-An occasionally beautiful story about time and the newest dramatic turn from Arnold.

The Sense of an Ending is a beautiful indie film about the ability of time to heal wounds, and the occasional blurred lines between friendship and romance among characters. Based on an award-winning book, the film features a really nice, subtle screenplay that respects the audience’s ability to interpret the information. Although I’ve only seen the movie once, I’d like to watch it a few more times to continue to unpack some of the various themes and twists contained in the narrative. Either way, it’s worth renting.

The story concerns a grouchy old man named Tony (Jim Broadbent), who receives a letter from an ex-girlfriend’s mother, stating that her son-in-law has bequeathed some valuable object to him upon his death. As Tony works around his negative relationship with his ex-wife (Harriet Walker) and support his adult-now-pregnant daughter (Michelle Dockery), he reminisces upon his previous connection to this family and why they would leave him a possession. Charlotte Rampling and Joe Alwyn co-star in limited appearances.

I don’t want to give away too much more of the plot, but just understand that unpacking the secrets behind this story is very rewarding, and every actor does a nice job, especially Jim Broadbent as Tony. The score can occasionally be overpowering, and the narrative occasionally too muddled to follow, but overall, this is a nice movie to rent, and I’d recommend checking it out.

The Sense of an Ending (2017)

Genre: Drama

Director: Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox)

Starring: Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Joe Alwyn, Freya Mavor, and Billy Howle

RT Score: 73%


It’s always tough to make a dramatic film off of real events, but the Ukranian plane crash that resulted in the death of dozens was a real event, and Aftermath tells the story of how it affects one man (Arnold) when his wife and daughter were on that plane. It also goes more into depth into the negligence of the air-traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) and how his mistake affects his life.

The film’s third act sinks any dramatic tension that is brought out in this gloomy indie drama. Although the first two acts feature some nice lead performances, the slow descent into more and more cliched territory, involving later family members in a rip-off of The Place Beyond the Pines moves us away from the pretty decent opening. Arnold has a really strong performance here, and it’d be nice if we could get him in larger dramatic roles.

This is a throw-away rental movie that is only watchable because of Arnold’s fingerprints all over its production. The script isn’t great, it’s clearly not directed all that well because of how the ending shapes up, but there’s enough from Arnold and McNairy to keep it from disaster territory. Instead, it will fade even further into obscurity.

Aftermath (2017)

Genre: Drama

Director: Elliot Lester (Blitz, Nightingale, Love is the Drug)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy, Maggie Grace, Hannah Ware, and Martin Donovan

RT Score: 38%