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Director: Andrew Haigh Starring: Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Travis Fimmel, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn Runtime: 121 Minutes

Lean On Pete is one of those rare films that values authenticity over sentimentality. No Hollywood sheen tints the lens. No overstated points on rural America’s current economic climate are made. No faux sense of understanding for the countryside’s cuts and bruises is offered up. Instead, Lean On Pete uses an understated approach, opting for honest storytelling over cheap mawkishness. The characters that occupy this land and the stories they tell are important to the filmmakers, yet nothing is ever overly dramatic or artificial.

It is here that we are introduced to Charley Thompson (Plummer); a young boy who traverses the blistering Oregon deserts to find his last known relative living thousands of miles away. Accompanying Charley on his journey is Lean On Pete, a failing racehorse who Charley forms a great bond with after securing a summer job in a local stables. Although it seems like a simple story on the outside, Lean On Pete is told with wonderful tenderness, compassion and sincerity, making for one of the most devastatingly beautiful movies of 2018.

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Director: David Freyne Starring: Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor Running Time: 96 minutes

The Cured picks up where most zombie movies end. Society has reintroduced some degree of normality. Hordes of ravenous undead have stopped terrorising the streets. People are beginning to feel safe in their own homes again. However, as communities begin rebuilding themselves, once infected citizens, now cured of their insatiable appetites, are re-introduced back onto the streets, much to the outrage and disdain of the masses. It is in this setting – the aftermath of the bloodshed – that The Cured chooses to tell its story, a story less concerned with jumping out from behind corners to scare you than it is with burrowing deep within your conscious and challenging you.

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Director: Faith Akin Starring: Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto, Samia Chancrin Running Time: 106 minutes

In The Fade has a lot to offer its audience: a strong central performance from Diane Kruger, a moving story and compelling characters. Yet the film still lacks the power to stay with you once the credits roll. While easy to chew on throughout its reasonable runtime, director Faith Akin’s recent feature leaves you craving something a little more substantial.

The film, which won best foreign language feature at this year’s Golden Globes, tells the story of Katja (Diane Kruger), a German woman confronted with the tragic death of her husband and son following a terrorist attack. When suspects are discovered and brought to court, Katja battles with her need to exact revenge on the people who took her world from her. Should she leave the judicial system to their ways? Or, should she take matters into her own hands?

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Director: Craig Gillespie Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser Running Time: 120 minutes

At the inaugural turn of the 24-hour news cycle, around-the-clock coverage meant that more people had access to stories from across the globe. By the early 90s before white broncos sped down Los Angeles highways or actors were caught in suspicious alleys, one particular celebrity scandal in the US crossed the pond to make international headlines; the feud between olympic figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

As a result of constant media coverage, Harding’s story was elevated from local crime to worldwide scandal overnight, as people lined up to watch the downfall of this notable figure and Olympic hopeful. Now, years later, director Craig Gillespie and star/producer Margot Robbie have joined forces to bring us I, Tonya, a black comedy based on the shocking and wildly contradictory first-hand accounts of all those involved.

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With a seemingly endless supply of big budget blockbusters, superhero flicks and glamorous award contenders on our screens, it can be hard to find the time for smaller, independent movies. Despite our endeavour to deliver you all things film, even we here at Film in Dublin have had some remarkable films fly under our radar throughout the past year. With this in mind, we have spent the holiday season looking back on this year’s greatest and most under-appreciated movies in an effort to prepare you for your annual office Oscar party. Now you can have bragging rights over the most obscure and brilliant films that your colleagues and friends may have missed in 2017!

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Director: George Clooney Starring: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Noah Jupe Runtime: 105 minutes

Amongst the white picket fences and pristinely mowed lawns of 1950’s American suburbia, director George Clooney sets the scene for his new comedy noir, Suburbicon. Originally penned (and subsequently shelved) by the Coen Brothers in 1986, the movie found new life in the hands of Clooney and long-time writing partner Grant Heslov. After years on the shelf, the film has finally reached our screens with the same wicked sense of humour we have come to expect from the Coen Brothers throughout the years. Just like the titular town itself, there are a few cracks in the foundation of Suburbicon but not nearly enough to sink what is a watchable, surreal and funny film.

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Director: Sean Baker  Starring: Brooklyn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry Jones  Runtime: 115 Minutes

For decades, Disney World Florida has served as a cornerstone of childhoods and imaginations across the globe. Every year millions of visitors flood its ticket booths in search of the infamous “magic” that Disney has to offer. Within the park’s walls, guests are welcomed to a world unlike their own: castles stretch to dizzying heights, magnificent firework displays light up the night sky, and fairytales come to life before your very eyes.

Beyond its boundaries, however, the same magic and wonder is harder to find. In the theme park’s shadows, strip malls, run-down hotels and sun-drenched swampland stretch for miles. The families in the encompassing areas struggle to hold onto what little they have. It is in this economic wasteland that the modern face of homelessness shows itself. Families move desperately from hotel to hotel in search of permanent accommodation. Rising rents determine what little luxuries they can afford. Jobs are hard to come by.

It is this world, however, that 6-year old Moonee and her friends embrace as their own private wonderland. On the margins of Disneyland and, indeed, of life, the young children search for magic around every corner, oblivious to the harsh reality of their circumstances.

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Director: Zack Synder  Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Erza Miller, Ray Fisher, J.K. Simmons, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds  Runtime: 121 Minutes


It’s fair to say that efforts to launch the DC Extended Universe have not worked out as planned. Man Of Steel, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Suicide Squad, while all performing well at the box office, met their true foes in the form of film critics and DC fans across the globe. In an effort to keep up with Marvel’s ever-expanding superhero franchise, a litany of errors were made on DC and Warner Brothers’ parts including rushed production schedules, casting mistakes and extensively edited final products.

Despite the turbulence, we have finally reached our destination as the world prepares for Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman to come together for the first time on the big screen. However, while fans may rejoice at the prospect, Justice League is yet another weak addition to the DCEU, one that can neither improve on the cinematic universe that was built around it nor go as far as to justify its existence. We may have reached our destination, but was it all worth it?

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Director: Tomas Alfredson Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, Toby Jones, Val Kilmer Running time: 119 mins


Nordic noir is something that Hollywood has been trying to crack for many years. Although movies, novels and TV shows on this side of the pond have slashed their way to nordic noir notoriety, Hollywood’s attempts to produce this type of dark, urban-based crime fiction hasn’t produced many results.

Expectations were high, however, when news broke of The Snowman; a Jo Nesbø novel adaptation directed by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy director Tomas Alfredson, starring Michael Fassbender and produced by none other than Martin Scorsese. On paper The Snowman should be a masterpiece. In reality, it couldn’t be further from one.

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Director: David Lowry Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara Runtime: 87 minutes


A Ghost Story plunges the depths of themes that most filmmakers have devoted their careers to exploring. The ambition and quiet confidence with which it delves into issues such as life, death, memory and time is, quite simply, something to be marvelled at and revered. While it may challenge some movie-goers, director David Lowry (Ain’t Them Bodies SaintsPete’s Dragon) has created a film that rewards those who are willing to listen and understand what it endeavours to explore: the enduring and resolute spirit of love in the face of significant loss. Make no mistake, A Ghost Story is 2017’s greatest film. Read more…