As the first three months of 2018 come to an end, it’s time to recall the movies that we didn’t see clutching a golden statuette, but which are just as worth a watch. Catch up as soon as you can on these hidden gems from every genre!
1. The 15:17 to Paris:
Clint Eastwood directs a movie so unique in its casting that its plot can barely live up to the hype: it isn’t any of the Chrises, or Liam or even Bradley Cooper, but three real-life heroes playing themselves as the saviours of a cross-continental European train from a bomb. Of course, their acting isn’t extraordinary, nor is it so bad that it hurts the cinematic sensibility: the film is inherently interesting, and pulls through its slower parts with a gritty realism that keeps you hooked.
2. Black Panther:
The “revolution” in diversity, representation and the Marvel cinematic universe has everything you can ask for. On this tantalising trip into intricately vibrant Wakanda, Chadwick Boseman is masterful as the titular superhero, his intricate and vibrant kingdom as immersive as it can be. Michael B. Jordan is surprisingly adept at evil, but the women steal the show, Letitia Wright’s Shuri is sardonically hilarious, Angela Bassett brings quintessential gravitas and Lupita Nyong’o can only be described as badass. There isn’t enough praise for this cinematic ingénue, taking the best of every Marvel movie and winding it into an inclusive embrace.
3. Game Night:
There’s one word for this movie, and that word is hysterical. Crime and comedy, no-one would see that turning out well, but lo and behold! Whip-smart zingers turn this wild tale of sibling rivalry, elaborate setup and well, obviously, games into a comedy extravaganza. Pop-culture references, plot twists are Rachel McAdams’ underappreciated forte, while Jason Bateman is equal parts easy to laugh at and laugh with. Watch for overall entertainment and a ton of chuckles.
Arguably the perfect set-up for a twisty horror film, the real-life Winchester House is a labyrinth of endless and seemingly pointless rooms, staircases and fireplaces built by an eccentric, and some say occultly influenced widow. This very character is played by grand dame Helen Mirren, if she can’t sell you on a house so haunted that its ghosts are a dime a dozen, can anyone? Curses, crazies and construction nightmares don’t sound terrifying, but take my word for it, it will chill you to the bone- so only go for it if you’ve got a will of steel and/or desire to have nightmares.
Female-led dystopia: how unnervingly rare are those words? Sure, we’ve had women protagonists who mostly vacillated between men but here’s an all-new take on a classic
‘band of brothers’ trope minus the clichés that come with a gender swap (a la Ghostbusters). Existentialist as it is stunning, Natalie Portman’s performance is brilliant, as is Tessa Thompson- the movie’s climax will leave you breathless, as will the sheer scale of the vivid visuals it uses. Slightly disconcerting but still watchable, Annihilation is the gang of girls subversion adventure movies have been awaiting.
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