Best Motion Picture Of The Year
The Handmaiden
Your Name
Get Out
Blade Runner 2049
The Big Sick
Wonder Woman
War For The Planet Of The Apes
A Ghost Story

Worst Motion Picture Of The Year
Transformers: The Last Knight
The Mummy
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
The Emoji Movie

Most Over-rated Motion Picture of 2017
Baby Driver

Most Under-rated Motion Picture of 2017
Assassin’s Creed

Best Animated Feature
Loving Vincent
The Lego Batman Movie
Cars 3

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Kaluuya [Get Out]
Casey Affleck [Manchester By The Sea]
Ashton Sanders [Moonlight]
Kumail Nanjiani [The Big Sick]
Andy Serkis [War For The Planet Of The Apes]

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Min-hee Kim [The Handmaiden]
Tae-ri Kim [The Handmaiden]
Dafne Keen [Logan]
Taraji P Henson [Hidden Figures]
Gal Gadot [Wonder Woman]

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Adam Driver [Star Wars – Episode VII: The Last Jedi]
Mahershala Ali [Moonlight]
Jung-woo Ha [The Handmaiden]
Issei Ogata [Silence]
Ray Romano [The Big Sick]

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Janelle Monae [Hidden Figures]
Ana De Armas [Blade Runner 2049]
Michelle Williams [Manchester By The Sea]
Tiffany Haddish [Girls Trip]
Holly Hunter [The Big Sick]

Best Achievement in Directing
Chan-wook Park [The Handmaiden]
Makoto Shinkai [Your Name]
Barry Jenkins [Moonlight]
Denis Villeneuve [Blade Runner 2049]
Jordan Peele [Get Out]

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Get Out
The Big Sick
Free Fire
Brigsby Bear

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
The Handmaiden
The Death Of Stalin
Blade Runner 2049
The Disaster Artist

Best Achievement for Original Musical Score
Shiro Sagisu [Shin Godzilla]
Jed Kurzel [Assassin’s Creed]
Daniel Hart [A Ghost Story]
Michael Abels [Get Out]
Hans Zimmer [Dunkirk]

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Roger Deakins [Blade Runner 2049]
Chung-hoon Chung [The Handmaiden]
Rodrigo Prieto [Silence]
Darius Khondji [The Lost City Of Z]
Adam Arkapaw [Assassin’s Creed]

Best Achievement in Editing
Hacksaw Ridge
Assassin’s Creed
Star Wars – Episode VII: The Last Jedi

Best Achievement in Production Design
Blade Runner 2049
Wonder Woman
The Death Of Stalin
Star Wars – Episode VII: The Last Jedi
Ghost In The Shell

Best Achievement in Costume Design
The Handmaiden
The Death Of Stalin
The Beguiled
Star Wars – Episode VII: The Last Jedi

Best Achievement in Hair & Makeup
Star Wars – Episode VII: The Last Jedi
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Thor: Ragnarok
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Achievement in Sound
Star Wars – Episode VII: The Last Jedi
Blade Runner 2049
Shin Godzilla
La La Land

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
War For The Planet Of The Apes
Star Wars – Episode VII: The Last Jedi
Blade Runner 2049
Assassin’s Creed
Alien Covenant


A Fairy Tale For Troubled Times

Guillermo Del Toro

Sally Hawkins
Doug Jones
Michael Shannon
Richard Jenkins
Octavia Spencer
Michael Stuhlbarg

Set in the early 1960’s we are introduced to Elisa Esposito [Hawkins], a mute cleaner at a military facility, and her artist neighbour Giles [Jenkins], both of whom share a love for old movies and romantic musicals. Elisa’s main friend at work is the down-to-earth loquacious Zelda Fuller [Spencer]. Every night they work their way through the high-security facility, cleaning everything after the scientific and military minds have all but vacated the premises. One fateful day a specimen is brought to a containment room, along with the terrifying man who captured it, Colonel Richard Strickland [Shannon]. Neither Elisa nor Zelda care much for the brash, yet deceptively polite, Strickland but one evening, Elisa investigates what is being kept in the tank and comes face to face with an amphibious creature [Jones] who responds to music and her natural kindness. The two form a simple bond but pressures on the scientific team to learn more about the creature threaten their secret budding friendship.

