Rod Lurie’s remake of Sam Peckinpah’s controversial thriller follows the original virtually beat-for-beat – except where it matters. As a stand alone film it’s OK, but held up to the original it feels almost entirely pointless. Half a star goes to James Marsden’s lovely curly hair.
Steven Soderbergh calls in a lot of favours for his all-star pandemic flick Contagion. By keeping hysteria to a minimum, upping the class-factor and refusing to pander to the tropes of the traditional catastrophe-buster, he’s produced a film that is as cold and clinical as the disease it follows. It’s certainly effective phobia-mongering, but it’s not exactly a great night out.
In this fast-paced drama from executive producers Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, Stephanie Sigman stars as a willowy Mexican lass whose dream of becoming Miss Baja California is put on hold by her unexpected meeting with a violent cartel leader. Think Miss Congeniality, but with brutal gangland reprisals and a bit of rape.
Festival audiences all over the world have lavished praise on Sean Durkin’s debut feature Martha Marcy May Marlene, the tense and disturbing story of a girl who escapes from a charismatic cult leader but is plagued by horrific memories of her subjugation. Who knew there was an Olsen sister who was actually talented?
Screened by UK Jewish Film a year after it was the toast of the charity’s annual Film Festival, The Debt is a challenging and unconventional thriller which combines dizzying timelines and fine performances to electrifying effect. And seriously, when else are you going to get to see Helen Mirren practicing Krav Maga?
Half drowned from the deluge of rave reviews (and probably lagoon) with which it was met in Venice, Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of John Le Carré’s classic Cold War thriller will shortly open in Britain. Don’t miss it. As engaging an adaptation of the labyrinthine novel as was the classic BBC series starring Alec Guinness, this is the very definition of a masterful translation to the screen.
In series 5 of cult US drama Dexter, the serial serial killer killing forensic blood spatter analyst (and serial killer, but it doesn’t do to pigeonhole) is on full form with fresh challenges, unexpected emotions and probably some more serial killers to kill. Serially. All in a day’s work, eh?
Julian ‘Rise of the Footsoldier‘ Gilbey has delivered the goods once more with this distinctly British thriller set in the trackless wastes of the Scottish Highlands. Graphic, uncompromising violence and spectacular cinematography are the hallmarks of A Lonely Place to Die, although the only marks you’re likely to worry about are the ones you’ll leave in the arms of your seat. Nail-biting.