Patriots Day (15)
Drama | History | Thriller
Dir. Peter Berg, US, 2016, 1339 mins
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons
Based on true events, “Patriots Day” is a powerful story of a community’s extraordinary courage in the face of adversity. An account of the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing, the tension-packed dramatic thriller chronicles in detail one of the most sophisticated and well-coordinated manhunts in law enforcement history.
The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing shattered lives and tested the fabric of the American spirit. But in its wake, an entire city came together to bring the perpetrators to justice before they could inflict further damage. Rather than give themselves over to panic and fear, the citizens of Boston banded together, choosing solidarity over divisiveness in pursuit of a common enemy.
A Cure for Wellness (18)
Mystery | Thriller
Dir. Gore Verbinski, Germany/US, 2016, 146 mins
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, Jason Isaacs, Celia Imrie
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests there longing for the cure.
Documentary | Sport
Dir. Daniel Gordon, UK, 2016, 90 mins
Cast: George Best
He was football’s first rock and roll star – a handsome, charismatic Belfast boy who could thrill and excite the crowds with every turn of the ball.
But George Best was also the lead in his own Shakespearean tragedy, a flawed genius, brought down by drink, temptation and depression. In this 30 for 30 documentary jointly presented by ESPN Films, the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen, director Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough) recounts the tale of this beloved but be-devilled superstar with riveting, evocative footage and testimony by those who knew him at his best—and worst.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in Best’s short life—from his electrifying debut with Manchester United at the tender age of 17, through the glory years that United won the 1968 European Cup, his adventures in the North American Soccer League, not to mention his time spent romancing the world’s most beautiful, intoxicating women.
But Gordon tells Best’s story with a skill worthy of the man himself. The film draws you into the drama that surrounded Best and makes you understand just why an estimated quarter of a million people lined the route of his funeral cortege to mourn his tragic passing.
Bitter Harvest (15)
Drama | Romance | War
Dir. George Mendeluk, Canada, 2017, 103 mins
Cast: Max Irons, Samantha Barks, Tamer Hassan, Terence Stamp
Based on one of the most overlooked tragedies of the 20th century, BITTER HARVEST is a powerful story of love, honour, rebellion and survival as seen through the eyes of two young lovers caught in the ravages of Joseph Stalin’s genocidal policies against Ukraine in the 1930s. As Stalin advances the ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, a young artist named Yuri ( Max Irons ) battles to survive famine, imprisonment and torture to save his childhood sweetheart Natalka ( Samantha Barks ) from the “Holodomor,” the death‑by‑starvation program that ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians. Against this tragic backdrop, Yuri escapes from a Soviet prison and joins the anti‑Bolshevik resistance movement as he battles to reunite with Natalka and continue the fight for a free Ukraine.
Filmed on location in Ukraine, this epic love story brings to light one of the most devastating chapters of modern Europe.
Fits, The (12A)
Dir. Anna Rose Holmer, US, 2015, 72 mins
Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Antonio A.B. Grant Jr.
Eleven-year-old tomboy Toni (a showstopping Royalty Hightower) is bewitched by the tight-knit dance team she sees practicing in the same Cincinnati gymnasium where she boxes. Enamored by the power and confidence of the strong community of girls, Toni spends less and less time boxing with her older brother, and instead eagerly absorbs the dance routines and masters drills from a distance, and even pierces her own ears in an effort to fit in. But when a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, Toni’s desire for acceptance becomes more complicated. Gorgeously shot and with a mesmerizing score, THE FITS is a transformative experience and a marvelous portrait of adolescence.
It's Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde) (15)
Drama | World
Dir. Xavier Dolan, Canada/France, 2016, 97 mins, subtitles
Cast: Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Gaspard Ulliel, Antoine Desrochers
After 12 years of estrangement, a writer (Gaspard Ulliel) returns to his hometown, planning on announcing his impending death to his family. However, his mother (Nathalie Baye), tempestuous siblings (Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux) and beleaguered sister-in-law (Marion Cotillard) have their own personal grievances to air. As buried resentments threaten to surface and fits and feuds begin to unfold, all attempts at empathy are sabotaged by the family’s inability to listen and love.
Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD is a bold and stylistically daring melodrama performed with thunderous emotion. Taut, tense and packed with explosive performances shot in claustrophobic close-up, it further confirms Dolan as one of the most singular talents in world cinema.
