Jailbreak (2017)

Director: Jimmy Henderson

Writer: Jimmy Henderson, Michael Hodgson

Cast: Jean-Paul Ly, Dara Our, Tharoth Sam, Celine Tran, Dara Phang, Savin Phillip, Sisowath Siriwudd, Laurent Plancel, Eh Phoutong

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 92mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: A Special Forces unit escorting a high value informant to prison must fight for their lives when the inmates break out of their cells.

What’s the verdict: If Assault on Precinct 13 were a martial arts movie, it would be Jailbreak. Picking up the gauntlet thrown down by Ong-Bak and The Raid, Cambodia based Italian director Jimmy Henderson delivers an amped-up explosion of kinetic kick-ass.

Assisted by lead actors Jean-Paul Ly and Dara Our on fight choreography duties, and MMA champion Tharoth Sam as a no-nonsense female cop.

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Director: Martin McDonagh

Writer: Martin McDonagh

Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Caleb Landry Jones, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Samara Weaving, Amanda Warren

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: A year after her daughter’s brutal murder, Ebbing resident Mildred Hayes places signs on the roadside goading the town’s sheriff for not catching the killer.

What’s the verdict: There wasn’t much love for Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths. We liked it, mind, but three rather than seven is writer/director Martin McDonagh’s lucky number.

This astonishing crime drama is set to receive a lot of love. Caustic, profane, hilarious and heartbreaking, it could be the equal of Calvary, the five-star movie McDonagh’s bro...

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You Were Never Really Here

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Writer: Lynne Ramsay (screenplay), Jonathan Ames (novel)

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alessandro Nivola, Alex Manette, John Doman, Judith Roberts

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 95mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: Troubled private investigator and enforcer Joe is charged with finding Nina, the daughter of a US senator trapped in an underage sex ring.

What’s the verdict: The sun must have boiled a few brains on La Croisette at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. That is the only explanation for the praise heaped on Lynne Ramsay’s achingly arthouse redressing of 80s action thrillers.

Winner of Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix, (shared) Best Screenplay for Ramsay and Palme D’Or nominated, we’re crying a case of Emperor’s New Clothes with You Were Neve...

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Brawl in Cell Block 99

Director: S. Craig Zahler

Writer: S. Craig Zahler

Cast: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Marc Blucas, Udo Kier, Don Johnson

Cert: 18

Running time: 132mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: Drug runner Bradley Thomas is incarcerated following a bungled drug pick-up. Inside the big house, Bradley is told he needs to perform a specific job or bad things will happen to him and those he loves.

What’s the verdict: Gothic horror Western Bone Tomahawk is possibly the best underseen film of recent years. Hopefully, Brawl in Cell Block 99 will reach a wider audience because writer/director S. Craig Zahler’s prison movie is a hell of a one-two punch… followed by a knee to the nose… and heel to the throat.

We’re trying to say it makes an impression.

The plot is as B-movie simple as the t...

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Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama

From Monday 16th October to Wednesday 29th November, the BFI Southbank will be showcasing the Sight and Sound Deep Focus season, Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama.

Exploring Japanese cinema’s Golden Age with a distinctly female focus, across thirteen films it features the great Japanese actresses from the 1940s to the early ‘60s and the emerging New Wave.

Audiences will be familiar with some of the directors included in the season, such as Yasujiro Ozu, Mikio Naruse and Kenji Mizoguchi. But, Tears and Laughter highlights the work of such legendary actresses as Setsuko Hara, Machiko Kyô, Hideko Takamine and the extraordinary Kinuyo Tanaka, the only woman who also directed films during the Golden Age.

As with other Sight and Sound Deep Focus seasons, this is an opportunit...

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The Shape of Water

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor

Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg

Cert: 15

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: In 1960s Baltimore, as the Cold War heats up, mute Elisa Esposito is a lowly cleaner at a government research laboratory. She falls for an amphibian creature in one of the labs. When discovering what government agent Strickland plans for her new love, Elisa plans a daring break-out, calling on her friends for help.

What’s the verdict: The Shape of Water begins in an aquatically themed dream. Fitting, for water is the stuff of which dreams are made in Guillermo del Toro’s latest adult fairy tale.

Del Toro fans will also be in a dream world when immersed in the ...

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Blade of the Immortal

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Tetsuya Oishi (screenplay), Hiroaki Samura (manga)

Cast: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sota Fukushi, Yoko Yamamoto, Chiaki Kuriyama

Cert: 18

Running time: 141mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: Unkillable samurai Manji is hired by plucky young girl Rin to avenge her parents’ murders at the hands of a lethal fighting school.

What’s the verdict: One of Japan’s most remarkable directors, Takashi Miike has quietly produced one hundred movies in just over a quarter of a decade. In a nice twist of coincidence, Takuya Kimura’s unkillable killer Manji is known as “Hundred Killer”.

It is unlikely we shall see Miike return to his astonishing heyday, when he produced such five-star movies as Audition, Ichi the Killer, The Happiness of the Katakuris, V...

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Last Flag Flying

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Darryl Ponicsan (screenplay), Darryl Ponicsan (novel)

Cast: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, J. Quinton Johnson, Yul Vazquez

Cert: 15

Running time: 124mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: Larry Shepherd contacts Sal Nealon and Richard Mueller, who served with him in Vietnam, to help escort his son’s body home after he was killed in Iraq. But, the journey takes longer than expected as secrets are revealed and past events are revisited.

What’s the verdict: Midway through Richard Linklater’s excellent new movie, Bryan Cranston’s troublemaking Sal says every generation gets its war. Every generation also gets its sign-of-the-times dark military comedy.

Vietnam had Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H and Hal Ashby’s The Las...

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My Friend Dahmer

Director: Marc Meyers

Writer: Marc Meyers

Cast: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: Ohio, 1978. High school student Jeffrey Dahmer is approaching graduation. But, impulses that would later cause him to kill begin to control his life.

What’s the verdict: Most of us will never know what it was like going to school with a serial killer. Not so Derf Backderf. He attended school in Bath, Ohio in the late 70s, and graduated in the same class as Jeffery Dahmer, who would later go on to murder seventeen men.

Based on Backderf’s graphic novel of the same name, My Friend Dahmer recounts the killer’s late adolescence...

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Battle of the Sexes

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Austin Stowell, Bill Pullman, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Alan Cumming, Chip Chinery, Jessica McNamee

Cert: 12

Running time: 121mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: In 1973, former men’s number one tennis champ Bobby Riggs challenges current female superstar Billie Jean King to a match broadcast around the world.

What’s the verdict: This tale of women’s rights, fought on the tennis court and in the court of world opinion, is presented in the broad Disney brushstrokes needed for these nuance-free times.

Indeed, Battles of the Sexes (as Billie Jean King’s showdown with Bobby Riggs was titled) can be read as a Disney Princess movie...

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