(15) 105mins

Director: Neil Burger

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anna Friel, Abbie Cornish

BRADLEY Cooper is building up quite a decent CV. What with the Hangover franchise, the A-Team and now this very good movie, he’s fast becoming an A-lister.

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Despite De Niro’s obvious on-screen charisma, this is Cooper’s movie and he positively shines.

A pat on the back to director Neil Burger (writer and director on The Illusionist) as well who has moulded this story into a quality film, with some very effective though seemingly simple ideas.

Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a man who has pretty much hit rock bottom. He has little personality, lives in near slum conditions and is using up an advance for a book, though he hasn’t actually written a word.

One day he meets his ex-wife’s brother who gives him a tablet - and his life suddenly changes.

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This drug allows him to use 100 per cent of his brain (as opposed to the 20 per cent we apparently only tap into).

Life becomes more colourful (literally - a nice touch from the director) and all kinds of possibilities open up. He also gets a decent haircut.

However, on the down side, some very unpleasant characters enter his life and the drug does have some rather unwanted side-effects.

The result is an excellent action thriller that rattles along at a good pace.

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Burger ensures there’s no lull, using some great camera techniques to keep the audience’s attention.

De Niro is on top form and there’s good support from Friel as Morra’s ex-missus and Cornish as his on/off girlfriend.

This is simply a quality movie that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

four (and a half) out of five

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley.

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