The season of silly blockbusters is over, and as the nights draw in and the weather gets grim, it is time to turn out attentions to films of serious merit (otherwise known as 'Oscar contenders').
Here, we round up the 12 films you don't want to miss in the coming months, from Brad Pitt driving a tank to Matthew McConaughey to, believe it or not, a geniunely good horror movie.
1 | '71
Based on the real-life story of a British army squaddie abandoned by his unit and left to battle for his life on the war torn streets of Belfast in 1971. A standout performance from Jack O’Connell (Starred Up); one of the most exciting British acting talents to emerge in recent years.
2 | Fury
A Second World War drama, Fury follows a US tank crew into the collapsing Nazi Germany where, outnumbered and outgunned, they face a bloody stand-off. Director David Ayer (End of Watch) has a track record of hard-hitting films (he wrote Training Day, and also served in the US Navy) and says his objective was “to bring tank combat to life in a way that lands with a modern audience.” Big gun Brad Pitt leads a stellar cast, which also includes Shia LaBeouf and newcomer Logan Lerman.
3 | The Babadook
In a genre oversaturated with weak scripts and bad acting, The Babadook is set to romp home as the horror success story of 2014. Set in Australia it follows a single mum who, whilst struggling to come to terms with her husband’s death, must also confront her son’s fear of an unknown entity lurking at home. Genuinely unsettling, this original indie will reignite your love for the genre.
4 | Mr Turner
Brit veteran Mike Leigh takes the phrase “art film” literally with this biopic of arguably our nation’s most famous painter. JMW Turner is most famous now for his priceless landscapes. But, says Leigh: “Turner as a character is compelling. I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived.” Timothy Spall delivers a blockbuster exhibition of himself in the titular role.
Friday 31 October 2014
5 | Nightcrawler
Jake Gyllenhaal returns to his indie routes as an LA loner in pursuit of a career. Drawn into the nocturnal world of freelance crime journalism, how far will he go to capture the most gruesome scenes? Gyllenhall delivers a sinister performance, supported by Brit actor Riz Ahmed as his partner in crime.
Friday 31 October 2014
6 | Interstellar
“Interstellar” is the scientific term used to describe the matter that exists in the space between stars. The stars in the case of Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi project are Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain And the matter in between? That’s being kept under wraps, however, what we know is that it involves a group of scientists who “eclipse all previous space travel limitations” in the search of a substitute for Planet Earth.
Friday 7 November 2014
7 | The Skeleton Twins
8 | The Drop
Based on Denis Lehane’s 2009 short story 'Animal Rescue' this centers on a Brooklyn bar run by cousins Marv (James Gandolfini, in his final role) and Bob (Tom Hardy), which is used by a local crime baron to launder money, otherwise known as the drop. When armed robbers steal the laundered money and the police become involved, the family find themselves drawn into the macabre underworld of gang culture, as internal politics start to unravel.
Friday 14 November 2014
9 | The Imitation Game
10 | Unbroken
Angelina Jolie steps behind the camera to direct this biopic of Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic runner who spent 42 days adrift in the Pacific after his plane suffered a malfunction. He was then captured by the Japanese military and held as a prisoner of war for over 2 years. Unbelievable story of human survival with Brit Jack O’Connell at the helm as Zamperini.
Friday 26 December 2014
11 | Foxcatcher
Channing Tatum and Steve Carrell are both gunning for their McConaughey moment in this sinister wrestling biopic set in the lead up to the 1988 Olympics. Tatum plays Mark Shultz a two-time World Champion freestyle wrestler who is groomed by John Du Pont (Carrell), a loner Millionaire – and part of the Du Pont family dynasty – whose obsession with winning Olympic gold has deadly consequences. Also stars Mark Ruffalo and Sienna Miller. Bennett Miller won Best Director for the feature at Cannes earlier this year.
Friday 9 January 2015
12 | Inherent Vice
The Master director Paul Thomas Anderson and star Joaquin Phoenix reunite for the first-ever screen adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel. Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) is a pothead private detective coasting through Seventies California, when an ex-girlfriend asks him to help investigate the disappearance of her partner. Promisingly, Anderson describes his crime drama as “Cheech and Chong-esque”.
Friday 30 January 2015