I find it fascinating that the villains and monsters of cinema past are being repackaged as the heroes of this century. The same thing happened in Peter Jackson’s King Kong, where Kong was presented as less of a monstrous, horny beast and more a lonely soul. In terms of plot, Del Toro’s unofficial reworking of The Creature From The Black Lagoon actually has a closer link, in terms of story, to that of its dire sequel, Revenge of the Creature and salvaging anything from that mess is commendable in of itself. But more than the obvious route of simply wanting to see a horror character fall in love with a human, Del Toro’s fantastical plot allegorically applies to all the undesirables of our past; people dubbed by mainstream society as undeserving of happiness: homosexuals, minorities, the disabled, etc. While it’s not exactly subtle, it’s not trying to be. I could easily imagine this film being set in the present day but by showing us a less understanding and tolerant time, allows the film to draw a parallel between something a contemporary audience would find impossibly uncomfortable and something held to the same standards decades ago. Now, not for a minute am I comparing homosexual relationships, racial prejudices or abandonment of the disabled to falling in love with a fish man but the feelings of disdain projected by others is masterfully executed in a way that only cinema can and offers a crushing portrayal of intolerance and arrogance of established societal norms – which is ultimately fantasy/science fiction’s greatest tool.

While very distinctly a Guillermo Del Toro film, littered with beautiful shadow work, a rich colour palate, clockwork mechanics and things in jars everywhere, The Shape Of Water is visually and tonally reminiscent of La Cit̩ Des Enfants Perdus. A feeling magnified by the deep period-appropriate score from Alexandre Desplat with its beautiful, soulful mix of strings the occasional accordion. On top of that, the direction is second to none, everything runs with precision, the tension builds delightfully and the camera movements are beautiful and clever. While I appreciate there is a fair amount of unseen subtle CGI at work, the production design Рfrom the costumes to the sets, to the stunning amphibian man prosthetics Рgive the film an ageless quality and a grounding in reality that allows us deeper immersion into the more fanciful elements.

In addition to beautiful visuals and an extremely powerful heart beating at its core, this release is rife with fascinating characters. Seemingly everyone has a story and a personality, all the way from the complex lead to a random man at a bus stop with several balloons and a cake missing a slice; there are potential stories everywhere. I would even go one step further and say there isn’t a single weak component on the acting front, merely a sliding scale in different forms of excellence. I’ll admit, that sounds like hyperbole but it’s genuinely difficult to think of any one performance that felt feeble or out of place. To say Doug Jones’ performance is a graceful exercise in bringing horrific beauty to life is a bit of a moot point, that’s a sentiment which could be said of any of his roles and we can all agree, the man possess a physicality which is frankly unworldly. Then we have Sally Hawkins who is so desperately human and utterly compelling; again, drawing that Jean Pierre Jeunet comparison, she feels very evocative of his quirky, esoterically charming leads. The supports around her are equally masterful from Shannon’s bizarre and intimidating Richard Strickland, Stuhlbarg’s caring but suspicious Dr Hoffstetler, Octavia Spencer’s loveable and affable Zelda Fuller and Richard Jenkins’ timid but honourable neighbour Giles; your heart goes out to all of them.. well, except the military men, obviously – their manner is initially presented as pleasant but they’re ultimately the real monsters.

The only downside I could find is that it didn’t exceed my expectations. This may sound like an odd observation and a purely personal one but if you have any familiarity with or understanding of the influences on Del Toro’s work, you’ll know exactly where and how the entire film is going to develop. As with his last two features (Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak), the pastiches and homage materials are clear and you can generally work out the plot as it’s unfolding. I appreciate that’s almost the point of the film, to emulate and replicate the best elements of what came before, while elevating it into something more but in doing so, you never escape the progressional trappings of the narrative. I would really like to mention something covered in the first few shots of the film but unfortunately I cannot without going into spoiler territory – suffice it to say, I could tell how the film would end based on this one thing.

I can’t imagine this film will be for everyone and the rather visceral, unflinching nature of the violence and sexual content may shock some but for the genuinely radiant love story at the centre, this film is a masterwork.

