Chad Cutler is an Irish traveller who entered a life of crime at a young age, following in the footsteps of his father before him, Colby. Now that his own son Tyson is growing up, he wants to show him the ropes. Teaching him to drive a car through the fields is one thing, though, and he's starting to realise that introducing him into a world of police chases and robberies is very much another. Chad is becoming disillusioned with the lifestyle with which his family is accustomed, and wants to find a new path for both himself and his child. While his mother Kelly is supportive of his feelings, she and everyone else knows that Colby won't hear anything about it. He needs to find a way to sever ties with his father, without unleashing hell on his own family.
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Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's novel Gone Baby Gone, and he now returns to the author to adapt this Prohibition-era gangster drama. It's a big, beefy story with colourful characters and a snaky, expansive plot. And it's beautifully assembled by a skilled cast and crew. Even so, the film never quite generates quite enough energy to engage properly with the audience.
In 1927 Boston, Joe (Affleck) is a war veteran who has turned to crime to survive. But problems arise when he launches a torrid affair with the moll (Sienna Miller) of the Irish mob boss (Robert Glenister). With his life in danger, he turns to the rival Italian mafioso (Remo Girone) for a job, and is sent to Tampa to run their rum-smuggling operation. Working with his pal Dion (Chris Messina), Joe makes a success of a string of speak-easy bars and finds love with a the sister (Zoe Saldana) of a Cuban gangster. Then as he plans to open a huge casino, his gentlemanly agreement with the local police chief (Chris Cooper) is threatened. And it doesn't help that the boss in Boston begins to meddle.
Everything is assembled with a sumptuous sense of style, from the cool cars to the epic suits and hats. The film looks gorgeous, shot with muted colours that echo the subdued emotions of people who never quite say what they think. Of course, this creates a big problem, because it leaves Affleck's Joe looking like a blank slate, intriguing to watch but impossible to sympathise with. Nothing feels properly developed, with romances that seem to exist for no real reason and business relationships that appear to be based on some sort of unexplained subterfuge. The most riveting element of the story is Joe's clash with the KKK, a powerfully bull-headed group that refuses to play by the usual mob rules.
Continue reading: Live By Night Review
Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on videogames. There may have been some hits (like Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil franchise), but none has ever been critically acclaimed. So perhaps reuniting the cast and director of 2015's Macbeth might finally break the cycle. But while there's plenty of whizzy stuntwork, this film never finds a story or characters to grab hold of the audience.
In present-day Texas, death row prisoner Cal (Michael Fassbender) is executed by lethal injection and wakes up in a gloomy fortress towering over Madrid. He's been saved by shady businessman Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), whose daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist experimenting with DNA memory. Rikkin needs Cal to travel back into his own history using a mechanical contraption called an Animus to find out where his 15th century ancestor Aguilar (also Fassbender) hid the Apple of Eden, which holds the key to controlling human will. But Cal discovers that he is the last in a long line of Assassins who have sworn to protect the apple from Knights Templar like Rikkin or his imperious supreme leader Ellen (the fabulously gloomy Charlotte Rampling).
The idea is a clever one, and director Justin Kurzel keeps the visuals grounded with action that feels earthy and real rather than digitally manipulated. Indeed, the combination of sleek sci-fi thrills with medieval fantasy horror is very cool. But there's one huge problem with the premise: all of the big fight sequences and eye-catching parkour acrobatics take place in distant history. Cal can experience these things, but he can't actually do anything, so there's no peril involved. Instead, we get endless explanations of the technology and historical inter-connections, which never quite make sense regardless of how much the characters talk about them.
Continue reading: Assassin's Creed Review
'Trespass Against Us' is released on January 20th in the US, and on March 3rd in Britain.
Michael Fassbender took the time to speak about his lead role in the upcoming film Trespass Against Us.
The film, which also stars Brendan Gleeson, Rory Kinnear and Sean Harris, made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September. It is released in the United States on January 20th and in Britain on March 3rd.
Speaking at the BFI Film Festival recently, the 39 year old actor described the nature of the story, about a father who’s trying to break away from a crime family and do what’s best for his son, but keeps getting dragged back in.
Continue reading: Michael Fassbender Hopes 'Trespass Against Us' Will Provoke Discussion
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape his fate by joining the mysterious Animus Project set up by Abstergo Industries. Abstergo is to its time essentially what the Knights Templar was in the 12th and 13th century, and want to hook Lynch up to an experimental piece of technology that will allow him to experience and explore the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha who lived as an Assassin in 15th century Spain. He's returning to the age of the Spanish Inquisition which means he must absorb the warrior skills of his long-dead relative - but that only means that he's developing the tools to take down the organisation that pose a threat to him in the modern day.
