Christopher Nolan's latest blockbuster is arguably one of his less celebrated efforts, but this spectacular production of the historic British escape from the beaches of Dunkirk is still a landmark piece of film making. As ever, the use practical effects stands out. Dunkirk's spitfire dogfights shudder with authenticity, while Hans Zimmer's score ratchets up the tension. Loud speakers recommended.
You'd be forgiven for losing track of Spider-Man's recent history. Tobey Maguire and, more recently, Andrew Garfield have been and gone, replaced by Tom Holland for this latest reboot. Vitally, Spider-Man is now a proper part of the Marvel universe, with Tony Stark playing a big role in this entertaining intro to the new direction. Tom Holland is the most age appropriate casting so far and he brings a youthful innocence to the role lost on Maguire and Garfield. It's great fun.
Leonardo di Caprio finally won his Oscar for The Revenant, but he could easily have earned one for his turn in this 2006 feature. He plays Danny Archer, a conflicted ex-soldier running guns in war torn Sierra Leone circa 1999. The story revolves around the discovery of a massive diamond in an illegal mine and the role of the diamond mining industry in bankrolling ruthless warlords. Di Caprio is brilliant in the main role, pulling off a convincing Afrikaans accent in this tense and rewarding thriller.
The last outing for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Logan is melancholic reflection on the passage of time and how even heroes like Wolverine eventually get old and weak. There's something fundamentally unheroic about Logan that instantly marks it out as unique in the cavalcade of bland comic book movies. Patrick Stewart also stars as a decrepit Professor Xavier in a fitting end to both actors' runs in these two iconic roles.
An oldie but a goodie, Ronin is a brilliant 90s action flick starring Robert De Niro as an ex-CIA agent turned mercenary who joins a band of spy types hired by the IRA to steal a valuable case from the Russian mob. Its main claim to fame are some of the best car chases ever put to film. There's no CGI here, just brilliant stunt work.
Joss Whedon's film based on the cult TV series Firefly is a fun sci-fi adventure even if you haven't watched the show. It's space opera meets western as a band of good-natured outlaws aboard the spaceship Serenity defy a ruthless government agent bent on keeping a terrible secret. It's not challenging or intense, but it is entertaining and very funny. The kind of film you can throw on and switch your brain off for a couple of hours.
The latest film from director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), Baby Driver is an ingenious mixture of musical choreography and heist movie. It centres on Baby, a brilliant getaway driver who listens to music to drown out his tinnitus. Much of the film is set to music with the action, be it car chase stunts or gun fights, matched to the beat of the music. It's brilliantly directed and cements Wright as one of the most creative directors working right now.
The Incredibles 2 due later this year, now is a great time to revisit one of Pixar's best animated features. A loving parody of the superhero genre, The Incredibles follows a family of heroes who are forced to hide their powers and live a boring family life. That doesn't last for long and this action-packed family adventure remains one of Pixar's finest.
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