We are spoilt for choice this month with a plethora of delectable movie treats heading your way. Spanning lots of different genres and styles, there’s something for almost everybody so let’s take a look at the contenders.
FILM OF THE MONTH: HELL OR HIGH WATER – 5 stars (out 9th Sep)
Director David Mackenzie, whose past credits include Starred Up and Hallam Foe, might not seem like the natural choice to helm a gritty modern-day Texas western but he delivers one of the best films of 2016. Coupled with a remarkable script from Taylor Sheridan (who incidentally played Deputy Hale in the first few seasons of Sons of Anarchy), Hell or High Water is remarkable in every aspect. A scene-stealing Jeff Bridges plays a grizzled lawman that goes on one last manhunt before retirement. A divorced father (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother (Ben Foster) are hitting low-level banks in a bid to raise some fast cash. But their MO suggests something bigger at large. An involving plot that keeps you guessing, a sharp script, outstanding performances and a timeless visual style makes this an unmissable movie.
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC – 4 stars (out 9th Sep)
Matt Ross, familiar to some as Gavin Belson in HBO’s Silicon Valley, writes and directs this uplifting, hilarious and dark tale that’s a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. Viggo Mortensen plays a father bringing up his kids in the wilderness as their mother seeks medical help in the mainland. When things take a turn for the worse, the family unite on an unforgettable road-trip. Stellar support from the likes of George MacKay, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn and Frank Langella helps cultivate this brilliant tale that makes you laugh and cry while enriching your soul.
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS – 4 stars (out 9th Sep)
The best British horror for years, this is more a character study on humankind, with a thriller and a survival story thrown in for good measure. Mike Carey adapts his own best-selling book in director Colm McCarthy’s gripping movie. In a dystopian future, a teacher (Gemma Arterton) befriends a special young girl named Melanie (an outstanding Sennia Nanua) who holds the key to the future of humankind. To say more would spoil the constant surprises on offer. Glenn Close and Paddy Considine lend fantastic support to a film that impresses almost all the way through but the ending does raise some perplexing questions. Nevertheless, this is destined to be a cult hit in a similar vein to 28 Days Later, with striking visuals and a story that holds you long after the end-credits roll.
CAFÉ SOCIETY – 4 stars (out now)
A very pleasing effort from Woody Allen that’s gorgeously shot, wickedly sharp and contains absorbing performances from all involved. It’s the 1930s, and a young man from the Bronx (Jesse Eisenberg) decides to head to the bright lights of Los Angeles to sample life on the other side. Working for his rich and powerful Uncle Phil Stern (a scene-stealing Steve Carell), he is soon utterly beguiled by his Uncle’s secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). But matters of the heart prove to be more complicated than initially seemed. Playing in an era very comfortable to Allen, the film oozes charm, style and grace in every frame.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE – 4 stars (out 16TH Sep)
Barry Crump’s book is lovingly translated to the big screen by screenwriter and director Taika Waititi, who delivers a crowd-pleasing gem that constantly conjures belly-laughs. A wayward 13 year-old named Ricky (a remarkable Julian Dennison) is sent to a new foster family, led by the kind-natured Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and her grumpy husband Hec (Sam Neill). A series of events leads to Ricky and his foster uncle going on an impromptu trip into the New Zealand Bush. Bonding over a misunderstanding, Hec and Ricky are soon on the run as a manhunt looms. Full of crazy comedy, hilarious situations and some striking chemistry from Dennison and Neill, this is an indie-gem with a huge heart.
BLAIR WITCH – 3 stars (out 15th Sep)
Secretly filmed under the fake moniker of ‘The Woods’, horror fan-favourite Adam Wingard takes the helm of this secret sequel to the ground-breaking original horror. Investigating the disappearance of his sister Heather all those years ago, James (James Allen McCune) takes a group of his friends with him into the infamous Burkittsville woods in order to find clues. Armed with hi-tech gadgets and a camera drone, the group venture deep into the wilderness but it’s soon clear that they aren’t alone out there. Pretty much remaking the first film, Blair Witch has its moments. The ending is fantastic though and extends the terror of the first film to good effect. It needed to be a little braver in its overall conception though.
SAUSAGE PARTY – 3 stars (out now)
Get ready to wash your eyes after seeing this hilarious and (at times) gross and offensive comedy from the minds of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jonah Hill. A bunch of wiener-sausages in a supermarket patiently wait for their time to be bought, thinking that they are heading to the promised land. Little do they know that food is actually eaten by humans. So begins a frantic chase as they all seek to find out the real truth. It certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste but there is no denying that this is the most original animated film you’ll likely see all year. Equal parts silly and genius.