This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith (Severance) takes a bracingly inventive approach to telling the story. The result is a film that pulls us in and challenges us with ideas and emotions that are deeply resonant, even as the plot builds a gripping sense of tension. And in addition to the twisty, tricky filmmaking style, the performances carry a striking emotional kick.
It opens in Los Angeles, where law student Harper (Tye Sheridan) is convinced that his stepfather Vincent (Stephen Moyer) is a monster. Not only might be be responsible for the car crash that put Harper's mother in a coma, but he's planning a dirty weekend in Las Vegas with a waitress. Then as Harper hatches a plan to do something about this, he meets the mercurial thug Johnny (Emory Cohen), and convinces him to drive to Nevada with him to give Vincent the comeuppance he deserves. But their trip is complicated when Johnny brings his stripper girlfriend Cherry (Bel Powley) along, especially since Harper is clearly smitten. And while all of this is happening, Harper is imagining how he might also handle this on his own.
These flickering internalised scenes give the film a kind of Sliding Doors-style tone, showing both what is and what might have been. But Smith has a surprise in store in the way he brings these strands together, redefining both the plot and the characters to pull us in even more deeply. It helps that the three central actors deliver hugely compelling performances. In another riveting turn, Sheridan anchors the film with a beautifully layered performance that's powerfully sympathetic even when Harper does something nasty. Cohen is also terrific in a flashier role as the charismatic hothead, while Powley cleverly holds back to bring out Cherry's more intriguing angles later in the story.
Continue reading: Detour Review
Based on real events, this sharply well-made film shifts from a rather light-hearted comedy into a horrific thriller. And it feels unnervingly natural as it does so. Where this goes is a bit relentless in its exploration of the darkest aspects of human capabilities, but it's also bracingly truthful. At the same time, it shows the enduring value of an experiment that seemed to go perilously wrong.
In Northern California in 1971, a group of 24 university students respond to a newspaper advert asking for participants in a psychological experiment. On the toss of a coin, organiser Dr Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) divides the young men into guards and inmates, and places them in a makeshift prison where they can be observed. And things start to turn nasty very quickly, as guard Christopher (Michael Angarano) targets snarky prisoner 8612 (Ezra Miller) for extra punishment. The guards also turn on the especially vulnerable 819 (Tye Sheridan). And when the inmates revolt, Zimbardo allows the guards to carry on with their increasingly harsh discipline. But Zimbardo's girlfriend Christina (Olivia Thirlby), herself a psychologist, worries that the situation has gone too far.
It's intriguing, and perhaps obvious, that it had to be a woman who saw through a scenario that had become little more than an out-of-control expression of masculinity. Even more telling, Zimbardo and his team became part of the experiment themselves, as they allowed and were fascinated by the abuse heaped on the prisoners by play-acting guards who let the power go to their heads. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G.) shoots this in an unusually stripped-down style that gives the film a documentary tone. This low key approach means that the pacing sometimes feels draggy, as the intensely internalised suspense cycles around and around again. But what this is revealing about human behaviour is invaluable, and seriously terrifying.
Continue reading: The Stanford Prison Experiment Review
This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The Last Stand, the final part in the original X-Men trilogy: it shifts the focus from character detail and social commentary into a more standard effects-heavy action brawl. There's still a lot of strong character detail, and a big story that can't help but be entertaining. But it's impossible to escape the feeling that the film's scale is far bigger than it needed to be.
It's now 1983, and while Professor X (James McAvoy) works with Hank (Nicholas Hoult) to set up his school for young mutants, his old friend and nemesis Erik (Michael Fassbender) has started a family in a rural corner of Poland. But he can't hide forever. Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) is roaming the world helping mutants where she can, meeting the teleporting Kurt (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in Berlin before heading to Cairo. There, CIA operative Moira (Rose Byrne) has just uncovered a bizarre underground cult that has revived the ancient super-mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), who immediately sets out on a quest to cleanse the planet and start over again. He needs four assistants, and the question is which of the X-Men will go over to the dark side.
This is the third comic book movie in a row about superheroes fighting each other, after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. And it's similarly enormous (all three films are around two-and-a-half hours long), with mammoth battles that don't quite make logical sense but are compelling enough that the audience goes with them. This film has a bit more emotional depth, including back-stories that have been developed with unusual complexity. But some characters fall through the cracks.
Continue reading: X-Men: Apocalypse Review
Mutants and humans alike are familiar with the story of Apocalypse, he was the first mutant and began harnessing his power in ancient times. Now, millions of years after his reign, Apocalypse is reborn and finds himself in the middle of a modern society and shocked by the direction both human and mutant life has taken.
Feeling there are few options left, Apocalypse calls on the help of Magneto and a group of other mutants to help 'cleanse' the earth of all the citizens who have contributed to its downfall. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse - headed by Magneto - start to wreak havoc around the world and it looks like the X-Men's attempts to save it are all but lost - especially when their team is badly hurt by the loss of one member.
It's 1971 and University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo wants to try a new social and psychological experiment. The idea was to take 18 young, well-adjusted males and put half in the role of a prison guard and half in the role of a prison inmate. It quickly became apparent that the guards would dominate this situation and take their new job roles to the extreme.
