Tom’s reVIEW

BEST SELLERS

IN REVIEW WITH TOM AUGUSTINE

Tom Augustine is an award-winning Auckland-based filmmaker and writer. Tom has been writing film criticism since 2016, including regular film column ‘The Weekend in Film’ for the New Zealand Herald’s Canvas Magazine until early 2020. Tom’s writing has appeared in Little White Lies, the New Zealand Herald, The Spinoff, North & South, Metro Magazine, The Pantograph Punch and others, while his directorial work has been profiled in Clash Magazine, Stuff and The Spinoff. Tom is the recipient of a NZ Writers Guild Seed Advanced Grant and recently was selected for the inaugural Tāhuna Writers Residency in Queenstown. He currently programmes the monthly Capitol Cinema Film Club with filmmaker Amanda Jane Robinson.

Infiniti

Movie title: Infiniti (Poiraud, 2024)

Movie description: Screening exclusively on Rialto Channel in June, this French/Kazakhstani limited science fiction series is a thrillingly peculiar and unsettling blend of noirish mystery and chilly futuristic parable. Making great use of the desolate Kazakhstan landscape and a strong ensemble cast, it’s a muscular, mature and deeply intriguing mystery not to be missed.

Date published: May 13, 2024

Country: France

Author: Stéphane Pannetier, Julien Vanlerenberghe

Director(s): Thierry Poiraud

Actor(s): Céline Sallette, Daniyar Alshinov, Vlad Ivanov

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

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Drive-Away Dolls

Movie title: Drive-Away Dolls (Coen, 2024)

Movie description: For his first solo effort sans brother Joel, the great filmmaker Ethan Coen directs this deliriously wacky oddity, a film that hearkens back to the Seventies exploitation films of Russ Meyer and John Waters. Part crime caper, part soft-hearted romance, part devilish sex comedy, the film is too muddled and haphazard to endorse outright, yet too idiosyncratic, exuberantly queer and endearingly lewd to dismiss.

Date published: February 22, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Ethan Coen, Tricia Cooke

Director(s): Ethan Coen

Actor(s): Margaret Qualley, Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo

Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller

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Rialto Channel Pride Month

Movie title: Rialto Channel Pride Month

Movie description: For Pride Month 2024, Rialto Channel has assembled a vital and eclectic collection of some of the best and most significant queer cinema offerings of the last few years, from here, Australia and abroad. Together, they offer a picture of a community embracing the liberation of being your true self, while also confronting the scars of the past and the prejudices that remain prevalent.

Date published: February 9, 2024

Country: New Zealand

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Perfect Days

Movie title: Perfect Days (Wenders, 2024)

Movie description: Wim Wenders is responsible for some of the most important works of the late 20th Century in Paris Texas, Wings of Desire and Alice in the Cities. The visionary German filmmaker has earned the right to coast, which makes his patient and kind-hearted Perfect Days all the more special for its late-period artistic rigour.

Date published: January 25, 2024

Country: Japan, Germany

Author: Takuma Takasaki, Wim Wenders

Director(s): Wim Wenders

Actor(s): Koji Yakusho, Tokio Emoto

Genre: Drama

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Monsieur Spade

Movie title: Monsieur Spade (Frank, Fontana, 2024)

Movie description: Starting off the new year with a bang, The Queen’s Gambit creator Scott Frank’s update of legendary gumshoe Sam Spade, a role made iconic by Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, breaks new ground while delivering a reliably thrilling, muscular neo-noir befitting such a character. Featuring a memorable turn from Clive Owen as an older, more world-weary iteration of the detective, it’s a modern update that more than makes a case for itself.

Date published: January 12, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Scott Frank, Tom Fontana

Director(s): Scott Frank

Actor(s): Clive Owen

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

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The Best of 2023

Movie title: The Best of 2023

Movie description: The year that was confidently displayed the many contradictions of cinema in the modern era. It was a time of original stories breaking box office - and creative - boundaries; but also a time of sameness and homogenisation sweeping through our multiplexes and streaming services. Above all, 2023 made it clear that the cinema is still a commercial, ideological, technological battleground, a status that is unlikely to change any time soon. Here are the boldest, the most memorable, and finest pictures of 2023.

Date published: December 14, 2023

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Steeltown Murders

Movie title: Steeltown Murders (dir. Marc Evans)

Movie description: Screening for the first time in New Zealand on Rialto Channel this month, this under-the-radar Welsh crime series is a sobering, fascinating plummet into the real-life, thirty-year hunt for a serial killer. Atmospheric and fascinating, this four-part series offers a glimpse into historical police corruption that benefits from a well executed time-hopping structure.

