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.
Thriller 2018 94 mins Director: Amanda Kramer
Welcome to Ladyworld, a shadowy dwelling where tensions run high and nothing is ever quite what it seems.
Thriller 2018 111 mins Director: Kim Nguyen
Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård are sensational as scheming cousins on a lucrative but ethically dubious mission, in this fast, funny and topical technological caper.
Thriller 2017 79 mins Director: Ana Asensio
A day in the life of an undocumented Spanish immigrant turns increasingly bizarre in this searing social drama with a bold genre twist. Winner of the 2017 SXSW Grand Jury Award.
Thriller 2018 88 mins Director: Isabella Eklöf
A lavish trip to the Turkish Riviera goes horribly awry in this disturbing tale of power, exploitation and complicity from the writer of Border.
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.
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.
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.
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Francis Lee
A troubled young sheep farmer falls for a hired hand in this stunning debut from Francis Lee.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
Documentary 2018 91 mins Director: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog meets the former President of the Soviet Union in this invigorating portrait of a towering 20th-century figure.
Drama 2017 108 mins Director: Annabel Jankel
Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger star as two very different women who fall in love in this 1950s-set romantic drama.
Drama 2017 104 mins Director: Sebastián Lelio
This invigorating and inspiring Chilean drama from Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) follows a trans woman’s quest for a little respect. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2018.