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Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher is now available through Redbox and On Demand! Whether you missed it in theatres over the holidays or have been dying to see the movie again, now is your chance to see the hit thriller based on the novel One Shot by Lee Child. If you don’t have on Demand running at home you can get special sign up offers as

Jack Reacher is a pulpy, over-the-top action movie starring Tom Cruise and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the Oscar-winning writer of The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie, one of Tom Cruise’s best movies in recent years. McQuarrie and Cruise, combined with the character of Jack Reacher from the Lee Child novels, are a potent mix, and Jack Reacher is much more fun than it had any right to be.

The movie leaps into action right from the first scene, when an unknown man drives into a parking garage near the Pittsburgh Pirates stadium, pulls out a sniper rifle, and coldly and apparently randomly kills five people. He quickly flees the scene, but doesn’t cover his tracks very well: police soon pick up the man, James Barr, who used to be a sniper in the U.S. Army.

The case against Barr seems open and shut, but when police interrogate him, he has only one thing to say. He scribbles “Get Jack Reacher” on a notepad. This turns out to be much easier than anticipated. Reacher, a former member of the U.S. Military Police, is now a drifter and tough to find. But he hears about Barr on the news and shows up before the police even start looking for him.

With a little cajoling, Jack Reacher gets in touch with Barr’s lawyer and manages to get involved in the investigation. But his motives remain mysterious – especially after he reveals that he doesn’t want to clear Barr, who committed a similar killing spree in Iraq. But Reacher investigates anyway, and what he finds soon puts him in grave danger.

Jack Reacher stands out for more than just its intricately woven plot, which refreshingly combines the pace of a thriller with the suspense of a mystery. The villain particularly stands out because the character is played by Werner Herzog, a German auteur director, whose rare and compelling performance makes Jack Reacher a must-see even for film students who normally give action movies a pass. Robert Duvall adds his traditional class to the movie as well.

Cruise himself turns in a great performance. When he was first cast, die-hard fans of the Lee Child novels said he was too short. But what he lacks in height – not that you’ll notice – he makes up for in sheer size. Cruise bulked up for the movie, and it shows: his Jack Reacher is a very physically threatening, no-nonsense, ask-questions later type of hero. The Los Angeles Times even compared the character to a Knight of King Arthur’s Court. Because he loves justice and he loves fighting.

Jack Reacher, which is now available On Demand and at Redbox, has absolutely top-notch action scenes, most notably a wild and intense car chase that Cruise insisted on performing himself, instead of using a stunt double. It’s that kind of hard-nosed action that makes Jack Reacher stand out. It’s gritty and it’s pulpy and it doesn’t pull its punches. Neither does Jack Reacher.

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