Review: Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman, 2014)

Edge of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise as a soldier who gets caught in a time loop and finds himself living the same day over and over again. This gives much of the film a feeling of déjà vu, which is only fitting, since many elements in this film are reminiscent of other movies, from the battle scenes of Saving Private Ryan and Starship Troopers to the mechanical suits of Iron Man and Aliens and the endless time loops in Groundhog Day and Source Code. You might spend much of this new film thinking that you’ve seen it all before.

Indeed, Tom Cruise has been in the movie-star business for so long that his latest film feels at times like a callback to earlier Tom Cruise movies. Even the fact that it’s a bit of a pastiche seems like a replay of earlier pastiches, not least because Edge of Tomorrow is the second consecutive film of his — following last year’s Oblivion, which borrowed from many other films itself — in which the Earth is attacked by aliens and Cruise becomes the only man who can do anything about it.

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Review: Jumper (dir. Doug Liman, 2008)

When you think about it, teleportation is a natural subject for the movies. You could even say that filmmakers do it all the time, already: in a typical film, when, say, a character walks out the door, it is often the case that the shot inside the house, of the person walking to his or her exit, was filmed on a soundstage, while the shot outside the house, of that same person stepping onto the sidewalk, might very well have been filmed in another city, or even another country. But these images are generally edited together so seamlessly that you don’t have time to notice.

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Review: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (dir. Doug Liman, 2005)

First, for the handful of obsessive film buffs out there who never read the tabloids, Mr. & Mrs. Smith has nothing to do with the 1940s screwball comedy of that name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Instead, it is a curious hybrid of action movie and domestic comedy that stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as professional assassins who are married to each other but have kept their jobs secret from one another. Each spouse has all sorts of gadgets and weapons hidden around the house, and each assumes the other has a regular, boring job. And perhaps, in trying to live up to their suburban disguise, they have let things become too boring.

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