A group of strangers find themselves being hunted. Okay The Most Dangerous Game variant with a few plot wrinkles, not all of which work. Stronger on splatter gore moments than as the intended satire, but there’s some fun to be had, and Betty Gilpin is great in badass mode.
A competitive couple’s regular game night goes awry. Well-sustained comedy of murder-mystery-meets-real-life errors with a smart cast and generally solid script, plus some pizazz in the execution. Undemanding fun if you go with it.
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One harsh winter’s night, a sacked librarian supports a protest occupation of a city-centre library by homeless patrons. Perhaps-simplistic but heartfelt and well-meaning social issues drama with black comic touches. It’s not subtle in its execution, but you’d have to be a hard-hearted son-of-a-bitch not to enjoy the effort.
An idle woman struggles with life, family and relationships. A star vehicle and passion project for star/co-writer Sean Hayes, this blue-collar black comedy tries too hard to capture the quirky appeal of films like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine. Some moments work, but overall, the film doesn’t.
Three years in the life of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti as his career collapses. A dazzling, swaggering, operatic approach to its unpromising-sounding subject matter pays dividends, as Sorrentino finds ways to unlock a private man. A touch impenetrable without knowledge of the actual events, but remarkable nevertheless.
A terminal cancer patient decides to kill himself; he enlists the help of his neighbour and best friend. Gentle black comedy and study of male friendship, with a great brace of understated star performances and some subtlety in its approach. Recommended.
A man takes on a self-employed parcel delivery job; the stresses of the work threaten to destroy his family. Excellent social realist drama with black comic touches, similar to, but less dogmatic (and thus better) than the same team’s I, Daniel Blake. Has a semi-improvised feel, and lots to say about the gig economy. Recommended.
One Christmas, an escaped killer returns to his home, now a sorority house. This first (loose) remake of the 1974 genre outlier is somewhat confusingly-organised and doesn’t hit the same gleeful stride as the same team’s Final Destination movies, but at least commits with some confident direction, gore, and a couple of weird moments.
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.
Strangers who narrowly miss being killed in a freeway pile-up find they are connected to those who died in the Flight 180 disaster aftermath. A sprightly sequel upping the first movie’s focus on blackly comic convoluted killing mechanisms, as Death seeks to restore order. Lots of fun, and contains maybe the greatest car crash in the movies.