starring Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Evangeline Lilly, Greg Kinnear
written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki
by Walter Chaw Nicholas Jarecki's Crisis is a Stanley Kramer piece, a "means well," ripped-from-the-headlines message flick that hews closer to 3 Needles than to Traffic in terms of effectiveness and humility. In place of dialogue, there is exposition; and in place of performances, there are swollen forehead veins and trembling lower lips, aghast at the injustices of a cold universe. Crisis sheds "importance" from itself like dander from a stressed but beloved pet, and it's unseemly to come down too hard on it when its greatest crimes are that it is middlebrow in its politeness and really doesn't have much to say beyond what's already inherently obvious. It's possible to do stuff like this and make something like The Insider--that is, something powerful, artful, and transformative. More commonly, it turns out like Crisis has turned out: instantly forgettable and mildly embarrassing in the way of your hip dad trying to jam with you about the evils of the sticky icky. Oh, and use a condom, son.