5.1/10
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Proud Mary (2018)

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In 28 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.

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(screenplay by), (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
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The Many Faces of Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson reigns as Cookie Lyon in "Empire." Check out other roles she's played on TV and in the movies.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tom
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Walter
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Mina
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Uncle
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Luka
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Reggie
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Benny
Adobuere Ebiama ...
Woman
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Jerome
Bo Cleary ...
Benny's Guy / Tyson
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Saleswoman
James Milord ...
Miller
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Ivan
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Storyline

Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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character name in title | See All (1) »

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Execute with style. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 January 2018 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Proud Mary - A Profissional  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,959,053, 14 January 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$17,120,889, 22 January 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,302,089, 22 January 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time Taraji P. Henson has played a hit woman. She had a similar role in Smokin' Aces (2006). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Proud Mary (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City
Written by Michael Alan Price and Dan Walsh
Performed by C.S. Armstrong
Courtesy of The Greater Goods Co.
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User Reviews

 
not a movie I enjoy and a review I feel bad writing, but...
17 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

The problem with trying to do a straight-faced homage to the Jack Hill/Pam Grier movies of the 70s (most notably Coffy and Foxy Brown) where a lady could have an exuberant name, take on the bad dudes by herself and have a funky soundtrack to accompany her actions is that a) those movies were either trying to not take themselves too seriously, unlike Proud Mary that thinks it's a legit dramatic/tragic effort, and b) you need a collaboration that works on all three fronts - powerful leading lady AND a decent script AND a director who knows what he/she is doing. This only has one of those in Taraji P Henson, who is not only game for this kind of movie but has done the training necessary for a character who kills a lot of people with guns and some fight choreography. She and a couple other actors are left floundering (notice I only said a few, and that's being kind) by a director who is the opposite of talented.

I'm too lazy to look up who wrote this both half-baked and simultaneously over-cooked story of a mob assassin who kills the father of a boy, turning him an orphan (I can hear Black Dynamite, a character this world really needs now more than ever, yell now "NOT THE ORPHANS! THEY HAVE NO PARENTS!") and then she looks after him a full year later once the boy has, uh, fallen under the dominance of a Russian mobster so then mob-war ensues that's kind of her fault in a lot of ways... but the director? Oh, Babak Najafi had only been on my radar due to a delayed viewing of the sequel London Has Fallen, and in part because some - not all but some - of that had some inspired insanity. It appears though when he doesn't have everything handed over to him the hack in him comes out ten-fold, and the worst part is the dull sensation that washes over you as you slump further in the chair taking in what should or could be a deliciously trashy (or, hell, a legitimately *good*) vehicle for Henson.

Instead we get a vision that doesn't have any vision, as Najafi edits like he's worried we'll lose interest so it's rapid even when the more boring conversations are happening (sometimes with a rather one-note Danny Glover as Mary's boss, who I hadn't seen in a while but could tell a ton of this was ADR'd, badly), and the adverse inevitably happens and interest gets deflated very quickly. Maybe he knows there's not much here, a script that sorely needed some work to liven it up or to make it less of a pseudo uh black Batman origin story in the guise of a female action flick. He leaves his actors for themselves too to do what they can, and how one can tell is that everything with Henson and the boy Danny (Winston) is markedly more natural and emotional than everything else (ie Billy Brown as Tom, who is mostly a wooden presence). Even given some cool looking locations in the Boston city area, a change of pace from the usual Louisiana landscapes for these cheap genre fare, is given the short shrift with his shooting and editing.

I know it sounds like I'm going after a flmmaker for a product that doesn't mean much and should just be enjoyed as dumb popcorn fare, but that's precisely the point. Take Henson out of this (Glover could be optional either way) and this is some direct to video piece of drek that isn't enjoyable as schlock until the final ten minutes when the title track comes up and we see lots of insane bullets and cars and people getting killed happen. No one wants to really be here aside from the two leads, and that makes it all the more painful. I'm sorry, but for all of the support I want to give Henson, she needs people around her that actually care about what they are doing (again, for as silly as Hill/Grier projects of the 70's, there was some attention to craft going on) and can give her something that rises above mediocrity.

That actually makes it worse, since the marketing and even the opening credits give the impression of a decent homage. It's a conflicting emotion one is left with: on the one hand, you want something like this to have some success so she can get more roles like this or has more opportunities to expand what she can do (Empire won't be on the air forever, and as solid as she is in Hidden Figures it's not all she's capable of). On the other hand, if this movie tanking means that Najafi is a little closer to being run out of Hollywood to go back to directing the Iranian direct-to-video crap he was doing before, that's fine too. So... ugh.


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