Lynne Ramsay’s stark inversion of the noir thriller is a devastatingly brutal portrayal of one man’s battle with repression and abuse, anchored by a rage-fuelled, Cannes-winning performance from Joaquin Phoenix. Joe (Phoenix) is a Gulf War veteran and former FBI agent turned killer-for-hire who lives at home with his ailing mother. When Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), a US Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, he is contracted to dispense with the perpetrators and save the girl. Having located Nina in a seedy New York brothel, Joe’s escape plan suddenly derails, unleashing a maelstrom of violence that ultimately takes him deeper into the hallucinatory darkness and closer to the truth.
Working from Jonathan Ames’ 2013 novel, Ramsay (who jointly won the best screenplay award in Cannes) is more concerned with the psyche of her unhinged protagonist than she is with the action, and she eschews the spoken word in favour of Phoenix’s eloquent, line-ravaged face. Reuniting several of her key collaborators on We Need to Talk About Kevin, her taut, syncopated cinema is intensified by Jonny Greenwood’s pulsating score, Thomas Townend’s expressive camerawork and razor-sharp editing from Joe Bini who rejects exploitation, cutting away from the action rather than to it.
Documentary 2020 90 mins Director: Maite Alberdi
Increasingly concerned about the wellbeing of his mother inside a nursing home, Romulo decides its time to take action and hires a mole to spy on her, in this heartwarming documentary.
Thriller 2019 111 mins Director: Gerard Johnson
A directionless call centre salesman gets more than he bargained for when he joins a local gym, in Gerard Johnson's stunning dissection of masculinity.
Thriller 2019 104 mins Director: Ladj Ly
Ladj Ly’s extraordinary Cannes Jury Prize-winning debut obliterates the myth of cultural integration in France.
Thriller 2019 104 mins Director: Brandon Cronenberg
In the near future, a cool and ruthless assassin who uses other people’s bodies to carry out execution-style killings comes unstuck when her latest vehicle resists.
Drama 2019 86 mins Director: Claire Oakley
The debut feature from acclaimed short filmmaker Claire Oakley is a riveting psycho-sexual drama in which nothing is quite what it seems.
Drama 2020 84 mins
Amy knows she's going to die tomorrow and her fear is contagious.
Best Films of 2018
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Francis Lee
A troubled young sheep farmer falls for a hired hand in this stunning debut from Francis Lee.
Comedy 2017 71 mins Director: Sally Potter
Following some unexpected revelations, a celebration quickly takes a turn for the worse in Sally Potter's razor-sharp comedy.
Comedy 2017 107 mins Director: Armando Iannucci
Chaos and comedy ignite in Armando Iannucci’s acerbic satire, as Soviet officials frantically react to the passing of their glorious leader.
Drama 2017 112 mins Director: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Drama 2017 127 mins Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena, Leviathan) delivers a masterpiece in this caustic look at contemporary Russian society, a failed marriage and the disappearance of a child. A major prize winner at both Cannes and BFI London Film Festival.
Drama 2017 106 mins Director: Michael Pearce
The hunt for a Jersey serial killer sparks a dangerous awakening in a young woman in this astonishing psycho-sexual thriller, which sets all the senses aflame.
Featuring Joaquin Phoenix
Drama 2013 117 mins Director: James Gray
Marion Cotillard plays a Polish immigrant struggling to survive in 1920s New York, in this acclaimed drama from James Gray (We Own the Night).
Directed by Lynne Ramsay
Drama 1996 18 mins Director: Lynne Ramsay
An ex-drug addict reflects on life in and out of prison in this short by BAFTA-winner Lynne Ramsay, based on real accounts.
Drama 2010 112 mins Director: Lynne Ramsay
Tilda Swinton gives a BAFTA-nominated performance as the mother of a teenager who commits a high school massacre. With Ezra Miller and John C. Reilly.
Drama 2020 118 mins Director: Agnieszka Holland
Agnieszka Holland’s fascinating biopic of Jan Mikolášek, a 20th century Czech herbalist whose great success masked the grimmest of secrets.
Documentary 2021 86 mins Director: Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Creative dual-portrait documentary of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, two of the greatest figures in 20th Century American Literature.
Romance 2020 116 mins Director: Boaz Yakin
Incorporating expressive and exultant dance sequences, Aviva is a restless modern love story that explores the complexities of gender dynamics.
Comedy 2020 106 mins Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
At a remote lake house, a filmmaker plays a calculated game of desire and jealousy in the pursuit of a work of art that blurs the boundaries between autobiography and invention.
Documentary 2020 86 mins Director: Lisa Rovner
The remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to transform how we produce and listen to music today.
Documentary 2019 105 mins Director: Pat Collins
Director Pat Collins’ sublime portrait of the renowned American folklorist and ethnologist, Henry Glassie, who has spent a half century documenting the artistic processes of traditional craftspeople.