Date published: November 30, 2023

Country: United Kingdom

Author: Ed Whitmore

Director(s): Marc Evans,

Actor(s): Phillip Glenister, Steffan Rhodri, Keith Allan

Genre: Crime, Drama, History

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Saltburn

Movie title: Saltburn (dir. Emerald Fennell)

Movie description: One-time Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell follows up her Oscar-winning debut feature Promising Young Woman with this handsomely mounted but hollow story of class obsession that doesn’t so much live in The Talented Mr Ripley’s shadow as attempt to recreate it wholesale. As with many stories from the über-wealthy that aim to ‘eat the rich’, Saltburn packs a lot of bark but tragically little bite.

Date published: November 16, 2023

Country: United Kingdom

Author: Emerald Fennell

Director(s): Emerald Fennell

Actor(s): Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike,

Genre: Drama, Thriller, Comedy

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All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Movie title: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (dir. Laura Poitras)

Movie description: One of very few documentaries to ever be awarded the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Citizenfour and Risk documentarian Laura Poitras’ biographical retelling of the life of extraordinary photographer and activist Nan Goldin may be her finest ever work. Weaving together Goldin’s astonishing imagery with her outspoken protests against über-rich Oxycontin peddlers the Sackler family, it is a startlingly relevant exploration of the limitations – and potentialities – of art under capitalism.

Date published: November 2, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Laura Poitras

Director(s): Laura Poitras

Actor(s): Nan Goldin, David Velasco, Megan Kapler

Genre: Documentary

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Killers Of The Flower Moon

Movie title: Killers Of The Flower Moon (Scorsese, 2023)

Movie description: Remarkable on every conceivable level, the latest sweeping epic from the greatest living filmmaker is a haunting, intricate masterwork quite unlike anything else in his unparalleled career. There will surely be no better film made this year – to see it in cinemas is a must.

Date published: October 19, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, David Grann

Director(s): Martin Scorsese

Actor(s): Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow

Genre: Crime, Drama, History

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Streaming Roundup Reptile (Singer, 2023) / No One Will Save You (Duffield, 2023) / The Wes Anderson Roald Dahl Shorts (2023)

Movie title: Streaming Roundup Reptile (Singer, 2023) / No One Will Save You (Duffield, 2023) / The Wes Anderson Roald Dahl Shorts (2023)

Movie description: As the cinema world draws its breath to prepare for the plunge into Oscar season, a number of fascinating titles both great and not-so-great are being released with little fanfare to various streaming services. The best of them are good enough that you might question why they’ve been relegated to the black hole of the modern straight-to-DVD strategy.

Date published: October 6, 2023

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It Lives Inside

Movie title: It Lives Inside (Dutta, 2023)

Movie description: A promising concept and a welcome, fresh cultural perspective on the possession horror genre aren’t enough to save It Lives Inside from rote storytelling and half-baked scares. The debut from Bishal Dutta has its charms, but falls short of the potential this sort of story innately holds within.

Date published: September 25, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Bishal Dutta

Director(s): Bishal Dutta

Actor(s): Megan Suri, Neeru Bajwa, Mohana Krishnan

Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller

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A Rialto Channel Exclusive - The Night Logan Woke Up

Movie title: The Night Logan Woke Up (Dolan, 2022)

Movie description: The prolific Quebecois filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s first television series is an unsettling and intricate family drama, one that demonstrates a distinct maturation in the filmmaker’s style. It’s some of his most impressive work in years.

Date published: September 11, 2023

Country: Canada

Author: Xavier Dolan, Michel Marc Bouchard

Director(s): Xavier Dolan

Actor(s): Julie LeBreton, Patrick Hivon, Éric Bruneau, Xavier Dolan

Genre: Drama

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A Great Friend

Movie title: A Great Friend (Bésnard, 2023)

Movie description: Middlebrow comfort food to a fault, the latest from French filmmaker Eric Bésnard is sumptuously shot and features warm performances from its two leads, but cuts itself off from any sense of real profundity with its fatal adherence to risk-aversion. Likeable in the moment, forgotten moments later.

Date published: August 24, 2023

Country: France

Author: Éric Besnard

Director(s): Éric Besnard

Actor(s): Lambert Wilson, Grégory Gadebois, Marie Gillain

Genre: Comedy

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Asteroid City

Movie title: Asteroid City (Anderson, 2023)

Movie description: In recent years, Wes Anderson’s output has reached new levels of intricacy, his delightfully hand-crafted diorama worlds drawing acclaim from some circles and ire from others. His latest is sure to give plenty of fuel to both camps, but represents one of Anderson’s most fully realised and quietly personal efforts yet.

