Archive for the thriller Category

Joker

Posted in Crime, Drama, thriller with tags on November 20, 2019 by Mark Walker

Director: Todd Phillips.
Screenplay : Todd Phillips, Scott Silver.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Josh Pais, Marc Maron, Douglas Hodge, Leigh Gill, Rocco Luna, Brian Tyree Henry.

“When I was a little boy and told people I was going to be a comedian, everyone laughed at me. Well no one’s laughing now”

Surrounding the release of Joker there was an interesting debate that began around superhero movies – Marvels Cinematic Universe, in particular. This debate found traction from comments made by Martin Scorsese who, as we all know, is considered to be one of the most influential directors in American cinema’s history. It stirred up a lot of emotions in the industry with many fans and actors involved in Marvel’s movies criticising Scorsese’s comments that they shouldn’t be regarded as cinema and that they’re more like “theme park” movies that are crowding out talented cinematic voices when it comes to box-office showings. Personally, I found Scorsese’s comments to be a breath of fresh air and wholeheartedly welcomed them. He’s right. With that in mind, though, it’s interesting that he was originally a producer on Joker before walking away due to other commitments. What’s more interesting is that Todd Phillips’ Joker references the past work of Scorsese and shows that a comic book character can actually be based around emotional and psychological experiences without resorting to mindless “theme park” entertainment. Continue reading

Bad Times At The El Royale

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery, thriller with tags on December 28, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Drew Goddard.
Screenplay: Drew Goddard.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Lewis Pullman, Chris Hemsworth, Cailee Spaeny, Nick Offerman, Shea Whigham, Xavier Dolan, Mark O’Brien, Charles Halford, Jim O’Heir, Billy Wickman.

“Shit happens! Get the whisky”

Primarily known for his writing on television shows like Alias and Lost before his transition to film screenplays, Drew Goddard made quite the impression in 2012 with his feature directorial debut, The Cabin In The Woods. It was a creative horror that subverted expectations and recieved quite a positive fan base and put the spotlight on Goddard for one to watch. Oscar also shed some light on him with an Academy Award nomination for his screenwriting on Ridley Scott’s The Martian in 2016 but it was always behind the camera that Goddard showed the most promise. With Bad Times At The El Royale, Goddard has, once again, returned to directing and shows a keen eye for genre filmmaking. Continue reading

You Were Never Really Here

Posted in Crime, thriller with tags on April 25, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Lynne Ramsay.
Screenplay: Lynne Ramsay.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alessandro Nivola, Judith Roberts, John Doman, Alex Manette, Dante Pereira-Olson, Frank Pando.

“I want you to hurt them”

After only four films – Ratcatcher, Morven Callar, We Need to Talk About Kevin and You Were Never Really Here it’s now apparent that Scottish director Lynne Ramsay has managed to forge her own particular style. She’s also a director that’s so focused on her own approach that she won’t just bow down to studio pressures as her proposed adaptation of The Lovely Bones will attest to and her ill-fated vision for Jane Got a Gun – both films that she walked away from despite being heavily involved in the initial stages. Her latest, You Were Never Really Here, is somewhat the perfect example of her uncompromising approach and how powerful her bad-assitude can play out on screen when she’s left to express her own vision. Continue reading

Dead Man’s Shoes

Posted in Drama, Horror, thriller with tags on March 31, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Shane Meadows.
Screenplay: Paddy Considine, Shane Meadows.
Starring: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell, Stuart Wolfenden, Neil Bell, Paul Sadot, Seamus O’Neill, Joe Hartley, Paul Hurstfield, Emily Aston, George Newton, Craig Considine, Matt Considine, Andrew Shim.

“You! You were supposed to be a monster. Now I’m the fucking beast. There’s blood on my hands, from what you made me do”

Five years after their first collaboration on 1999’s A Room for Romeo Brass, Paddy Considine and Shane Meadows penned a script together about some of the memories and experiences they remembered from their working-class backgrounds. Although they were obviously embellished, the result led to Dead Man’s Shoes – a visceral and uncompromising tale of vengeance that became an instant cult hit and still stands as some of the best work they’ve ever produced. Continue reading

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Posted in Drama, thriller with tags on February 18, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Dan Gilroy.
Screenplay: Dan Gilroy.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Hugo Armstrong, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, San Gilroy, Tony Plana, DeRon Horton, Amari Cheatom.

“Each of us is better than the worst thing we ever did”

After his brilliantly dark urban thriller Nightcrawler in 2014, a lot of eyes were on director Dan Gilroy with an eagerness to see what he’d deliver next. Roman J. Israel, Esq. promises to be just as intriguing but it lacks the dramatic drive that made Gilroys’s last film such captivating viewing. That said, it boasts a strong lead performance that’s enough to maintain your interest. Continue reading

The Snowman

Posted in Crime, Mystery, thriller with tags on January 25, 2018 by Mark Walker


Director: Tomas Alfredson.
Screenplay: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan, Søren Sviestrup.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloë Sevigny, J.K. Simmons, Jonas Karlsson, Adrian Dunbar, James D’Arcy, Genevieve O’Reilly, Toby Jones, Val Kilmer, David Dencik, Jamie Clayton, Michael Yates, Ronan Vibert.

“You could save them you know… gave you all the clues and everything”

Michael Fassbender may be of the one of the most talented and reliable actors of his generation but the same can’t always be said about some of his film choices. Assassin’s Creed only added to another failed video-game adaptation and his work with Ridley Scott on Prometheus, Alien: Covenant and The Counselor also failed to impress (although, I was admittedly one of the few admirers of the latter film). My point being, though, is that he’s not quite as bankable as he once was. Over recent years, you’re just as likely to catch a stinker as you are a work of quality and The Snowman doesn’t do anything to remedy this issue. Continue reading

Marshland

Posted in Crime, Drama, Foreign Language, Mystery, thriller with tags on November 19, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Alberto Rodriguez.
Screenplay: Rafael Cobos, Alberto Rodriguez.
Starring: Javier Gutiérrez, Raúl Alévaro, Antonio de la Torre, Nerea Barros, Salva Reina, Jesús Castro, Manolo Solo.

“This place swallows you up”

In 2014, just before he won a leading Actor Oscar, Matthew McConnaughey was at the height of one of the biggest career turnarounds. It was a time that became gleefully known as the “McConnaisance” and one of the major projects that he was involved in was HBO’s television series, True Detective. It’s a surprise then that more people didn’t pay attention to Alberto Rodriguez’s Spanish thriller, Marshland. That said, it was a huge hit in its native Spain and while it made a brief arrival on the film circuit with many critics lavishing praise on it, it still seemed to disappear fairly quickly. It’s a shame as this is a dark, murder mystery that’s thoroughly deserving of a wider audience and shares many similarities with the aforementioned TV show.  Continue reading