Release Date:
14th February 2018

The Scene To Look Out For:
In one of the film’s boldest choices (and there are plenty of bold choices made) Elisa is desperate to convey to the Amphibian Man the importance of his presence in her life. Frustrated and in a clear state of agony of the barrier between them, the lights fade and a spotlight appears on her. Softly, she mouths out sounds, reciting the words of ** from **. The faint singing builds before exploding into a black and white musical number with Elisa in a ballroom gown on an elaborate set, dancing with the Amphibian Man. What should be a completely laugh-out-loud moment is actually an extremely moving one.

Notable Characters:
While everyone shines in their own way, this film wouldn’t exist as it does without the phenomenal pairing of Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins. The pair deliver something challenging, both for themselves as actors and to audiences, foregoing one of an actor’s main tools of conveying feeling, thought, opinion, etc. They also overcome the absurdity factor effortlessly and at no point did I question the relationship between these two.

Highlighted Quote:
“The only thing I recognise when I look in the mirror are these eyes in this old man’s face”

In A Few Words:
“An undeniably beautiful, heartrending love story and one of Del Toro’s most mature releases to date”

Total Score:


Cinema City Film Quiz #205

[14 January 2018]

Winning Team:
Hungry Hungry Hemsworths
Genre – Chris, Luke and Liam licence themselves for a board game when acting dries up

Runners Up:
We Thor’t Of A Clever Pun But Decided To Keep It Loki
Genre – Liam Hemsworth plays Chris Hemsworth’s brother Luke in a body swap comedy with ghosts
One Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
Genre – Slightly depressing documentary about the Hemsworth brothers
The Special Round Shoulda Been About Hiddleston
Genre – Self-explanatory really
Thor And His Expendable Brothers
Genre – Generic blockbuster
Thor A-Heard A Rush Of Wind
Genre – Super gran who whips Thor’s arse
Mocking Thor: That’s Just Loki
Genre – Homoerotic futuristic rom com
And The Oscar For Shittiest Team Name Goes To..
Genre – Thriller

ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What is the name of the theme park in Jurassic World?
2. What is the name of the main British secret agent in Dr No?
3. How many Bridget Jones films have been made to date?
4. What colour is Paddington’s uncle’s hat in the film of the same name?
5. Who directed Dunkirk?
6. Who played the role of Captain Phillips in the film of the same name?
7. What is the name of Hercules’ love interest in the Disney animated film of the same name?
8. The following quote is from which film, “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads”?
9. The characters Jack, Danny and Wendy Torrance all appear in which film?
10. How many members make up The Avengers central team in the film of the same name?
SIX (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye)

ROUND II: Filming [The Hemsworths]
1. Chris Hemsworth plays the father of which original series character in Star Trek? Leonard McCoy? Spock? James Kirk?
2. What is the subtitle of the sequel to Snow White And The Huntsman? Origins? Winter’s War? And The Ice Queen?
3. Who directed In The Heart Of The Sea? Ron Howard? Justin Kurzel? Peter Weir?
4. How many friends visit the cabin in The Cabin In The Woods? 4? 5? 6?
5. What was the main poster tagline for the 2012 remake of Red Dawn? Welcome to the home of the brave? Ready for enemies, foreign and domestic? Desperate times call for desperate measures?
6. Which of the following did not star in Paranoia with Liam Hemsworth in 2013? Harrison Ford? Gary Oldman? Samuel L Jackson?
7. How many directors worked on The Hunger Games saga? 2? 3? 4?
TWO (Gary Ross / Francis Lawrence)
8. What is the name of the agency set up by the UN in Independence Day: Resurgence? United Space Defense? Earth Defense Force? Earth Space Defense?
9. In Rush, which Formula One team does Hunt join when Fittipaldi leaves? Ferrari? Lotus? McLaren?
10. Luke Hemsworth cameos as an Asgardian actor playing Thor in Thor: Ragnarok. True or False?

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. Martin Sheen cameos as his character from Apocalypse Now in which Charlie Sheen film?
2. The following quote is from which film, “Nothing shocks me, I’m a scientist”?
3. Who directed Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement and Pan?
4. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou was released in which year?
5. Who played the role of Odysseus in Troy?
6. How many people do we see Ripley kill in The Talented Mr Ripley?
THREE (Dickie / Freddie / Peter)
7. The following is the poster tagline for which 2007 film, “Big cops. Small Town. Moderate violence”?
8. Which film starred Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon and Ben Affleck?
9. What is the full title of Clint Eastwood’s Sully, starring Tom Hanks?
10. The Truman Show, 12 Years A Slave and Straight Outta Compton all featured which actor?

