The Big Short

This week’s pick is biography/drama The Big Short starring Christian Bale, Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling.

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This Oscar-nominated movie about Wall Street greed and the causes of the 2008 global financial crisis spins a fascinating tale of intrigue. It tells several distinct stories of the real investors who both predicted and took advantage of the crash that crippled economies around the world, and does so with the help of phenomenal acting talent. There’s Michael Burry (Christian Bale, American Hustle), a hedge fund manager who defies the will of his clients by betting their money against the housing market, all while listening to heavy metal and playing air-drum solos at his desk. Then there’s Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt, Moneyball), a superstitious survivalist and ex-investor who mentors two newcomers as they enter the brutal world of investment banking. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) shines as the closest thing to a hero in the movie, Mark Baum, who embarks on a journey of discovery into the despicable inner workings of Wall Street and mortgage sales, all while struggling with his morals on whether or not to take advantage of the impending collapse… The Big Short approaches a seemingly complex subject with humour, focus and impressive attention to detail, all while condemning the real life powers that be.

Don’t miss our pick of the week! The Big Short is out Thursday 12th May.

Joy

This week’s pick is comedy/drama Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.

Families are meant to be your last bastion of support. When the world wants to push you down, they’re the ones to encourage you, to inspire you, to help you soar. But not in Joy’s (Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook) case. A divorced mum of two, she has her mother, father, grandmother and her ex-husband all living under her roof. She struggles to make ends meet while working as an airline clerk, but ever since she was a kid Joy has had big ideas. Inspired by a wineglass mishap to create a new, self-wringing mop, Joy believes that she’s onto a winner – she just needs financial backing. Oh, and some support from her loved ones wouldn’t go astray, either… David O Russell’s directorial love affair with J-Law continues with this eminently likeable American dream fairy tale dramedy. Somewhat based on the true rise of American entrepreneur Joy Mangano, who made her fortune inventing knick-knacks sold on home shopping TV, Lawrence is – fittingly – a joy.

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Don’t miss our pick of the week! Joy is out Wednesday 27th April.

The 5th Wave

This week’s pick is action/Sci-Fi The 5th Wave starring Chloë Grace Moretz Matthew Zuk and Gabriela Lopez

The sheer number of alien invasion stories that have cropped up over recent years has turned into a kind of mini-genre all of its own – the dystopian future where evil alien overlords go around blowing stuff up at random, crushing the human race bit-by-bit as a hardy group of rebels plots to send them back to the planet they came from. So by this point it has to be difficult for an alien invasion movie to come up with something that feels fresh and different. However, author Rick Yancey managed to do just that with The 5th Wave, the first book in a trilogy and an instant hit. In this cinematic version, Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass) is living a happy and normal life until ‘The Others’ arrive for a well-organised invasion of Earth. This is done in waves – first, they knock out the planet’s electronics, then they trigger earthquakes, and then they get creative and send out a modified version of bird flu. But things soon subsequently take a more sinister – and personal – turn… With a screenplay that distils the book down to its essence without leaving character development on the backburner, this is a more menacing invasion movie than most, despite (or perhaps because of) its teen target audience. Highly recommended.

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Don’t miss our pick of the week! The 5th Wave is out Thursday 21st April

Bus 657

This week’s Hidden Gem is action/thriller Bus 657 starring Robert De Niro, Dave Bautista and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

If you’ve ever wondered what you might get if you crossed Speed with Casino then wonder no more. Luke Vaughn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Losers) has worked for years as a dealer at notoriously tough Frank ‘The Pope’ Pope’s (Robert De Niro, Casino) floating gaming club. With his young daughter needing expensive surgery, and without the funds to pay for it, in desperation Vaughn asks his boss for a loan. It doesn’t go well, and he’s sacked. So he gets more desperate, and follows up on a conversation with a former co-worker, Cox (Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy), and they plan a heist on the casino. It doesn’t go down as intended, and the two escape on foot and hijack the titular Bus 657.

Bus 657 HG

The secret is out! This movie is a real treasure available 13th January 2016

Don’t let this fly under your radar!

Z for Zachariah

This week’s Hidden Gem is drama Z for Zachariah starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine.

