Developed by Bryan Fuller
Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelson, Laurence Fishburne
A promising first season left many people eagerly awaiting the second. And whilst the wait might have been expectant of a high quality continuation in the saga no fan can be left disappointed. A supremely talented cast holds aloft an intelligently conceptualised show that bears both fruit and scars.
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o
12 Years a Slave raced to critical acclaim on immediate release. Telling the tale of Solomon Northup, a free black man sold into slavery, 12 Years looks intimately at the often forgotten period of depravity in North America. Steve McQueen’s film is an honest, brutal glimpse into man at his best and at his worst.
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto conspire to put to film the story of a former abusive, homophobic bull-riding lay-about who after contracting HIV befriends a straight-up transgender fashionista. Jean-Marc Vallée sees in The Dallas Buyers Club an opportunity to bring to light some truths belonging to the era, but that can still be relevant in this day and age.
Director: Pablo Croce
Starring: Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva is a mixed martial artist, considered the best of all time by many in the sport. Anderson Silva: Like Water is a decent attempt at addressing the physicality of the sport in all its glory, yet never really manages to say anything meaningful about fighting or the mental state of the fighter.
Director: Peter Strickland
Starring: Toby Jones, Cosimo Fusco, Susanna Cappellaro
Berberian Sound Studio is Toby Jones and Peter Strickland working seamlessly together to produce the distorted story of destruction and devastation. This is Toby Jones at his best. This is Peter Strickland working wonders. This is undoubtedly a boon for British Cinema.
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Starring: Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Baltasar Kormákur’s 2012 film based on the real scenario of a ship overboard in freezing Icelandic waters controls its rudder effortlessly, churning out a rather understated yet poignant tale of man against the odds. Where some films venture into adventurous waters marking themselves out as epic yarns, The Deep keeps itself to itself and lets the work face of an Icelandic fisherman do all the talking.
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Hossain Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Close-Up lives up to its title by critically examining the factuality of film, politics whilst professing one of the key ideas to living: the ability to dream. Kiarostami is on fine form here with some of the most reflective portrayals of life and beyond to be committed to film.
Director: Fritz Lang
Starring: Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Gustaf Gründgens
Ranking amongst the greatest of films ever made, Lang uses M as a means to explore the very state in which he resided for the majority of his early film-making career. M and Fritz Lang has been celebrated through the ages as pioneers and rightly so.
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Hossein Rezai, Farhad Kheradmand, Mohamad Ali Keshavarz
For anyone interested in foreign film and expanding their film palette, Abbas Kiarostami is a director to constantly keep your eye out for. Through the Olive Trees marks the director at his best creating a faux-documentary inside a faux-documentary that ends with one of the iconic shots of cinema.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz
Quentin Tarantino’s genre-ridden film manages to defy expectations and its own imposed genre-references to demonstrate the workings of a clever film-maker. Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz and Melanie Laurent all play incidental cat-and-mouse putting in some stellar performances along the way.
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
Terrence Malick returns with a sumptuously filmed study on family, life and everything in-between. Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain star as the couple whose role in bringing up their children is compared to life thereafter. A breathtaking film of almost infinite proportions.