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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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Brexit: The Uncivil War

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According to this movie, the mastermind behind the UK’s historic referendum was Dominic Cummings (Benedict Cumberbatch). He apparently pretty much single-handedly strategised and architected the Leave campaign with razor sharp focus on simple messages. Take Back Control: use the money we pay every week to Brussels (£350m) for the NHS instead, and keep immigrants out. In short form: £350m and Turkey.

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Outlaw King

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The story of Outlaw King sort of picks up where the most famous movie about the Wars for Scottish Independence ended: Mel Gibson was William Wallace in Braveheart, and in the Outlaw King we only see some of Wallace’s bodily remains as a catalyst for renewed energy to fight off the English. Outlaw King tells the story of Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine), the self-proclaimed King of the Scots who waged the continuation of the war for independence against King Edward I (Stephen Dillane) and especially his son Prince Edward (Billy Howle).

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First Man

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We all know who the First Man on the moon was. Well, we all know his name, but we don’t know much about the man himself. It is of course a fascinating story, and the movie is exciting in all its air- and spaceborne scenes – being in the ‘tin’ alongside the pilots and astronauts are thrilling experiences and make you reflect on the fact that the risk taking to be ‘first’ was immense.

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Dunkirk

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Director Christoper Nolan lets us experience ‘Dunkirk’ by means of three storylines: one on land, one in the air, and one on the sea. With dialogue being minimal, it is all about the combination of visuals and Hans Zimmer’s nerve-wracking score to tell the story. And that works very well.

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Hidden Figures

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This film tells the story of a group of black female mathematicians who worked on the early NASA space programme. This being a time when the US was still racially segregated, the women had to endure “coloured only” bathrooms and even segregated water fountains while contributing to the space race with the Soviet Union. The film focuses on three women in particular, who are friends. Katherine Johnson is the most brilliant mathematician, drafted in to help NASA calculate flight trajectories in an age when computers were in their infancy and most calculations had to be done by hand.

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Anthropoid

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Reinhard Heydrich was Hitler’s third highest ranking officer, who had earned himself nicknames such as the Butcher of Prague and the Blond Beast. The Czech government was in exile in London at the time, and they sanctioned Operation Anthropoid: to assassinate this animal in Human Form.

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Colonia (6/10)

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The Colonia Dignidad (‘Colony of Dignity’) was a religious cult in Chile, led from 1961 by Paul Schaefer, a fugutive from Germany following accusations of child molestation. The Colonia Dignidad was shrouded in secrecy, with up to 300 residents living in the colony behind barbed wire, working mainly as farmers, and never allowed to leave the colony. Whilst trying to portray an image of peace and order to the outside world, over the years it has become clear that the colony suffered daily incidents of torture, (child) rape, and other forms of physical and mental abuse as a means of ‘spiritual growth’.

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Eddie the Eagle (7/10)

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This movie about how a little boy with big ambitions became Eddie the Eagle may be light fare but it is also admirably successful in what it aims to be: an underdog-comes-out-on-top feel-good movie.

Eddie (Taron Egerton) has had a dream from a very young age: to compete in the Olympics. It took him decades of hard work to get there. You might expect that hard work to be about someone becoming a world class athlete at their chosen sport – but no that’s not Eddie. He’s not really an athlete at all, and he isn’t committed to a specific sport to shine in either – yet he will achieve his Olympic Dreams.

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Spotlight (7/10)

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‘Spotlight’ is the section of the Boston Globe’s paper that looks beyond and delves deeper – work done by the paper’s investigative journalism team led by Robby Robertson (Michael Keaton). In 2001, the newspaper gets a new Chief Editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber). Marty suggests the Spotlight team take a closer look at priest Geoghan, as there have been various stories about accusations against him.

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