A young Columbian woman partners with an English conman in exchange for help with getting into the US. Decent little road movie/chase thriller with some quirky aspects and excellent location shooting. No game-changer, but a solid cast keeps things moving along.
A middle-aged carpenter falls foul of the UK benefits system. Clear-eyed if slightly dogmatic black comedy-drama which effectively details various struggles in the context of an unwieldy civil service, public sector cuts, the grey economy, and inflexible officialdom. Touches of Kafka counterpoint Loach’s social realist directorial approach.
A former criminal’s past life catches up with him, when old associates track him down and kill his wife. Effective low-key and slow-burn thriller with a solid cast of character actors making the most of the material. A good sense of blue-collar life, and of the inevitable consequences of revenge.
Single location drama centered around the unfolding paranoia of a rogue small-town militia group. A whodunnit as an ex-cop tries to uncover the perpetrator of a heinous act against local police. Tight, taut and captivating, this engages throughout. Another view here.
A family of four con-artists worm their way into working for an affluent family. It all goes wrong. A smart take on capitalism, class and age division, yet despite the plaudits, never delivers a true gut punch leaving the viewer somewhat dissatisfied.
The multiple lives (and names) of a young man. Meta riff on the Dickens novel which pretty much all hangs together. A touch too episodic – not much by way of narrative drive – but that’s all part of the pleasure, even if it means there’s some emotional distance from the characters. Everyone is obviously enjoying themselves.
A New York jeweller juggles debtors and a long-cherished opportunity with a smuggled opal. Tremendous thriller balancing multiple pressure points, gambles, crises and conflicts. Absurdly tense from its first frame, with a revelatory star performance. Plus, no-one stares a man down like Eric Bogosian here. Recommended.