1: PARADISE NOW
I know a lot of people would read what this movie is about and not give it the time of day. I couldn’t recommend a film like this high enough, it’s should be viewed by absolutely everyone.
The story of two best friends who have grown up together, who get selected to carry out suicide bomb attacks. This film is a seriously intense and gut wrenching piece of cinema and a film that Is done from such a different point of view. Showing every aspect of the main characters , their freinds, family, and the close relationship between the two and the constant fear of “are we doing the right thing, or is this all lies?”. The two best friends are sucked into this world of lies and betrayal, and they are both heading in a direction that there is no turning back from
Sad, moving, intense, intelligent, tragic, and one brilliant film. This movie will open your eyes and change your view on a subject or fear, that we feed with with our own ignorance.
The film ran into serious trouble during shooting. Including one of the crew being kidnapped, a bomb attack on the set. The director said ” if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do it again”. HOLLYWOOD DON’T KNOW HOW LUCKY THEY HAVE IT.
2: ROMANZO CRIMINALE
The story of a group of childhood friends who grew up in “Rome”, eventually becoming well respected figures in organised crime. This film has all the right ingredients, beautiful woman, the guns, the drugs, the drug induced paranoia, the money , the fame , the power.
The look and feel of the film is absolutely brilliant, it looks and feels like you are in Rome in the 70’s. everything from the clothes, the moustaches, the buildings, the cars, right down to the lens on the directors camera . A film that reminded me (just the look) of “Munich”.
A brilliant, stylish. and really well made Italian mafia film.
There are two versions of this film available. I would highly recommend the cut version as the extended cut is over 3 hrs long and can get slow in some bits.
When a family start receiving strange video tapes to their home. The tapes show someone filming the outside of their home. The wife thinks nothing of it but the husband immediately suspects something more sinister at hand, and his fears are confirmed when they receive another tape. This time the tapes shows someone filming the inside of their home. The husband sets out to find who is behind the videos but also finds out that he must confront a past that he had long forgotten about
A fantastic cast with some of France’s finest actors and written and directed by the wonderful “Michael Hanake” who gave films like “funny games”, “Amour”, “the piano teacher”, and “the white ribbon”.
Italian cinema at its best, based on a best selling novel with the same name. “Gomorrah” is a unique type of mafia film. It focusses on 5 different characters, and each one has a vital role in how the story is played out. Set in a huge run down, crumbling housing estate and using rundown apartment blocks as their empire.
Based on a true story,It can be a little slow at times but without a doubt this is mafia film unlike the rest you have seen. It’s has received world wide acclaim since its release, and there hasn’t been another film that has came close to its genius.
5: THE YELLOW SEA
I was a big fan of “chaser”. I consider that to be one of the best serial killer movies about , it was dark , bleak , violent, and really depressing but in a really good way ( if that makes any sense).
Soooo when I heard of “the yellow sea” ( same guys behind chaser) , I knew it would be one hell of a film .The very first scene in this movie sets the mood for the next couple of hours, You know within 2 minutes that it has the same genius feel as other Korean masterpieces such as ” oldboy” ,”chaser” and of course ” I saw the devil” and “memories of murder” and “man from nowhere”.
Even though Korea is a beautiful country, the directors and stars of these films do a fucking really good job at making me never wanting to go there . Every one of these films sets a really desperate and depressing sense of defeat and “the Yellow Sea ” takes it even further.
The story follows a cab driver who is from a border town called “yanji” He has a $60.000 debt and hasn’t seen or heard from his wife in over 6 months. All he knows is that she has been smuggled to Across the border just like thousands of others so she can live illegally, and try and earn a living.
When our main character is offered a job by the local pimp/dealer/crime boss to be smuggled across “the Yellow Sea” murder one man without asking any questions, cut off his thumb, bring the thumb back with him as proof that the job has been completed.
This film is soaked in history, the smuggling scenes are absolutely fantastic and very authentic, although its only about 10 minutes of the film you understand the lengths that these poor fuckers are willing to go to , just so they can make an honest buck and feed their families
So, as you can imagine once things get going in this film, things get out of control really fast and just like all the other Korean movies it has fantastic acting , a well written and eerily shot story and its so fast paced that even “Liam Neeson” couldn’t keep up .
For fans of real films .
6: THE SILENCE
A slow burning suspenseful thriller from Germany about an old cop who comes out of retirement when police discover a missing girls bike at the exact same spot as an old rape and murder case that happened 23 years ago.
This film got great reviews all round and I only had the pleasure of viewing it about 6 months ago , it has been compared by loads to the hit Danish tv show “the killing” so if you like your thrillers slow as with great character development and, storytelling then I advise you to check it out , it won’t disappoint you .
7: CELL 211
A gritty prison drama from Spain . It follows casually dressed prison guard that’s shows up a day early for his new job so he can get the tour of the prison . In the middle of the tour a riot breaks out and separates him from the other guards leaving him to fend for himself and his only option is to blend in with the inmates and pretend to be a prisoner . The rest of the film is very intense and all the way though there seems very little hope for the main character, and you have a constant feeling that he can be found out at any second.
I highly rate this film and if you are into violent prison dramas then this will be be the one for you.
Give it a look
8: EL INFIERNO
The film starts off with “Benny” getting deported back to Mexico from the United States . The border cop says something like ” welcome to Mexico, don’t ever fucking come back”, and from that moment on Benny is thrown back into the world of violence, drugs, guns which he tried to leave 20 years ago. After being mugged several times at gunpoint on his first day back “Benny” is now desperate and sees no other choice but to hook up with old friends who now work for a cartel. He needs to earn money and get his brothers wife and his nephew across the border and back into the United States.
I don’t think this film would work any wonders for the Mexican tourist industry, it really does make Mexico look like a really bad place, hence the name “el infierno” (hell), but in saying that, this film is remarkable, brilliantly written, acted, extremely violent, sad, and has murder and corruption in almost every scene, but the best thing about this film is that although it had all the violence, murder and corruption and is drenched is depressing and shocking realism, they still manage to keep you laughing and entertained right to the end.
9: KING OF THE HILL
An impressive low budget Spanish thriller about a man (quim) who’s driving through a rural wooded/mountain area somewhere in Spain ( beautiful scenery ) suddenly someone opens fire on him. He gets out of his car and almost immediately he gets shot at again, this time hitting him in the leg. A few seconds later he realises that whoever is shooting at him has released a pack of hounds on his ass and not long after that his car is fucked so he makes a run for the woods and that’s the story set up. A great cat and mouse type thriller with a very interesting ending.
When a cop is busted in a underground rave with illegal drugs on him, he is forced to team up with another detective to try and catch a serial killer who is collecting tattooed human skin, when a finger is found in the stomach of one of the victims. The two cops are thrown into much more darker and sinister world. A really good serial killer film and there hasn’t been a lot out since its release in 2002 that can even be compared to it.