Ambulance (2022)

Universal Pictures

If you were taken into a screening blindfolded and asked to definitively say – in the absence of opening credits – who directed the movie based solely on what it looked like, how many minutes would it take you to identify a Michael Bay movie? One? Two? Under a minute? Fair enough, the jig would be up the minute you saw a car transform, but I think a statistical audience member who doesn’t skip his blockbusters would likely identify a Bay-directed effort rather quickly just by putting together the confluence of hard and fast cuts, the golden hour sheen, canted angles, orbiting shots and era-appropriate pop/rap music blaring through the speakers.  

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The Guilty (2021)

Netflix

The concept of a single-location thriller is at this point an element of filmmaking tradition with its roots reaching all the way back to Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat and Rope, and possibly quite a bit further into the silent era. The toolbox needed to execute such an artificially constrained narrative successfully has been honed over many decades by many great directors and especially in recent years – owing to the pandemic – the idea of staging an entire movie in a single location has become a go-to avenue for artistic expression. Therefore, the Jake Gyllenhaal-starring remake of a Danish sleeper hit The Guilty was seemingly tailor-fit for the current zeitgeist.  

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