Hacksaw Ridge

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Mel Gibson’s critically acclaimed, Hacksaw Ridge is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic he single-handedly rescued the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was injured by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour, which is the highest military honour in the US, awarded for personal acts of valour above and beyond the call of duty.

Jasper Jones

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JASPER JONES is a coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1965, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.

Silence

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In what has been described as Martin Scorsese’s passion project, more than 20 years in the making, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play two Christian missionaries who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson), at a time when Catholicism was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

★★★★★ “Monumental. The kind of work only a great filmmaker can pull off” The Telegraph

★★★★★ “Scorsese has hit the rare heights of Ingmar Bergman and Carl Theodor Dreyer” Time Out

★★★★★ “Scorsese’s masterpiece is the film we’ve been praying for” New York Daily News

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes’ band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

Lion

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Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

“See it and I promise your own heart will skip a beat with happiness and joy.” Rex Reed, NEW YORK OBSERVER

“Lion is blessed with a Ripley’s Believe It or Not story line that would warm the heart of a stone.” LA TIMES

 

La La Land

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Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

It has been a very long time since we have seen something quite this lyrical, lovely and most importantly original on the screen. DEADLINE

It’s a movie with the potential to make lovers of us all. All we have to do is fall into its arms. TIME

La La Land serves to remind us that movies can still be magical, and they can still provide the channel for us to see magic in the world around us. ROGEREBERT.COM

For Chazelle to be able to pull this off the way he has is something close to remarkable. HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Whiteley

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Whiteley is a visual journey into the life and legacy of one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Brett Whiteley. Through archive, drama and visual effects, this raw and intimate film shows Whiteley’s driving passion to express himself through his art.

A superbly crafted documentary that explores the fascinating life and formidable work of one of Australia’s greatest artists. Where better than on the harbour he so artfully depicted.

Fences

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FENCES is directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film stars Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sydney. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black.

Denzel Washington’s marvelous adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play provides (him) with one of his finest roles, and he gives a powerhouse performance. SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

Washington doesn’t try to improve upon August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, but he brings it to the screen with integrity (and a handful of incredible performances). INDIEWIRE

Can you tell it’s a play? Absolutely. Does that mean a damn thing? Not when the writing is this richly evocative, and the cast so often soars with it. THE WRAP

Jackie

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Jackie is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman).  Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination.  Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.

”Natalie Portman is perfect in Pablo Larraín’s multifaceted portrait of the former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.” NEW YORK TIMES

Arrival

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Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extra-terrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.

Arrival is such a beautiful and thought-provoking film that it almost singlehandedly makes up for every bad aliens-coming-to-Earth film you’ve ever seen. USA TODAY

Amy Adams is a miracle worker-she makes us believe in this mesmerizing mindbender about alien communication, directed with searching mind and heart by Denis Villeneuve. ROLLING STONE

The best film of the year to date, ambitious in conception and extraordinary in execution, has arrived.  THE ATLANTIC

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