Who's In It: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander
The Basics: Hanna (Ronan) has grown up unconventionally in the Arctic Circle with her father Nick (Bana). As a genetically abnormal towhead lacking visible eyebrows, she has spent her short life being trained to do her father's bidding and kill Marissa (Blanchett). Although she is more than adept at the task of murder and survival, she is still unable to escape the restraints of her biology. Hanna is a teenager, hungry for knowledge other than how to skin a deer or snap someone's neck using her pinky finger. When she is finally unleashed on the world to kill Viegler, she is wrapped up in a game of cat and mouse that also gives her a taste of what life is like outside the tundra with people who, you know, go on road trips and sing songs.
What's The Deal: Watching this movie is like being trapped in a discotheque with a cold, calculating, homicidal albino midget and never knowing what is going to happen next. I loved it. For the entire film, I was captivated by the opposing forces of business versus pleasure in Hanna's life. Sure, she's got altered DNA and enough physical strength to obliterate half the CIA--but she also likes to put on sparkly eyeshadow, hold hands with Eurotrash boys, and watch flamenco performances by the light of a garbage can fire. Adolescence can be so confusing--imagine having to do it while claiming vengeance on the evil scourge who ruined your family.
It's The Little Things: The film is peppered with moments that evoke a strong feeling without lingering too long on any of them, which helped keep the integrity of the film strong and never too over the top. Sometimes, a hippie granola family sings David Bowie songs in their van, and other times Marissa is taking out her frustrations by water pik'ing her own teeth until her mouth looks like a crime scene. The scariest killer in this movie--the very same one with no remorse, leaving a trail of blood in his wake--is so efficient and that he never gets blood on his velour tracksuit. The film goes from a cabin to the catacombs of the CIA to the desert to swan boats, making the whole thing feel like a long, twisted dream--kind of an Alice in Wonderland if she killed the Queen and made the White Rabbit into a hat.
Better Trend Than Ugg Boots: Talented electronic composers doing film scores. We saw it most recently in Tron, and it was a home run then too. This score by the Chemical Brothers is truly spectacular.
Parents Beware: This film also posed an interesting question: What would happen if your child could literally fight back?