"The Rhythm Section" (2020) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #57 Gem Mint 10.0


“The Rhythm Section“ (2020)

Director: Reed Morano

Writer: Mark Burnell (based on the novel by), Mark Burnell (screenplay by)

Starring: Blake Lively, Sterling K. Brown, Jude Law

Rated: R for violence, sexual content, language throughout, and some drug use

Runtime: 1h 49min

Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery


A woman seeks revenge against those who orchestrated a plane crash that killed her family.


You might like this if you like: Blake Lively, Sterling K. Brown, Jude Law, action movies, female action films, assassin movies, spy movies, "James Bond" franchise, "John Wick" franchise, the "Jason Bourne" franchise


Blake Lively in "The Rhythm Section" (2019)


I was excited about this film because I’m a huge fan of Blake Lively and Jude Law (literally autocorrected to Slaw, sorry just made me laugh). I hadn’t associated Blake Lively as an action star but when I saw the trailer I was so excited! It looked like a deserving action film for her to ‘premiere’ in and establish that she can do this.


I got everything I wanted when finally watching the movie. Blake Lively holds the whole thing together and Jude Slaw (I’m going with it 😎) was in a smaller role than what the trailer made it out to be which was fine I just could always use an extra side of Slaw. Sterling K. Brown also did a really good job but the film is really there to support Lively's character which I'm all for.


Blake Lively (left) & Jude Law (right) in "The Rhythm Section" (2019)


It’s a pretty dark story, exploring the underground world of prostitution and crime, that feels like a grittier "James Bond" thriller with a female lead (only realizing later it was produced by the people who did 'Bond'). Certainly not ‘techy’ like 'Bond' is but still delivers that quality, suspense and action you might get from one of the 'Bond' films. I thought of “John Wick” as well as it has some of the action quality the “Wick” films were famous for.


Sterling K. Brown (left) & Blake Lively (right) in "The Rhythm Section" (2019)


One thing that surprised that I wasn’t expecting was the original score by Steve Mazzaro was absolutely superb! Some nice classics in there too but I fell in love with the score. Added such a unique layer I wasn’t expecting in an action thriller like this but was so perfect and helped it stand out for me. The soundtrack and mixing were outstanding too! Music and the way they used the music was one of my favorite elements of the film.


On top of the music I thought the cinematography was beautiful and subtle. The color pallet felt earthy and I especially loved the locations they went to. It had a look that felt different from most action films I’m used to. The composition, the anamorphic lenses for some reason stood out to me in this which I almost never notice but I really liked it. I’d shoot a thriller like this one for sure.


Blake Lively in "The Rhythm Section" (2019)


So if you’re looking for a great female led action thriller check this one out. Blake Lively is terrific! Music was standout! One of my favorite action thrillers in the past few years! Wish more people saw this one I was bummed to see it didn’t do as well as I’d hoped.


Written by Sam Gall on 09/26/20


CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0


"A refreshing and thrilling clandestine revenge piece that can definitely hang with Nikita and Hanna, even when its steps are often marked with dissonances." - Nguyen Le, InSession Film


"Reed Morano gives the action scenes a real sense of sweat and adrenaline, including a terrific, white-knuckle car chase through the streets of Tangier that we witness entirely through Lively's blurry panic." - Jason Best, Marie Claire


"This low-key but top-drawer take on the spy thriller genre features Blake Lively in her boldest and best film role to date." - Christopher Lloyd, The Film Yap


"The protagonist's arc is credible, because she doesn't turn into an action hero overnight." - Andrea G. Bermejo, Cinemania (Spain)


"The story feels muddled but Blake Lively shines as Stephanie, a believably messy heroine who's never quite ready. It's because of this that the fight sequences work so well: urgent, frenzied, sometimes flailing." - Sarah Cartland, Caution Spoilers


"Blake Lively delivers an absolutely fearless performance which is only stuttered by the occasional dip from her character's English accent. Reed Morano delivers impressively slick direction for the film throughout." - Spencer Perry, ComicBook.com


"It's Lively's movie, and it's she who kicks this superior thriller up an extra notch, to the point that it's not only worth seeing for the excitement and thrills, but for her." - Mike LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


Official Trailer:

2nd Trailer (also really good):


Available to watch on various VOD sites


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