Wong Kar-Wai’s lavish martial arts biopic tells the story of the Ip Man, the legendary trainer who became Bruce Lee’s mentor. Spanning several decades, it follows the story of intense rivalry and yearning that develops between the titular founder of the Wing Chun branch of kung fu (played by regular Wong collaborator Tony Leung) and the head of a competing school (Zhang Ziyi).
Wong Kar-Wai displayed his customary procrastination while editing the film, delaying its release once Donnie Yen had rushed into production an alternate trilogy about the Ip Man mythos. But Wong’s vision was worth the wait. Combing the lyrical style for which he made his name with stunning martial arts sequences, The Grandmaster is both a thrilling action film and a sumptuous visual experience.
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.
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.
Biopic 2012 111 mins Director: Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s book about the long-standing affair between Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan.
Historical drama 2015 106 mins Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Lush retelling of the story of lesbian monarch Queen Christina of Sweden, combining period drama with a deeply personal love story.
Biopic 2013 93 mins Director: Jeffrey Friedman
Porn star Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried) finds herself abused by the industry and her maniacal husband– so she sets off to embrace feminism and, vitally, herself.
Biopic 2008 92 mins Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Tom Hardy is sensational as Britain’s most notorious criminal, Michael Gordon Peterson, in Nicolas Winding Refn’s visceral and stylised biopic.
Biopic 2008 96 mins Director: Steve McQueen
Northern Ireland, 1981. In the Maze prison, Bobby Sands begins a hunger strike to reclaim the status of Republican inmates as political prisoners.
Featuring Tony Leung Chiu-wai
Drama 2007 158 mins Director: Ang Lee
Esteemed Taiwanese director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi) returned to Asia once more for this startlingly erotic tale of espionage and obsession.
Featuring Zhang Ziyi
Historical drama 2009 140 mins Director: Han Sanping
Jet Li, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen appear together for the first time in the epic, star-studded story of the birth of modern China.
2006 125 mins Director: Feng Xiaogang
Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) stars is this lavish wuxia based on elements from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Ibsen’s Ghosts.
Drama 1952 75 mins Director: Lewis Gilbert
Lewis Gilbert’s shocking and controversial 1952 drama focuses on a gang of juvenile delinquents and their dangerous exploits in post-war London.
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Ofir Raul Graizer
A German baker moves to Israel to learn more about the life of his mysterious dead lover, encroaching into the life of his widowed wife.
Comedy 2018 103 mins Director: Cédric Le Gallo
After making a homophobic remark on live TV, an Olympic champion swimmer is given a chance at redemption by coaching a water polo team to the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ sporting event, the Gay Games.
Drama 2019 113 mins Director: Pedro Almodóvar
In one of his most personal works, Pedro Almodóvar presents a vivid portrait of a filmmaker confronting age-related anxieties.
Drama 2018 86 mins Director: Camilla Strøm Henriksen
Camilla Strøm Henriksen’s astute and atmospheric adolescent drama follows a young girl having to grow up quickly in an intensely adult world.
Documentary 2017 73 mins Director: Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave makes her directorial debut with this impassioned documentary about the ongoing refugee crisis.