After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to tell a true story from half a century ago, finding unnerving present-day resonance in the details. Using exhaustive research, they recount the events surrounding the Detroit riots for the first time, with characters who feel achingly real. It's so impeccably assembled that it carries a strong punch to the gut.
It kicked off in July 1967 when white police raided a peaceful party, brutally arresting the blacks in attendance. People hit the streets in protest, and the officials cracked down. Caught up in this, aspiring Motown singer Larry (Algee Smith) and his pal Fred (Jacob Latimore) take refuge in the Algiers Motel, where they meet some other men (including Anthony Mackie and Jason Mitchell) and two white girls (Hannah Murray and Kaitlyn Dever). Thinking they heard shots fired, local cop Krauss (Will Poulter) and his partners (Jack Reynor and Ben O'Toole) charge in, lining everyone up and menacing them brutally. Caught in the middle, security guard Melvin (John Boyega) tries to diffuse the situation without further aggravating these viciously bigoted policemen.
The film opens with a lucid prologue tracing the roots of America's racial tensions in the continued segregation between inner-cities and suburbs, creating a police state with whites marginalising blacks. Bigelow's direction and Boal's script then recount events journalistically, throwing the audience right into the situation without character back-stories. This makes everything feel urgent and dangerous, a situation in which absolutely anything can happen. So when it leads to murder, we're deeply horrified.
Continue reading: Detroit Review
Chris Evans , Anthony Mackie - Celebriteis attend the World Premiere of 'Captain America: Civil War' at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Dolby Theatre - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 12th April 2016
After a post-apocalyptic dystopia (The Road) and Prohibition-era America (Lawless), Australian director John Hillcoat brings his edgy Wild West sensibilities to this gritty present-day heist thriller. The film is fierce and stylish, and utterly gripping even though there's the nagging sensation that nothing is happening under the surface. Thankfully, the actors add plenty of terrific texture to their characters.
It's set in Atlanta, where Terrell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) leads his crew of thugs (Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Aaron Paul and Norman Reedus) through a riotously dangerous bank robbery. They're working for the cold-hearted Russian mobster Irina (Kate Winslet), who demands an even bigger heist before she'll pay them. Terrell has a child with Irina, so feels like he has little choice in the matter, but his team is made up of unstable hotheads and corrupt cops who have their own opinions. One of the cops also has a new partner in Chris (Casey Affleck), a tenacious good guy who's the nephew of a cynical detective (Woody Harrelson) who's just beginning to crack this case. So the gang decides to distract the city's police force with a triple 9, code for a downed officer, while they carry out their next elaborate robbery. The question is who will take the bullet.
Matt Cook's script is a bundle of mad twists and turns, usually the result of impulsive gang members who act without thinking. The tension is very high, as each person's morality is warped at every turn. All while Chris tries to remain upright in the middle of a storm he doesn't quite understand. Each character is up against a wall, ready to do whatever it takes to survive in a situation that is getting increasingly out of control. And without more subtext, or at least a sense of these people's back-stories, no one on-screen is very likeable.
Continue reading: Triple 9 Review
Paul Bettany makes a strong impression with his first film as a writer-director, exploring the big issue of homelessness from a variety of pointed angles. He also casts his wife Jennifer Connelly and his Avengers costar Anthony Mackie in demanding roles. The resulting film sometimes feels a little overworked dramatically, and relentlessly grim, but it's also provocative and moving.
It's set on the streets of New York, where Nigerian musician Tahir (Mackie) is living, having overstayed his US visa. Then he runs into junkie Hannah (Connelly), and the two have an immediate spark of camaraderie that blossoms into a tender relationship. But Tahir is trying to be a good Muslim, while Hannah is indulging in opportunistic crime to fund her habit. A brief respite squatting in an empty luxury home gets them off the streets briefly, so he can help her through withdrawal. And later when he's ill, she nurses him back to health. But finding somewhere to feel safe as winter bites down isn't easy. And desperation drives them to extraordinary actions.
The film is shot in an earthy, offhanded style that feels improvised, allowing Tahir and Hannah to emerge as complex people with a variety of talents and flaws. As they chat, details from their back-stories emerge, sparking anger and wrenching emotion, and drawing them inexorably together. Both Connelly and Mackie give performances that are full of passion. These are intelligent people who have been beaten down by life and don't have a clue where to turn next. So their sojourn in the empty house offers a glimpse into what kind of private life they would make if they had a chance, including borrowing some clean clothes from the vacationing owners ("I look like a zombie Goldilocks," Hannah observes).
Continue reading: Shelter Review
Ever since Chris, Ethan and Isaac were young, the trio of friends have always spent the run-up to Christmas together, as the years have gone by their Christmas eve reunion has become harder to manage and this year is no exception, with Chris living the highlife as a celebrity and Isaac soon to become a father, the trio decide that this year they're going to have a huge blowout.
The three guys might be approaching middle age but that's not going to stop them from having fun, this year they're convinced that they're going to find the Nutcracka Ball - piece de resistance in Christmas Parties.