Date published: August 10, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola

Director(s): Wes Anderson

Actor(s): Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Tom Hanks, Edward Norton, Jeffrey Wright

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

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New Zealand International Film Festival - Week One

Movie title: New Zealand International Film Festival - Week One

Movie description: Barbie and Oppenheimer can wait: the New Zealand International Film Festival, now in full swing, offers the best and most enriching cinema experience you can have in Aotearoa right now. A week in, a number of astonishing films have graced the Civic Theatre, with more to come - get in there while you can.

Date published: July 27, 2023

Country: New Zealand

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Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning - Part One

Movie title: Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning - Part One (McQuarrie, 2023)

Movie description: Returning for one last Mission, the first half of star Tom Cruise’s reported swansong for his most beloved series is a wondrous concoction that blends the paranoia and purposefulness of Brian DePalma’s original film with the utter spectacle of later entries. In terms of blockbuster entertainment, nothing else in the modern cinemasphere comes close.

Date published: July 17, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Bruce Geller, Erik Jendresen, Christopher McQuarrie

Director(s): Christopher McQuarrie

Actor(s): Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Pom Klementieff

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Movie title: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Mangold, 2023)

Movie description: Purportedly the last outing for Harrison Ford’s iconic treasure hunter, the fifth in the Indiana Jones series is also the first not to be directed by Steven Spielberg. What results is an enjoyable, even moving adventure - though one can’t help but miss the extra magic it might have had in the hands of a master.

Date published: June 30, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, David Koepp

Director(s): James Mangold

Actor(s): Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Genre: Action, Adventure

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The Flash

Movie title: The Flash (Muschietti, 2023)

Movie description: Billed as a kind of intermediary between the tortured current onscreen iteration of the DC Universe and the new, James Gunn-led vision to come, IT director Andy Muschietti’s long-fomenting The Flash finally arrives on-screen on a wave of toxic press. As it trods from promising beginnings to a befuddled climax, the film comes to evoke our current, deeply compromised cinema landscape in general.

Date published: June 15, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Christina Hodson, Joby Harold

Director(s): Andy Muschietti

Actor(s): Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon

Genre: Action, Adventure,

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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Movie title: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse (Dos Santos, Thompson, Powers, 2023)

Movie description: The sequel to the hit animated superhero flick Into the Spider-verse is an expansion in every way - a grander story, a longer run-time and ever more dazzling arrays of imagery. It’s a visually stunning and frequently thrilling effort, even as it occasionally succumbs to sequel bloat.

Date published: June 1, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Dave Callaham

Director(s): Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Actor(s): Shameek Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Jake Johnson

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

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A Good Person

Movie title: A Good Person (Braff, 2023)

Movie description: The latest from Scrubs actor and Garden State director Zach Braff is this rote but well-meaning story of addiction and redemption. A treacly, cliche-ridden script is ultimately rescued by fiery, flinty performances from Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman, who bring the story to life in the scenes they share together.

Date published: May 18, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Zach Braff

Director(s): Zach Braff

Actor(s): Florence Pugh, Morgan Freeman, Celeste O'Connor

Genre: Drama

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Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Three

Movie title: Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Three (Gunn, 2023)

Movie description: Returning for one last ride with the eponymous heroes that he made into household names, director James Gunn pumps the third instalment of the Guardians trilogy with everything the series has been lacking in recent years - personality, colour, stakes and pathos. Easily the best Marvel film in several years, it feels positively nostalgic amidst the waves of slushy piles of content for which the post-Endgame brand has become known.

Date published: May 5, 2023

Country: United States

Author: James Gunn

Director(s): James Gunn

Actor(s): Chris Pratt, Chukwudi Iwuji, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

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Beau Is Afraid

Movie title: Beau Is Afraid (Aster, 2023)

Movie description: The third film from the mind behind Hereditary and Midsommar mastermind Ari Aster is a bit of a left turn from the filmmaker - an existential comedy-cum-nightmare where the horrors are anxiety and mummy issues. It’s a tremendously mounted experiment, but one that lacks a beating heart at its core.

Date published: April 21, 2023

Country: Canada

Author: Ari Aster

Director(s): Ari Aster

Actor(s): Joaquin Phoenix, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Drama

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True Colours

Movie title: True Colours (Glynn and McGregor, 2023)

Movie description: This four-part Australian miniseries is a handsome and well-wrought piece of mystery television, one that showcases a wide range of Australian talent and platforms an all-too-rare Indigenous Australian perspective on a large scale. It feels like a vital landmark in Australian storytelling for the screen.

