THE SISTERS BROTHERS
2018, Annapurna Pictures, 121 min, France/Spain/Romania/USA, Dir: Jacques Audiard

Based on the novel by Patrick deWitt, this reimagining of the cinematic Western is a dangerous, witty and emotionally cathartic exploration of what it means to be a man. It is 1851, and Charlie and Eli Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly) are both brothers and assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and hostile world. Each increasingly questions, and quibbles with, the other’s methods as they travel through the mountains of Oregon and eventually to the Gold Rush land of California. It’s a journey that will test the deadly family ties that bind - and may allow them to rediscover what remains of their humanity. Costarring Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed. “This first English-language outing by the ever-adventurous French director Jacques Audiard (A PROPHET, RUST AND BONE) is a connoisseur’s delight, as it's boisterously acted and detailed down to its last bit of shirt stitching.” - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter.


CHICAGO
2002, Park Circus/Miramax, 113 min, USA/Germany/Canada, Dir: Rob Marshall

At a time when crimes of passion result in celebrity headlines, nightclub sensation Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and spotlight-seeking Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) both find themselves sharing space on Chicago's famed Murderess Row. They also share Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), the town's slickest lawyer with a talent for turning notorious defendants into local legends. But in Chicago, there's only room for one legend! Based on the Bob Fosse stage musical, the film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, with supporting performances by John C. Reilly (as Hart’s gullible husband) and Queen Latifah (as a corrupt jail matron) garnering additional Oscar nominations.


DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE
2018, Summit Entertainment, 158 min, USA/Canada, Dir: S. Craig Zahler

Hot on the heels of the spectacular pugilism of BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, S. Craig Zahler closes out a triptych of blunt-force trauma that hasn’t been witnessed since the sweaty grit of Peckinpah and Schrader at their muscular peaks. Here suspended cops Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) attempt to subvert a bank heist for private gain - but best-made plans don’t transpire as they should, resulting in murder, mutilation and a script that divides, conquers and challenges from the opening shot. Zahler expertly immerses us in a toxic environment where right and wrong are indistinguishable, and Gibson and Vaughn give him all the ammunition he needs with flawless performances as iconic antiheroes out of place and out of time - bad men doing bad things whom we willfully embrace as the lesser of the evils presented.


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