|Directed by||Vaughn Stein|
|Written by||Vaughn Stein|
Terminal is a 2018 neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Vaughn Stein. The film stars Margot Robbie alongside an ensemble cast, featuring Simon Pegg, Dexter Fletcher, Max Irons, and Mike Myers. The plot follows the intertwining lives of two assassins, a fatally ill teacher, a custodian, and a waitress, all of whom become part of a murderous plan.
The film is an international co-production between Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Hong Kong, and the United States. Principal photography took place in Budapest, Hungary during May 2016.
Terminal was released in North America on 11 May 2018, by RLJE Films. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on 26 June 2018 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of the American Dreams Strand. It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 6 July 2018 by Arrow Films. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized the plot, narrative, pacing, and direction, though some praised Robbie's performance and the visual style. It was also a box office bomb, grossing a mere $843,970.
A young woman meets a mysterious employer in a confession booth and implores him to employ her as his sole contract killer. To prove her worth, she offers to eliminate his other contractors. In exchange for her efforts, she asks if he can find someone for her. Bill is standing on a deserted train platform and is told by a limping janitor that no trains will be coming until 4:04 in the morning. The janitor suggests he wait in the 24-hour cafe. There, he converses with Annie, a waitress, who notices that he has a terminal disease, and is suicidal. She discusses various ways he can kill himself.
The story shifts to three weeks earlier; Illing, a hitman, is captured by Annie, who is posing as a prostitute. He awakes to find himself handcuffed to a bed before Annie incapacitates and kills him.
Mr. Franklyn, the employer, calls his two hitmen - Vince and Alfred - and orders them to pick up a briefcase from the lockers at the terminal. They take it to the cafe and find a pack of matches and an envelope of money. They wonder why Mr. Franklyn has called on them, and not Illing. The match pack is from a strip joint, where they find a dancer resembling the waitress Annie from earlier. She takes the envelope of money as payment for passing on information about the hit Mr. Franklyn wants them to do. She comes on strong to Alfred but is dismissive of Vince. The hitmen are told to wait in an apartment and to shoot a person in the window opposite when told. Vince is also secretly told via a phone call to then kill Alfred. The waitress tells Alfred that Vince will try to kill him, so Alfred should kill Vince once the hit is completed. Mr. Franklyn watches from his lair, with monitors displaying camera footage of the cafe and the hitmen's hideout.
Back at the train terminal, the waitress takes Bill to an abandoned air shaft and tries to talk him into committing suicide. Although he described throwing himself down a deep, dark hole as his final act, he cannot jump. The waitress teases him, and Bill tells the waitress that she is a "naughty girl". This triggers a memory from his days as a school teacher, where he had two girls in his class that he abused. The waitress reveals that she is one of those girls, and then she stabs Bill in the neck with his pen and pushes him down the shaft. Meanwhile, Mr. Franklyn calls the hitmen's apartment and says that they should be ready to take the shot. Vince trains his sniper's rifle at the window across the courtyard but is surprised to find Annie in his crosshairs. Alfred pulls his gun on Vince and disarms him. Annie comes over and Alfred shoots Vince. Alfred and Annie leave the apartment and run into the janitor, who is arriving to clean up the murder scene.
Back in the terminal, the waitress turns on Alfred, tells him that she is not infatuated with him, and shoots him dead. The janitor comes along to clean up the body. The waitress decides to help the janitor take the bodies to the top of the air shaft and drop them both into it. The janitor returns to the terminal and enters the janitor's closet, which is actually Mr. Franklyn's control center. He is revealed to be Mr. Franklyn in disguise, removing his prosthetic bad teeth and fake latex skin. He stops limping and walks normally. There are dozens of attaché cases lined up for future jobs. As he leaves his "closet", he is accosted by the waitress and her doppelgänger, revealed to be a set of twins, Annie and Bonnie.
The twins tie up Mr. Franklyn and describe how their mother died. She was being pursued by her partner, revealed to be Mr. Franklyn - a.k.a. Clinton Sharp - after she witnessed him murder someone and ran back to her flat to protect her twin girls. Mr. Franklyn poured gasoline in her home, and set it on fire. The mother had time to push the girls out a broken window, but could not save herself. After that, the twins spent the rest of their childhood in an orphanage being molested by Bill. The twins tell Mr. Franklyn that he is their biological father and they are ready to exact their revenge. Despite Mr. Franklyn's pleas for mercy, the twins lobotomize him, finally kill him, then walk out of the terminal together.
On 12 February 2016, it was announced that Margot Robbie would headline and produce a "noir thriller" written and directed by Vaughn Stein, through her production company LuckyChap Entertainment.Highland Film Group would be handling finance and introducing the project to international buyers in Berlin. Creative Artists Agency would handle domestic distribution sales in the United States. David Barron of Beagle Pug Films was also attached to the project as a producer. On 24 May 2016, Simon Pegg, Mike Myers, Max Irons and Dexter Fletcher joined the cast alongside Robbie. This film marks Mike Myers's first non-documentary film since 2012.
