The Snowman

A chilly start to a snowballing crime sees Michael Fassbender pursue a carrot-nosed villain.

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Infamous detective, Harry Hole (Fassbender), must strike up a work-life balance before he loses everything. What starts out as a harmless homicide investigation soon escalates into a matter of personal revenge, with Harry becoming the target.

The film had enormous potential to be one of the most hard-hitting crime dramas in years, but unfortunately, the lacklustre script left the overwhelmingly talented cast pining for a bigger challenge. At every turn, this film had the ability to stun, but, director Thomas Alfredson, disappointed with a culmination of scenes that merged into one another without much hope of climax.

Whatsmore is the lack of explanation as to why a story set in Oslo,  Norway has all-English speaking characters. Though clearly done in order to heighten accessibility in the cinematic universe, it does create confusion for audiences who are not familiar with the Jo Nesbo book on which this film is based, and simply adds to the overall uninspired finish of the film.

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American Assassin

Terrorist annihilation has never looked so thrilling.

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After losing his girlfriend to the deadly clutches of a terror attack, Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) takes revenge to the next level as he becomes a one-man army in an attempt to infiltrate and kill those responsible for his girlfriend’s demise. Though his plan seems flawless, the CIA decides his talents would be put to better use as part of a team, and so intercept him before he gets in too much trouble.

As movie partnerships go, Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton’s on-screen chemistry is electrically on point, with both managing to bounce of one another’s talent. The duos energetic charisma keeps the plots ever-growing tension, upbeat, without seeming forced. 

With a certification of 18, the film boasts a splendid amount of violently orchestrated bloodbaths, but given the nature of the film, it was a necessary evil in order to provide the authenticity of terrorist-driven activity.

Victoria & Abdul

Devastatingly honest, with just a glimpse of hope for post-war England.

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Queen Victoria finds an unlikely friend in Abdul, an Indian servant who visits the palace to present her majesty with an ornate gift. With this newly found friendship, comes a revolt from the royal household, who believe it beneath themselves to serve an Indian.

The story of Victoria and Abdul is exceptionally sad, especially given that the plot is loosely based on true events. The lack of understanding of cultural differences is both disheartening to watch, but also greatly influential in comprehending the need for Indian independence.

With Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal, a new face to mainstream acting, as Abdul, the actors find a unique rhythm with one another that seems effortless in its execution and encourages the audience to fall head over heels for the duos lovable nature.

In restoring such a magically historic relationship, this film has shed light on Britain’s ongoing struggle to accept those with differences; a problem that is never more present than in today’s current political landscape.

Wind River

Snow storms are not the only danger for the residents of an American Indian Reserve in Wyoming.

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When local hunter, Cory Lambert, goes on a tracking expedition for some Lions, he finds more than he bargained for when he comes across the body of a young girl, which results in an FBI investigation.

The script for this film is a constant stunner, with twists and turns that keep the audience gripped throughout. And with a cast fronted by Jeremy Renner, the film continues to portray an authentically dramatic set of events.

With little to no representation of American Indians in today’s film industry, this film shows a particularly striking revelation, which brings with it an important message regarding the all too often disappearance’s of American Indian women, who are not considered worthy of counting towards the missing person’s report of America.

 

God’s Own Country

This film is the epitome of beautiful moments for independent British films.

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When his father falls ill, it becomes Johns responsibility to run the farm, causing a ripple of bitterness between the two of them. But when a new recruit is brought it, John rediscovers his love for the farm and his family.

Homosexuality is still an incredibly sensitive subject in the cinematic world, and so to see such a beautiful incarnation of a homosexual relationship represented with such normalcy was a powerful reminder that all types of love matter. 

Josh O’Connor (John) and Alec Secareanu (Gheorghe) are both incredibly new to the acting scene, and yet both give exceptionally brilliant performances in roles that require both courage and passion. 

The film is a wonderful love story, that is centered around a character-based plot, that allows for a quiet transition from loneliness, to intimacy, in a blink of an eye.

Logan Lucky

Eccentrically ridiculous, yet somehow entertaining; the Logan family take the meaning of ‘heist’ to a whole new level.

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The three Logan siblings aren’t exactly in tip top shape to pull off a bank robbery; with one brother missing an arm, and the other with a dodgy leg. Yet, somehow, they beat all odds to undertake a highly unconventional heist at a NASCAR race in West Virginia. 

With Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum and Adam Driver in the lead roles, this film excels in the acting department, even if the plot seems nonsensical at times. 

Unlike any other heist films that have graced our screens, Logan Lucky definitely takes a new approach to the crime genre, with director Steven Soderbergh certainly not taking himself, or the storyline, particularly seriously.  

The Limehouse Golem

Horrifically solemn, with a loose sense of impending doom like no other; Victorian London at its finest.

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Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) is assigned by Scotland Yard to investigate one of the most mysterious serial killers that has graced the streets of Victorian London. From cryptic messages left with the victims to a whole host of suspects, Kildare must put together the pieces together before it’s too late.

Director, Juan Carlos Medina, has elegantly pieced this devastating storyline together by investigating each suspect, all whilst building a story of the murders and the possible incentives behind them. By seeing the perspective of each character, it enables a constant element of surprise that keeps the audience guessing.

Creating a believable Victorian London in this day and age is no easy task, but the production and cinematography of this film are flawless throughout, sewing the actors and the scenery into seamless chemistry.