Starring Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson, Michael Kelly, Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson, Naoko Mori, Martin Henderson, Elizabeth Debicki, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Worthington, & Keira Knightley

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur

If you’re looking for a reason to never climb Mount Everest then this film will give you several. The 1996 Everest disaster is basically a list of every single thing that can go wrong within a three-day period. Essentially it’s an educational film on the dangers of mountain climbing, using history as its reason.

But here’s the thing. Despite every fibre of your being wanting to turn tail you can’t help but feel slightly intrigued. You wonder what it would truly be like to be in such a predicament. That’s how you know Everest is a great film. It grabs you, despite its frightening content, and hurls you down the mountainside. And while you’re tumbling and breaking bones at breakneck speed you’re enjoying the experience. Then when you reach the bottom you dust yourself off, wait for the DVD release and do it all again.

MRD 8 of 10


Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya, Maximiliano Hernandez, Victor Garber & Jon Bernthal

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

I have an issue with America-saves-the-day films, and for a brief moment I incorrectly assumed Sicario to be one of these. However it quickly won me over when I realised there was far greater depth to this film than first assumed.

In case you didn’t know, Emily Blunt can put in a brilliant performance, and though I’m not a fan of Benicio del Toro or Josh Brolin I begrudgingly give them props. They anchor this film in realism, which is intense from beginning to end. There’s no exorbitant action or adorned heroics from the characters because it’s not the focal point. At the end of the day Sicario is both a character piece and a thorough analysis of the the ends justifying the means.

Is that question answered? In ways it tries to vindicate the actions of the not so savoury types in this film, but at the same time it offers perspectives from both sides of the argument. It’s really viewers choice as to whether it displays what you might think is the proper interpretation.

And by the way, it’s a kick-arse film. Watch it.

MRD 8 of 10


Starring Jason Mitchell, O’Shea Jackson, Corey Hawkins, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr. & Paul Giamatti

See, I like rap, but I don’t. It’s weird; I go through phases where I enjoy the music, but it gets old quickly. Maybe it’s a culture gap; I’m a white Australian and that’s about as far away from gangster as it gets.

But the reason why a film like Straight Outta Compton was perfect for me isn’t because of its cultural appeal but the fact that underneath the guns and the clothing is a film about songwriters. I’m a musician first and foremost, so I lapped up the true story about the kids from South Central L.A who proved everybody wrong. Plus I like me a bit of Paul Giamatti.

As a film reviewer I love the new talent that’s on display. Jason Mitchell is someone I can see going on to great things, and call it genetics but O’Shea Jackson plays his old man spot-on perfectly. The casting is one of those life-imitating-art moments I like to mention invariably, but a deliberate one here. It’s taking the truth of the story and applying it to the creative process, and here it’s never been more compelling.

MRD 8 of 10