Logan Lucky

This film is as unique as it is creative. See it.

Logan LuckyThank the good Lord that Stephen Soderbergh has emerged from his self-imposed retirement. His Logan Lucky is a cinematic joyride from beginning to end, so do yourself a favor and hunt it down in a movie theater.

Taking place largely in West Virginia and North Carolina, the film centers on two brothers and a sister who are trying to overcome a rash of family bad luck. Channing Tatum gives his best performance to date as Jimmy Logan, a construction worker who can’t keep a job because of a limp caused by a previous leg injury. Brother Clyde, played by the talented Adam Driver, is a bartender who lost his left arm while serving in Iraq. Sister Mellie (Riley Keough in a breakout performance) simply wants to help her brothers find a bit of comfort and self-respect. Adding to Jimmy’s trauma is an ex-wife (Katie Holmes) who sees little need to help him fulfill his visitation obligations with their young daughter Sadie.

Seeking to resolve their financial problems, our brothers conjure up a plan to have a small crew rob the underground bank storing proceeds from the NASCAR race taking place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. On top of that, their goal is to get this done during the race itself.

This film is wildly inventive, and all of the actors will capture your attention as they play characters completely inconsistent with any of their prior performances. Yet while Tatum and Driver are memorable as West Virginians with a hillbilly edge, wait until you see the performance of Daniel Craig, who steals the entire movie.

Memorable in his prior roles as James Bond, here he plays Joe Bang, a southern boy who is an explosives expert doing time in prison. With his crewcut and impish smile, Craig escapes to join our team on an adventure where they all impersonate demented cousins of Robin Hood.

Additionally, Seth McFarland is blisteringly funny playing Max Chilblain, a NASCAR owner dripping with unmatched arrogance. Also, look for unforgettable performances from Jack Quaid and Brian Gleason who play Fish and Sam Bang, two reborn idiots who help with the heist. Finally, Hillary Swank will surprise you with her role as FBI Agent Sarah Grayson, a woman intent on finding out who actually pulled off the robbery.

There are two other roles that I should mention. The first is by Katherine Waterston, here playing Sylvia Harrison, an old high school classmate of Jimmy’s serving as a nurse in a vehicle designed to provide free medical services to the poor and destitute. And then there was Farrah Mackenzie, whose performance as Jimmy’s daughter will win you over in the same fashion that McKenna Grace did in her endearing role in this year’s Gifted. Wait until you see her singing John Denver’s “Country Roads” in a competition where she desperately hopes her father can attend. You all know that I cry easily in many films, but even you hard-nosed cynics will have trouble keeping your eyes dry during that scene.