Shane Black is no stranger to the crime buddy movie genre, having penned the screenplays for the Lethal Weapon films through the late eighties and early nineties. Now, as a director and co-writer alongside Anthony Bagarozzi, he returns to the field for neo-noir comedy ‘The Nice Guys’ starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. When hard-man enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) is hired to rough up private eye Holland March (Gosling), to say they get off on the wrong foot would be an understatement. However, circumstances around the mysterious death of porn star Misty Mountains force them to form an unlikely alliance. Together the mismatched pair aim to track down a missing girl linked with the investigation, leading to an action-packed and hilarious wild-goose-chase through the underbelly of 1970s Los Angeles.
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In 1993, writer and director Richard Linklater helped launch the careers of Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey with cult teen comedy Dazed & Confused. Now he is back in the same academic territory with what is being considered the ‘spiritual sequel’. Named after the Van Halen song, coming-of-age flick Everybody Wants Some!! follows freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) as he begins a baseball scholarship in Texas 1980. When he arrives at his new digs, he meets his many housemates including party animal Finnegan (Glen Powell), fun-loving Dale (J. Quinton Johnson) and hallucinogen hooligan Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), and is instantly initiated into their chaotic college culture.
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The positive critical reception of low-budget revenge film Blue Ruin helped served as a financial springboard for writer-director Jeremy Saulnier’s next project. Sticking with colour-themed titles, Green Room follows four-piece punk band The Ain’t Rights as they tour through the Pacific Northwest. Led by Pat (Anton Yelchin), the group find themselves gigging at a very shady, isolated bar where most of the clientele are vicious neo-Nazis. After their suitably riotous performance, they are horrified to witness a brutal murder in the venue’s green room, and are held hostage by Darcy (Patrick Stewart) and his gang of skinheads. The group, musically influenced by artists such as The Misfits and Minor Threat, come together in an intense battle for survival but in their situation the threat they face is far from minor.
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In Italy, organised crime and politics have never seemed worlds apart and the affiliation between the two is dissected in Stefano Sollima’s latest feature ‘Suburra’, named after a quarter of ancient Rome. The neo-noir drama is based on a novel by Carlo Bonini and Giancarlo De Cataldo, and marks a return to film for the director following his television work on the likes of Gomorra and Romanzo Criminale. Set in 2011, the contemporary tale of corruption centres around shady lawyer Filippo ‘Pippo’ Malgradi (Pierfrancesco Favino) as he mixes business with pleasure in Rome’s criminal underworld. A feared Mafioso going by the name of Samurai (Claudio Amendola) is behind a project to turn the capital’s waterfront into the “Las Vegas of Europe” but when local mobsters inadvertently foil his plans, a violent gang war ensues that spells trouble for Malgradi and everyone around him.
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