Spartan ★★★★

A perennial favorite of mine, Spartan is one of the smartest, most intelligent and satisfying action movies you'll ever get a chance to see. Mamet brings his genius for dialog and storytelling together to spin a thriller that really showcases Val Kilmer's performance. 

Mamet treats the audience like adults and drops us right into the action with scant exposition. You are expected to experience and absorb the events as they unfold. This results in a more entertaining story that sucks you in and keeps you engaged throughout the entire film. Though the scale of this thriller is global, Mamet keeps us grounded by allowing us to see things through Scott's (Val Kilmer) eyes.

Army Ranger Scott is a maverick, a loner of a soldier who is given a great deal of latitude because he gets results. In a lull between missions and field training stints, his R&R is interrupted by a request that he assist in tracking down the President's daughter who has gone missing from Harvard.

Scott quickly realizes the Secret Service protection detail's prime suspect is innocent. And as the investigation progresses involving a host of three-letter government agencies, a secret Special Ops unit and Middle Eastern kidnappers - Scott now knows something is very, very wrong.