Kurt Loder Reviews Contraband and We Need to Talk About Kevin

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Contraband wastes considerable energy, and several likable performers, including Mark Wahlberg, in taking us to a place we've visited far too many times before. Although the story concerns drug-smuggling, and is set in New Orleans and at the Panama Canal, writes Kurt Loder, this is a by-the-numbers heist flick of such predictability that at several points you wonder why it's even unfolding.

We Need to Talk About Kevin, on the other hand, writes Loder, considers the dark question of where monsters come from. The movie is arctic in its emotional tone, with a carefully reined-in pace; and while it nods lightly in the direction of the old nature-versus-nurture debate, it settles firmly on the side of nature, demonstrating that sometimes evil just is.

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