When a young girl is snatched away from her father by a horrifying giant monster that emerges from the River Han to wreak havoc on Seoul, her entire family sets out to locate the beast and bring their little girl back home to safety, in South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's big-budget creature feature.
Bong was already one of the South Korean cinema's hottest prospects before The Host, but the film's popular appeal and international breakthrough resulted in it becoming the most successful Korean film ever (at that time). What impressed critics was Bong's ability to retain the eccentric characters, offbeat humour and wild tonal shifts of his earlier work, amid the film's sweeping scope and spectacular special effects. There's also a potent political commentary throughout the film, with the monster's origins being traced to the chemical malpractices of the American military, a plotline inspired by a real life incident in 2000. This perceived anti-American message even led to rare praise from North Korea; usually only known for its virulent hostility to its neighbour's cinema.
Science Fiction 1988 91 mins Director: Vincent Ward
A group of medieval English villagers find themselves transported to '80s New Zealand, in Vincent Ward's startling fusion of period fantasy and time-travel science fiction.
Action and Adventure 2014 116 mins Director: Sion Sono
Sion Sono's unique brand of subversive cinema explodes onscreen once again with this ingenious hybrid of Yakuza gang action and hip-hop musical.
Science Fiction 1965 101 mins Director: Kevin Brownlow
Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's legendary, independently produced speculative fiction, imagining the Nazi occupation of Britain.
Fantasy 1988 67 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Shinya Tsukamoto's wild cyberpunk tale of a businessman's agonising transformation into a walking scrap heap is a jaggedly dehumanised vision of the future.
Fantasy 1965 89 mins Director: Elio Petri
Long before The Hunger Games, Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress battled it out in a televised assassination game, in Elio Petri’s cult sci-fi.
Horror 1979 92 mins Director: David Cronenberg
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Crime 1926 91 mins Silent Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Ivor Novello plays a strange lodger who may be behind a number of Jack the Ripper-style killings in Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller.
Drama 2007 96 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
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Biopic 1988 84 mins Director: Terence Davies
Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.
Drama 1919 74 mins Silent Director: Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux’s startling silent classic – the earliest surviving feature from an African-American director – presents a fascinating black counterpoint to Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.
Drama 2012 107 mins Director: Sally El Hosaini
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Featuring Song Kang-ho
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Acclaimed director Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden, Oldboy) kicks off his celebrated ‘Vengeance trilogy’ with this dazzling, shocking tale of kidnapping, organ transplants and revenge.
Drama 2014 93 mins Director: Gerard Barrett
Toni Collette’s visceral performance as an alcoholic, dependent on her devoted son (Jack Reynor), anchors this powerful Irish drama.
Drama 2018 89 mins Director: Mark Jenkin
Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.
Documentary 2007 94 mins Director: James Marsh
James Marsh's excellent, Oscar®-winning documentary account of the 'artistic crime of the decade'.
Thriller 1977 144 mins Director: Robert Aldrich
Burt Lancaster stars as the Air Force general who seizes control of a nuclear stockpile to force the US President (Charles Durning) to tell the truth about the Vietnam war, in Robert Aldrich's thunderous political thriller.
Drama 2014 121 mins Director: Kornél Mundruczó
Winner of the 2014 Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, a bold and visceral tale of canine uprising.
Horror 1953 68 mins Director: Erik Blomberg
The wife of a reindeer herder acquires a potion to makes her an irresistible object of desire, but at a terrible cost, in this extraordinary vampiric fairy-tale set amongst the starkly beautiful fells of Finnish Lapland.