4/17/17 Movie Monday: James McAvoy Thrillers

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Welcome to DMM’s 4/17/17 Movie Monday, where I’ll help you tackle movie night with brief reviews of movies and videos you may have missed that are worth the rental or purchase. This week, I’m featuring James McAvoy thrillers.


Thriller Night


McAvoy is probably best known for his role as Dr. Xavier in the X-Men franchise, but he’s got a fairly lengthy resume outside of those films. Here are three thrillers where he stars, and really shows off some impressive acting chops.



Split (R)
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate the others.

Of the 23 identities inside his character’s head, McAvoy primarily portrays five: Barry, Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig and The Beast. These five are vastly different from one another, and McAvoy plays every one of them, from a nine year old boy with a speech impediment to a proper, uppercrust British lady, equally believably. While this is a serial killer type thriller, there’s not a lot of gore; really just glances. It’s much more of a psychological thriller, not just in the sense that the main character has Dissociative Identity Disorder, but in that one of the three intended victims has some psychological trauma of her own that’s compared and contrasted with the killer’s in interesting ways.


Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein (PG-13)
In their attempts to aid humanity, Dr. Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and his assistant Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) create a monster that holds unimaginable terror for anyone in its path!

This take gives us far more backstory on Frankenstein’s assistant Igor than you’ve probably ever known about, and in a way puts him as much center-stage as the eponymous doctor. As for Frankenstein, McAvoy plays him as a man obsessed and driven by ambition as much as by any desire to improve the human condition. The plot is a little all over the place, as it incorporates a murder mystery, some class intrigue and a romance, and I’ll admit it goes somewhat off the rails at times. However, any fan of historical fiction set in Edwardian or Victorian times will enjoy the lush production design, costumes and sets. The performances of Radcliffe and McAvoy are worth the watch as well.



Wanted (R)
James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie star in Wanted, a turbo-charged thrill ride critics are calling the most visually inventive, trailblazing action film of its kind.

A great cast and some amazing visual effects elevate this movie above the typical action-thriller. This is one of those where a secret society of super agents co-exists right alongside us ordinary people, taking out baddies we never even knew were there, with an arsenal of amazing weapons and some amazing, borderline supernatural skills.


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