Friday Flicks: Will You Be Stoked by Stoker?

TIME breaks down which films to see and which to avoid this weekend.

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Ahn Young-joon / AP

Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, left, and South Korean director Park Chan-wook wave for photographers during a press conference to promote their latest film "Stoker" in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.


Tagline: You’ll never see it coming.

Cold War-era suspense thrillers don’t seem to go out of fashion and the makers of Phantom will be hoping that remains the case. Ed Harris plays the Soviet submarine captain Demi who, after leaving his daughter and wife, gets rushed into a classified mission where he’s just not haunted by his past but must avoid starting a global nuclear war. We wouldn’t want to assume too much about Demi, but we’re guessing he’s had better months.

Also along for the ride is David Duchovny’s rogue KGB agent, Bruni, and William Fichtner as Demi’s second-in-command, Alex. The press notes promise “a riveting deep-sea adventure about extraordinary men facing impossible choices.” But then again, they would, wouldn’t they?

But riveting doesn’t seem to be a word many critics are associating with Phantom. Instead, the Village Voice asks, “What is up with combinations of Ed Harris, water, and unbelievably hokey endings?” Variety points out that “if the intent was to lure American audiences into identification with the enemy, the result is neither sufficiently humanizing nor, more crucially, illuminating.” But Time Out New York puts its head above water to conclude that “it’s mano a mano in a tin can … Phantom is literate, tense and, thankfully, modest.”

Q&A: David Duchovny

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