Ben Mendelsohn

ROGUE ONE Review: Star Wars Gets Dark With Its Men-On-A-Mission Spinoff

After the heavy lifting that The Force Awakens did to re-establish the cinematic Star Wars universe in 2015, much of the pressure was off of Rogue One(more…)

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Review: BLACK SEA is a 21st-Century Moby Dick with B-Movie Thrills

“I’m not going home poor!” shouts a sailor in Black Sea as he risks life and limb in the pursuit of gold. There’s an interesting subtext (that’s eventually brought to the fore) in this submarine/heist/action film about desperate men taking desperate measures to secure their futures in these times of austerity and financial uncertainty. (more…)

Starred Up Review

Starred Up (2014)

Dir: David Mackenzie

Prison’s long been a ripe setting for drama and The Prison Movie is a storied genre with many stellar entries. The past few years have seen some standouts from Europe, including the surreal Bronson from Danish auteur Nicolas Winding Refn, and the Godfather-esque Un prophète from French visionary Jacques Audiard. You can now add the incendiary Starred Up to that list, as it’s a first rate masterpiece of the genre that delivers a cracking blow to staid senses.

Jack O’Connell gives a star-making performance as the 19 year old inmate Eric Love who’s been prematurely transferred to adult prison (“starred up” in UK slang) after a string of mostly unnamed offenses. The inhumanity of the intake system of prison is laid out in deliberate detail in the opening scenes as you begin to (more…)