Victoria ★★★★

VICTORIA is a propulsive thriller about a young woman who gets herself into a pickle involving four best friends, a bank heist gone awry, a shootout, and a baby kidnapping. There's nothing revolutionary about this plot - we've seen countless crime thrillers where inexperienced criminals find themselves in sticky situations.

But what makes this one special is how it unfolds in real time, shot in one long single take. It's an astonishing achievement. This crew exhaustively careens from one massive set piece to another, creating high tension in sequences that most blockbusters would dream to have. There are very high stakes here, making the viewer collectively sigh in relief as they move from one scene to the next.

Despite VICTORIA's remarkable feat, I had some minor quibbles. The broken English and German dialects, overlapping dialogue and poorly lit faces (due to natural lighting) made for a disorienting introduction to characters we're supposed to be rooting for. I had a tough time distinguishing between the 4 best friends, who have very limited defining characteristics. But we're with young Victoria all the way through as she makes some tough (and questionable) decisions that push the story.

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