Date published: April 6, 2023

Country: Australia

Author: Danielle MacLean

Director(s): Erica Glynn, Steven McGregor

Actor(s): Rarriwuy Hick, Warren H. Williams, Luke Arnold, Miranda Otto

Genre: Crime

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John Wick: Chapter 4

Movie title: John Wick: Chapter 4 (Stahelski, 2023)

Movie description: The latest instalment in the Keanu Reeves-starring action behemoth is everything you’d expect from a John Wick - balletic gun and knife-play, cartoonish character actors, mind-numbingly extensive world-building, and so on. It’s also, somehow, the best of the lot.

Date published: March 23, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Shay Hatten, Michael Finch, Derek Kolstad

Director(s): Chad Stahelski

Actor(s): Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Donnie Yen

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

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Broker

Movie title: Broker (Kore-eda, 2022)

Movie description: The latest from Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda functions as a companion piece to his Palme D’Or winning Shoplifters, another warm and melancholic drama about an unorthodox family of underclass drifters. Thornier and more complex than that earlier film, and featuring a medley of stunning performances, it’s an under-the-radar gem.

Date published: March 9, 2023

Country: South Korean

Author: Kore-eda Hirokazu

Director(s): Kore-eda Hirokazu

Actor(s): Song Kang-ho, Bae Doona, IU

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

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Aftersun

Movie title: Aftersun (Wells, 2022)

Movie description: At once a celebration of digital memory and an examination of its limitations, Charlotte Wells’ sensational debut is a shattering, deeply moving journey through the director’s own aching reflections of a childhood snapshot, and the father she never truly knew. It is one of the best films you’ll see this year.

Date published: February 23, 2023

Country: United Kingdom, United States

Author: Charlotte Wells

Director(s): Charlotte Wells

Actor(s): Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio, Celia Rowlson-Hall

Genre: Drama

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Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Movie title: Magic Mike’s Last Dance (Soderbergh, 2023)

Movie description: In the third, underwhelming instalment of the fascinating and shape-shifting Magic Mike series, original director Steven Soderbergh finds himself adrift in a muddled, well-intentioned romance that never quite ignites.

Date published: February 9, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Reid Carolin

Director(s): Steven Soderbergh

Actor(s): Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek,

Genre: Comedy, Drama

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Rialto Pride Month & Girl Like You

Movie title: Rialto Pride Month & Girl Like You (Elliott, Marlowe, 2021)

Movie description: Rialto Channel’s annual Pride Month lineup promises a range of incisive and profound queer stories from fringe and independent cinema scenes. At the centre is Girl Like You, a revealing and commendably complex document of transitioning and the struggles of relationships undergoing major changes.

Date published: January 26, 2023

Country: Australia

Author: Frances Elliott, Samantha Marlowe

Director(s): Frances Elliott, Samantha Marlowe

Actor(s): Lauren Black, Elloise Walsh

Genre: Documentary

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Best of 2022

Movie title: Best of 2022

Movie description: There was plenty of great cinema on offer in 2022, in the form of thrilling returns from master filmmakers and astonishing dispatches from new and emerging voices. The question is, did audiences care enough to seek it out?

Date published: December 15, 2022

Country: New Zealand

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Christmas/NY Preview

Movie title: Christmas/NY Preview

Movie description: Life may be slowing down come Christmas-time across Aotearoa, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to catch up with some tantalising cinematic offerings, with a range of promising major titles of both the blockbuster and prestige variety debuting in cinemas and on streaming.

Date published: December 1, 2022

Country: New Zealand

Author: Tom Augustine

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Stars at Noon

Movie title: Stars at Noon (Denis, 2022)

Movie description: Winner of the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, French auteur Claire Denis’ latest work, one of two to release this year, is a woozy, sweltering erotic thriller set in a purgatorial, pandemic-stricken Nicaragua. An adaptation of the novel by Denis Johnson, it is a wry continuance of Denis’ occasionally frustrating but always beguiling late-period body of work.

Date published: November 17, 2022

Country: France

Author: Claire Denis, Andrew Litvack, Léa Mysius, Denis Johnson (Novel)

Director(s): Claire Denis

Actor(s): Margaret Qualley, Joe Alwyn, Benny Safdie

Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller

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Ablaze

Movie title: Ablaze (Morgan, Onus, 2021)

Movie description: The moving, illuminating centrepiece of Rialto Channel’s forthcoming Film Icons and Pioneers series is this powerful piece of cultural excavation from the family of a forgotten visionary. It marks a milestone in recognising the work of indigenous filmmakers in a still-evolving artform.

