniel, who was kidnapped by ISIS and held hostage in Syria for 398 days along with
23 other foreign nationals including the infamous and ill-fated journalist James Foley.
The film follows Daniel’s fight for survival and the alliance he formed with James before
his public execution which made global headlines in 2013.