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The Founder [ Hits:175 ]
Review: The Founder is something of a biographical docudrama, telling the story of Ray Kroc, the man who founded McDonald's as we know it today. The golden arches have become embedded in popular culture as the McDonald's empire has supplanted itself in countries around the world. Adapting its menu to suit its market, the Big Mac giant has certainly drawn its fair share of lovers and enemies from health gurus to documentaries like Supersize Me. One thing's for sure, this brand is here to stay, making The...

Johnny is Nie Dood Nie [ Hits:177 ]
Review: Johnny is Nie Dood Nie, adapted from a play by Malan Steyn, is a reunion drama in the tradition of The Big Chill as four friends gather for a braai on the Sunday after Johannes Kerkorrel's suicide to reminisce about their student days. Set in 2002, Johnny is Nie Dood Nie flips back-and-forth in time to the late '80s when they were young, rebellious Stellenbosch students during the time of the Voëlvry tour. Embracing the protest music of Kerkorrel, Koos Kombuis and Bernoldus Niemand, these hedon...

20th Century Women [ Hits:181 ]
Review: 20th Century Women is the story of a teenage boy and the three women who help raise him, set in Southern California in 1979. The comedy drama comes to us from the mind of writer-director Mike Mills, best known for Beginners and Thumbsucker, and plays out like an adaptation of an essay on gender history. Together with a solid ensemble featuring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup, Mills is able to curate an offbeat, moody, nostalgic and thoughtful film....

Silence [ Hits:203 ]
Review: Silence is the third overtly religious film from director Martin Scorsese, following The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun. It's a film that Scorsese has been trying to make for more than two decades, based on the novel by Shusaku Endo about two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in order to find their mentor and continue his mission to propagate Catholicism in the 17th century. While the spiritual perspective may be met with some suspicion, the overriding themes are universal. It's the seco...

Beyond the River [ Hits:242 ]
Review: South Africa needs Beyond the River, an uplifting sports drama based on a true story. At this point in time, our country's politics is still divided along racial lines, or rather that's what some parties would have you believe. We've come a long way since our rainbow nation was inaugurated in 1994 under the guidance of Nelson Mandela, whose levelheaded leadership navigated us through what could have been a much more radical transition. While some of the injustice around the old South Africa stil...

Nocturnal Animals [ Hits:269 ]
Review: Nocturnal Animals tells the story of a wealthy art gallery owner who is haunted by her ex-husband's novel. Juxtaposing the cold, artistic reality of a divorcee, now remarried and alienated, with the dusty, gritty world of a self-reflecting novel, we experience a dark, disconcerting and tense atmosphere. Tom Ford's A Single Man is a conventional drama by contrast... both films have style, both are enhanced by strong performances, except it seems as though Ford is taking a page from David Lynch. ...

Moonlight [ Hits:302 ]
Review: Moonlight is a coming-of-age drama that chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he tries to cope against the flow of everyday adversities while growing up in a rough Miami neighbourhood. The film deals with a range of negative social themes such as: drugs, bullying and gangsterism. Ordinarily, these hard living themes would translate into a gritty and difficult-to-watch film, but this is the magic of Moonlight, turning the ugliness of real-life into a thing of lum...

Tess [ Hits:341 ]
Review: Tess, is a film adaptation of Tracey Farren's novel, Whiplash, which follows the heartrending journey of a sex worker who falls pregnant, and the difficulties she encounters on the streets of Cape Town. Directed by Meg Rickards and starring Christia Visser, this important and hard-hitting drama is a passion project. Important, because it sheds light on long-standing social issues such as the abuse of women in a country deemed as one of the worst affected in the world. Hard-hitting, in the way t...

Collateral Beauty [ Hits:294 ]
Review: Collateral Beauty had amazing potential. On paper, this film seemed destined to rank alongside the likes of Seven Pounds. Both films star Will Smith and you get the impression that director David Frankel was aiming to deliver something similar in terms of content and tone. While Will Smith certainly echoes this sentiment, he's not alone, playing a hollow lead to an ensemble of Hollywood heavyweights, including: Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris and Helen Mirren. "Hollow...

Patriots Day [ Hits:300 ]
Review: Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg are onto a winning formula. Having worked together on Lone Survivor and followed up with Deepwater Horizon, the pairing found themselves working on Patriots Day. Each of these films has stars Mark Wahlberg, deals with an aspect of American history, is based on true stories and are deeply inspirational. In Patriots Day, Berg chronicles the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the manhunt that ensued from the perspective of police Sergeant Tommy Saunders, played by Wahlber...

