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The Best Action Movies of 2021 (So Far)

Boss Level

Release date: March 5
Cast: Frank Grillo, Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Michelle Yeoh 
Director: Joe Carnahan (The Grey)

Frank Grillo, a menacing scene-stealer in the MCU and a charming lead in scrappy thrillers like The Purge: Anarchy and Wheelman, has been underserved by the damaged modern action movie ecosystem. Boss Level, a brisk adventure that puts the buff actor in a Groundhog Day-like time loop trap where he fights off attackers and dies trying every day, is aware of Grillo’s throwback star power, a strand of grizzled tough-guy charisma, and filmmaker Joe Carnahan, working from a script he co-wrote with Chris and Eddie Borey, wraps his lead in self-aware ’80s and ’90s nostalgia. Despite the quasi-futuristic setting, the music, the cartoonish villains, and the video game references all recall an earlier era where an actor like Grillo might have shined. The supporting cast ranges from over-qualified (Naomi Watts, Michelle Yeoh) to head-scratching (Mel Gibson, Rob Gronkowski), but this is the Grillo show all the way, an often silly yet convincing argument for his skills.
Where to watch: Hulu (Watch the trailer)

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