HACKSAW RIDGE
2016, Lionsgate, 139 min, USA/Australia, Dir: Mel Gibson

This is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Costarring Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn, Luke Bracey, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths. “Thanks to some of the greatest battle scenes ever filmed, Gibson once again shows his staggering gifts as a filmmaker, able to juxtapose savagery with aching tenderness.” - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.


BLACK MASS
2015, Warner Bros., 122 min, USA, Dir: Scott Cooper

For more than two decades, James “Whitey” Bulger ruled the mean streets of South Boston with brutality and virtual impunity before vanishing in 1994; he successfully eluded capture until his 2011 arrest in Santa Monica. In one of the best performances of his career, Johnny Depp effectively vanishes into this slippery character, whose skill at playing opposite sides against one another put an FBI agent (Joel Edgerton) in his pocket. With Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson and Kevin Bacon. “Cooper bathes the film in a look that feels unfailingly true to the period without ever verging on kitsch; it’s a movie that isn’t just taking place in the late ’70s and early ’80s but seems to have been made then.” – Scott Foundas, Variety.


LEGEND (2015)
2015, Universal, 131 min, UK/France, Dir: Brian Helgeland

Based on the novel The Profession of Violence, LEGEND follows the criminal history of notorious twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy), who terrorised London’s East End throughout the 1960s and left a legacy of fear and respect that persisted for decades. Told from the perspective of Reggie’s wife, Frances (Emily Browning), the film is unflinchingly violent and brilliantly funny, with a strangely glossy look at the East End that provides a wonderful counter-balance to the Krays' gruesome acts of brutality. Christopher Eccleston provides memorable support as the almost-comical detective Leonard “Nipper” Read, who is determined to bring down the Krays.


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