As the Confucian proverb goes: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Unfortunately for Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively), she’s going to need more than two to get through this. Three years ago, her family was killed by a terrorist, and now she wants revenge. To get it, she’ll team up with an ex-MI6 agent (Jude Law) and a rogue intelligence agent from the CIA (Sterling K. Brown) to untangle a web of lies and deception, only to find herself entangled in something much deeper. Death begets death, lies beget lies, and no one comes out clean. Directed by noted cinematographer Reed Morano, The Rhythm Section, adapted from Mark Burnell’s novel of the same name, exists in the cinematic neighborhood down the street from the Bourne series but manages to find its own way some of the time. Some of the time, it doesn’t. And some of the time, it drags. Lively provides physicality to a role that offers little more than pained looks, Law brings a pleasant snarkiness, and the movie’s central car chase is a highlight. Streaming on DIRECTV, EPIX, Hulu, and Paramount+.

The above review first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly Vol. 27, No. 24, “The Rhythm Section.”