Plus: 'Young Ones,' 'Infinitely Polar Bear' and the terrible 'Low Down'
« Previous galleryZoe Saldana, Anna Kendrick and Dane DeHaan walk Sundance red carpet
Best: "The Raid 2"
We were excited about this one walking into the fest, but what Gareth Evans delivered to an excited crowd on Tuesday night was a huge jump forward for him as a storyteller and for martial arts movies in the 21st century. Evans is working in a familiar genre, but he's very much a cutting-edge modern filmmaker, the sum total of decades of action filmmaking all blended up into something new. The cast is on fire here, with Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian both getting better and better in the dramatic material, and Julie Estelle is an immediate action icon as Hammer Girl. While the film is incessantly violent, it is also a thrilling way of exploring the corruption of modern-day Indonesia, and the combination of the visceral kicks and the intriguing thematic structure make this much more than just another action ride.
- Drew McWeeny