Lynne Ramsay’s stark inversion of the noir thriller is a devastatingly brutal portrayal of one man’s battle with repression and abuse, anchored by a rage-fuelled, Cannes-winning performance from Joaquin Phoenix. Joe (Phoenix) is a Gulf War veteran and former FBI agent turned killer-for-hire who lives at home with his ailing mother. When Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), a US Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, he is contracted to dispense with the perpetrators and save the girl. Having located Nina in a seedy New York brothel, Joe’s escape plan suddenly derails, unleashing a maelstrom of violence that ultimately takes him deeper into the hallucinatory darkness and closer to the truth.
Working from Jonathan Ames’ 2013 novel, Ramsay (who jointly won the best screenplay award in Cannes) is more concerned with the psyche of her unhinged protagonist than she is with the action, and she eschews the spoken word in favour of Phoenix’s eloquent, line-ravaged face. Reuniting several of her key collaborators on We Need to Talk About Kevin, her taut, syncopated cinema is intensified by Jonny Greenwood’s pulsating score, Thomas Townend’s expressive camerawork and razor-sharp editing from Joe Bini who rejects exploitation, cutting away from the action rather than to it.
Drama 2018 134 mins Director: Asghar Farhadi
Academy Award® winners Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem star in this captivating psychological thriller from acclaimed filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.
Thriller 2018 94 mins Director: Mélanie Laurent
Ben Foster and Elle Fanning play fugitives on the run from a criminal gang, in this gritty crime thriller from the creator of True Detective.
A Private War
Drama 2018 110 mins Director: Matthew Heineman
Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, City of Ghosts) makes a striking dramatic debut with this pulse-racing biopic of The Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike), killed in 2012 whilst reporting from Syria.
Thriller 2018 148 mins Director: Lee Chang-dong
Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) returns with this spellbinding, richly complex thriller about obsession, class conflict and suppressed male rage.
Thriller 2018 121 mins Director: Karyn Kusama
Nicole Kidman is astonishing – and almost unrecognisable – as a jaded police detective haunted by her past in Karyn Kusama’s brooding thriller.
The Bourne Identity
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.
Best Films of 2018
Drama 2016 103 mins Director: Maysaloun Hamoud
Three strong, independent Israeli-Palestinian women try to square their liberated, hedonistic lifestyles with the stultifying restrictions of conservative family life, in Maysaloun Hamoud's charming and vital drama.
God's Own Country
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Francis Lee
A troubled young sheep farmer falls for a hired hand in this stunning debut from Francis Lee.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami
Documentary 2017 115 mins Director: Sophie Fiennes
Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.
Comedy 2017 71 mins Director: Sally Potter
Following some unexpected revelations, a celebration quickly takes a turn for the worse in Sally Potter's razor-sharp comedy.
The Death of Stalin
Comedy 2017 107 mins Director: Armando Iannucci
Chaos and comedy ignite in Armando Iannucci’s acerbic satire, as Soviet officials frantically react to the passing of their glorious leader.
The Florida Project
Drama 2017 112 mins Director: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Featuring Joaquin Phoenix
Drama 2013 117 mins Director: James Gray
Marion Cotillard plays a Polish immigrant struggling to survive in 1920s New York, in this acclaimed drama from James Gray (We Own the Night).
Directed by Lynne Ramsay
Kill the Day
Drama 1996 18 mins Director: Lynne Ramsay
An ex-drug addict reflects on life in and out of prison in this short by BAFTA-winner Lynne Ramsay, based on real accounts.
Drama 2001 93 mins Director: Lynne Ramsay
Samantha Morton plays the enigmatic title character in Lynne Ramsay’s dreamy and atmospheric road movie.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Drama 2010 112 mins Director: Lynne Ramsay
Tilda Swinton gives a BAFTA-nominated performance as the mother of a teenager who commits a high school massacre. With Ezra Miller and John C. Reilly.
A Kid for Two Farthings
Comedy 1954 90 mins Director: Carol Reed
The adventures of a young boy who buys a small goat in the belief that it’s a unicorn that will be able to grant the wishes of him and his friends.
Varda by Agnès
Biopic 2018 115 mins Director: Agnès Varda
In her final film, Agnès Varda offers a personal insight into her oeuvre, using excerpts from her work to illustrate her unique artistic visions and ideas.
The Wicker Man
Horror 1973 88 mins Director: Robin Hardy
Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward star in the folk horror classic about a policemen investigating an island given over to paganism.
Drama 1995 109 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s first fiction feature is an exquisite meditation on loss, loneliness, uncertainty, and coming to terms with the past.
Drama 1998 119 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda's lyrical fantasy challenges the viewer to reflect on the experiences that most make life worth living.
Drama 2008 115 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s subtle, moving account of the tensions within a family is his most Ozu-like film.