Date published: November 3, 2022

Country: Australia

Author: Alec Morgan, Tiriki Onus

Director(s): Alec Morgan, Tiriki Onus

Genre: Documentary

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The Stranger

Movie title: The Stranger (Wright, 2022)

Movie description: The latest in a series of stirring Australian true-crime dramas is this stunner from multi-hyphenate Thomas M. Wright (of Top of the Lake fame), which may be the best example of the form yet. Featuring a simmering, immense performance from Joel Edgerton, it’s releasing on Netflix to little fanfare - but don’t let it pass you by.

Date published: October 20, 2022

Country: Australia

Author: Thomas M. Wright

Director(s): Thomas M. Wright

Actor(s): Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Ewen Leslie

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

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Amsterdam

Movie title: Amsterdam (O. Russell, 2022)

Movie description: Boasting a remarkably stacked cast and a vivid postwar setting, David O. Russell’s return to the screen after the underwhelming Joy is an absolute mess. A mishmash of poorly blended tones, thinly drawn characters and a patronising, overwrought plot suggest the controversial filmmaker has seen better days.

Date published: October 6, 2022

Country: U.S.

Author: David O. Russell

Director(s): David O. Russell

Actor(s): Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington

Genre: Drama, Comedy, History

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Hit the Road

Movie title: Hit the Road (Panahi, 2022)

Movie description: Melancholic and mysterious, this wonderful Iranian tragicomedy follows in the footsteps of that nation’s cinematic masters, creating something that feels up-to-the-moment and yet timeless in the rich veins of feeling that it mines. It’s a quiet, revelatory must-see.

Date published: September 22, 2022

Country: Iran

Author: Panah Panahi

Director(s): Panah Panahi

Actor(s): Pantea Panahiha, Mohammad Hassan Madjooni

Genre: Drama

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Filmstream

Movie title: Filmstream titles incl. Master Cheng (Kaurismaki, 2022)

Movie description: Good cinema is often hidden in plain sight, and easily accessible, beyond the usual streamers whose offerings regularly fall short. A new, free arthouse cinema platform, Filmstream (an offshoot of TVNZ+) includes a range of hidden gems from around the world - the kind of films worth stumbling upon.

Date published: September 8, 2022

Country: NZ

Author: Hannu Oravisto

Director(s): Mika Kaurismäki

Actor(s): Pak Hon Chu, Anna-Maija Tuokko

Genre: Drama, Romance

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Beast

Movie title: Beast (Kormákur, 2022)

Movie description: August is usually a rough month both weather-wise and in terms of cinema releases. This month, at least, you can watch Idris Elba get into a fistfight with a murderous lion in the tense, brutally enjoyable survival thriller Beast.

Date published: August 25, 2022

Country: US

Author: Ryan Engle, Jaime Primak Sullivan

Director(s): Baltasar Kormákur

Actor(s): Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley,

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Horror

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Nope

Movie title: Nope (Peele, 2022)

Movie description: Spectacular, thrilling and thought-provoking in an equal degree, the third, grandest outing for horror auteur Jordan Peele yet is a stirring sci-fi Western with a lot on its mind. It may be Peele’s finest work yet.

Date published: August 11, 2022

Country: US

Author: Jordan Peele

Director(s): Jordan Peele

Actor(s): Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

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NZIFF Preview 2022

Event Title: NZIFF Preview 2022

Event Description: The New Zealand International Film Festival is finally back on screens across the country, including Auckland, after two pandemic-plagued years. A small but wonderful selection offers exciting cinematic offerings from Aotearoa and across the world.

Start date: July 28, 2022

Location name: New Zealand

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Best Sellers

Movie title: Best Sellers (Lina Roessler, 2021)

Movie description: Premieres Saturday 16 July, 8.30pm, Sky's Rialto Channel. Gentle-hearted and disarmingly sweet, the debut feature from Lina Roessler utilises a sterling odd-couple pairing in Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza to create a moving tale of unexpected connection.

Date published: July 15, 2022

Author: Anthony Grieco

Director(s): Lina Roessler

Actor(s): Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza, Scott Speedman

Genre: Comedy, Drama

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Pig

Movie title: Pig (Michael Sarnoski, 2021)

Movie description: Whether you’re revisiting this sleeper hit of 2021 or just encountering it for the first time, Pig is a powerful, moving examination of the paralysis of grief, a man-on-a-mission tale as American as a Springsteen song that explores the rapidly changing Portland food scene.

Date published: June 30, 2022

Country: US

Author: Vanessa Block, Michael Sarnoski

Director(s): Michael Sarnoski

Actor(s): Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Aarkin

Genre: Drama, Mystery

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The Traitor

Movie title: The Traitor (Marco Bellocchio, 2019)

Movie description: It’s a slickly made but unflinchingly brutal beast, easily calling up references to crime classics like The Godfather and Carlos; while its vivid digital photography recalls the fluid action dramas of late-career Michael Mann.....