Principal photography on the film began in May 2016 in Budapest, Hungary, and lasted over the course of 27 nights.By September 2016, post production was near completion and a rough cut was screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival for potential international buyers.
Highland Film Group attended the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for selling distribution rights for the film. On 24 January 2018, RLJE Films acquired distribution rights in the United States.Initially, in September 2016, Icon Film Distribution acquired distribution rights for the United Kingdom and Ireland. However, in February 2018, Arrow Films overtook distribution rights.
Terminal received a limited theatrical release and was simultaneously released through video on demand in the United States on 11 May 2018 by RLJE Films.The film premiered in the United Kingdom on 26 June 2018 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of the American Dreams Strand. It was released theatrically in limited theatres in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 6 July 2018 by Arrow Films. On 9 September 2016, the first official image of the film was released at the Toronto International Film Festival, featuring Robbie in character. The film was released "unrated" in the United States by the Motion Picture Association of America. In the United Kingdom, it received a 15 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification for "strong language, violence, suicide references, threat". In Ireland, the film was given a 16 certificate by the Irish Film Classification Office for "strong violence, injury and language, and suicide theme".
The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the United States on 26 June 2018 by RLJ Entertainment.It was released on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On Demand in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 6 August 2018 by Arrow Video.
Terminal received generally negative reviews from critics, with many criticising the plot, pacing, direction and narrative, though Robbie's performance and the film's visual style and production values received praise. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 21% based on 68 reviews, and an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Worth seeking out for only the most hardcore of Margot Robbie completists, Terminal lives down to the medical definition of its title in dreadfully derivative fashion." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 27 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Rolling Stone 's Peter Travers panned the film, awarding zero stars, stating, "The title of this wretched Tarantino-meets- Blade Runner noir rip-off doubles as a diagnosis". Rex Reed of the New York Observer also awarded zero stars, calling the film "a turgid, pretentious, and incomprehensible existential joke." David Edelstein of Vulture gave a negative review, criticising the plot's focus, saying, "since the film doesn't establish a baseline of reality, it's hard to pick out a premise." David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a D, writing, "Vaughn Stein's Terminal takes a mess of dead tropes and Frankensteins them together into a crime saga that's in desperate need of brains. And a soul. And a story." Jacob Knight of Birth.Movies.Death. heavily criticised Stein's direction and wrote, "no amount of pretty pictures could save a script this abysmally written. Stein has penned scene after scene after scene of nasty people talking circles around one another, no character defined by anything beyond their comic book-ready aesthetic." Jeffrey M. Anderson of The San Francisco Examiner awarded the film two and a half stars out of four, describing the film as "mediocre", though praising Robbie's performance, writing, "Robbie is a bright one, and even though Terminal isn't much, it offers a chance to watch her shine." Clint Worthington of Consequence of Sound heavily criticised Stein's direction, calling the film a "waste of time" and "An entirely empty exercise in dated, exhausting hyper-stylized filmmaking."
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, awarding three out of four stars, writing, "The final 15 minutes or so of Terminal are flat-out nutso. One can imagine Robbie, Myers et al., breaking into laughter after hearing "Cut!" — not out of disrespect for the material, but out of sheer giddiness for having the opportunity to try something so audacious. Even when it doesn't work, Terminal is a film with never a dull moment."Kenneth Seward Jr. of IGN gave a mostly positive review, scoring the film a 7.5 out of 10, indicating it is "Good", stating, "Terminal is an interesting revenge story that mostly works. There are a few missteps, namely a few wasted characters and a straight forward plot made needlessly complicated. Still, Vaughn Stein should be pleased with what's here." Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave a highly positive review, awarding three and a half out of four stars, praising the film's visual style, noting, "Every moment of Terminal engages the eye, and — unexpectedly — the mind. Even the makeup is arresting — the arterial red of Annie's lipstick is hypnotic."
James Berardinelli of Reelviews gave a mixed review, awarding the film two and a half stars out of four, writing, "At its best, Terminal is a tasty, tangy parfait – a kaleidoscope of neon-tinged visuals and a twisty storyline with a tortured timeline." However, he criticised the film's ending as "generic" and "anticlimactic".John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter gave a mostly negative review criticising Stein's direction, writing, "An airless debut that says much about its writer-director's cultural diet and little about anything else in the world, Vaughn Stein's Terminal blends tropes from several sorts of crime flicks into a soundstagey affair that's more brittle than hard-boiled." Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times also gave a negative review, calling the film "a flashy, hyperstylized bore." Shaun Munro of Flickering Myth gave a mostly positive review, stating, "It's messy and navel-gazingly ostentatious, but fitfully entertaining thanks largely to a scene-stealing, against-type performance from Simon Pegg."
Dial M for Murder is a 1954 American crime thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, Anthony Dawson, and John Williams. Both the screenplay and the successful stage play on which it was based were written by English playwright Frederick Knott. The play premiered in 1952 on BBC Television, before being performed on stage in the same year in London's West End in June, and then New York's Broadway in October.
