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Armie Hammer gets a solo showcase in “Mine”

It always seems like Armie Hammer is just inches away from becoming a real A list actor. He is a definite talent, one continually on the rise. It’s just a matter of getting parts befitting that rising star. This week, Hammer has a role to really sink his teeth into with Mine, an almost one man show. It’s probably the best part he’s found since his big breakthrough in The Social Network. This won’t be nearly as big a deal, but it’s a similarly good showcase for his skills. If he keeps this up, some real awards attention will eventually come his way. As you’ll see below, this might even end up being his year…

The film is a small scale war tale, closer to a psychological thriller than an epic. For Sargent Mike Stevens (Hammer), a Marine sniper, the dangers are aplenty. There are over 30 million blast mines scattered throughout the desert, terrorist cells, and his own fracturing psyche. In the midst of a week long assassination mission, Mike hesitates and compromises the operation. To make matters worse, he ends up with his foot stuck on top of an active mine while trying to escape the chaos. Now, without any food or water, Mike must literally stay glued to the spot and use every ounce of his Marine training, his intelligence, his, resourcefulness, and his will to lives until a rescue convoy arrives in his area. The next two and a half days will be a battle not just against the elements, but against his mind as well. Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro co-write as well as co-direct here. In addition to Hammer, the small cast includes Tom Cullen, Annabelle Wallis, and more.

What works here is Hammer, who is solidly captivating throughout. Often alone on the screen, he has to keep your attention, which he’s able to do with ease. Guaglione and Resinaro work in as much style as possible, though the less they do and the more they let Hammer provide, the better here. It’s a strong enough performance to hang the whole movie on. If there’s shortcomings, it’s when the filmmaking duo tries to do too much. Less is more here. Just put the camera on Hammer and let him do his thing. When they do that, Mine is on pretty solid footing, no pun intended.

Here now are Hammer’s five best performances to date:

1. The Social Network
2. Mine
3. J. Edgar
4. The Birth of a Nation
5. Nocturnal Animals

Hammer will also be seen later on this month in Free Fire and later on this year in awards hopeful Call Me By Your Name. The former is apparently just fun, but the latter met with some acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The man who once was cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman in George Miller’s aborted Justice League film could potentially end up in play for Oscar attention later on in 2017. We shall see. Just don’t sleep on him. Hammer is too talented for that, even if his career is really only beginning to take off now.

Starting on Friday, audiences with some dedication can see Hammer in Mine, which is probably his best showcase so far. He owns the screen, whetting your appetite for what will come next. There’s the aforementioned Free Fire in a few weeks and Call Me By Your Name in a few months, but beyond that as well. His star will shine brighter than ever by this time next year, mark my words. Hammer is more than a one trick pony, showcasing skills that will impress anyone who gives this war flick a shot. Mine isn’t perfect, but the best part is Hammer, who more than makes this a worthwhile endeavor. Take a look and see what you think…

Be sure to check out Mine, in theaters on a limited basis beginning this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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