Director Jodie Foster brings out one of George Clooney's best performances in years in this new thriller. Mr. Clooney plays Lee Gates, the host of a TV financial advice show, high on entertainment as well as stock tips. His director, Patty Flynn, is played by a very effective Julia Roberts.
What starts out as typical episode for them soon escalates into a tense hostage situation when a young man named Kyle ( Jack O'Connell) takes over the studio with a gun and an explosive packed vest. Ms. Foster balances comedic moments with real suspense as she brings together the puzzle pieces of a story more complicated than it seems.
Mr. Clooney completely disappears into his role and is generous sharing his screen time with Mr. O'Connell. Except for two short moments, Mr. Clooney and Ms. Roberts have no scenes together. Her character Patty spends most of her time talking into Lee's earpiece, keeping him focused while investigating Kyle's motivation for his desperate action. Mr O'Connell's Kyle is all blue collar and jitters as he stalks the TV studio with his finger on the detonator, demanding answers.
Co-starring is Giancarlo Esposito as the police captain in the street trying to avoid a violent end, Dominic West as the oily CEO of the company that lost all of Kyle's savings, and Caitriona Balfe as Mr. West's Communications Director. Also co-starring is Christopher Denham as a sorely put upon producer and Lenny Venito as a gutsy cameraman, both providing welcome comedy relief.
This fast paced thriller with a cautionary message is a safe investment of your time at the movies.