THE FRONTIER
2015, Kino Lorber, 88 min, USA, Dir: Oren Shai

Oren Shai’s feature directorial debut is a pulpy neo-noir with echoes of classic Westerns, starting with the film’s Arizona desert setting. It’s there that femme fatale Laine (Jocelin Donahue) has fled, taking refuge at a place called The Frontier, run by world-weary Luanne (a terrific Kelly Lynch). But Laine soon learns that the seemingly quiet motel is a hideout for thieves who’ve just stolen $2 million - and devises her own plan to take it from them. Shooting on Super 16mm, cinematographer Jay Keitel gives a shadowy, textured and wonderfully lush look to this tale of desperation and double-crosses.


SUBURRA
2015, Netflix, 130 min, Italy/France, Dir: Stefano Sollima

An ambitious plan to turn waterfront property in a Roman suburb into an Italian version of Las Vegas brings together a motley assortment of Mafiosi and political bigwigs in director Stefano Sollima’s crackling crime thriller. As Berlusconi’s government crumbles and Pope Benedict XVI abdicates, everything seems up for grabs; hard-boiled performances (from a cast including Pierfrancesco Favino, Claudio Amendola, Alessandro Borghi and Greta Scarano) along with several bravura sequences underline the noirish moral vacuum. “This is straight-ahead mob action, a vision of crows pecking each other to death when they’re not feasting on the corpse of ‘Bunga Bunga’ Italy. It’s carried off with a great deal of flair.” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.


THE IMPOSSIBLE
LO IMPOSIBLE
2012, Lionsgate, 114 min, Spain/USA, Dir: J.A. Bayona

Just after Christmas in 2004, a tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean killing more than 200,000 people; this riveting drama brings a personal focus to one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Henry (Ewan McGregor) and Maria Bennett (Naomi Watts, in an Oscar-nominated performance) are vacationing in Thailand with their three kids when the tidal wave separates them; as oldest son Lucas (Tom Holland in a terrific debut) struggles to get his severely injured mother to a hospital, Henry scours the devastated area in a desperate search for them.


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