Paddleton (2019, dir. Alex Lehmann)

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.

The Jesus Rolls (2019, dir. John Turturro)

Two petty criminals and a hairdresser go on a road trip/crime spree. An odd project – a US remake of Bertrand Blier’s Les Valseuses/Going Places retooled for Turturro’s Quintana character from the Coens’ The Big Lebowski – that inevitably feels like fan fiction. Some minor pleasures along the way; the actors seem to be having fun.

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019, dir. Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz)

A young man with Down Syndrome escapes his assisted living facility; he teams up with a troubled crab fisherman. A straightforward but nevertheless charming and unsentimental comedy-drama road movie with wrestling and a whiff of Huck and Tom about it. Fine soundtrack, and a cast in depth to die for. No surprises, but fun.

Padre [AKA The Padre] (2018, dir. Jonathan Sobol)

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.

31 (2016, dir. Rob Zombie)

A travelling vanload of carnival workers find themselves kidnapped and forced to play a sadistic Halloween game. Zombie’s love of sideshow freaks and 70s road movies pays dividends here, in a Saw meets Funhouse kinda way. Doesn’t quite gel, but some striking moments and imagery, plus in Richard Brake, the movies find their next Joker.

Mississippi Grind (2015, dir. Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck)

A deadbeat gambler goes on a road trip with a stranger he considers a lucky charm. A great, unassuming little movie with more than a touch of realism that works well with road movie tropes and allows Mendelsohn, in particular, the space to shine. Hugely recommended.

Identity Thief (2013, dir. Seth Gordon)

A mild-mannered accountant and a con artist go on a cross-country trip to prove the former’s innocence. Patchy road movie comedy that apes Midnight Run, but which – despite game playing by its leads – invariably resorts to cheap laughs and stock situations.

The Silence (2019, dir. John R Leonetti)

After a swarm of ravenous creatures who hunt by sound is released, a family runs to stay alive. Patchy road movie/horror hybrid from the Tim Lebbon novel. Comes across Рa touch unfairly Рas an opportunistic grab-bag of bits from Pitch Black / The Birds / Straw Dogs and the more recent Bird Box / A Quiet Place.

Psycho (1998, dir. Gus Van Sant)

Almost shot-for-shot remake of the 1960 Hitchcock classic of the same name. An odd thing to attempt, and one which flags up the uniqueness of the original, despite (and maybe because of) a solid cast and respectful treatment of the first movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017, dir. Patrick Hughes)

A down-on-his-luck bodyguard has to escort his former nemesis to a court hearing. Passable road movie / action comedy with a game cast doing its best with average material. Some fun bickering and fighting though, and a weird sense of UK geography.