8. Hanna (2011)
IMDB Rating : 6.8/10
Synopsis : A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.
Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Seth Lochhead (screenplay), David Farr (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana
I'm not great at doing reviews, but I feel I need to say something about this amazing movie! During it, I was very aware at how engrossed I was, hanging on every scene. It was visually stunning - some of the scenes or transitions between them were so beautiful. The title "HANNA" on the screen reminded me a lot of Kill Bill. In fact, I felt Saoirse Ronan's Hanna is a teenage version of The Bride from Kill Bill and Leeloo from The Fifth Element.
I've seen Cate Blanchett in a couple of movies, but was impressed by her portrayal of a ruthless agent. I hate to say that Eric Bana's character (Erik) was "almost" forgettable - in the end, the movie was really not about him. But he did show up once wet and without much clothing and that was just fine by me.
7. The Way Back (2010)
IMDB Rating : 7.3/10
Synopsis : Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.
Director: Peter Weir
Writers: Keith R. Clarke (screenplay) (as Keith Clarke), Slavomir Rawicz (novel) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell
The story, which Weir apparently has long wanted to film, is based on the account of a Polish army officer who later moved to England and wrote (with a ghost-writer) the book "The Long Walk," describing the journey he took with seven others. The movie is quite true to the book, right down to the American "Mr. Smith," Ed Harris' character. While the veracity of the story in the book has been questioned, that doesn't interfere with the great film-making.
Harris is fine as always, as is Colin Farrell as a Russian thug, but it is Jim Sturgess, as the Polish leader of the expedition, who has the most bravura performance.
6. Brooklyn (2015)
IMDB rating : 7.5/10
Synopsis : An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Director: John Crowley
Writers: Nick Hornby, Colm Tóibín (novel)
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson
Review : Ronan owned this film, from first to last. The storyline itself is a somewhat thin and a follows a well-trodden path but Ronan gives it such heft, and brings the intensity of her character's experience and development full force such that any deficiencies of the story seem inconsequential. It was only after leaving the screening that I really looked back at some of the plot points and realised how contrived it had been in places, but for the time I was watching it, I was simply living it through the potency of the acting. Ronan was brilliant in this, and I struggle to think of any recent performances that can match this for the confidence and sure-footedness that she showed. I think she's in with a good shout for an award or two for this role.
5. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
IMDB Rating : 7.6/10
Synopsis : The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Writers: Mary Norton (novel), Hayao Miyazaki (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
Review : Arrietty is The Borrowers (in fact many cinemas are calling it just that) Tiny people live under the floorboards of a house where a young boy with a heart condition is gathering some much needed rest before his impending risky operation. They hide themselves from us humans waiting until night to sneak into our homes and 'Borrow' the things we wont miss, like sugar cubes and tissues. The majority of the fun in this film comes from watching the tiny borrowers clamber around the shelves using string to rappel off cupboards.