I can’t believe I’m recommending an M Night Shyamalan movie as release of the week, but that’s the case with The Visit, his best since 1999’s The Sixth Sense, and a long overdue return to form. The film follows a pair of kids who go to stay with their estranged grandparents for the first time, only to find the old coots are dangerously off their rockers. Funny, scary and at times upsetting, this is horror filmmaking at its near best.
Woody Allen continues an impressive late run with Irrational Man, the darkest movie of his career. Joaquin Phoenix plays a philosophy professor who decides the only way to escape his existential funk is through committing an act of violence. Don’t expect any of the usual Allen laughs, but this is a compelling thriller.
Controversial director Abel Ferrara gives us a biopic of Italy’s most divisive filmmaker in Pasolini. Willem Dafoe inhabits the title role in a movie that thankfully avoids the usual biopic mannerisms, instead focussing on the final day of Pasolini’s life before his brutal killing in a still widely debated attack.
Tom Hardy gives a double performance as the Kray twins in true crime epic Legend. Unfortunately, while Hardy impresses in both roles, the film is a run of the mill gangster flick that never quite finds its focus.
By Eric Hillis