Edge of Darkness
For much of his career, Mel Gibson has played both reluctant and enthusiastic heroes righteously battling corruption ( Lethal Weapon), oppression ( The Patriot, Braveheart), injustice ( Payback, Ransom) and disinformation ( Conspiracy Theory). In Edge of Darkness, he's up against a little of each. He plays Thomas Craven, a humble Boston police detective and single father to a 24-year-old daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic). When Emma comes home for a visit, she's abruptly and mysteriously killed. Grief-stricken, Dad coldly sets out like a discharged bullet to find the killer, a journey that leads him into a complex web of corporate and political cover-ups. There's undeniable catharsis -- albeit an ugly, somewhat unsettling kind -- in Edge of Darkness. And there is value to films -- B-movies like Shooter, with Mark Wahlberg, or more manicured ones like Clint Eastwood's Changeling -- that inspire resistance in the face of well-heeled subterfuge. Some might reasonably swear off films that star Gibson, but there aren't a lot of actors making movies that try to bring urgent, contemporary rage to popcorn movies.
Daybreakers is a stylish but unavoidably silly sci-fi thriller about a group of vampires racing to develop an alternative blood supply. German co-directors the Spierig brothers dazzle us with the inventiveness of this post-human world, but this is one genre where supply has utterly overwhelmed demand.