Offbeat Movies

I love movies that are quirky and well made and well acted. Here you will find reviews of movies you may not have heard of (I will try to avoid commercial successes, but some of them are good) that caught my attention because they are thought-provoking, have interesting story lines, unique characters, and good acting.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Hanna is a spy/action thriller with almost none of the usual spy movie tropes, but whether you like spy movies or not, it will keep you glued to your seat. Hanna is one of those movies that reaches out and grabs you by the throat and pulls you in right away.

There is plenty of action and adventure in Hanna, also exotic locales, villainous villains and oddball characters, form the self-punishing perfectionist who is hunting down the main character Hanna, to the retired clown who tries to help her out. The fleshing out of even minor characters is what gives this movie depth and weight.

There is no secret code and no doomsday device in this movie; the fate of the world (or the United States, or democracy) is not at risk. The only thing at risk is Hanna herself. And that is enough.

You will like Hanna. She is smart and earnest and resilient. She speaks several languages fluently and has a world of book-learning, but Hanna is not your typical James Bond: she is a naive 16-year-old girl. She has been raised in the remote northern European forests by her father with no outside contact. She has never had a friend.

And suddenly Hanna is plunged into the world, and into a dangerous mission that requires her to travel from the Sahara to Germany on foot, and without papers. Hanna has no weapons and no gadgetry; she even has to scavenge clothing. What Hanna does have is her wits, her skills and a steadfast sense of purpose.

Saoirse Ronan, who plays Hanna, beautifully balances Hanna’s character between a vulnerable and naive 16-year-old and a trained killer who can snap your neck with her bare hands. Hanna escaping from prison will have your heart racing; Hanna bonding with her new friend will melt it. This is a great movie if you are looking for strong female role models that are not cartoonish in abilities and proportions.

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