Date published: June 16, 2022

Country: Italy

Author: Marco Bellocchio, Valia Santella, Ludovica Rampoldi, Francesco Piccolo

Director(s): Marco Bellocchio

Actor(s): Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Fabrizio Ferracane

Genre: Crime, Drama, Biography

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Hatching

Movie title: Hatching (Bergholm, 2022)

Movie description: Finnish filmmaker Hanna Bergholm has crafted a delightfully icky, if somewhat blunt piece of body horror. It’s a startlingly strong case for the ongoing relevance of practical effects.

Date published: June 2, 2022

Country: Finland

Author: Ilja Rautsi

Director(s): Hanna Bergholm, ,

Actor(s): Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä, Jani Volanen

Genre: Horror

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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Movie title: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (Ball, 2024)

Movie description: Taking over from The Batman’s Matt Reeves, The Maze Runner director Wes Ball has crafted a thrilling, muscular episode of the sprawling Apes series, another strong entry in a franchise well-known for its consistent strike rate. The film’s astonishing technical mastery, coupled with a breathless, high-stakes narrative, sets it apart from other, gaudier modern blockbusters.

Date published: May 9, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver

Director(s): Wes Ball

Actor(s): Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Owen Teague

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

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Monolith

Movie title: Monolith (Vesely, 2024)

Movie description: This month, Rialto Channel will be providing the thrills and chills for your Friday night in with ‘Friday Night Frights: Indie Horrors’, a series of excellent, inventive modern horrors from the fringes of the cinema world. Up first, this hair-raising, sci-fi-inflected paranoiac nightmare, grounded by a stunning performance from Evil Dead Rise’s Lily Sullivan.

Date published: May 2, 2024

Country: Australia

Author: Lucy Campbell

Director(s): Matt Vesely

Actor(s): Lily Sullivan, Ling Cooper Tang, Ansuya Nathan

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Sci-fi

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The Fall Guy

Movie title: The Fall Guy (Leitch, 2024)

Movie description: Despite the efforts of a game Ryan Gosling, director David Leitch’s update of the classic television show is a wearying attempt at an action rom-com, one that lacks the verve and effortlessness of the best of its genre. At once toothless and entirely too pleased with itself, it’s a nonstarter that fails to capitalise on Gosling’s movie-star charisma.

Date published: April 26, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Drew Pearce, Glen A. Larson

Director(s): David Leitch

Actor(s): Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt

Genre: Action, Comedy,

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Challengers

Movie title: Challengers (Guadagnino, 2024)

Movie description: Bolstered by three superb lead performances, Luca Guadagnino’s sweat-soaked tennis drama is his finest work since Call Me By Your Name. Thrillingly directed and cleverly structured, it’s an exhilarating reminder of the value of mature, mid-budget studio filmmaking.

Date published: April 19, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Justin Kuritzke

Director(s): Luca Guadanigno

Actor(s): Zendaya, Mike Faist, Josh O'Connor

Genre: Sport, Romance

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Civil War

Movie title: Civil War (Garland, 2024)

Movie description: Tense, ambitious and muddled, Alex Garland’s latest (and possibly final) feature showcases both the best and the worst of the British screenwriter-turned-filmmaker. It’s a film that bristles with surface pleasures, but remains frustratingly hollow below the surface.

Date published: April 11, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Alex Garland

Director(s): Alex Garland

Actor(s): Kirsten Dunst, Nick Offerman, Cailee Spaeny,

Genre: Action

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Rio Connection

Movie title: Rio Connection (Lima, 2023)

Movie description: Screening in its entirety on Rialto Channel, the Brazilian crime series Rio Connection is a refreshing entry into the seedy underworld crime series canon whose door was opened by the likes of Narcos and Breaking Bad. Appealingly fleet and mischievous, the series packs a lot of bang for buck with appealing performances and sophisticated 70s period detail.

Date published: April 4, 2024

Country: Brazil

Author: Mauro Lima

Director(s): Mauro Lima, Thiago Teitelroit, Toni Vanzolini

Actor(s): Valerio Morigi, Aksel Ustun, Raphael Kahn

Genre: Crime, Drama

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Io Capitano

Movie title: Io Capitano (Garrone, 2023)

Movie description: Matteo Garrone’s harrowing, Oscar-nominated Io Capitano is a gorgeously shot, well-acted portrait of the exceptional plight of African migrants, one which makes a concentrated effort to distance itself from the cynicism of other manipulative portraits of Third World poverty catered to a white audience. Though it doesn’t entirely divorce itself from the punishing misery-baiting of this peculiar subgenre, Garrone’s direction leaves just enough room for grace to justify the journey.

