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Locke, Last Days On Mars, Magic Magic


May 2014

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Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland
We had modest hopes for this historical disaster flick, in which Emily Browning’s patrician beauty falls for Kit Harington’s slave-turned- gladiator thanks to his horse-whispering skills and sculpted abs. And who can blame her? Shame they’re stuck in such direly written romantic pap. Had they amped up the camp, this might have been a scream, but it ends up preposterous, with the grumbling volcano out-acting both and lava showers failing to extinguish Sutherland’s awful turn as an evil Roman senator until far too late.

Tom Hardy, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott
It’s best to go in knowing as little as possible about writer-director Steven Knight’s highstakes drama, apart from the bare facts: Tom Hardy is a Welsh construction supervisor, he’s speeding down the M6 while his wife (Wilson), sons, co-workers and baby mama (Olivia Colman) plague him with phone calls and the camera never leaves his side. Sinewy, compelling and magnificently acted by Hardy. Who knew a delivery of concrete could be so nerve-wracking?

Liev Schreiber, Olivia Williams, Tom Cullen
The title says it all in this mildly creepy sci-fi thriller, in which a solid cast including Olivia Williams, Liev Schreiber and Weekend star/ Attitude cover boy Tom Cullen fight, fret and fall away as a devious Red Planet bacteria turns them all into shrieking zombies. Recalling a zillion space movies before it, The Last Days On Mars fails to make enough of its lean, mean spook-house set-up, not to mention wasting Cullen even more than Downton Abbey does.

Juno Temple, Michael Cera, Emily Browning, Agustin Silva
Juno Temple is terrific as Alicia, a young American vacationing in Chile whose selfish cousin (Browning) leaves her in a house full of wankers, worst of all Michael Cera’s sadistic creep. Cue Alicia’s rapid descent into a highly disturbed fugue state and the film’s into a realm that appears headed at any moment into slasher-movie terrain, only to become something far more insightful in the hands of gay Chilean director Sebastian Silva.

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