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. What is the subtitle for Ghost In The Shell 2? Inhuman? Interference? Innocence?
2. Who played the lead roles in Brian De Palma’s 1989 film Casualties Of War? Sean Penn & Michael J Fox? Patrick Swayze & Tim Robbins? Matthew Broderick & Emilio Estevez?
3. Which of the following Disney animated films has yet to receive a live-action remake? Cinderella? Alice In Wonderland? Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs?
4. Which of the following did not appear in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford? Sam Rockwell? Ben Foster? Jeremy Renner?
5. Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, was released in which year? 2015? 2016? 2017?
6. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “Party like a mother?” Big Momma’s House 2? Rough Night? Bad Moms?
7. What event uncovers Mothra’s egg in Mothra vs Godzilla? Typhoon? Earthquake? A nuclear bomb test?
8. The giant bronze statue of Talos attacks the lead characters in which of the following films based on Greek mythology? Jason And The Argonauts? Immortals? Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief?
9. Who directed Boyhood? Doug Liman? Ron Howard? Richard Linklater?
10. John Williams has composed musical scores for all but three Steven Spielberg films to date. True or False?
TRUE (The Colour Purple, Bridge Of Spies, Ready Player One)

Screenshots: Out Of Africa / Death Becomes Her / Artificial Intelligence / Doubt
Poster: The Deer Hunter
Actor: Meryl Streep


It Takes The Power Of Leadership To Unite A Nation

Joe Wright

Gary Oldman
Lily James
Kristin Scott Thomas
Stephen Dillane
Ben Mendelsohn
Ronald Pickup

Set during the early days of World War II, the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlin [Pickup] is being crucified in parliament for his seemingly weak challenging of the Nazi forces sweeping through Europe. Through a vote of no confidence, he is pressured to step down and while personal friend of the King, Lord Halifax [Dillane] seems the right choice, he refuses, leaving the only candidate that both major parties will deal with being Winston Churchill [Oldman]. Churchill is a gruff, rambling oddity with the enormous task of leading the country through an escalating and, from their perspective, failing conflict. With his appointment as Prime Minister confirmed, he sets out leading the country but his unorthodox methods and bullish manner rile his superiors, his colleagues and leaders of other foreign nations. Seemingly, the main question posed by this feature is, will he be able to lead Britain to victory?

I must confess, despite Gary Oldman being one of my all-time favourite actors, I had immediate concerns regarding this release. Owing to the political climate in Britain over the last decade or two (indeed much of the Western world) there has been a worrying rise in adoption and warping of figures and events to instil some nostalgia for a past that never was. And of all the figures of this island’s past, Winston Churchill is one of the trickier, more divisive ones. Up until World War II the man was not exceptionally liked and seen as something of an over-the-hill failure, it’s only because he saw Britain through one of its most desperate times that he is galvanised in the public eye and as such the British public have a split view on the man himself. Subsequently, any major biopic was in clear danger of being jingoistic, flag-waving, patriotic nonsense but to my surprise, much like Dunkirk, there is only a hint of these detrimental elements with a helpful doses of charm and sobering relatability.

As with all biopics, the central performance is paramount and while Oldman may seem like an unorthodox choice, he is absolutely amazing in the role, wonderfully humanising Churchill, elevating him from the caricatures, mythology and propaganda. Part of this complete immersion is achieved by the genuinely breath-taking make-up. All too often ageing prosthetics or altering an actor’s facial contours to mirror that of a historical figure get lost in an uncanny valley, which, while achieving the initial desired effect, takes you out of the story. Oldman’s performance is so blisteringly committed that you often forget about the acting – as it were – and see only the performance. The fact that these methods work equally from extreme distance and under extreme close-up is a genuine testament to the craft. But this is merely one half of the role and it would be all too easy to credit all positives to the external accoutrement. What Oldman brings to this character is far more important, from his diction, the cadence and delivery, his posture and the way he moves, everything is about creating something other than another side of Gary Oldman. The supporting characters largely get short thrift in terms of importance and prominence, settling on either side of a line between those who support or hinder the lead; but this is typical of these features, so there isn’t really much to comment on there. Stephen Dillane delivers with reserved sincerity, as does Ronald Pickup. The two relative standouts for me were Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill, the ever constant support and compass and Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI, whose initial contempt for the Prime Minister is palpable but softens over time.