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Production on 'Paddington 2' has already begun with Grant and Brendan Gleeson joining the cast.
Hugh Grant has joined the cast of sequel Paddington 2, playing a vain, past-his-prime actor, who becomes a neighbour of the beloved bear.
Grant will be joined by fellow new cast addition Brendan Gleeson, who’ll play a notorious safe-cracker and legendary strongman who becomes an unexpected new ally for Paddington.
Hugh Grant will star in Paddington 2
Continue reading: Hugh Grant To Play Vain, Washed-Up Actor In 'Paddington' Sequel
Joe Coughlin was born and raised in a good family, his father was the police captain and they were a respected family in the neighbourhood. Joe was the dark horse and fell in with the wrong crowd from an influential age. It was 1920's and Joe and the rest of the Coughlin family lived in the thriving city of Boston. Joe constantly seemed to be pulling in a different direction to that of his father and mixed with some of the town's most feared bosses responsible for any number of crimes from running alcohol to robbery.
Caught in the middle of a war between mob bosses, Joe ends up ripping off the wrong guy in more than one way as he also steals his woman. Everything appears to be going for Joe and his small gang but their next heist is a chance too far and sees Joe being put in prison for robbery. Once again, Joe finds himself falling in with another powerful boss who offers him protection in prison - but at a cost.
With his eventual release, Joe moves to Florida to begin over seeing a rum smuggling operation but as Joe finds love he begins to realise that there's more to life than working on someone else's terms but perhaps he's too deeply connected to ever be able to give up the life he's made for himself.
Assassin's Creed sees Michael Fassbender cast as the protagonist Callum Lynch, in this action adventure film that is based on the video game franchise of the same name. Lynch's identity no longer exists and he is forced by revolutionary technology to hear, see and feel the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, who was an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition.
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Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises of both 2014's Back to the Future and 2015's Star Wars, this immersive take on Danny Boyle's classic zombie movie feels rather undercooked. But there's a lot of fun to be had (if not many scares) spending several hours trying to survive in a world overrun by the undead.
The set-up is very clever: you are given an appointment at an NSH hospital in a secret London location, and told to wear scrubs or protective clothing. On arrival you're handed a surgical mask and ordered here and there for interviews, physical examinations and eventually an oral vaccination that seems to make everything go blurry and then pitch black. When you "wake up" all hell has broken loose, and you are sent running through a series of blood-drenched corridors and stairwells, encountering characters and settings from the film as zombies lunge from every corner. In the safe zone, food and drink is for sale, and you get a chance to relax a bit, play a game, have a dance. Finally, you're led into an inventively themed cinema to watch the 2002 film as on-screen elements are performed around you.
Through all of this, medical and military officials harshly shout instructions at you, while TV screens show news reports of chaos on the streets. Combined with the dimly lit post-apocalyptic setting, the atmosphere is enjoyably claustrophobic, only broken by the nagging sense that money is draining out of your wallet at an alarming rate. Not only is the ticket £67 (or £134 for a "premium experience"), but there are things to buy at every point, from the scrubs or coveralls to pricey cocktails served in small bottles or coffee mugs and a relatively slim selection of restaurant-priced food options.
Continue reading: Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Review
In The Heart Of The Sea is the true seaman's tale based on the last outing of the Whaling Ship Essex. After setting sale from the port on Nantuckett the 20 man crew expect their journey to be much like the others they've been on, very long and tough but on an old but very trusty ship.
After leaving the port, almost immediately the men are hit by a powerful storm which damages the boat. knowing they must make money and make the trip profitable before returning home, the men continue with their mission. After months of good fishing, the men doc at various ports for supplies. Almost a year into their trip and the Essex is struck by a gigantic whale which causes irreparable damage to the ship's hull.
Stuck with no other choice the surviving men must board one of the incredibly small whaling boats that they have on board. The remaining crew members find themselves stuck in a life-threatening situation, 1000 miles from land, incredibly tight rations and stuck at sea for an unknown amount of time, the crew must find a way to endure - both mentally and physically.
Continue: In The Heart Of The Sea Trailer
Date of birth
29th March, 1955
Chad Cutler is an Irish traveller who entered a life of crime at a young...
Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...
Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...
Joe Coughlin was born and raised in a good family, his father was the police...
Assassin's Creed sees Michael Fassbender cast as the protagonist Callum Lynch, in this action adventure...
Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...
With a huge budget and a relatively small story, this is an intriguingly offbeat blockbuster...
In The Heart Of The Sea is the true seaman's tale based on the last...
Based on real events a century ago that still resonate loudly today, this movie takes...
Ben finds being a big brother to his mute little sister Saoirse rather a pain,...
An arch approach makes this bonkers thriller rather enjoyable, even if it never quite cracks...
Throughout the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, a secret war took place on...