My Father's War [ Hits:355 ]
Review: My Father's War is a drama from writer-director, Craig Gardner, which examines the fractious relationship between David, a war veteran father, and his rebellious son, Dap. We journey with Dap, a young man whose issues stem from feelings of abandonment and a lack of connection, following his father's prolonged involvement in the undeclared Angolan Bush War. From his birth to adolescence the two have forged a history of missed connections. When David reaches out for the last time only to hav...

Shepherds and Butchers [ Hits:364 ]
Review: Shepherds and Butchers is a South African courtroom drama, directed by Oliver Schmitz and based on the award-winning novel by Chris Marnewick. The story follows Johan Webber, a defence attorney, who takes on the controversial case of Leon Labuschagne, a young prison warden, who is charged with killing several black men in 1987. Marnewick, an advocate in Durban, delivers a powerful retelling of this capital punishment court case, which is based on actual events. The film adaptation stars Steve C...

Queen of Katwe [ Hits:377 ]
Review: Queen of Katwe is a coming-of-age Disney drama about Phiona, a Ugandan girl from Katwe, who is made aware of a world of opportunity after displaying a remarkable talent for the game of chess. It's based on an ESPN magazine article and book by Tim Crothers, which has been adapted for film by William Wheeler. It's a colourful movie, accentuating Uganda's rich spectrum of colour even further through architecture, fashion and decoration. While a relatively impoverished nation, the people are exubera...

Captain Fantastic [ Hits:454 ]
Review: Captain Fantastic is a bizarre clash of cultures. Raised in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father educates, imbues his values and trains his six kids to fend for themselves. Without a television and having to hunt for food, their cloistered Swiss Family Robinson style upbringing presents a number of challenges from societal integration to coping in a capitalist me-orientated America. Having extensive book knowledge makes them more than capable to think for themselves and much more adept...

A Bigger Splash [ Hits:479 ]
Review: A Bigger Splash is an exotic new paradise drama turned psychological thriller from director Luca Guadagnino. 'Erotic' may be a better word to use, because A Bigger Splash is a sensuous and seductive film that doesn't shy away from skin or touch. It's loosely based on Jacques Deray’s The Swimming Pool and shares its title with David Hockney's pop artwork, which depicts a pool with a diving board, set against a penthouse and palm trees using simple opaque colours and straight lines, whilst a sp...

Twee Grade van Moord [ Hits:508 ]
Review: Twee Grade van Moord (Two Degrees of Murder) is an Afrikaans drama about love and loss. We follow Aleksa Cloete, a renowned psychologist and author of "Love Doesn't Hurt", whose life is turned upside down when her loving husband, Ben, is admitted to hospital for examination. Having agreed to participate in a documentary about her breakthrough therapy, one of her patients arrives on her doorstep looking for help after her boyfriend dies. This ambitious drama certainly looks and sounds the part, ...

The Endless River [ Hits:468 ]
Review: Oliver Hermanus is the writer-director behind Shirley Adams, Skoonheid and now The Endless River. Each of his films have been set in South Africa, have resonated with him personally, been shaped independently and broach social themes that inform international audiences by means of a character portrait. The Endless River is set in its Afrikaans namesake, Riviersonderend, and grapples with the emotional turmoil that follows two violent incidents. Gilles, a Frenchman, is still trying to acclimati...

Uitvlucht [ Hits:606 ]
Review: Regardt van der Bergh has made a name for himself directing faith-based coming-of-age dramas that involve some form of healing. Uitvlucht is no different as we follow a woman burdened with guilt as she tries to start afresh after a difficult divorce. It's a story-within-a-story as the film's main plot unfolds as narrated by a wise old man to an apprentice struggling in his marriage. The narrative device gives some leniency in its retelling as we're getting this from a man's fixed and possibly b...

Verskietende Ster [ Hits:530 ]
Review: Verskietende Ster is an Afrikaans coming-of-age music drama, based on the novel by screenwriter Stefan Enslin, which follows the story of teenage musical prodigy, Phillip Schuman. Facing adversity, from bullying at school to a difficult relationship with his domineering father at home, he tries to escape into his music as the real world threatens to overshadow his true genius. The film is directed by Darrell Roodt and stars Deanre Reiners as Phillip. The two worked together in Seun and once aga...

Sink [ Hits:899 ]
Review: Sink is a sleek, harrowing and powerful South African domestic drama, written and directed by Brett Michael Innes and starring Anel Alexander, Jacques Bessenger and Shoki Mokgapa. Sink, a title that works in English and Afrikaans, is a feature film debut for Innes, whose extensive history as a documentary filmmaker and photographer have given him great insight into human nature and a good eye for what works visually. We watch a story unfold as the past and present converge. A Mozambican domesti...

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