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Hearts Beat Loud

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Frank (Nick Offerman) owns a small record shop in Brooklyn selling good ol’ vinyl, and is the widowed father of Sam (Kiersey Clemons). Sam is keen to start her pre-med studies in California soon, but Frank has music on his mind and tries to get Sam to jam with him. Sam has a blossoming love for her girlfriend Rose, which inspires her to write, and when she does jam with Frank they create a great tune. Frank is so excited he uploads it to Spotify and they end up on the New Indie Playlist.

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Sicario: Day of the Soldado

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A key part of the success of 2015’s Sicario was Emily Blunt’s role, which provided a moral balance to the hard-hitting story. Her character does not return in Sicario: Day of the Soldado; the main reason for this, according the director Stefano Sollima, was that they explicitly did not want this sequel to have a moral compass. Unfortunately, it turns out that is exactly what makes this movie nowhere near as interesting as its predecessor.

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Cargo

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The zombie genre is certainly alive and well these days. So how do you make another movie about the undead that has something new to offer? Actually, a lot of recent zombie movies aren’t about undead raising from the grave – most of them have some kind of disease as the background to people ‘turning’. The same applies to the zombies in Cargo, but it has two elements that do make it stand out: firstly it is a human story rather than a gore fest; and secondly it is set in the Australian outback.

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First Reformed

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Reverend Ernst Toller (an excellent Ethan Hawke) heads a dwindling congregation at a small Dutch Protestant church in upstate New York. He drinks, far too much, since his marriage collapsed after his son died. Now, Toller mostly keeps to himself; he regrets an affair with the choir director who now won’t leave him at peace, and he seems to struggle keeping his faith.

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A Quiet Place

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Humanity has been largely erased by an invasion of blind aliens who hunt their prey with their hearing. This means Silence is Survival. We follow a family trying to do just that. Krasinski plays husband Lee, and his real-life wife Emily Blunt plays his wife Evelyn. Their eldest child, Regan, is deaf (played by deaf actress Millicent Simmonds), which means the family can use sign language to stay silent as they communicate. Of course raising a young family in silence will still prove impossible, and they find themselves in the middle of an alien hunting ground…

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American Animals

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A couple of friends decide to pull of the perfect heist. They are going to steal $12m worth of books from their college library. They watch heist movies and plot the plans, ranging from choosing disguises to organising a fencing deal to get rid of the loot. The movie echoes titbits of Heist classics ranging from Ocean’s 11 to Catch Me If You Can to Reservoir Dogs.

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Journeyman

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Matty Burton (Paddy Considine) is an ageing boxer who hopes to defend his title in a last fight, and then plans to enjoy his retirement with his wife Emma (Jodi Whittaker) and their baby daughter. After he comes home from the fight, his wife soon finds him collapsed on the floor…

This is not a boxing movie; it is about Matty, as well as his family and friends, trying to fight their way back from his life-altering brain damage.

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I, Tonya

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Tonya Harding was, as the movie points out, briefly the second most famous person in the world (after Bill Clinton). Growing up in poverty, the young Tonya had a passion for ice skating, and a rare talent for it too. In 1991 she was US champion and world silver medallist, and became the first woman ever to land a triple axel in competition.

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Mildred Hayes’ teenage daughter was recently raped and murdered in the small town of Ebbing, Missouri. She now brings up her son alone and becomes frustrated at the local police department’s lack of progress into the investigation of her daughter’s brutal death. Spotting a trio of unused roadside billboards on a quiet road in the town, she hits on the idea of renting them and keeping the case in the public eye by using advertisements to accuse local chief of police chief of neglecting the investigation.

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Murder on the Orient Express

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The best thing about this movie is the opening scene. We meet Hercule Poirot and his unique personality, and moustache in the middle of avoiding a religious war at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, and things are off to a great start. The story flows and so does the action, and before we know it, we find ourselves along with Poirot on the Orient Express from Istanbul to London.

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