100 Word Review – Green Room (2015)

From Jeremy Saulnier, writer and director of Blue Ruin, comes a thrilling horror that hits all too close to home.

Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam (Alia Shawkat) and their band mates find themselves performing to a group of right-wing extremist skin heads in America’s deep South. When they see something they¬†shouldn’t have, they come face to face with the club’s owner, the terrifying Darcy (Patrick Stewart).

Tense and horrible in parts, this film hits a nerve in the current political climate and the darker side of the world of punk music. It’s currently on Netflix and definitely worth a watch.

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100 Word Review – Money Monster (2016)

Walking that fine line between socio-political commentary and thriller, this film stands out.

Lee (George Clooney), presenter of financial advice TV show Money Monster, is held up at gun point live on the air after some of his advice goes bad. Under the direction of his producer, Patty (Julia Roberts), Lee is forced to put his life where his mouth is.

Jodie Foster’s direction succeeds in adding extra dimensions to an already punchy script. Politically challenging, it manages to be a thought-provoking thriller that keeps an audience on the edge of its seats while poking holes in society’s capitalist greed.

100 Word Review – Trumbo (2015)

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Based on the life of the Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Roman Holiday, Sparticus) and his time on the Black List as one of the infamous Hollywood Ten.

Brilliantly cast and put together, the film breathes a new life into antime of constructed fear and censorship that holds up a mirror to politics throughout the ages. Despite the heavy content, it retains a levity and humanity that is truly brilliant.

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is superb in the title role and his co-stars all shine just as bright. It’s unsurprising¬†that he’s been nominated for an Oscar for his performance.

100 Word Review – The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

After 9/11, you could choose your side. I had my side chosen for me.

– Changez

Adapted from the extraordinary novel by Mohsin Hamid and directed by the wonderful Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair), this film should be compulsory viewing for everyone living in the 21st Century.

A journalist (Liev Schreiber) interviews a suspected terrorist (Riz Ahmed) about how his life, his family and his current situation.

Co-starring Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson, this film is exciting, dramatic and hauntingly understandable.

Ahmed is spectacular in his role as Changez, brilliantly capturing all the dimensions of a truly complex and intriguing character.

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100 Word Review – In The Loop (2009)

This is a political satire to end all political satires.

MP Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) with his assistant Toby (Chris Addison) and spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) head state-side as representatives of the British Parliament in an attempt to ensure another war doesn’t start.

Co-written and directed by the marvellous Armando Iannucci (Alan Partridge, Veep), and co-starring James Gandolfini, this could not help but be a masterpiece of dry-wit and comedic filmmaking.

It has the feel of a fly-on-the-wall documentary, which ties in with the “funny because it’s true” sensibility of the script perfectly. It is also endlessly quotable.