Ben Wheatley’s ascent as one of the UK’s most dazzling and prolific cinematic talents continues with this ballsy, high-octane action thriller. Sharp-witted Justine (Brie Larson) brokers a deal on behalf of two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley), setting them up to buy a stash of guns from seedy gangsters Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer). But the meet-up in a deserted warehouse derails when stoner side-kick Stevo (Sam Riley) recognises one of the two handover guys (Jack Reynor, Noah Taylor) and shots are fired.
Dripping with blood, sweat and irony, Free Fire’s bravura filmmaking pays knowing tribute to the kinetic cinema of directors such as Sam Peckinpah and Ringo Lam. Wheatley and writing/editing partner Amy Jump’s relentlessly playful riff on the shoot-em-up is as fascinated with the slowness of destruction as it is with speed and action. The virtuosic editing and complex staging (it was shot on location in a warehouse outside Brighton) serve not only to propel the mayhem, but also to emphasise just how bloody long it takes, and how messy it is, to obliterate everything. Notionally set in Boston and steeped in 1970s Americana (with threads and hairdos to die for… literally), the crackling script and knockout cast have as much fun with character and dialogue as we do with the fact that there are no mobile phones to save the day. Wheatley fan and supporter Martin Scorsese is one of the executive producers and the film’s intermittent, pulsating score is by Geoff Barrow (Portishead) and Ben Salisbury.
Action and Adventure
Crime 2018 159 mins Director: S. Craig Zahler
As brutal and uncompromising as its title would suggest, the third feature from S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99) is another instant classic crime drama.
Action and Adventure 2019 98 mins Director: Joe Penna
Mads Mikkelsen astounds in this gripping tale of one man’s gruelling fight for survival against the elements.
Crime 2002 118 mins Director: Doug Liman
The spy thriller that overturned the genre stars Matt Damon as the amnesiac searching for his true identity.
Thriller 2007 115 mins Director: Paul Greengrass
Director Paul Greengrass returns for the third Bourne film, famed for its incredibly tense opening sequence in London Waterloo station.
Crime 2004 108 mins Director: Paul Greengrass
Britain’s Paul Greengrass takes the helms for the spy sequel, shaping the series with his penchant for documentary-style realism.
Action and Adventure 2017 100 mins Director: Lance Daly
During the Great Famine, an Irish Ranger returns from war to discover even greater devastation at home.
Period drama 2016 146 mins Director: Park Chan-wook
Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, Stoker) channels Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, to create a sumptuous twisty psychological thriller full of erotic intrigue.
Drama 2016 111 mins Director: Barry Jenkins
Winner of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture (eventually!), Barry Jenkins’ intoxicating drama follows the furtive life of a gay black boy through 80s Miami.
Drama 2016 84 mins Director: Hope Dickson Leach
Hope Dickson Leach's hugely impressive first feature about a middle class farming family’s crisis, set against the backdrop of the Somerset floods.
Action and Adventure 2016 140 mins Director: Kim Jee-woon
Kim Jee-woon’s stunning, seductive and serpentine action thriller set during Japan’s occupation of Korea.
Comedy 2015 116 mins Director: Hannes Holm
A curmudgeon turns over a new leaf in this heart-warming comedy that became one of Swedish cinema’s biggest hits.
Crime 1965 110 mins Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Godard’s stunning, colour widescreen account of the wild journey of ‘the last romantic couple’, Pierrot (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his lover Marianne (Karina).
Featuring Armie Hammer
Biopic 2018 120 mins Director: Mimi Leder
Defiant dramatisation of the early career of future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones), as she faces adversity and numerous obstacles as a struggling attorney and new mother.
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Science Fiction 2015 119 mins Director: Ben Wheatley
Ben Wheatley's savage and brilliant adaptation of JG Ballard's dystopian satire, starring Tom Hiddleston.
Crime 2011 92 mins Director: Ben Wheatley
Ben Wheatley’s ultra-violent second feature, invoking both The Wicker Man and Apocalypse Now.
Comedy 2012 88 mins Director: Ben Wheatley
Young lovers Chris and Tina turn their first holiday together into a rural killing spree in Ben Wheatley's priceless black comedy.
Documentary 2018 106 mins Director: Tomer Heymann
The private life of a renowned gay porn legend is laid bare in this intimate and insightful documentary.
Horror 2019 104 mins Director: Jim Jarmusch
Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton lead this star-studded, bonkers addition to the zombie canon from cult director Jim Jarmusch.
Biopic 1952 120 mins Director: John Huston
Toulouse Lautrec (José Ferrer) seeks solace in the drink, dance and distractions of the infamous Paris nightclub, in John Huston's exquisitely evoked biopic.
Drama 2018 84 mins Director: William McGregor
A young girl tries desperately to protect her family from illness and dark outside forces in William McGregor's stark period horror.
Drama 2019 111 mins Director: Marco Berger
A tentative friendship blossoms into a beautiful bromance in this erotically-charged yet disarmingly sweet-natured offering from Marco Berger (Taekwondo).
Documentary 2019 124 mins Director: Asif Kapadia
The supreme football superstar is the latest subject for acclaimed filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), as he deftly explores the complicated dynamic between Diego the man and Maradona the icon.