Date published: March 28, 2024

Country: Italy

Author: Matteo Garrone, Massimo Ceccherini, Massimo Gaudioso

Director(s): Matteo Garrone

Actor(s): Seydou Sarr, Moustapha Fall, Issaka Sawadogo

Genre: Drama

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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Movie title: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (Kenan, 2024)

Movie description: Following on from the especially dire franchise reboot Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the latest foray for the iconic series is this unnecessary if generally watchable sequel, which manages to be a marginal improvement on its predecessor while still not making much of a case for itself. Director Gil Kenan pushes the franchise even further into harmless family-fare territory, an odd concession to commercial pressures that never quite gels.

Date published: March 21, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman, Ivan Reitman

Director(s): Gil Kenan

Actor(s): Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani, Bill Murray

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

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Romantic Comedy

Movie title: Romantic Comedy (Sankey, 2019)

Movie description: To celebrate International Women’s Day, Rialto Channel has programmed an entire month of engrossing documentaries, all directed by women, that range in subject from modern politics to Hollywood starlets to rural farming. Among them is Romantic Comedy, an engrossing personal treatise from Elizabeth Sankey investigating and reclaiming this much-maligned subgenre.

Date published: March 14, 2024

Country: United Kingdom

Author: Elizabeth Sankey

Director(s): Elizabeth Sankey

Genre: Documentary

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How to Have Sex

Movie title: How to Have Sex (Manning-Walker, 2023)

Movie description: Winner of last year’s Un Certain Regard Festival Prize, along with three BAFTAS, Molly Manning-Walker’s assured and authentic debut walks a fine line between arthouse cinema and strident didacticism - a line it mostly succeeds at following. Anchored by a striking performance from Mia McKenna Bruce, it’s both a squirm-inducing depiction of hazy youthful abandon and a teachable moment for younger audiences.

Date published: March 7, 2024

Country: United Kingdom

Author: Molly Manning Walker

Director(s): Molly Manning Walker

Actor(s): Anna Antoniades, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Lara Peake

Genre: Drama

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Dune: Part Two

Movie title: Dune: Part Two (Villeneuve, 2024)

Movie description: Denis Villeneuve’s wonderful sequel to the immense 2021 blockbuster doesn’t so much exceed that first entry as swallow it whole like a sandworm emerging from the depths. Darker, broader, laden with remarkable images and terrifying implications, it’s a positively thunderous work that ably projects the depth and thorniness of Frank Herbert’s original story - another positive sign of an era of major tentpoles that might just have something to say.

Date published: February 29, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, Frank Herbert

Director(s): Denis Villeneuve

Actor(s): Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling

Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Drama

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Bob Marley: One Love

Movie title: Bob Marley: One Love (Green, 2024)

Movie description: King Richard director Reinaldo Marcus Green follows up the film responsible for Will Smith’s Oscar with another biopic about a remarkable figure of the 20th Century. One Love is a safe and aggressively sanitised take on the life of Bob Marley, but coasts along easily enough due to the power of the man’s music and likeable performances from leads Kingsley Ben-Adir and Lashanna Lynch.

Date published: February 15, 2024

Country: United States

Author: Terence Winter, Frank E. Flowers, Zach Baylin

Director(s): Reinaldo Marcus Green

Actor(s): Kingsley Ben-Adir, Lashana Lynch, James Norton

Genre: Biography, Drama, Music

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Argylle

Movie title: Argylle (Vaughn, 2024)

Movie description: Matthew Vaughn’s latest film is a dire, aggravating mish-mash of half-baked spy tropes torn from other, worthier films. A large ensemble of big names is largely wasted in service of bland action and a charmless script, marking Argylle as an early frontrunner for the worst of 2024.

Date published: February 5, 2024

Country: United Kingdom

Author: Jason Fuchs

Director(s): Matthew Vaughn

Actor(s): Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson

Genre: Action, Thriller

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The Holdovers

Movie title: The Holdovers (Payne, 2024)

Movie description: Sideways and Election director Alexander Payne’s exquisite new Christmas-set dramedy is a marvellously traditional, mature film of humble ambition. A throwback to a more grounded era of cinema, it is Payne’s finest work in many years, anchored by three tremendous performances.

