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Lawless, The Imposter, To Rome With Love


September 2012

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Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
With America an irradiated wasteland and most of its 400 million citizens crammed into the hulking, über-violent metropolis of Mega City One, it’s up to The Judges to stop chaos reigning. Fortunately, they’re a bloody butch lot: armoured warriors of justice with no room for mercy. Top of the tree is the fierce, fabled Dredd (Urban), who gets saddled with a psychic rookie (indie darling Thirlby) and sent into a 200-storey mega-slum to take down the vicious, scar-faced drug lord Ma-Ma (Headey). This second crack at screen-capturing 2000AD’s sci-fi comic wipes away painful memories of the first (1995’s dismal Stallone vehicle Judge Dredd), honouring the edgy source material with its convincingly harsh, dystopian atmosphere, flamboyant imagery (especially when users mainline Ma-Ma’s addictive new drug Slo-Mo) and hardcore blood-spurting. Sporting an Eastwood growl and eternal frown, Urban makes a badass future-cop and Headey an appealingly nasty nemesis.

Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain
As the real-life Bondurant brothers, Hardy and LaBeouf get up to Depression-era hijinks such as moonshining, law-baiting and rocking backwoods 30s fashions (watch out for Hardy’s cardie). Chastain crops up as his underdeveloped love interest, but this is mostly fist-flying, boys’ own stuff, with LaBeouf on captivating form (although no full-frontal displays like in that Sigur Rós video, sadly).

Frederic Bourdin, Carey Gibson, Adam O’Brian
With The Queen of Versailles, it’s an excellent month for documentaries. This is a gothic mystery ripped from headlines about a 13-year-old Texas boy who vanishes and then turns up three years later in Spain. But it’s really a 23-year-old French-Algerian who somehow convinces authorities and the family that he is the missing boy. Then things get really strange. Addictively compelling and full of lacerating twists, The Imposter has to be seen to be believed.

Woody Allen, Penélope Cruz, Ellen Page
Allen takes his anti-retirement tour of Europe to the Eternal City. Comprising four unconnected storylines, whose players range from a high-class hooker to a singing undertaker, it’s more antipasti platter than the full pasta supper. But Woody can still dish up a tasty one-liner and Ellen Page’s bullshitting actress helps it all slip down like a glass of prosecco.

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