The Post (2017, dir. Steven Spielberg)

The Washington Post battles to source and then publish revelations about the Vietnam War. Effective journalistic thriller, which works as a prequel to All The President’s Men and as a contemporary allegory. Good performances all round, especially from Streep.

Den of Thieves (2018, dir. Christian Gudegast)

An elite LA cop unit versus a notorious bank robber and his crew. The film wants to be Heat so badly, but can’t make its characters both appalling and fascinating. Some good detail, but cliches, awkward plotting and indifferent action weigh matters down.

The Birds (1963, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

A coastal Californian is attacked without warning by swarms of birds. One of the last truly great Hitchcock movies, full of suspenseful set-pieces, an absence of explanation, and an apocalyptic climax. Recommended.

Sicario (2015, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

A female FBI agent gets in over her head when she volunteers to liaise with an inter-agency anti-drugs team. Smart, bleak and suspenseful thriller with great performances and some standout sequences. Recommended.

Green Zone (2010, dir. Paul Greengrass)

An idealistic soldier discovers the truth about WMDs in 2003 Iraq. Sleek action-led thriller which dramatises a key event in recent world history. Simplistic in its approach but undeniably thrilling, with several great sequences.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016, dir. André Øvredal)

A father and son pair of coroners investigate a mysterious body found at a crime scene. The third act doesn’t quite deliver on the promise of the first two, but for the most part this is a terrific claustrophobic two-hander balancing gore and intrigue throughout.

Want another review? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s tuppence-worth.

 

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017, dir. S. Craig Zahler)

A mechanic turned drug mule has to battle the prison system to save his pregnant wife from the dealers he owes. Slow-paced but inexorable, this crime drama/horror mash-up isn’t for everyone, but is both brilliant and brutal if you can go with it.