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The Irishman

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A movie poster headlining Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci means you instantly know you are in for a mobster movie. How different from other mafia movies it is though. Instead of a thrill ride or glorification, we experience the mundanity, if you will, of everyday violence, murder, extortion, bribery, fraud and a variety of other felonies through the eyes and memories of the Irishman. A character study reflecting on life and loyalties, loss and loneliness, and pain and penance.

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Cold Pursuit

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Neeson plays Nels Coxman, a snowplough driver who loses his son to a drug overdose. Convinced his son wasn’t a druggie, Coxman sets out to find out what happened and soon finds himself in a world of drugs, turf wars, and revenge. He takes no prisoners and the body count steadily increases as the plot thickens and bad guy The Viking (Tom Bateman) turns up the heat to find him.

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A Prayer Before Dawn

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Billy (Joe Cole, Green Room) is a drugged up, hard-partying, small-time boxer who fights his days away in Thailand until his poor life choices end him up in a local prison. Clearly, this is not the kind of prison you would ever want to find yourself in. As soon as Billy enters the prison it is clear that his jail time is going to be about survival over anything else.

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Project Gutenberg

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The police have apprehended Lee Man (Aaron Kwok) who is a member of a counterfeiting gang led by ‘Painter’. The police are willing to make a deal if that allows them to capture this mysterious Painter (Yun-Fat Chow), who is proud to be a third generation counterfeiter, a man as capable of charming those around him as he is of ruthlessly killing them if they dare cross him.

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Can You Ever Forgive Me?

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In the true story Can You Ever Forgive Me, she plays author Lee Israel who made her fame in the 60s and 70s writing profiles and biographies of Katharine Hepburn and Tallulah Bankhead amongst others.  In the early 80s she wrote an unauthorised biography about Estée Lauder, which was widely panned and effectively ended her career. Over the following years, Lee falls on hard times and becomes a broke, lonely and bitter alcoholic.

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The Hate U Give

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One night when driving home after a party, Starr and her friend Khalil get pulled over by the police for unclear reasons. Khalil doesn’t exactly follow the instructions of the police officer, who gets nervous, thinks he sees a gun, and shoots and kills Khalil.

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Polar

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So first of all you have to go into this movie with the right mindset: it is a graphic novel adaptation, and it is as violent as Jonh Wick, as over the top as Crank, and the lead is played by Mads Mikkelsen. What more can one ask for if you’re in the mood for a fun, brainless actioner?

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The House That Jack Built

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Lars von Trier’s latest film takes inspiration from the titular nursery rhyme. The phrase ‘The House that Jack Built’ can have a few different meanings – it is often used as shorthand for a shoddy project or build, and it can also refer to a never-ending endeavour with constant add-ons, often in repeating patterns. Von Trier’s film combines both: it is a shoddy project resulting in two and a half hours of a seemingly never-ending, repetitive tale that fails to excite or even shock.

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The Old Man & The Gun

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The story of bankrobber Forrest Tucker “is, also, mostly true” according the opening scene. The ‘mostly’ probably refers to the fact that the story we get told is pretty rose-tinted. Apparently Robert Redford is hanging up his acting hat, and The Old Man & The Gun is his final role, so if we take the movie to serve as a vehicle for Bob’s last hurrah then this rose-tintedness may be forgiven. Actually, knowing it’s to be Redford’s last makes the entire movie a bit more worthwhile.

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Backtrace

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Macdonald (Matthew Modine) survives a shoot-out after a heist gone wrong, but he has lost his memory and spends many a year in prison without knowing what really went on. Officer Sykes (Sylvester Stallone) was originally on the case and has kept a close eye on it as it went cold and colder. When Macdonald is sprung from prison after seven years, Sykes gets some help from the FBI to help track him down.

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