Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kaitlyn Bernard, Brenna Llewellyn, Brenna Coates, Keilani Elizabeth Rose, Jasmine Randhawa, Carly Fawcett, Natalie Malaika, Aleks Paunovic, Lochlyn Munro, Dylan Playfair, Tahmoh Penikett, Loretta Walsh, Elysia Rotaru, Jerry Trimble, Michael Eklund
Written by: Courtney Paige, Erin Hazlehurst, Madison Smith, based on a story by Courtney Paige
Directed by: Courtney Paige
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 96
Date: 02/19/2021

The Sinners (2021)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Sin Fizz

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Loosely playing around with themes of piousness and intolerance, the horror-thriller The Sinners is so busy and cluttered that it becomes more of a confusing slog than anything either entertaining or biting.

It begins as Aubrey (Brenna Llewellyn) narrates her story from beyond the grave. In their small, strictly religious town, she and her six high school friends decide to call themselves the Seven Deadly Sins. Aubrey is "pride," Katie (Keilani Elizabeth Rose) is "greed," Stacey (Jasmine Randhawa) is "envy," Robyn (Natalie Malaika) is "sloth," Molly (Carly Fawcett) is "gluttony," Tori (Brenna Coates) is "wrath," and Grace (Kaitlyn Bernard) — the leader — is "lust."

When the group discovers that Aubrey is keeping a journal full of their darkest secrets, they decide to teach her a lesson. Their revenge backfires when Aubrey disappears. And soon, the other girls begin to disappear, one by one, as well.

Originally called The Color Rose, the now-titled The Sinners tries to establish the mood of its small town through Grace's father, the local pastor (Tahmoh Penikett) who always looks coiled and angry enough to chew nails. Family dinners are infernos of unreleased tension. Aubrey is also one of the most deeply pious in the story, saying things like "homosexuality is a sin." But if the opposite of this intolerance is sin, then the movie doesn't seem to know how it feels about its band of seven, either.

Sometimes they appear like the heroes of the story, and other times, they are punished for their transgressions. It doesn't help that The Sinners keeps introducing more and more characters, and that not everyone in the crowded cast actually has a purpose. An exasperating sequence has two abrasive big-city cops showing up to "aid" the local sheriff (Aleks Paunovic), relentlessly picking on him; it seems to have been an attempt to illustrate the sheriff's backstory, which is totally unnecessary. Additionally, the movie is frequently too dark, or choppily edited, and it's easy to get characters confused.

In short, this Sinners isn't exactly a winner.{subid}&url=hitlist.asp?searchfield=marvel
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