thriller

Self/less

August 1, 2015
Ryan Reynolds in 'Self/less' (2015)

Tarsem Singh’s Self/less is another movie that strives for profundity but has no qualms about including the special effects, car chases and combat scenes discerning viewers seem to expect nowadays. Even allowing for these concessions to public taste the film has copped a hiding in the United States. It may have something to do with … More


Marshland

June 6, 2015
Raul Arevalo in 'Marshland' (2014)

Anyone desperately seeking filmic distraction would be better advised to track down Alberto Rodríguez’s Marshland, a gripping mystery-thriller set in a desolate part of southern Spain at the end of the Franco era. The problem is that this movie will only score a limited release while Aloha screens in every multiplex. A pair of ill-matched … More


Partisan

June 6, 2015
Vincent Cassel in 'Partisan' (2015)

With a brutal civil war, followed by three decades of dictatorial rule, there’s no denying Spain’s sufferings, but nowadays the Spaniards are making great movies. I wonder if Australian cinema, conversely, is showing the symptoms of decades of peace and prosperity. Compared to the wars and political upheavals that have beset other countries, Australia has … More


Wild Tales

May 30, 2015
Érica Rivas in 'Wild Tales' (2014)

“What does cinema know, that we don’t?” That’s how this column started a fortnight ago, with a quotation from German director, Rüdiger Suchsland. The same line seems even more relevant in discussing Damían Szifrón’s Wild Tales, a portmanteau film featuring six short stories about ordinary people being driven to the brink by “inequality, injustice and … More


A Royal Night Out

May 23, 2015
Bel Powley in 'A Royal Night Out' (2015)

“God save the Queen. She ain’t no human bean!” sang Johnny Rotten in the Jubilee year of 1977. “Oh yes she is,” say the makers of A Royal Night Out – a movie designed to convince us the British Royal Family are not only human but adorable. For director, Julian Jarrold, this film is even … More


Unfriended

May 15, 2015
Shelley Hennig &  Moses Storm in 'Unfriended (2014)

Don’t answer text messages and emails from dead people. They’ll only force you to kill yourself, which is really tiresome. This is the important lesson to be learned from Unfriended, an ingenious new take on the teenage slasher film. It may be the cheapest movie you’ll see this year, clocking in at no more than … More


The One Eyed Girl

May 2, 2015
Tilda Cobham-Hervey in 'One Eyed Girl' (2014)

It’s becoming tautologous to say “a disappointing Australian film.” While I never expect a masterpiece, it would be nice to find a local movie that manages to cover more than a narrow slice of the emotional spectrum. The usual bill of fare ranges from angst to misery and back again. A disproportionate number of new … More


‘71

March 21, 2015
Jack O'Connell in ''71' (2014)

Yann Demange’s ’71, begins with two soldiers in boxing gloves beating each other to a pulp. This proves to be a relatively gentle opening for a relentless, heart-in-mouth thriller set in Belfast during the period euphemistically known as “The Troubles”. The movie follows a young British soldier, Gary Hook (Jack O’Connell), who finds himself trapped … More


Chappie

March 14, 2015
Hugh Jackman in 'Chappie' (2015)

Chappie is destined to divide its audience. A quick look at the Rotten Tomatoes site reveals a chasm between the critics’ approval rating of 28% and the audience score of 95%. I felt the same conflict within my own mind. I began by thinking it was one of the silliest films I’d seen in a … More


The Imitation Game

January 17, 2015
Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game' (2014)

Michael Keaton should give the Oscars a shake this year for his role in Birdman, but Benedict Cumberbatch will also be in the mix for his portrayal of mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. Indeed, Cumberbatch is so good it’s almost enough to make one overlook the liberties this film takes with history. By … More


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