David Ayer is an American filmmaker known for making crime films that are set in Los Angeles and deal with gangs and police corruption. His screenplays include Training Day (2001), The Fast and the Furious (2001), and S.W.A.T. (2003). He has also directed Harsh Times (2005), Street Kings (2008), End of Watch (2012), and Sabotage (2014). In 2016, he directed the superhero film Suicide Squad from the DC Extended Universe, and then the urban fantasy film Bright (2017) for Netflix. He has twice collaborated with actor Shia LaBeouf: first with the World War II drama Fury (2014), then the crime thriller The Tax Collector (2020). He has also collaborated with his friend Cle Shaheed Sloan who has appeared in four of his films.
Lew Temple is an American actor, known for his roles as Locus Fender in the action film, Domino, Cal, the diner manager in the comedy-drama Waitress, and Axel in the third season of The Walking Dead.
Margot Elise Robbie is an Australian actress and producer. Known for her roles in both blockbusters and independent films, she has received several accolades, including nominations for two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and five British Academy Film Awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2017 and she was ranked as one of the world's highest-paid actresses by Forbes in 2019.
The Ocean's franchise includes American heist films. Three films were written by Ted Griffin and George Nolfi, along with Brian Koppelman and David Levien, for each respective film. Released from 2001 to 2007, the trilogy is often cited as defining its genre and leading to a proliferation and commercialization of heist films throughout the world.
Jai Courtney is an Australian actor. He started his career with small roles in films and television series before being cast as Charlie in the action film Jack Reacher (2012). He has gone on to star in A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), I, Frankenstein (2014) and The Exception (2016).
Christina Hodson is a British screenwriter, known for Bumblebee (2018) and Birds of Prey (2020). Her 2016 film Shut In appeared on the 2012 Black List, an annual list of Hollywood's best-liked unproduced screenplays, as have two of her un-produced scripts.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a 2016 American biographical war comedy-drama film, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and written by Robert Carlock. It is based on the memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker. The film stars Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Christopher Abbott, Alfred Molina, and Billy Bob Thornton. It was released on March 4, 2016, by Paramount Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics who praised the acting, but criticized the predictable screenplay and execution. The movie grossed $24.9 million against its $35 million budget.
Goodbye Christopher Robin is a 2017 British biographical drama film about the lives of Winnie-the-Pooh creator A. A. Milne and his family, especially his son Christopher Robin. It was directed by Simon Curtis and written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Simon Vaughan, and stars Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, and Kelly Macdonald. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on 29 September 2017. It received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $7.2 million at the box office.
Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a 2017 American prison thriller film written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. It stars Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier, Marc Blucas, and Tom Guiry. The story follows Bradley Thomas, a former repairer turned drug mule who must kill a man held in a maximum security prison to rescue his pregnant wife from an abortion operation by a vengeful drug lord.
Slaughterhouse Rulez is a 2018 comedy horror film directed by Crispian Mills. Written by Mills and Henry Fitzherbert, the film's cast features Asa Butterfield, Finn Cole, Hermione Corfield, Michael Sheen, with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
The Opening Act is a 2020 American comedy film written and directed by Steve Byrne, in his directorial debut. It stars Jimmy O. Yang, Alex Moffat, Cedric the Entertainer, Neal Brennan, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Jermaine Fowler, Ken Jeong, Russell Peters, and Debby Ryan.
Dreamland is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte from a screenplay by Nicolaas Zwart. The film stars Finn Cole, Margot Robbie, Travis Fimmel, Garrett Hedlund, Kerry Condon, Darby Camp and Lola Kirke.
Inheritance is a 2020 American thriller film directed by Vaughn Stein from a screenplay by Matthew Kennedy. The film stars Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chace Crawford and Patrick Warburton. Inheritance was released on May 22, 2020, by Vertical Entertainment. It received generally negative reviews from critics.
LuckyChap Entertainment is an American production company based in Los Angeles, founded in 2014 by Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara and Sophia Kerr. The company describes their focal point as female-focused film and television productions.
Into The Ashes is a 2019 American action drama film written, produced and directed by Aaron Harvey, starring Luke Grimes, Frank Grillo, Robert Taylor, James Badge Dale and Marguerite Moreau. It was released theatrically in the United States on July 19, 2019 by RLJE Films.
Amsterdam is a 2022 period comedy thriller film written, directed, and produced by David O. Russell. Led by Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington, the film features an ensemble cast including Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro. It was released in the United States on October 7, 2022, by 20th Century Studios.
Margot Robbie is an Australian actress and producer who made her film debut in the 2008 film Vigilante. Robbie then landed a role on the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours. From 2011 until its cancellation in 2012, she portrayed a stewardess on the television series Pan Am. Her breakout role was in the Martin Scorsese-directed The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2015, she acted alongside Will Smith in the comedy-drama Focus. In the following year, Robbie played Harley Quinn in the DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad, later reprising the role in Birds of Prey (2020) and The Suicide Squad (2021). Also in 2016, she played Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan. That year she also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live.
Barbie is an upcoming romantic comedy film based on the eponymous fashion doll line by Mattel and directed by Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the screenplay with Noah Baumbach. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling lead an ensemble cast as Barbie and Ken, respectively. It serves as the franchise's first live-action film adaptation after a number of computer-animated direct-to-video and streaming television films.