Date published: January 18, 2024

Country: United States

Author: David Hemingson

Director(s): Alexander Payne

Actor(s): Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa

Genre: Comedy, Drama

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Summer PreVIEW

Movie title: Summer PreVIEW

Movie description: View Magazine will be taking a break over the Christmas/New Year period, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fantastic films populating the cinemas that demand your attention. Here are some of the must-sees.

Date published: December 21, 2023

Country: New Zealand

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The Boy and the Heron

Movie title: The Boy and the Heron (dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

Movie description: Master of the animated form Hayao Miyazaki returns for what was initially reported as the auteur’s final film. Though that is no longer the case, the film remains an essential document, a moving, dazzling story of grief and memory in which the worlds of reality and dreams intersect with their own blissful kind of logic. It’s the year’s best animated film.

Date published: December 7, 2023

Country: Japan

Author: Hayao Miyazaki

Director(s): Hayao Miyazaki

Actor(s): [ENG], Robert Pattinson, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Mark Hamill, Florence Pugh, Karen Fukuhara, Gemma Chan, Dave Bautista, Tony Revolori

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama

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Napoleon

Movie title: Napoleon (dir. Ridley Scott)

Movie description: It feels a little like fate that veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott would one day make a film about the life and conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte. Now eighty-five, his latest film thrums with the energy and bombast of a much younger filmmaker; if it skimps on the depth, it certainly has a great time (and looks good) doing so.

Date published: November 24, 2023

Country: United Kingdom

Author: David Scarpa

Director(s): Ridley Scott

Actor(s): Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Rupert Everett, Tahar Rahim

Genre: Action, Adventure, Biography

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The Marvels

Movie title: The Marvels (dir. Nia DaCosta)

Date published: November 9, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik

Director(s): Nia DaCosta

Actor(s): Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

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Dumb Money

Movie title: Dumb Money (dir. Craig Gillespie)

Movie description: Recounting the breathless battle of wills that saw Gamestop stocks briefly flip Wall Street on its head during the pandemic, Craig Gillespie’s latest is an ensemble recounting of recent history in the vein of Adam McKay’s didactic message comedies like The Big Short and Vice. It fares better than those films, though, thanks to a strong cast and emphatic direction, though the film’s political incisiveness leaves a bit to be desired.

Date published: October 26, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Lauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo, Ben Mezrich

Director(s): Craig Gillespie

Actor(s): Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D'Onofrio, America Ferrera, Seth Rogen

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

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The Kingdom I (Riget)

Movie title: The Kingdom I (Riget) (Von Trier, ‘94)

Movie description: For the first time in New Zealand, Lars Von Trier’s revered and rarely shown television series The Kingdom will be screened in its entirety on Rialto Channel in October, November, and December. It’s an opportunity to see some of the notorious provocateur's early, audacious work - pre-Breaking the Waves - and some of his most recent, in a limited series event of astonishing scope.

Date published: October 12, 2023

Country: Denmark

Author: Lars von Trier, Niels Vørsel, Tómas Gislason

Director(s): Lars von Trier, Morten Arnfred

Actor(s): Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Holger Juul Hansen, Udo Kier

Genre: Drama, Horror, Comedy

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The Creator

Movie title: The Creator (Edwards, 2023)

Movie description: A rarity in the blockbuster landscape in 2023, the latest from Rogue One and Godzilla director Gareth Edwards is based on an original concept, depicting a world ravaged by a war between humans and artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, for all the film’s resplendent imagery and muscular visual effects, The Creator is brought down by a script so generic it ironically feels like it could have been written by an AI bot.

Date published: September 28, 2023

Country: United States

Author: Gareth Edwards, Chris Weitz

Director(s): Gareth Edwards

Actor(s): John-David Washington, Gemma Chan, Allison Channey, Ken Watanabe, Madeleine Yuna Voyles

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Drama

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A Haunting In Venice

Movie title: A Haunting in Venice (Branagh, 2023)

Movie description: That the latest in actor/director Kenneth Branagh’s series of adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Poirot series is better than its previous instalments, Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, is hardly a notable achievement. That it manages to be strong enough to justify the continuation of this series - now that’s an achievement.

Date published: September 18, 2023

Country: United Kingdom

Author: Michael Green

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Scrapper

Movie title: Scrapper (Regan, 2023)

Movie description: Vibrant, yet tenderly wrought, the debut feature from British filmmaker Charlotte Regan is yet another exceptionally-made offering from an emerging New Wave of young British filmmakers. Featuring two sparkling performances, the film marks Regan as one to watch.

Date published: September 1, 2023

Country: United Kingdom

Author: Charlotte Regan

Director(s): Charlotte Regan

Actor(s): Lola Campbell, Alin Uzun

Genre: Comedy

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