Emotionally charged, suspenseful and brilliantly paced; there’s no denying Paul Greengrass’ ability to keep the tension high throughout his dramatisation of the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking. While its high octane action is certainly engaging, Captain Phillips lacks the depth to take it to another level and is unable to shake the feeling of being a missed opportunity; an entertaining thriller, but little more.
A captivating and devastatingly real piece of fiction
Hot on the trail of his Oscar-nominated Incendies, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve furthers his rapidly growing acclaim with Prisoners, a captivating and deeply affecting mystery thriller that doesn’t relinquish its hold until long after the credits roll.
Elysium fields political bite, but little more
Having stunned audiences with his exhilarating sci-fi debut District 9, South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp makes an eagerly anticipated return with another futuristic action thriller. Blomkamp’s Elysium may evoke the same politically-charged ethos of its predecessor, but rather than supplementing the narrative the excessive social commentaries dominate this mildly entertaining, yet ultimately hollow enterprise.
After reaching the pinnacle of his career in the late eighties/ early nineties, Oliver Stone, the illustrious director of Platoon, Natural Born Killers and Wall Street, attempts to recover from a succession of disappointments. Though his latest film teases audiences with restoring the unflinching bite and controversy that made his previous films so successful, this ill-conceived and empty tale of drugs, sex and criminality is worlds away from what Stone is capable of.
“I like to kill them softly, from a distance. Not close enough for feelings”
Andrew Dominik’s third feature film Killing Them Softly is a loose adaptation of George V Higgins’ 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade and follows enforcer Jackie Cogan who is hired to restore order after a robbery at a mob-protected card game causes the local criminal economy to collapse. For his neo-noir crime thriller Dominik reunites with Brad Pitt and frees himself from the shackles of popular cinema convention to deliver a visceral piece of Americana.
Proof that you shouldn’t judge a film by its title
An influx of unimaginative titles have plagued modern cinema and the resulting releases carry a sense of negativity long before the house lights are even dimmed. These marketing misconceptions are frequently present within mainstream horror and unfortunately House at the End of the Street falls under this same shadow of audience’s preconceived aversion. However, much like The Cabin in the Woods, there’s a lot more to this film than the title suggests.
How soon is ‘too soon’?
Three years after becoming the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director with fascinating character-study The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow returns to the war genre with her dramatisation of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.