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Free Fire [ Hits:6 ]
Review: Free Fire is a crime thriller and dark comedy caper from Ben Wheatley, who seems to have been heavily influenced by stylish action directors, Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. The film is set in a Boston warehouse in 1978 as a meeting between two gangs turns into a bloody shootout and a game of survival. While never short on ammunition, he's armour-plated this single location vehicle with an ensemble including the likes of our very own Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Sam Riley, Cillian Murphy, Mic...

Live by Night [ Hits:226 ]
Review: Live by Night is produced by, directed by and stars Ben Affleck as Joe Coughlin in an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel. Set in the 1920s and 1930s Prohibition Era, we journey with Joe, the troubled and wayward son of a Boston police captain, who becomes involved in a life of organised crime. After serving a prison sentence he's relocated to the neighbourhood of Ybor City in Tampa, to take revenge and build a rum-running empire in balmy Florida. The first thing you'll notice about Live by Nig...

Noem My Skollie [ Hits:392 ]
Review: Noem My Skollie or Call Me Thief is the story of Abraham and the Young Ones, a small-time gang that were separated for two years by a dangerous stint in Pollsmoor prison. The film is loosely based on the life of screenwriter, John W. Fredericks, marks a debut for director Daryne Joshua with Dann Jaques Mouton playing the title character. It's the second film in which Mouton is playing a character named Abraham after his titular role in Jans Rautenbach's Abraham and his likable and sweet nature e...

The Nice Guys [ Hits:393 ]
Review: Shane Black is the guy who wrote and directed Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang... the unconventional comedy crime caper starring Robert Downey Jr., Michelle Monaghan and Val Kilmer. While some would jokingly argue Kilmer first played a gay character in Top Gun, this was Hollywood's first openly gay character to front a feature film. While the title sounds unusual and strangely South African, the film was a dark horse success as a private eye, a struggling actress and thief masquerading as an actor converged...

Legend [ Hits:609 ]
Review: The Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, are two of the most notorious gangsters in history. The English crime bosses operated in the Lower East End of London in the '50s and '60s and were involved in armed robberies, racketeering, arson, assaults and murder. It's surprising that in an age where Guy Ritchie Brit gangster movies are revered that these infamous twins haven't been given more of the spotlight until now. Before Legend, it was Spandau Ballet's Kemp twins, Gary and Martin, who undertoo...

Black Mass [ Hits:615 ]
Review: Black Mass is the true crime story of James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger Jr., a notorious American criminal, who haunted the world's most wanted list for years. The violent South Bostonian crime boss, and brother to a state senator, became an FBI informant to crack down on the Mafia family, whose operations were getting in the way. We're supplanted in the years he "collaborated" with the FBI. The brutal character has been brought to life by an almost unrecognisable Johnny Depp, whose sterling career ...

Dark Places [ Hits:650 ]
Review: Dark Places is a movie with a personal slant for lead actress, Charlize Theron, who witnessed her mother kill her father in self-defense after he arrived home drunk in 1991. Gillian Flynn's novel has been adapted to film by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, after David Fincher did the same for Gone Girl. Instead of a married couple, we follow a willful yet troubled women by the name of Libby Day in Dark Places. The film deals with her thirty years after her sisters and mother were murdered on their farm, ...

Impunity [ Hits:714 ]
Review: Impunity (Freedom from Punishment) is a South African outlaw romance thriller based on a story by Trish Malone and adapted to film by director Jyoti Mistry. We trace the exploits of a love-struck, ultra-violent, on-the-run couple, who are connected to the murder of a politician's daughter, as Impunity tries to get by on titillation and experimental style. This film is charged with violence as our "Natural Born Killers" meet at a bar, kill the abusive owner after a scuffle and then seem to drive...

A Most Violent Year [ Hits:707 ]
Review: A Most Violent Year is another film from J.C. Chandor, whose previous efforts Margin Call and All Is Lost have already earned him a spot as an ambitious writer-director with a melancholic disposition. It stars Oscar Isaac from the equally melancholic Inside Llewyn Davis, who finds himself similarly poised in Hollywood. Both director and star are about mood and subtlety, which is leveraged to great effect in this slow-boiling crime drama thriller. It's New York City 1981, the most dangerous year...

Focus [ Hits:834 ]
Review: Ever since Seven Pounds, it feels as though Will Smith has lost his mojo. Once known for his natural charisma and happy-go-lucky attitude, it's now difficult to see that x-factor and twinkle in his eye. Perhaps being contrasted with Tom Cruise changed his game plan as the exuberant Oscar-nominated actor found himself in what seems like a Hollywood identity crisis. Smith's star has been left tarnished by underwhelming performances in Men in Black 3 and After Earth, with forgettable cameos in Anc...

