thriller

‘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


The Green Prince

December 13, 2014
Mosab Hassan Yousef in 'The Green Prince' (2014)

Nadav Schirman’s feature-length documentary, The Green Prince, has the makings of a great espionage thriller. It’s impossible not to think of those films made from John Le Carré’s novels, but in this instance it is reality that resembles fiction. For ten years Mossab Hassan Yousef was the prize recruit for the Israeli secret intelligence agency, … More


Nightcrawler

November 29, 2014
Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Nightcrawler' (2014)

Lou Bloom is a true believer in the American Dream – self-motivated, ambitious, unfailingly polite and well-spoken. By his own assessment Lou is a fast learner, a self-improver, a small businessman prepared to take risks to achieve his long-term goals. “Good things come to those who work their asses off,” he chirps. He is also … More


Before I Go to Sleep

October 18, 2014
Nicole Kidman in 'Before I Go to Sleep' (2014)

Rowan Joffé’s Before I Go to Sleep will inevitably suffer in comparison with David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which is currently blitzing the box office. Both films are based on best-selling novels, but the former, by British writer, S.J.Watson, is a more literary affair than Gillian Flynn’s ‘he said, she said’ page-turner. If Virginia Woolf had … More


Gone Girl

October 4, 2014
Rosamund Pike & Ben Affleck in 'Gone Girl' (2014)

Having written a smash No. 1 bestseller, there are not many authors with the discipline – or know-how – to sit down and thrash out the screenplay. This makes Gillian Flynn a rare talent, as she has managed to take a brilliant novel and put it through all those necessary cuts and compressions required of … More


Italian Film Festival 2014 & Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

September 20, 2014
Eva Green in Sin City: A Dame to Kill for (2014)

Masterpieces are by definition rare, and from what I’ve seen so far, this year’s Lavazza Italian Film Festival has nothing to match Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, which launched last year’s festivities. Aside from that significant absence the mix of films is remarkably similar. Last year we saw Mr. Volare, a feel-good bio-pic of the … More


Night Moves

September 13, 2014
Jesse Eisenberg in 'Night Moves' (2013)

In title and style, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves pays homage to director, Arthur Penn, whose 1975 film of the same name is now viewed as a minor classic. Penn’s movie was a late example of film noir, with the usual flawed characters, brittle relationships and dark motivations. Reichardt’s story revolves around a group of friends … More


Predestination

September 6, 2014
Sarah Snook in 'Predestination' (2014)

If you haven’t seen enough of Ethan Hawke in Boyhood, he reappears – and disappears, and reappears – in Presdestination, the third feature by identical twins, Michael and Peter Spierig, who were born in Germany but raised in Brisbane. The film is based on Robert A. Heinlein’s All You Zombies (1959), a short story about … More


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