Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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The Sandman by Lars Kepler

When 23 year-old Mikael is found wandering in the countryside outside of Stockholm, it comes as a shock to many. Mikael and his sister Felicia have been missing for 13 years, and were thought to be the victims of serial killer Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence inside a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive, and that they were being held by The Sandman, but he’s unable to give them any details about their captor, or the location.

13 years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna sacrificed everything to try to catch Jurek, always certain that he had an accomplice. Now, it becomes imperative to get Jurek to talk as time runs out for Felicia. Joona brings in the only officer he trusts to be able to infiltrate the hospital, and be able to stand up to Jurek’s mind games – Saga Bauer. Saga will have to go deep undercover in the psychiatric facility where Jurek is being held, and she’ll have to get to him before he gets to her.

To label this book as a “thriller” is an understatement. It is a never ending roller coaster ride of non-stop twisty action that never lets up, even at its conclusion. Even if you’re not a fan Swedish crime fiction, definitely put this one on your TBR list!



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Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri

Mildred (Frances McDormand) lost her daughter seven months ago. She was raped and murdered and her killer has not been found. Mildred feels like the sheriff and his department have stopped investigating. Mildred decides to rent the three billboards just outside of town and write the sheriff a message. Needless to say the sheriff is not happy. He and his fellow deputy try to convince her to take them down. But Mildred can’t be swayed. She will do whatever it takes to find her daughter’s murderer.

I really enjoyed this movie and the performances. Wasn’t a big fan of the ending but overall it was good. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell both won Academy Awards for their performances in this movie. Also starring, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and Abbie Cornish. Rated R

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Logan Lucky

When Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is fired from his job, he convinces his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and brother Clyde (Adam Driver) to help him rob the motor speedway during a NASCAR race. Although he’s convinced that the race track will be easy pickings, they’re going to need some help. The catch: besides the Logan family curse to contend with, the best safe cracker around (Daniel Craig) is currently doing time, and the two locals that he’s recommended may or may not be up for the job.

A great ensemble cast, fast paced action, and well placed humor make this movie a lot of fun to watch. Also featuring: Katie Holmes, Seth McFarlane, Jim O’Heir, Dwight Yoakum, and Hilary Swank. Rated PG-13

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Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) is a lifeguard. He doesn’t just sit on the beach tanning all day. He saves lives and solves crimes with the help of CJ (Kelly Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera), his fellow lifeguards. They have three spots open on the team and Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron) thinks he has the spot without trying out. Mitch soon puts him in his place. He does end up making the team along with Ronnie (Jon Bass) and Summer (Alexandra Daddario). They soon stumble upon drugs and dead bodies. It all leads to the new resort owner, Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra). Will they be able to find the evidence before it is too late?

This wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I mean it wasn’t great but I love Dwayne Johnson so I could handle watching this movie. It did hold my attention and there was some good action. Rated R

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It takes so many people to make a movie and that’s what surprises me most about Bloodrunners, that no one said “this movie is bad and we should not make it”. However, it was still made and I watched the whole thing. The story takes place during prohibition and involves a crooked police department that shakes down local bars for bribe money. Things go awry when a new bar owned by ICE-T (aww yeah) pays the bribe but continues to run booze without the cops knowing. This leads to a standoff at which point we discover they’re not running booze but BLOOD! That’s right, ICE-T is also a vampire. Now the crooked cops have to fight the vamps and choose a “cathouse” for a base of operations. There’s also convoluted back story involving vamps in WWI, one of the cops got the local madame preggers before going to the war, and a gay man runs the entire operation as a front because a black man in charge would’ve been too crazy for the 30’s but apparently a gay man was totally fine??

My final take? I friggin’ loved this movie. It was so laughably terrible that it came back around to being good again. There was so much dialogue and exposition that I’m sure every rule of film school was broken. 4/5 stars.

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Free Fire

It is Boston 1978 and a gun deal is about to go down. In a warehouse two groups of people meet to make the exchange. Everything is going smoothly and is almost complete when two of the guys get into a fight and a gun is fired. Soon everyone is taking cover and shooting at each other. It soon becomes clear that there is a double cross in play. Who is going to make it out of this warehouse alive?

I didn’t know what to expect going into this movie but I was pleasantly surprised. It had action, some humor, and a twist. If you are in the mood for those things, then I recommend this movie. Starring, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, and Sharlto Copley. Rated R

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Manhattan Night

Porter Wren (Adrien Brody) is a newspaper man. He is stilling riding the high of finding a missing girl. With newspaper a dying art, he needs to stay relevant. He meets Caroline Crawley (Yvonne Strahovski), a wealthy, beautiful widow, who wants Wren to investigate her husband’s death. Wren becomes intrigued, not with just the case but also Caroline. He is soon sucked into the bizarre mystery that not only affects Caroline but soon is affecting Wren’s home life. Will he be able to solve this crime before he meets the same fate?

This was actually a pretty good mystery. You never really knew what was going to happen but when you do it was a little shocking.  Also starring, Campbell Scott and Jennifer Beals. Rated R