Split

Image: Blinding Edge Pictures

With M. Night Shyamalan at the helm, Split promises great things before the opening credits even begin. Most of what the trailer used to suck you in has already come into play by the 20-minute mark of this film. From that point forward, nearly everything is new.

Three teenage girls are abducted by Kevin (James McAvoy), a man whose body plays host to 23 completely separate personalities. While most of these personalities are harmless, there are some who foretell the rise of something terrible.

Split offered the opportunity of a lifetime for any actor wanting to test their mettle; and James McAvoy certainly played the role to its fullest extent. While there are 23 personalities living inside Kevin, the main focus throughout the film is on three of them, Patricia, Hedwig, and Dennis. The complete and utter difference between these characters is astounding. For the most part, the clothes McAvoy wears in any given scene tell the viewer which personality is in charge, but wardrobe isn’t the only thing that changes. Each personality has distinct voices, speech patterns and body language. While actors often change all these things to suit a role, its unusually for an actor to have to switch between them in a single movie.

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Gold

Image: Black Bear Pictures

2016 gave us some great based-on-true-event films, and 2017 looks set to continue that trend. Built loosely around the mining scandal that befell Bre-X in 1993, Gold brings adventure, crime, and suspense to the big screen once more.

Prospector Kenny Wells’ (Matthew McConaughey) business is just like his liquor, on the rocks. Having taken over his late father’s company, Wells has been unable to land a big contract and he grasps at his last available straw. Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) is a geologist living in Indonesia. When Acosta is approached by Wells to find the gold the geologist was once so sure exists beneath the jungle, a little persuasion is required. Soon enough, they’re off, obtaining funding (though only enough to scrape through by the skin of their teeth), workers, and core samples; but they find nothing. Just as all hope seems lost, what should appear? Gold.

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Image: Paramount Pictures

Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is back, and he’s just as hook on adrenaline as ever. The extreme sports junkie is called in to once again save the world as part of Augustus Gibbons’ (Samuel L. Jackson) xXx program.

As far as action movies go, xXx: Return of Xander Cage is everything people love, without brining anything new to the table. Stunts, explosions, girls in bikinis, and guys with no shirts. It’s all well and good, and if action movies like this are your thing then, by all means, check it out. In all, it’s very reminiscent of late 90s, early 00s action flicks with big explosions and little subtlety.

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