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Director: Rian Johnson Starring: Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer Running Time: 130 minutes

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“The game is afoot” renowned mystery-solver Benoit Blanc knowingly crows during one of Knives Out‘s twisty turns, and it seems clear from the outset what game director Rian Johnson is playing here. However mixed (and wearingly unending) the reception may have been for Johnson’s last movie, the man clearly has strong support from Hollywood higher-ups, enough to fund a big “one for him” movie, a “dig out an old idea you’ve always wanted to do and hire everyone you’ve always wanted to work with” movie. And so we get Johnson’s loving homage to the murder mystery genre, a story he’s been kicking around since just after Brick, packed to the seams with rising talents, esteemed character actors and Hollywood royalty. And it’s a bloody delight. The opportunity to self-indulge to this extent is not a luxury every filmmaker is afforded, for what it’s worth though, Johnson uses the platform to delve into some unexpected areas worth examining. If you’re going to do something silly, you might as well do it smartly, which Knives Out accomplished on a number of levels.

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Director: Paul Feig Starring: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding Running Time: 117 minutes


A Simple Favour is being billed as coming “from the darker side of Paul Feig”, the man behind films like Bridesmaids, Spy and Ghostbusters; comedies with a reliance on improv and a focus on women. And while his latest film certainly is further along the Dulux spectrum than those titles, A Simple Favour is still a comfortable step just inside the comfort zone for Feig; a sexy thriller that gets how inherently silly it can be to be sexy, or thrilling. That might sound like a criticism, but it’s key to the film’s charm. It’s a combination of thriller and comedy, but rather than feeling like Feig resting on his laurels it has a refreshing feel, riffing on the genre but never thinking its above it. The result, similarly to Spy, is a pleasant surprise.

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Another Irish film is set to receive a premiere at the prestigious Toronoto International Film Festival. The unique “Gaelspoitation” thriller Black 47 continues its highly successful tour of the festival circuit by stopping off for a North American premiere at TIFF 2018, joining John Butler’s Papa Chulo among many other hotly anticipated films screening in the Canadian culture hub this September.

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 This autumn, one of the most striking films to come out of this year’s Audi Dublin International Film Festival will become available to the wider viewing public of Ireland. A pulpy action thriller set during The Great Famine, we described the Opening Gala of ADIFF 2018 as  a film that “will inspire thoughtful debates and blood-lusting cheers in equal measure”. Lance Daly’s film is set to hit Irish cinemas on the 7th of September.

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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: Lance Daly Starring: Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddy Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Jim Broadbent Running Time: 96 minutes


For an event that had such a profound impact on the course of Irish history, the great tragedy and injustice from which Ireland’s entire subsequent history as a nation sprang forth from, it’s surprising that the Famine hasn’t found its story told on cinema screens, particularly Irish ones, more often. Director Lance Daly takes that task on in Black 47, last week’s Opening Gala of the 2018 Dublin International Film Festival. His approach is perhaps unexpected considering the subject matter, the film being a roaring rampage of revenge, internalising the anger and injustice of the Famine into one man’s quest for vengeance. Prestigous? No. But undoubtedly compelling.

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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: Juan Carlos Medina Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth Running Time: 105 minutes


Imagine one of those ITV murder mystery shows that takes place over a couple of Sunday nights, add a little budget and plenty of blood and replace the usual suspects with Karl Marx, George Gissing and Dan Leno and you’re well on your way to having The Limehouse Golem, a gory thriller about a series of murders in the streets of Victorian London at the hands of a Pepsi-brand Jack the Ripper. Adapted from Peter Ackroyd’s novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem by Jane Goldman (of Kick Ass, Kingsman and more), the most appealing aspects of this mystery take their time in coming, with Goldman clearly enjoying the twists involved with the story’s killer. Pepsi Twist was always the better one anyway.

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Director: Johannes Roberts Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine Running Time: 85 minutes


People don’t want to think it’s safe to go back in the water. Jaws is a classic for a reason, but even getting away from that, movies like Open Water and last year’s hit The Shallows have made easy money by preying on audiences’ primal fear of the ocean and the black-beasts that lurk within. If you’ll forgive the phrasing, 47 Meters Down attempts to dive deeper into those fears, drawing its scares not just from its sharks but from threats like drowning, the bends, accidentally spear-gunning yourself and other nightmarish scenarios that arise when trapped on the ocean floor. A maniac chasing us through our dreams to kill us with knife-gloves and awful puns is impossible, but being eaten by a shark? Sure it’s a 1 in 264.1 million chance, but there’s still a chance, and it’s that fear that shark movies tap into to great effect. Unfortunately, while your chances of enjoying this film are a bit better than 1 in 264.1 million, it’s still a long way from a sure thing.

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