A cinematic bounty
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (12A)
Refreshingly real and free of special effects, Bourne director Paul Greengrass has taken a true story that is both inspiring and incredible, and turned it into what is almost certainly the best action thriller of the year. A top-of-his-game Tom Hanks helps (his last 10 minutes as the captain, in particular, are quite extraordinary), but of equal – if not more – importance is the performance of newcomer Barkhad Abdi as Somali pirate leader muse. Despite exhibiting a terrifying, violent intensity for nigh on two hours, we come to deeply empathise with him by the time the film reaches its conclusion – he is just a young man with no other life option than the path he has trodden. Go to see it as soon as possible.
HM At cinemas nationwide from 18 Oct; Sony
LAST PASSENGER (15)
Extraordinary occurrences under ordinary circumstances form the basis of this surprisingly good British thriller, where everyman characters find themselves trapped in a speeding train with cut brakes. The plot evolves into a whodunit, with commuters left trying to decipher who is responsible for their seemingly imminent doom. Using just a few train carriages and a handful of actors, an impressive level of suspense and claustrophobia is created, which is happily cliché-free.
CE At cinemas nationwide from 18 Oct; Kaleidoscope
ENOUGH SAID (12A)
James Gandolfini doesn’t scream romcom, but lo and behold, here’s the big man doing a fine job as a single father in a comedic tryst with a single mum (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, pictured with Gandolfini). Of course, nothing’s ever simple, especially when Louis-Dreyfus’s new best friend Marianne (Catherine Keener) turns out to be her lover’s bean-spilling, hyper-critical ex. But farce levels are mercifully minimal and Gandolfini, in his penultimate posthumous film, exhibits the same vulnerability he did as Tony Soprano – just minus all the whacking.
AD At cinemas nationwide from 18 Oct; 20th Century Fox
PRINCE AVALANCHE (15)
While not reaching the bass-slapping heights of I Love You Man, the ‘bromance’ in this low-key comedy, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, is strong. They play highway workers – the former an uptight outdoorsman, the latter a fun-loving youngster – who spend a summer painting lines on a highway, where they strike up a friendship thanks to tomfoolery and shared women troubles.
JE At cinemas nationwide from 18 Oct; Metrodome