Another delightful surprise was the amount of creativity present. High-profile period pieces almost always excel when it comes to production design elements, such as costumes, locations, set, hair, make-up, etc but on top of that, the nuance of the composition, camera movement and direction was a welcome treat. At the same time, the sound design was all very pleasing, specifically the score, which has a buoyancy to it, despite the subject matter; keeping things relatively light.

This release, however, is not without its flaws and one of the biggest problems is the narrative flow itself. Much like The King’s Speech, Darkest Hour ends without seeing the story to fruition, we celebrate the rise of the man but not the full extent of trials and tribulations he encountered. One could argue that is the unfortunate and restricting nature of cinema (as opposed to serialised television) but while the film doesn’t feel like it drags or lingers on any one superfluous element, what is presented feels like it could be leaner or used the runtime to cover a wider period of time. Furthermore, the film itself never really says much of anything, robbing the film of any tension. It’s very unlikely audiences will side with a Nazi invasion and while Churchill’s foaming fury might come off as overzealous or war-hungry, we know through hindsight that he was right to fight the Nazis rather than appeal to them. But again, this is an unfortunate pitfall of these types of feature.

For someone who expected this to be a dire release, I was honestly shocked to learn that it is a capable, entertaining and extremely well-acted feature and one more than deserving of attention and praise.

Release Date:
12th January 2018

The Scene To Look Out For:
When trying to highlight a single scene which encapsulates the wealth of talent involved in making this feature, it’s very easy to point to the scene wherein Churchill is desperate and alone in a very small room, connected by telephone to the American President. His voice shakes, he creaks back and forth in a small wooden chair and all the while the voice on the other end of the crackly phone line regretfully explains he is not in a legal position to assist. The earnest despondency is rather cutting and extremely well shot, edited and scored.

Notable Characters:
One character I haven’t mentioned much at all is that of Churchill’s newly appointed secretary, Elizabeth Layton, played by Lily James. She is obviously the audience surrogate, in the same way that Traudl Junge was in Der Untergang. But unlike Traudl, Layton’s involvement and impact on the story is pretty weak and underdeveloped. Rather than chastise James directly, who performs admirably with what she’s given, the script simply doesn’t give her much in the way of personality or presence.

Highlighted Quote:
“The public need to be led, not misled, not to figure it out for themselves”

In A Few Words:
“A well-handled biopic which largely succeeds because of the components that bring it to life and the cordoned-off section of the subject’s life that is explored”

Total Score:



J Paul Getty Had A Fortune, Everyone Else Paid The Price

Ridley Scott

Michelle Williams
Mark Wahlberg
Christopher Plummer
Charlie Plummer
Romain Duris

The story opens in 1973 with the kidnapping of sixteen year old JP “Paul” Getty III played by Charlie Plummer. This news is received in contrasting ways by the boy’s mother and grandfather respectively. His mother, Gail Getty [Williams], initially dismisses the phone call as a flippant joke before the severity of the matter hits home and she pleads that there she cannot pay the $17 million ransom. The boy’s grandfather, JP Getty, the oil tycoon branded as the richest man to ever live (portrayed by Christopher Plummer) on the other hand, dismisses the notification, fixated on the opening market rates. Through flashbacks we learn of the relationship between Paul and his grandfather and the rift that formed between them all in the subsequent years. Ignoring Gail’s calls, Getty appears on national television and explains that he will not pay a penny for his grandson’s return, explaining that if he were to pay up, his other fourteen grandchildren would be targeted. Behind the scenes, Getty hires ex CIA operative Fletcher Chace and tasks him to get his grandson back while keeping Gail occupied and away from him.

This type of release is exactly what one would expect of someone of Scott’s achievements and years. A release firing on all cylinders both in front of and behind the screen. From the opening scenes it is apparent how rich and beautiful this entire film will be thanks to Dariusz Wolski exquisite, lavish, dark cinematography; evocative of films of the period but also reflecting the mood and tonality of the characters occupying the shots. The production design is just as wonderful with a great sense of period from the costumes, to the sets, the hair and make-up, etc. On top of that, the pacing, editing and direction all come together masterfully to create scenes of marvellous tension and unease. In truth, everything Scott should be producing at this stage in his career should have a starting point of at least the technical quality of this release.