Shut In (15)
Drama | Thriller
Dir. Farren Blackburn, Canada/France, 2016, 91 mins
Cast: Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton, Jacob Tremblay, Oliver Platt
Child psychologist Mary (Naomi Watts) is trying to put her life back together after losing her husband in a car accident, a tragedy which also left her teenage son, Stephen (Charlie Heaton) paralysed from the neck down and unable to communicate. Mary spends her days meticulously caring for Stephen at their remote Maine home, fitting in occasional appointments at her consultancy, situated in an adjacent out-building. Tom, a disturbed little boy, grieving after his mother’s death, is her latest assignment, but before being permanently transferred away he escapes from child-services during a fierce winter storm and is later presumed dead by the authorities, though a body isn’t found. Mary begins hearing his voice in the house and then catches fleeting glimpses of him during the night. Fearing for her sanity, she connects with her own Doctor, via Skype, who puts the incidents down to ongoing sleep problems. Her mental strength is put further to the test as the relentless storm shuts her in from the outside world just as the apparitions intensify to the point where she not only fears for her sanity, she now also fears for her life…
Southern Fury (18)
Crime | Thriller
Dir. Steven C. Miller, US, 2017, 93 mins
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Jonathon Schaech
Adrian Grenier (Entourage, The Devil Wears Prada) takes the lead in this brutal action thriller that tells the intertwining stories of the Lindel brothers who have relied on each other as they grew up. As adults, JP (Grenier) has found success as the owner of a construction company while Mikey (Jonathon Schaech – TV’s Legends of Tomorrow, Quantico) has become a small-time mobster mired in a life of petty crime
When Mikey is kidnapped and held for a ransom by ruthless crime boss Eddie King (Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage – Army Of One, Snowden), JP turns to the brothers’ old pal Sal, a plain clothes detective, for help. In order to rescue his brother, JP must risk everything and unleash his vengeance against King’s relentless army of gangsters.
Sweet Dreams (Fai bei sogni) (12A)
Drama | Romance | World
Dir. Marco Bellocchio, Italy/France, 2016, 134 mins, subtitles
Cast: Berenice Bejo, Valerio Mastandrea, Fabrizio Gifuni
Set in 1990s Turin, Valerio Mastandrea (Perfect Strangers) stars as an accomplished journalist whose sudden panic attacks leads him to confront devastating events from years earlier, when an idyllic childhood was shattered by the death of his mother. Forced to relive his traumatic past, he is helped along by a compassionate doctor (played by the Academy Award-nominated Bérénice Bejo,The Artist), who is dedicated to helping her latest patient open up and face his childhood wounds.
A highlight at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, where it screened in the Director’s Fortnight section, Sweet Dreams is an intimate drama about the importance of embracing the past to make sense of the present.
Tomato Red (15)
Drama | Thriller
Dir. Juanita Wilson, Ireland/Canada, 2017, 112 mins
Cast: Julia Garner, Jake Weary, Anna Friel
When small town drifter Sammy Barlach drives into town on the search for his next cold beer and the bunch that’ll have him, he gets a lot more than he bargained for. Food, lodging and the possibility of a better future thanks to redheaded Jamalee and her brother Jason who dream of hitting the big time. But breaks aren’t easy to come by if you live in Venus Holler. Finding themselves powerless against the forces of corruption and prejudice, the hardest thing Sammy has to fight is the demons inside his own head.
Dir. Greg Kwedar, US, 2016, 86 mins
Cast: Johnny Simmons, Gabriel Luna, Clifton Collins Jr.
On a remote desert highway a makeshift Border Patrol checkpoint is manned by three agents: Flores (Gabriel Luna): with an uncanny ability to track; Davis (Johnny Simmons): joined the Border Patrol with dreams of romancing señoritas and riding on horseback; Hobbs (Clifton Collins Jr): one of the old guard who believes a college degree can’t stop a bullet.
It’s like most boring days, but soon the contents of one car will change everything.
What follows is a journey to uncover the surreal, frightening secrets hidden behind the facade of this lonely outpost. The end of the path may cost them their lives along a border where the line between right and wrong shifts like the desert itself.
Horror | Thriller
Dir. Phil Claydon, US, 2016, 88 mins
Cast: Michael Vartan, Erin Moriarty, Nadine Velazquez
A widower, his daughter and new wife are ready to begin a new life when they move into a peaceful suburban neighborhood. But as strange things begin to happen around them, it becomes clear that something about their seemingly perfect home isn’t right. As they learn the deadly secrets of their new house, they risk becoming the next chapter in its horrifying history.