A worldwide contamination outbreak has wiped out humanity, but as fate would have it Ann (Margot Robbie, The Wolf of Wall Street) is spared, leaving her the sole survivor on her preacher father’s land. That is until engineer Loomis, (Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave) happens upon this impossibly safe terrain and, in a state of wonder, decides to bathe in a contaminated waterfall. Ann takes him in to nurse him back to health and despite having very different backgrounds and beliefs, the two become close and build precious trust. But, of course, a rare haven attracts all sorts and soon the lone stranger Caleb (Chris Pine, Star Trek Into Darkness) arrives with seemingly similar Christian values to Ann’s, and a tense yet beautiful post-apocalyptic ‘three’s-a-crowd’ powder keg is ignited.

Z for Zach HG

The secret is out! This movie is a real treasure available 6th January 2016.

Don’t let this fly under your radar!

Ruben Guthrie

This week’s Hidden Gem is Aussie Drama Ruben Guthrie starring Patrick Brammall, Alex Dimitriades and Abbey Lee.

Ruben Guthrie leads a pretty amazing life seeming to have it all including a great career, beautiful home and party boy lifestyle. This all comes crashing down after his fiancée leaves him fed up with his binge drinking ways. Ruben determined to win her back decides to give up the booze. As well as fighting his own addiction he must resist the pressures of Australia’s alcohol obsessed culture.

Ruben Guthrie HG

The secret is out! This movie is a real treasure available 18th November 2015.

Don’t let this fly under your radar!

The Final Girls

This week’s Hidden Gem is The Final Girls starring Taissa Famiga, Malin Akerman and Nina Dobrev.

A horror film from the director of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas? Well, not exactly. Writer/director Todd Strauss-Schulson still has his eye very firmly on comedy for The Final Girls, which pairs laughs and scares with the sort of skill that only horror master Wes Craven could match. Winning huge acclaim on the festival circuit when it was released, the film introduces us to Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga, TV’s American Horror Story), who’s at a screening of her late mother’s most famous film when, suddenly, they’re transported into the film itself – a 1980s-style slasher movie, with all the usual rules of the genre in place. This is, of course, a chance for a merciless but affectionate parody of the entire genre, and it really is huge fun.

Final Girls HG

The secret is out! This movie is a real treasure available 5th November 2015.

Don’t let this fly under your radar!

The Overnight

This week’s Hidden Gem is drama The Overnight starring Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Adam Scott.

Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family “playdate” becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on. A very raunchy comedy that revels in the uncomfortable situation it puts its protagonists in.

The Overnight HG

The secret is out! This movie is a real treasure available 29th October 2015.

Don’t let this fly under your radar!

The Road Within

This week’s Hidden Gem is drama The Road Within starring Zoe Kravitz, Robert Patrick and Dev Patel.

When Tourette’s sufferer Vincent is admitted into a care home for the mentally unstable, he meets fellow social outcasts Alex, who has OCD, and Marie, suffering anorexia. Together they manage a daring escape and hit the open road. The unlikely trio enjoys one crazy adventure after another and finds friendship & happiness through acceptance of each other’s eccentricities. An exhilarating, life-affirming and heart-warming story in the vein of Little Miss Sunshine and Silver Linings Playbook…you won’t know whether to laugh or cry.

The Road Within HG

The secret is out! This movie is a real treasure available 14th October 2015.

Don’t let this fly under your radar!

The First Time

This week’s Hidden Gem is drama The First Time starring Britt Robertson and Dylan O’Brien.

You may not have heard of director Jonathan Kasdan, but you’ve probably seen the work of his talented father Lawrence (currently working on the new Star Wars movie) and his brother Jake (Orange County). This second feature film for the other Kasdan is an intelligent teen coming-of-age story. Back in the 1980s when these were popular, quite a few of them won people over with their emphasis on emotion and character – Pretty in Pink, for example, and Cameron Crowe’s wonderful Say Anything…. That latter film is actually namechecked in this story of high school student Dave (Dylan O’Brien, TV’s Teen Wolf), who’s obsessed with the archetypal ‘Girl He Cannot Have’, Jane (Victoria Justice, TV’s Victorious). Then he meets Aubrey (Britt Robertson, The Longest Ride) and discovers love rather than obsession… The First Time is made in the spirit of the great teen movies, and as such is a must for fans of the genre.

The First Time HG

The secret is out! This movie is a real treasure available 23rd September 2015.

Don’t let this fly under your radar!