Watched: 30 August

While it’s a conventional single-location movie, Doug Liman’s low-key thriller The Wall gets enough mileage out of its wispy premise – the year is 2008 and an Iraqi sniper has two American soldiers pinned down next to a crumbling wall – to warrant its existence. Much of the heavy lifting is done by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, grimacing and panicking as he is taunted by the enemy soldier over a radio frequency, and he delivers a fairly good performance (actors normally do decent work in these relatively cheap and short single location movies). The film makes a rather resigned point about the futility of America’s involvement in Iraq at the end, but otherwise keeps its focus on the individuals in the story and the way that they react under severe pressure, though the emphasis is largely on the two Americans, of course. (***)