The Night Before was written and directed by Jonathan Levine who also directed 50/50 and Warm Bodies starring Nicoholas Hoult. The film also sees the one and only Miley Cyrus making a cameo appearance.
Charlotte Cooper is the family matriarch and all she wants is for her family to be together at Christmas. All her children are now grown up and some have kids of their own. Like most families, their bond over the years might've loosened slightly as day to day life gets in the way but Christmas is different, it's a time to reunite and enjoy the holidays together.
Easier said than done with the Cooper's. Charlotte and her husband have decided to divorce (a secret they plan on keeping from the family as to not destroy the family break) their oldest daughter lives in another state, is out of work and has been dumped by her partner and is hates the idea of going home and facing the family whilst their son is currently dealing with his daughters back-chatting ways. As many problems are there are, there must be a way through in the spirit of Christmas.
Director Jessie Nelson has described The Coopers as The Christmas Von Trapp family commenting: "I like to say The Coopers are The von Trapps of this Christmas. They are the von Coopers,"
Sandra Bullock reminisces about how George Clooney once acted as her wing-man.
Sandra Bullock has revealed how George Clooney once acted as cupid and helped her find a boyfriend. On Monday (26th October), Bullock appeared at the L.A. premiere of her new film, Our Brand Is Crisis, when she detailed how Clooney once helped with her love life.
Sandra Bullock at the L.A. premiere of Our Brand Is Crisis, October 2015.
Continue reading: Sandra Bullock Reveals How George Clooney Once Acted As Her Wingman
Charlotte Cooper is determined to make this Christmas the best holiday the family has ever had, given that it's the only time of year when everyone's together. But, of course, while she and husband Sam are struggling to get everything perfect, everyone is equally struggling with other areas of their lives. Daughter Eleanor has been single for a while now, and the last thing she wants to do is arrive home without a boyfriend - again! And so, she convinces a soldier she meets at the airport to accompany her to her Christmas family reunion and pretend to be her partner, to which he reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, the other daughter, Emma, gets in trouble with the police for jewel theft, and their son Hank has his work cut out when it comes to caring for his young daughter Madison alone; especially when she starts to learn some seriously unfriendly words.
Continue: Love The Coopers Trailer
Jane 'Calamity' Bodine makes the brave move to come out of retirement as a top political consultant, despite having been responsible for one of the most catastrophic campaigns in history. It's time to put the past behind her and learn from her mistakes, by tackling her latest cause; a presidential candidate in Bolivia is desperate to win the 2002 election, but currently remains unpopular with the people of the country who are suffering in the delicate political and economic state. It's Bodine's job, along with the rest of an American strategist team, to help boost his numbers, but unfortunately for her the opposition has selected an all too familiar team to help them led by Bodine's long-time rival Pat Candy. Determined to finally beat him in the political stakes, she has her team spy on the other candidate's campaign and exploits the struggles of the people to give her client an emotional advantage. However, Bodine's soon made to realise that her attitude towards the job is seriously affecting her compassion for the people who are genuinely suffering, and she can't stay detached for long.
Continue: Our Brand Is Crisis Trailer
The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure movie, which combines a steady stream of character-based comedy with action sequences that are integrated seamlessly into the plot. Like last summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, the film departs from the usual tired structure to joyously tell a story that's more than pure escapism.
Released from prison after a stint for burglary, Scott (Paul Rudd) is struggling to restart his life when he has an unexpected encounter with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), an inventor who needs his help. Hank's technology company is being steered away from his original vision to help mankind by his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and his protege Darren (Corey Stoll), who see a chance to make a lot of money by selling Hank's ideas to the highest bidder. Hank's biggest breakthrough is a suit that shrinks the wearer down to ant-size, allowing for all kinds of unexpected possibilities. Pushed into a corner, Scott starts learning how to master the suit. But his ex-wife (Judy Greer) is now engaged to a cop (Bobby Cannavale) who's keeping his eye on Scott.
One of director Peyton Reed's main challenges was to sell the whole idea of an insect-sized warrior, and he does that fairly effortlessly, revealing an increasingly cool series of possibilities in each action sequence. These set-pieces emerge organically from the story, combining comedy and exhilaratingly coherent action to push the narrative forward. One of the best moments is an encounter with one of the Avengers (Anthony Mackie's Falcon), which offers a strong hint about how Ant-Man can liven up the franchise as a whole. And the climactic sequence is an inspired collision of mind-bending effects and inventive humorous touches (Thomas the Tank Engine nearly steals the whole film). Plus two post-credit stings for the fanboys.
Continue reading: Ant-Man Review
Captain America will be joined by Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and a whole host of others in 'Captain America: Civil War'.
Marvel has announced the cast of Captain America: Civil War and it looks like pretty much everyone from the Avengers world will return alongside Chris Evans as Steve Rogers. The news was announced by Marvel on Thursday (7th May).
Chris Evans' Captain America will lead the Avengers team in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.
Continue reading: 'Captain America: Civil War': Marvel Announces Cast & Plot Synopsis
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