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Director: Stefano Sollima Starring: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabel Moner, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Jeffrey Donovan, Catherine Keener Running Time: 122 minutes


It can’t hurt a film to have a little ambiguity from time to time. Three years ago, the uncompromising crime-thriller Sicario took us to the darkest corners of the greyest areas of the US-Mexican border, a place where Mexican cartels and the US government could compete to get up to the shadiest shit. It was an intense film with a considerable combination of talent: Denis Villeneuve combining to great effect with Roger Deakins to put the suffocating effect of the crime scene on screen, a great score by the gone-too-soon Jóhann Jóhannsson and a script by Taylor Sheridan that was seemingly very thoughtfully assembled; like an Apocalypse Now for America’s drug war. On screen, the talents of Emily Blunt dragged viewers down with her own sinking feelings, an FBI agent turned bystander to the morally ambivalent machinations of the Department of Justice, embodied by the casual hoo-ra “consultant” Matt Graver played by Josh Brolin and the mysterious, violent sicario Alejandro Gillick, played by Benicio Del Toro. They were up to something, it was no good, and there was noting Blunt could do about.

Something suspicious happened towards the end of Sicario though. A balance shift, a feeling that the film was becoming a bit too enamoured of its hitman for its own good. If Matt and Alejandro come out on top at the end, does that make it a downer ending or a triumph? Who is the main character of the film again? Emily Blunt’s conspicuous absence from the sequel Soldado might tell its own story. The boys are back in town. Sicario is not sending us it’s best people. In a fraught political environment, this sequel feels even less wanted, depending on which side of the fence you’re on.

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Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo Starring: Everybody. Running Time: 149 minutes


Ten years ago now, there was an idea. To bring together a group of remarkable characters and see if they could become something more. There was a time, unbelievable as it is now, that having a ‘shared universe’ of various franchises seemed like a massive risk rather than the movie studio holy grail. A time when people wondered how the first Avengers film was possibly going to manage a story with six superheroes. Infinity War has twenty. Plus sidekicks and supporting cast members, absentee Avengers, love interests, a few surprise appearances, the army of an entire country, and a new mass of villains. And Stan Lee. The Universe has grown and grown, developing an enormous, enamoured audience along with it. Marvel know they have most every blockbuster-loving film fan in the palm of their hands at this point, so to keep them captivated, what’s the best thing they can do at this point? Make a fist. Or snap their fingers.

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The urge is understandable to avoid a retrospective of the year 2016. Not since Lot’s wife decided to take a cheeky glance back at Sodom has looking back at something been more likely to produce misery and misfortune the way this year has, but that only makes it all the more important to go back over the few bright spots, particularly for movie lovers. 2016 was undoubtedly a great year for Irish cinema, with 9 Oscar nominations and two wins, Irish films showing prominently in festivals around the globe, major stars and filmmakers coming to film on the island and some eye-catching box office success. Of course, 2016 is a year that will always stand out to the writers at Film In Dublin, as this was the year that the site launched and since mid-July we’ve worked hard to show you the positives and the pitfalls of navigating through the fair city of cinema.

With the year almost over, our writers have compiled a list of some of this year’s cinematic highlights. Balloting every member for their own top picks of the year, a consensus was more or less reached on ten outstanding films, cinema that provided a welcome distraction from the horrors of the last twelve months, helped sharpen our focus from the lessons to be learned from the year, or both. We’re sure to have left out some of your favourites; in keeping the list to the very best of the best we’ve had to omit some of our own best loved choices so we’re more than open to suggestions on what else could have been considered. Here though, are Film In Dublin’s picks for the top 10 films of 2016.Read more…

Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehenreich Running Time: 106 minutes

There are moments in Hail, Caesar! where it really feels like the Coen Brothers have put together their greatest comedy ever, a broad and absurd send up of Old Hollywood filled with classic cinema references and thinly-veiled analogues that brings all the age’s greatest fears of decadent miscreants and godless Communists to bear, a non-stop circus that needs some sense slapped into it by studio fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) But while Hail, Caesar! is always beautiful to look at and often hilarious to listen to, the day in the life of Mannix we see in the film has too much going on to add up to a satisfying conclusion, or even the unsatisfying conclusions typically favoured by the filmmakers.

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