Though all the volunteers know they're being watch by Zimbardo and his colleagues, this didn't seem to make much difference to how the guards react. Not willing to put up with the actions of the guards, soon the submissive prisoners decide to rebel and take matters into their own hands. As the volunteers fall deeper into their new lives, Zimbardo becomes fascinated by the results and how quickly the situation escalates. When rules start to get broken, when should enough be enough?
The Stanford Prison Experiment is a psychological thriller based on true events. The results of Zimbardo's test were published in a book named The Lucifer Effect.
The Stanford Prison Experiment was directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez and stars a number of young actors including Michael Angarano, Moises Arias & Ezra Miller.
Libby Day is a fragile and unemployed woman struggling to get away from the demons of her past. As a child of just 7, she bore witness to the violent murder of her mother and two sisters and even stood up in court to accuse her older brother Ben of the crimes. People were happy to take her word for it when it was unearthed that he was involved in Satanic activity, but now more than 20 years on the whole trauma is finally back for a visit with consequences no-one could've foreseen. Broke after living off charity funds all her life, she readily accepts a cash payment to make an appearance at a meeting of the Kill Club; a group specialising in murder mysteries and who have a particular interest in the case of her family - namely because they do not believe her brother was the killer. While sceptical of their thoughts, she soon agrees to help them pick apart what happened, re-visiting her memories of that fateful night and even seeing her brother for the first time since his trial.
Continue: Dark Places - Clips
If a zombie apocalypse is coming your way could a lot worse than having three Scouts on your team. In Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse three lifelong friends join forces with one badass cocktail waitress to take on the zombies who threaten to ravage their town and turn everyone in the undead. While this trio might be used to fighting for a badge, they're going to have to put all their scouting skills to the test if they're going to save mankind from becoming zombified. In one night these three will learn the meaning of friendship and prove to the world why a scout is your best bet when faced with a zombie apocalypse.
Libby Day is a young woman, still permanently scarred from the events of her childhood. As a 7-year-old girl living in Kansas, she witnessed the brutal slaughter of her family, only weeks after discovering a bizarre interest of her brother Ben's and evidence that he practiced Satanism. After she accused Ben, then 16-years-old, of murder, he was locked up for life and her name went down in crime history. It left her with money from a charitable fund and royalities from her autobiography, but now in her early 30s she's completely broke. Soon though she meets Lyle Wirth, a member of a ghoulish group named The Kill Club, full of crime obsessed wannabe detectives who enjoy solving vicious crimes. They offer her money to help them solve what really happened when she was a girl, because hardly any of them believe her brother was the perpetrator of the massacre. She's sure it was him, but now she's forced to return to that time in her life and remember exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the tragedy - and that gets even more complicated when she finally visits Ben in prison.
Continue: Dark Places Trailer
Rose Byrne will reprise her role as CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'.
Rose Byrne will be rejoining the X-Men cast in the 2016 instalment of the Marvel franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse. The 35-year-old Australian actor played CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert in the 2011 film X-Men: First Class as a potential love interest of James McAvoy's Professor Charles Xaviar. Apocalypse writer, Simon Kinberg, in a recent interview has refused to divulge how Byrne's character will return but promises there's a "rich relationship" with Prof. X to "mine" into.
Rose Byrne will reprise her role as Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Read More: X-Men: Apocalypse Casts Three New Faces.
Continue reading: Rose Byrne Reprising Her Role As Moira MacTaggert In 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
Director Bryan Singer announced the addition of Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp to the cast on Thursday.
Some breaking superhero movie news: director Bryan Singer has unveiled casting details for three characters in his forthcoming project X-Men: Apocalypse. Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp will all play younger versions of three of the mythology’s most popular characters.
Singer, who is already attached for the eighth instalment in the popular movie franchise, tweeted the casting announcements on Thursday. The biggest news is the inclusion of Turner, famous for her portrayal of the tormented Sansa Stark on ‘Game Of Thrones’, who will be playing a younger version of the ultra-telepathic Jean Grey. That makes her the second ‘Game of Thrones’ star to also feature in the franchise – Peter Dinklage played the baddie in last year’s Days of Future Past.
Sophie Turner will play a young Jean Grey in X-Men Apocalypse next year
Continue reading: X-Men: Apocalypse Casts Three New Faces
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This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...
Based on real events, this sharply well-made film shifts from a rather light-hearted comedy into...
X-Men Apocalypse comes as the ninth instalment in the X-Men film series and stars Jennifer...
This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...
Ewan McGregor is cast as both Jesus and the devil in this imagined chapter which...
Mutants and humans alike are familiar with the story of Apocalypse, he was the first...
It's 1971 and University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo wants to try a new social and...
Libby Day is a fragile and unemployed woman struggling to get away from the demons...
If a zombie apocalypse is coming your way could a lot worse than having three...
Libby Day is a young woman, still permanently scarred from the events of her childhood....
Nicolas Cage gives a rare internalised performance in this atmospheric drama, which has a stronger...