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Director: Lynne Ramsay Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Judith Roberts Running Time: 90 minutes

He has a unique set of skills, but Joe, the driven murder machine of Lynne Ramsay’s stunning thriller You Were Never Really Here, is far from the typical one-man rampage and the film has much more than cheap kill thrills on its mind. Taking a standard grim and gritty action film plot and considering it with depth, melancholy and  honesty, this a film that prompts the question, once you’ve been ‘Taken’, can you ever really come back? And can the heroes tragic backstory truly push him forward or has it long-since pushed him over the edge, not a source of inspiration but a devastating destruction?

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Director: Ben Affleck Starring: Ben Affleck, Sienna Miller, Chris Messina, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning Running Time: 129 minutes

They say that time camps all classics. Nobody actually says that, but perhaps they should of films like Live by Night, a gangster film written by, directed by and starring Ben Affleck that may gather a few chuckles at its ludicrous pulpishness a few years down the line, but for now stands only as an irritating vanity project. Affleck is clearly enamoured with his main character, a Boston thief drawn reluctantly into the war between Irish and Italian mobs during the American Prohibition. So enamoured in fact, that he avoids challenging him or questioning him at every turn, leaving him to murmer gravelly in relative peace. Beware of spoilers, as if watching Live by Night won’t spoil your evening on its own, but Affleck tells the classic gangster tale of a good man who starts the film insisting he won’t be morally compromised by being drawn into a life of crime, but ends the film…building a shelter for women and children and playing on the beach with his son. Just like The Godfather?

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