Since I’ve watched In The Earth, why not catch up with the last Wheatley feature I’m keen to watch. Warehouse deal of cash for rifles goes wrong when the hired help have history and start attacking each other. They’re uncontrollable, and violence escalates, and soon everyone’s been shot in the shoulder, then in the leg, and they spend the second half crawling around after each other. There’s a little bit of who’s-double-crossing-who and who’s-got-the-money and can-they-escape but mostly we’ve got an hourlong gunfight, which is something a director with real visual/editing flair could have a field day with. Wheatley isn’t that director, so I’m not clear why he’d make an all-action movie, but spatial sense is pretty good and the performances kept me awake.

Copley, shortly before getting set on fire:

Arms dealers are District 9 star Sharlto Copley in a blue suit, capable guy (a bad shot) Armie Hammer, tough ex-panther Babou Ceesay, temperamental flunky Jack Reynor.

The Buyers:

Michael Smiley and Cillian Murphy are buying, with Brie Larson, druggie fuckup Sam Riley. Also each group has another flunky whose name I didn’t catch, and three new guys appear but don’t live long enough to matter.

A LNKarno screening with Katy as special guest. This is the foster home drama that The Dissolve went nuts over. I wasn’t much in the mood to watch a movie about young counselors barely managing a house of angsty teens when it came out, but it’s better than the description sounds, mostly for all the terrific performances. Brie Larson is tops as an extremely capable counselor who becomes worried that the new girl (Kaitlyn Dever of this year’s Outside In) is being abused by her father, and having been in the same situation at that age, Brie loses her distant professionalism and goes into vigilante mode to rescue the girl. Also great: Brie’s very patient boyfriend John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane) and in his debut, Lakeith Stanfield as a doomed over-sensitive kid dreading his impending release into the real world. The plotting is a bit obvious – Mike D’Angelo uses the word “overwritten,” which is probably what I’m looking for. Cretton has made two other features, neither of which sounds good, but he’s supposed to be working on a Michael B. Jordan movie next.

“Ma” was kidnapped years ago, now has a young son Jack, and they live together in Room, which is actually a shack behind their kidnapper’s house. After setting up their relationship, the movie breaks them out of Room for the second half to see how Jack can adapt and how the parental relationship will fare and whether the media attention will turn Ma suicidal. Turns out Ma’s dad William Macy can’t handle the truth, but her mom Joan Allen and stepdad Tom McCamus are more understanding. Katy and I liked it a lot.

The director of Frank likes his titles short. Writer Emma Donoghue adapted her own novel. Kidnapper/rapist Sean Bridgers (that’s not a label he’ll want showing up in a google search) was in Deadwood and Rectify, started his career in the Nebraska-set Children of the Corn 2. Young Jacob Tremblay has two Naomi Watts movies filming. Brie Larson already got awards for Short Term 12, and unrecognizably played rival singer Envy Adams in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.