Movies out today: twisty thrillers and drama with a local flair

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Gone Girl

Directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behaviour have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Well, obviously you’ll have to watch to find out, but in the meantime you can read Kervyn’s review – he’s heaped praise on David Fincher, the actors, the story, and pretty much everything. Yes, Gone Girl has some minor niggles, but overall it’s a tight, compelling thriller that will definitely get you your money’s worth.

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City of Violence

Based on Caryl Férey’s novel Zulu (and previously shown at Cannes under the same name), City of Violence tells the story of two police officers that are tracking the killer of a teenage girl, in a South Africa still haunted by apartheid. From the townships of Cape Town to the luxurious seafront villas, the investigation will transform the two men’s lives, forcing them to confront their inner demons.

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City of Violence has completely flown under the radar for me. Considering that it’s locally produced with some big name actors, and previously shown at Cannes, you’d think there would be more hype. But the name change might have thrown things. In any case, Kervyn loved it. Bloom and Whittaker turn out fantastic performances, the local supporting cast is stellar and even with a few stumbles, City of Violence manages to nail it. Hey, as long as they get their accents to sound South African instead of Australian, I’m all for it.

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Autómata

In a future where Earth’s ecosystem verges on collapse, man-made robots roam the city to protect dwindling human life. When a robot overrides a key protocol put in place to protect human life, ROC Robotics insurance agent Jacq Vaucan (Antonio Banderas) is assigned to locate the source of the manipulation and eliminate the threat. What he discovers leads Vaucan, ROC Robotics and the police into a battle with profound consequences for the future of humanity.

With an average of 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, Autómata looks to be a predictable, cliché-ridden sci-fi mystery, with plot holes and logic gaps galore.

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African Safari

Filmmaker Ben Stassen and cinematographer Sean MacLeod Phillips return to southern Africa for a whole new adventure. Animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson guides audiences on an extraordinary journey across the most spectacular sceneries on earth: from the picturesque coastal desert dunes of Namibia, through the natural wonder of the Ngorongoro crater and then on to the breathtaking Victoria Falls.

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So, it’s a documentary. And it’s showing in 3D, in cinemas. And… that’s all I know. Moving on!

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Love Is All You Need (Cinema Nouveau)

Philip (Pierce Brosnan), an Englishman living in Denmark, is a lonely, middle-aged widower and estranged single father. Ida (Trine Dyrholm) is a Danish hairdresser, recuperating from a long bout of illness, who’s just been left by her husband for a younger woman, Thilde. The fates of these two bruised souls are about to intertwine, as they embark for a trip to Italy to attend the wedding of Patrick and Astrid, Philip’s son and Ida’s daughter.

A warm, comfortable and predictable rom-com, Love Is All You Need looks like a surer bet for Pierce Brosnan than The November Man was, with critics giving Susanne Bier special praise for her directing prowess. Averaging out at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, Love Is All You Need will be a sure-fire hit with fans of the genre.

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Last Updated: October 10, 2014

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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