Capsule reviews of new movie releases
This film publicity image released by Disney shows Johnny Depp as Tonto, left, and Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger, in a scene from "The Lone Ranger." (AP Photo/Disney Enterprises, Inc.)
"Only God Forgives" — At one point in this cartoonishly dark revenge saga starring Ryan Gosling, a man is terrorized by having sharp chopstick-like blades rammed through both arms, then both legs. And the torture session's just getting going. By this point, alas, you've so thoroughly given up any hope of caring about these miserable characters that you're thinking less about what this poor guy is feeling, and more about what you're feeling, sitting there in your seat. As in, what time is it? As in, I'm thirsty. As in, I wonder what would feel worse, watching some more of this or actually being stabbed by sharp chopstick-like blades? There's a word for this feeling: boredom. And that's the biggest surprise and disappointment of this film by Nicolas Winding Refn, though some may take issue with the stylized violence, which also involves limbs being sliced off (albeit very quickly), and a scene involving a hand stuck into a bloody womb. On the plus side, Refn has created an evocative underworld in Bangkok — lonely, dark and tinged in a seductive neon red. But the movie's real saving grace can be summed up in three words: Kristin Scott Thomas. You may know her as regal and graceful and British (or sometimes French), but here, she is American, garish, profane, and very, very nasty. It's delicious to see this wonderful actress sink her teeth into something so off-type. And it's a shame that Gosling, a terrific actor, doesn't get to do more here. Mostly we just look at him as he, in turn, looks somewhere else, silently and stoically. He's nice to look at. But still. At the end, you'll be thinking of Thomas, whose exit is as splashy as her entrance. R for "strong bloody violence including grisly images, sexual content and language." 89 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.
—Jocelyn Noveck, AP National Writer