Tom Hiddleston plays the new resident of futuristic apartment block, who unwillingly becomes observer of a mini-society in meltdown, in Ben Wheatley’s savage and utterly brilliant satire of both 1960s social idealism and the Thatcherite values that undermined it.
Director Ben Wheatley (Sightseers, Kill List) and regular collaborator and screenwriter Amy Jump tear into JG Ballard’s classic source novel with gusto, boldly adopting the book's mid-1970s timeframe, in which Ballard’s brutalist building represents a pioneering beacon of modernism. Hiddleston is Dr Robert Laing, the occupant whose luxurious apartment’s lofty location places him among the upper echelons of the block’s clearly delineated social strata. He's immediately drawn into and seduced by the louche culture of nightly cocktail parties, where conversation always comes back to Royal (Jeremy Irons), the enigmatic architect who designed the building. However, as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social structures begins to crumble. Nihilism, drugs and alcohol feed into wanton sex and destruction, all underscored by Clint Mansell’s wicked music and Mark Tildesley’s designs – revelling in decadent 1970s chic. A long-time passion project for producer Jeremy Thomas, his faith in Wheatley has resulted in a glorious cacophony of excess.
- Ben Wheatley
- Tom HiddlestonJeremy IronsSienna MillerLuke Evans
- Science Fiction
- strong violence, sex, very strong language
- United Kingdom
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1986 84 mins Director: Jimmy Teru Murakami
A middle-aged couple prepare for nuclear war in this humorous and macabre cautionary tale, adapted by Raymond Briggs (The Snowman) from his best-selling book.
Horror 2016 98 mins Director: Amat Escalante
Amat Escalante follows Heli with a boundary-pushing, mind-blowing mix of sex, sci-fi and social drama.
Science Fiction 1997 84 mins Director: Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky’s magisterial monochrome mystery concerns a mathematician whose discovery of a powerful number leads to the dark side.
Science Fiction 1984 131 mins Director: David Lynch
David Lynch brings Frank Herbert’s powerful novel and rich fantasy world to life in this cinematic spectacle.
Drama 1993 94 mins Director: Ngozi Onwurah
A ferocious dystopian nightmare, this was the first film directed by a black British woman to receive a UK theatrical release.
Science Fiction 1982 114 mins Director: Steven Spielberg
Often hailed as one of the great family films, Steven Spielberg’s enduring classic tells the story of a stranded alien who befriends a young boy.
Best Films of 2016
Documentary 2015 99 mins Director: John Dower
Louis Theroux investigates the secretive world of the Church of Scientology, armed with his characteristic deadpan wit.
Crime 2015 131 mins Director: Brian Helgeland
Tom Hardy’s magnetic double-performance as infamous East End gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray commands Brian Helgeland stylish biopic.
Drama 2016 85 mins Director: Ira Sachs
Ira Sachs’ poignant drama about how money affects relationships follows an artistic family’s attempts to attune to a new Brooklyn neighbourhood.
Comedy 2016 101 mins Director: Taika Waititi
Juvenile delinquent Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) forms an unlikely partnership with Sam Neill’s grizzled bushman in this hilarious wild adventure from Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows).
Comedy 2015 96 mins Director: Rachel Tunnard
Anna (Jodie Whittaker) is an emotionally stunted 30-year-old living in her mum’s shed, learning to confront adult reality, in Rachel Tunnard’s quirky debut.
Drama 2015 88 mins Director: Sean Baker
A big-hearted film shot on a small phone, this LA tale of two transgender working girls out for vengeance fizzes with wild energy.
Featuring Tom Hiddleston
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2018 89 mins Director: Nick Park
In Aardman’s latest animated adventure, Caveman Dug and his pet hog, Hognog, must unite their tribe if they're are to survive the threat of pompous tyrant Lord Nooth.
Romance 2013 123 mins Director: Jim Jarmusch
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton star as ageless, blood-drinking lovers in Jim Jarmusch’s clever, funny and sexy vampire tale.
Drama 2013 105 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
Joanna Hogg's sleek and minimalist comedy about a pair of artists and their emotional attachment to their ultra-modernist apartment.
Featuring Jeremy Irons
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Action and Adventure 2016 90 mins Director: Ben Wheatley
Ben Wheatley’s (High-Rise, Sightseers) all-guns-blazing bullet opera, starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer.
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 2017 72 mins Director: Carol Salter
Carol Salter's award-winning portrait of a young Chinese woman training to become a mortician is a tender and reflective elegy on death and the fragility of life.
Drama 2016 89 mins Director: Clio Barnard
Clio Barnard follows The Selfish Giant and The Arbor with this searing and eloquent Yorkshire-set drama exploring the fragility of familial relationships.
Drama 2017 127 mins Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena, Leviathan) delivers a masterpiece in this caustic look at contemporary Russian society, a failed marriage and the disappearance of a child. A major prize winner at both Cannes and BFI London Film Festival.
Drama 2017 88 mins Director: John Trengove
A traditional rite of passage ritual forms the backdrop for this tough and complex tale of closeted sexuality in South Africa.
Comedy 2017 91 mins Director: Sophie Brooks
The captivating Zosia Mamet (Girls) takes centre-stage in this smart and sassy Manhattan-set relationship drama which channels the spirit of Nora Ephron.
Drama 2017 143 mins Director: Robin Campillo
Pulsating with life and pounding with urgency, Robin Campillo’s extraordinary account of 1990s AIDS activism is a rousing, sensual and heart-breaking celebration of personal and political resistance.