Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Critical Week: Join the jet set

Diane Kruger and Bryan Cranston are terrific in The Infiltrator, based on the true story of federal agents infiltrating the Colombian drug trade in the mid-80s. And then there's Jonah Hill and Miles Teller getting involved in the illicit arms trade in War Dogs, a lively and too-violent comedy from the director of The Hangover. The week's other heavy hitter was also a true story, although it's from the 1860s. Free State of Jones is a long, important and perhaps too-earnest drama starring Matthew McConaughey as a southerner who rebelled against the Confederacy.

And then there was the British post-apocalyptic thriller The Girl With All the Gifts, a terrific premise with an excellent cast that includes Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine and talented newcomer Sennia Nanua. The third film in the series, The Purge: Election Year continues the rather anachronistic anti-violence preachiness alongside gratuitous grisly horror. 400 Days is an uneven low-fi thriller starring Brandon Routh and Caity Lotz as astronauts preparing to go to Mars but ending up somewhere entirely different. And Liebmann is an involving, offbeat German drama set in France, as a guy moves to a rural town to escape his past, but it of course catches up with him.

This coming week I have screenings of Kristen Stewart in Personal Shopper, the animated adventure Kubo and the Two Strings, the action mayhem of Kickboxer: Vengeance, the arthouse thriller Under the Shadow, the acclaimed festival film The Clan and the horror romp We Are the Flesh.

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