Nightcrawler [ Hits:786 ]
Review: Nightcrawler is a dark and deviant crime drama thriller from Dan Gilroy that skewers news services with a compelling story about a sociopath, whose dead eye acumen and entrepreneurial spirit see him accumulate more and more power within the local news scene in Los Angeles. By covering the graveyard shift and some of the most grisly crimes in affluent areas, our ambitious on-the-scene newsman gains traction with a local news network and manager. Jake Gyllenhaal is a perfect match for Lou...

The Drop [ Hits:876 ]
Review: The Drop is a slow-boiling, character driven Brooklyn crime drama based on Dennis Lehane's short story, Animal Rescue, about a Brooklyn bartender, who finds himself entwined in an investigation after a robbery gone awry. It's quite surprising that this is Lehane's first feature film screenplay when you consider his novels: Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone have all been adapted into great films. Lehane's story is small and intimate in scale, immersing us in a close-knit Brooklyn ...

Blood Ties [ Hits:851 ]
Review: Blood Ties is a remake of Rivals, a French crime drama with a strange French connection between the original and remake. The link is Blood Ties writer-director, Guillaume Canet, who actually starred in the 2008 original. He's returned to bring the tale of two brothers, on either side of the law, to life as they face off over organized crime in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s. It's not a simple versus story as Chris (Owen) tries to get his life back in order, struggling to deal with the syst...

City of Violence [ Hits:1106 ]
Review: City of Violence is an adaptation of the award-winning novel, Zulu, by Caryl Férey. The gritty crime drama thriller has been directed by Jérôme Salle and stars Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker. We're immersed into apartheid-era Cape Town, South Africa, where two policemen are investigating a massacre, apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug. Instead of a typical Hollywood buddy movie, we're presented with an artful crime drama that fights against these genre conventio...

Cold Harbour [ Hits:1403 ]
Review: Cape Town is the setting for Cold Harbour, an African noir crime drama that centres on corrupt cops and the smuggling of abalone. While restrictions are in place, it seems the sea produce, known locally as perlemoen, is a valuable aphrodisiac in Asian markets. We journey with Sizwe Miya, a dedicated township warrants officer, who goes solo to solve a murder and stem the tide of an illegal fishing trade and criminal undercurrent. Tony Kgoroge plays Sizwe, an upright policeman, who is confronted ...

Durban Poison [ Hits:1419 ]
Review: "Durban Poison is sure to impress the most jaded of pot smokers." While this online review refers to the sweet and earthy strain of cannabis, named after the South African port city, Andrew Worsdale delivers a similar experience to what it must be like to smoke this brand of marijuana in his film, Durban Poison. The crime romance drama road movie is loosely based on the true story of the infamous South African couple, Charmaine Phillips and Pieter Grundlingh. The two went on a murderous spree ...

Filth [ Hits:1145 ]
Review: Director, Jon S. Baird is a brave and determined director. When the pig-headed policeman on the front cover of Irvine Welsh's Filth caught his imagination, he read the novel and was inspired to direct what was then deemed impossible to adapt. The film rights had just expired and Baird took it upon himself to visit Irvine Welsh in person to convince him that the adaptation for his book was in good hands. After a clinking of pints between the Trainspotting author and Cass writer-director, Filth wa...

Devils Knot [ Hits:1172 ]
Review: True crime has that extra little sting, which makes the experience of reliving it all the more terrifying. That's why shows like Medical Detectives seem to draw us in. We're compelled by the stories because they actually happened. This slice-of-life angle is enticing and only compounds our curiousity in the most detestable cases. Devil's Knot is one such film that recreates a harrowing true story about three boys, who went missing in West Memphis, Arkansas. The small town was devastated by thei...

iNumber Number [ Hits:1225 ]
Review: South Africa's epidemic of crime has inspired films like Tsotsi, Jerusalema, A Million Colours, How to Steal 2 Million, Stander, Hijack Stories and more recently, Four Corners. We're living in a gangster's paradise with a flourishing subculture of violence and criminality. While the SAPS and local crime watch initiatives are trying to combat this, crime is still a prominent issue in South Africa. Cops and robbers make great gangster movies, delivering the right mix of characters, plot devices a...

Four Corners [ Hits:1583 ]
Review: Pollsmoor Prison is overpopulated and way beyond capacity, famous for Nelson Mandela's incarceration and infamous for its prolific gangsterism. A gang war has been raging for almost a hundred years between 'The Numbers', several prison gangs divided by their 26, 27 and 28 affiliations, exercising their rule by means of extreme violence. Their bonds extend beyond the prison walls to the Cape Flats, where it's unsafe to walk the streets, depending on which gang's tattoos you bear. This is the dan...

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