Directed by David Mamet (R)
A martial-arts teacher tries to retain his honorable ideals.
A fight movie by David Mamet? “It sounds like a jarring combination at first,” said Christy Lemire in the Associated Press. But Mamet and martial arts aren’t as incompatible as one would think. The filmmaker and playwright has always been preoccupied by masculinity and its public manifestations—here the writer’s verbal sparring matches have now become literal ones. In fact, the setting gives his philosophical wit a much-needed narrative spine, said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. By fastening his restless artistic invention to a conventional (albeit twisty) story arc, Mamet comes up with a “satisfying, unexpectedly involving B movie.” Mamet knows how to pick the right actors to make his distinctive dialogue work, said Kyle Smith in the New York Post. Chiwetel Ejiofor is terrific as Redbelt’s upstanding hero, while Emily Mortimer’s so good in her few scenes that you wish she had a few more. “This isn’t Mamet at his best, though, which leaves us with a script that is merely three times as smart as the average feature.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Hey, grammar nerds! Stop freaking out about 'alot.'
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
Subscribe to the Week