Film Review: An Acceptable Loss

Writer-director Joe Chappelle’s An Acceptable Loss is an usually flat political thriller. Despite good performances and a decent premise, the film fails to engross viewers.

When Libby becomes a guest lecturer at a top university, there is controversy about her appointment. Libby was a former aide to the Vice President at the time of a controversial action. Meanwhile, a student takes an interest in her activities…

Written and directed by Joe Chappelle, An Acceptable Loss is a political thriller with a suitably intriguing hook. With a backdrop of US action in the Middle East, the film focuses on a fictional action that had dramatic effect on the region, US politics, and the protagonist herself. Chappelle holds back the full details of the action until much later in the film. The narrative unfolds with present-day activity interspersed with frequent, and sometimes lengthy, flashback sequences. This set up works reasonably well, keeping viewers guessing over exactly what happened at that pivotal time.

The main issue with An Acceptable Loss is that it lacks strong direction. Instead of intrigue or an increase in tension, the film is notably flat. Chappelle’s picture is neither smart enough to engross viewers with its political duplicity, nor action-packed to sufficiently propel momentum. The film does shift into action mode for its final act. Yet the narrative here feels less than convincing. The film does not seem to have much of a point to make regarding US foreign policy and military action. Coupled with the aforementioned lack of tension, it is an undesirable combination.

This is not to say that the film is without merit. The diverse cast is a definite positive. In the past, the two main roles would almost certainly have been played by men. Here both Tika Sumpter and Jamie Lee Curtis turn in great performances. Sumpter is convincing in an understated manner, whilst Curtis is at times frightening in her role. Ben Tavassoli provides good support.

An Acceptable Loss is needed more drive, and perhaps something to say, to be a good thriller. The performances only offer a part redemption.

An Acceptable Loss will be available on Digital Download from 15th July 2019.

Previews: Don’t Look Now Trailer, Ad Astra, More!

Plenty new and renewed in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Don’t Look Now trailer, Ad Astra, An Acceptable Loss, and more…

Don’t Look Now Trailer

Here is a brand new Don’t Look Now trailer. The 1973 classic gets a 4K Ultra HD restoration, which will play in cinemas from 5th July, and be available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Collector’s Edition from 29th July 2019. Directed by Nicholas Roeg, Don’t Look Now is an iconic thriller, and truly a must-see film.

Ad Astra Trailer

Here is the first trailer for the hotly anticipated Ad Astra. The film is about an astronaut who travels to the edge of the solar system to find his missing father and the project he was working on. Directed by James Gray (The Lost City of Z), the film stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ruth Negga. Ad Astra will hit UK screens on 18th September 2019.

An Acceptable Loss Trailer

An Acceptable Loss is a political thriller about Libby, a university lecturer who formerly worked as an aide for the US Vice President. When the Vice President becomes President, Libby worries about her safety. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter. An Acceptable Loss will be available on Digital Download from 15th July 2019.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Trailer

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a new horror based on the book series of the same name. Set in 1968 small-town America, the film is about a young girl who turns her horrible secrets into a series of scary stories, which are found by a group of teenagers. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is directed by André Øvredal and co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro. The film is released in UK cinemas in August 2019.

Le Mans ’66 Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Le Mans ’66 (known as Ford vs Ferrari in the US). The film is about the designer and race driver who built a revolutionary race car for Ford to take on the dominating race cars of Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966. Directed by James Mangold (Logan, Knight and Day), the film stars Christian Bale and Matt Damon. Le Mans ’66 launches on to UK screens on 8th November 2019.