Movie reviews: A Private War, The Knight Of Shadows


Rating: 4

This biopic revolves around the life and death of famed US war correspondent Marie Colvin, who died while reporting on the Syrian conflict in 2012. It captures the highlights of her high-flying yet harrowing career, even as it takes a toll on her mental and physical health.

Rosamund Pike's stellar lead performance brings Colvin's story to life as she realistically portrays an uninhibited and conflicted character who constantly plunges into dangerous conflict zones.

Running the gamut of emotions as both a journalist and a tormented individual battling her own personal demons, Pike has certainly outdone herself. She pulls off Colvin's complex personality so well, drawing us in to admire her tenacity while empathising with her personal struggles.

Much of the film focuses on Colvin covering the horrors of war, together with her photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan). It depicts the harsh realities of refugees in war-torn regions. Despite the straightforward plot that manages to tug at heartstrings, A Private War remains a worthy tribute to Colvin. - CHARMAINE SOH


Rating: 3.5

It's been years since Jackie Chan last appeared in a period flick, his latest foray being this fantasy martial arts comedy produced by Kiefer Liu, a pioneer of 3D in China.

The action superstar plays a demon hunter who tracks down evil forces in the human dimension, assisted by a lawman protege and a motley group of friendly monsters.

Chan oozes an easy, effortless, impish charm, reminding us why he remains a firm family favourite.

Opening here on Feb 5, just in time for Chinese New Year, Knight Of Shadows offers generous use of eye candy - Elane Zhong and Peng Lin as the beguiling demon 'sisters' and Ethan Juan as the anti-hero who risks it all in his attempt to restore his love's formerly human soul.

The characters are a zany bunch and the universe created is immense, but it is so well put together that you simply believe it.

While the pacing is a tad draggy, it is not intolerably so.

Bring some tissues, because the romantic finale where lovers Zhong and Juan finally unite - however cheesy - hits the emotional sweet spots. - JASMINE LIM