There’s a lack of new releases in cinemas this week, so I’ll take this opportunity to look back on the five best movies released in Irish cinemas last year. Keep an eye out for this lot on DVD and Netflix.
This gripping Italian thriller is the best gangster movie to come our way in a couple of decades. The script interweaves a host of characters and subplots, but never over-complicates things, and always keeps us guessing. Director Stefano Sollima does his very best Michael Mann impersonation, delivering some of 2016’s best set-pieces in a rain and neon soaked contemporary Rome. Suburra is now being developed into a spinoff Netflix show.
4. Green Room
The members of a punk band fight for their lives after witnessing a murder at a gig for Neo-Nazis. Patrick Stewart is quietly chilling as the leader of a gang of violent skinheads, while director Jeremy Saulnier uses his claustrophobic backstage setting to mine nail-biting tension. A fitting farewell to late star Anton Yelchin.
American actor Brady Corbet has spent the past few years working with some of Europe’s most revered filmmakers, and he was clearly taking notes. His directorial debut announces him as one of the most exciting directorial talents to emerge in recent years. The movie looks at the childhood of a future fascist leader, and is chilling in its implications. It also boasts the year’s most memorable score, courtesy of crooner turned avant-garde composer Scott Walker.
This exercise in genre cross-pollination delivers horror in a western setting and manages to blend the two seamlessly in a tale of cowboys and cannibals. Despite its horror trappings, it’s very much a traditional American western, one John Wayne could comfortably slot into. Richard Jenkins steals the show as Sheriff Kurt Russell’s cantankerous sidekick.
Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda might be my favourite working filmmaker. His latest follows the fortunes of three adult sisters who take in their previously unknown teenage half-sister following the death of their father. Every character is enchanting, so much so that you’ll be mourning their absence when the credits role. Human drama impeccably observed.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com