Your Friends and Neighbors

Aaron Eckhart, Ben Stiller and Jason Patric in Your Friends & Neighbors

    Like writer/director LaBute’s In The Company of Men, his 1997 debut, Your Friends and Neighbors deals with a theme that’s current in cinema – that all men are rubbish. LaBute focuses on three self-obsessed friends, travelling further into their psyches as the film progresses. And the further he travels, the shallower the trio appear. Contemporary gents, LaBute appears to be saying, have benefited enormously from the liberalising cultural shift of the 1960s, but these days instead of being high, they’re more high and dry. For some people this film might be a bit preachy, a bit speechy, and it’s true that LaBute’s origins as a writer for the stage seem fairly evident. … Read more

The Expatriate aka Erased

Aaron Eckhart and Liana Liberato in The Expatriate

    Perhaps the first thing that needs to be asked before discussing this action thriller is “what the hell happened to Aaron Eckhart?” Having started out in a clutch of interesting films either written or directed by Neil LaBute, he went on to play alongside Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich, after which stardom seemed assured. But since then he’s turned up in film after film that delivered less than it promised – The Core, Thank You for Smoking, The Black Dahlia, The Wicker Man. Before pausing at The Dark Knight, the over-rated second instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Then continuing on down – Rabbit Hole, Battle Los Angeles, The Rum Diary. … Read more