Loosely based on real events, All The Money In The World boils down to a very straight forward narrative, almost a taught, tense family drama masquerading as a thriller. This is in no way a slight against the film as what we end up is a pleasing and captivating tale but I think audiences come into this kind of release expecting a series of elaborate twists and turns but often the most engrossing thing can be interesting characters driving a simple plot thread. In that regard, it’s no surprise that the central draw for this film are the performances. Charlie Plummer performs decently as Paul expressing fear and frailty but also a surprising amount of resilience and ingenuity which keeps his character from being a whiney spoilt rich kid that we can neither relate to nor root for. Equally, Romain Duris as Cinquanta, the criminal go-between, gives a great performance feeling indicative of a young Vincent Cassel. But the film is ultimately led by three powerful performances. Michelle Williams plays Gail in a refreshing manner, while she is suffering and displays a drained fragility, the true core of her character is one of strength, intelligence and steadfast determination. There’s also the classic issue of the two Wahlbergs; specifically which one will turn up, the soft-voiced, bemused-looking, underwhelming Wahlberg or the transformative, commanding, outstanding Wahlberg. Thankfully Chace is the latter, a nice pairing for Williams’ role, with equal determination and strength of commitment. It’s all too easy to write a former intelligence agency character as an unstoppable, infallible being but when one is presented with a believable individual who acts with an air of experience and a genuine moral centre, you generate a truly compelling individual. Again, thankfully, Wahlberg was able to channel this with maturity and brings to this life calm, steady individual.

As far as a character study goes, JP Getty is a fascinating individual; a man of money, success and a sociopathic darkness. At times he shows genuine affection for his own flesh and blood and it is evident that he would do anything for their shared happiness and success. Other times he is the most unscrupulously pragmatic individual, always looking for the bottom end, the best deal and the most beneficial move for him and him alone. It takes a very capable actor to channel that complexity and Christopher Plummer is more than a perfect choice for the role. Both stern and warm, calculating and reactionary, in command yet helpless. It is, however, quite impossible to talk about this film without addressing what could have been. I will admit that unless you are specifically looking for the differences between the original shots and the reshoots, you would be hard-pressed to identify the seams but the fact remains that a key role in this film was shot with a completely different individual in place. The only thing I’ll say about Kevin Spacey is that based on the handful of shots from the pulled trailer, under all those questionable prosthetics, they should have cast Plummer from the get go and I can’t imagine any way in which another actor pretending to be a man of his years would be able to improve upon what made it into the final cut.

While it doesn’t break new ground in terms of how this kind of story is told, what is offered up is extremely pleasing, housing some very interesting characterisation and portrayals.

Release Date:
5th January 2018

The Scene To Look Out For:
After Paul is sold to a different organisation, one clearly more experienced, financed and intent on getting their money, he uses an impressive amount of ingenuity to escape his captors. Weak and desperate, he runs along the roadside before being picked up by the police. Feeling the ordeal is finally over, he asks to use a telephone. At this point, the audience will be divided in two, those who know what’s coming and those who don’t; either way, the execution is crushing enough that one is not robbed of satisfaction. Getting through to his mother, Paul asks where he is but before he can relay any useful information, his captors appear and hang the phone up, as it is immediately evident that the police are being paid off by the mafia.

Notable Characters:
As much as this film gets right there are a few glaring issues which bring it down from a five out of five – from the occasional convenient development to the lack of originality, rarely stepping outside of the genre trappings. One of the biggest points of neglect is the role of Paul’s father, John Paul Getty Jr. I’ll admit there isn’t much space in the runtime to really analyse who this man is and what happened to him but his inclusion ranges from unimportant to pivotal, to the point that, while he’s admittedly a pawn, his presence is unusual and feels underutilised.

Highlighted Quote:
“There’s a purity in things that I have never found in people”

In A Few Words:
“A very capable and pleasing classic thriller with standout central performances, muddied only by minor infractions and developments behind the scenes”

Total Score: