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This Week's Best Movie Releases & £5 Off Cinema Tickets

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Below, we've rounded up the 10 best films currently screening in Manchester cinemas together with the 15 best releases new to the streaming services this week (Updated 11 July 2024):

 

 

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1 ~ THE CONVERSATION (50th Anniversary 4K Restoration)

 

 

~ 1975 BAFTA Winner: Best Sound Track + Best Editing.

★★★★★ A fantastic reminder of why 70s Hollywood is so often the benchmark for modern moviedom to aspire to. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ In this small masterpiece from director Francis Ford Coppola, Gene Hackman gives a superb performance as the lonely surveillance expert tracking the movements and voices of Frederic Forrest and Cindy Williams, only to find that the marital infidelity he supposes he is observing could be part of a murder plot. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★★ Though it was commercially lost in the shuffle between The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, The Conversation ranks among the finest films of Francis Ford Coppola's career. ~ AllMovie.

★★★★★ Overshadowed by The Godfather Part II, which also came out in 1974, this deeply unsettling character portrait has one of the bleakest twists in paranoia thriller history. ~ The Times.

★★★★★ In contrast to the breadth of Coppola's mob sagas, "The Conversation" is an intricate and unsettlingly subtle character study, with a very strong performance from Hackman. ~ BBC.

Coppola's cerebral classic of paranoia and surveillance still looks outstanding, and more relevant than ever in the age of CCTV. ~ The Guardian.

 

 

 

 

2 ~ BYE BYE TIBERIAS.

 

 

★★★★ A heartfelt memoir of a Palestinian family reunion in Galilee, Hiam Abbass, AKA Marcia Roy from Succession, returns to the village she left 30 years ago to become an actor, with her daughter Lina Soualem behind the camera. ~ The Guardian.

★★★★ Soualem’s poignant new documentary traces the stories of four generations of Palestinian women in her family. ~ Little White Lies.

 

 

 

 

3 ~ SLEEP.

 

 

★★★★ Sleepwalking turns a cosy apartment into a death trap in this gripping K-horror. ~ Time Out.

★★★★ Lee Sun-kyun appears posthumously in one of his best performances as an actor struggling to control his night-time excursions in this elegant and intimate horror. ~ The Guardian.

 

 

 

 

4 ~ BLUR: TO THE END.

 

 

★★★★ Out front and backstage, this illuminating but not quite revelatory documentary shows a vulnerable, exhausted Blur and the band at their best. Interesting to casual fans, essential for devotees. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ The Britpop legends prove love and friendship outlasts all in this moving new doc which asks existential questions of the indie icons on their road to Wembley. ~ NME.

★★★★ A transcendent fly-on-the-wall film charting the journey to the biggest shows of blur’s career. ~ Time Out.

★★★★ Any tensions and anxieties are put aside in the air-punching finale, in what amounts to a celebratory victory lap for this most beloved of British bands. ~ Radio Times.

 

 

 

 

5 ~ FANCY DANCE.

 

 

★★★★ A compelling mystery-drama. ~ Financial Times.

★★★★ A thoughtful, affecting debut feature from Erica Tremblay that puts a necessary spotlight on Indigenous peoples — featuring another exceptional performance from Lily Gladstone. ~ Empire.

★★★★ Tremblay’s debut feature boasts another remarkable performance from the Killers of the Flower Moon star as a tough outsider on a road trip with her teenage niece. ~ The Observer.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

 

 

 

 

6 ~ A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE.

 

 

★★★★★ The third part in the trilogy about an invasion by monsters with super-sensitive hearing is the best yet, and Lupita Nyong’o gives a transfixing performance. ~ The Times.

★★★★ A slight but poignant addition to the franchise. Although there are some moments of mega carnage, at its heart this is a straightforward, intimate and... well... quiet affair. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ A surprisingly tender tale of the end of days. ~ Empire.

★★★★ ~ The Independent.

★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★ ~ The Observer.

★★★★ ~ Irish Times.

★★★★ ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ The i.

★★★★ ~ RTE.

★★★✭ ~ Little White Lies.

 

 

 

 

7 ~ THE BIKERIDERS.

 

 

★★★★★ A potent ode to the violent lives of 60s biker gangs, Jodie Comer, Austin Butler and Tom Hardy are magnetic in this power struggle-cum-love triangle inspired by Danny Lyon’s 1968 photographic study of Chicago bikers. ~ The Guardian.

★★★★ The most fun you’ll have in the cinema all year. ~ The i.

★★★★ You can almost smell the asphalt in this elegiac drama about outsiders forging a fraternity from leather, fuel and chrome. ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ Sunday Irish Independent.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ The Independent.

★★★★ ~ Financial Times.

★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★ ~ NME.

★★★★ ~ RTE.

★★★✭ ~ Little White Lies.

 

 

 

 

8 ~ KALKI 2898-AD.

 

 

★★★★ Amitabh Bachchan plays a mythological warrior in a withered dystopian city where desert car chases, CGI magic and a semi-divine dictator rule; a maximalist sci-fi epic which mixes Mahabharata with Mad Max. ~ The Guardian.

 

 

 

 

9 ~ UNICORNS.

 

 

★★★★ This well-crafted and impressively acted British cross-cultural romance examines questions of sexuality and identity. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ A powerhouse acting debut electrifies this rich drag story of fluid desire. ~ Time Out. 

★★★★ Ben Hardy and Jason Patel excel in Sally El Hosaini’s gritty romance as a straight single white dad and a closet Asian nightclub performer navigate their mutual attraction. ~ The Observer.

★★★ Patel is excellent as drag queen Aysha in El Hosaini’s new drama of queer south Asian club culture, but the scenes where Aysha goes back home to her parents in Manchester, as their son Ashiq, really steal the show. ~ The Guardian.

 

 

 

 

ALSO SCREENING:

 

★★★✭ The Nature of Love.

★★★✭ Kinds of Kindness.

★★★✭ Longlegs.

★★★✭ Kill.

★★★✭ In a Violent Nature.

★★★✭ Inside Out 2.

★★★✭ MaXXXine.

★★★✭ Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In.

★★★✭ Wilding.

★★★ The Fall Guy.

★★★ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

★★★ Heart of an Oak.

★★★ IF.

★★★ Migration.

★★★ Kung Fu Panda 4.

★★★ Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

★★✭ Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1.

★★✭ Fly Me To The Moon.

★★✭ Despicable Me 4.

★★✭ Something in the Water.

★★ The Watchers.

★★ The Strangers - Chapter 1.

★★ Gekijô-ban Blue Lock -Episode Nagi.

★★ The Garfield Movie.

The Commandant's Shadow (not yet reviewed).

 

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NEW TO STREAMING:

(Updated 11 Jul 2024):

 

SKY CINEMA ~ THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE.

 

 

~ 1963 Oscar Nominee: Best Costume Design.

The greatest western of Hollywood’s Golden Age, even usurping John Ford’s own The Searchers that has always clambered its way near the top of greatest film lists. ~ The Guardian.

★★★★★ In his elegy to the Western hero, John Ford reveals the facts while printing the western legend. Shot in black-and-white with few exteriors, Liberty Valance's melancholy nocturnal atmosphere matches the story's suggestion that the West's glory days have passed. ~ AllMovie.

★★★★★ Two of Hollywood's greatest stars are paired in this key late John Ford western - once unfairly dismissed for being shot in black-and-white in an era of colour. John Wayne and a top-billed James Stewart create indelible western icons, and a superb Lee Marvin offers memorable support as the Liberty Valance of the title. But perhaps this neglected masterpiece is best summed up by its most famous quote, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend!". ~ Radio Times.

 

 

 

 

AMAZON PRIME ~ THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.

 

 

~ 1995 Oscar Nominee: Best Picture + Best Actor (Morgan Freeman) + Best Screenplay + Best Cinematography + Best Original Score (Thomas Newman) + Best Sound + Best Film Editing.

★★★★★ A beloved, incessantly revisited, stone-cold classic. ~ The Times.

★★★★★ This deeply moving version of Stephen King's story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption from first-time director Frank Darabont is one of the best adaptations of the novelist's work. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★★ Moving, warm and rewarding, it's simple to say The Shawshank Redemption is about hope, but it is also about faith and love. ~ BBC.

It’s a film about stoicism, perseverance and sacrifice, but it’s also full of joy and life and – yep – hope. It’s all about how Earthly friendship and human connection are crucial for the heart, but faith – in whatever form – is good for the soul. That’s why Shawshank has found such a universal audience connection: because it expertly uses a straightforward moral-bound story to carry such weighty baggage. That is pure fairytale. ~ Total Film.

★★★★★ If you don't love Shawshank, chances are you're beyond redemption. ~ Empire.

 

 

 

 

BBC iPLAYER ~ GRAVITY.

 

 

~ 2014 Oscar Winner: Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón) + Best Cinematography + Best Original Score (Steven Price) + Best Editing + Best Sound Editing + Best Sound Mixing + Best Visual Effects.

★★★★★ Simply glorious. ~ Little White Lies.

★★★★★ Let’s cut to the chase. The simple truth of the matter is you’re going to love this movie. Be seated,and let it unfold. No prior knowledge required. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ Alfonso Cuarón's thriller – starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney – takes us as near to the disorientating sensation of being in space as any film before it. ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★★ Like the title suggests, this is an astronaut adventure whose pull is hard to resist. By the time 90 stomach-shrinking minutes have elapsed, you’ll feel like you’ve been bumped around the heavens. ~ Total Film.

★★★★✭ Less sci-fi and more a thriller set in space, this manages to create both awe at the glorious space vistas, and knuckle-gobbling tension. ~ The Guardian.

★★★★★ One of the most emotionally manipulative movies ever, Gravity is also a breathtaking survival story. ~ Sunday Times.

★★★★★ The plot doesn’t really bear close examination but it’s thrillingly tense, Bullock is very good as is Clooney, while he’s on screen, and the effects are outstanding. Largely because of them, the film won seven Oscars. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★✭ Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity is that rarest of all beasts, an enthralling work of popular art so overwhelmingly visceral that you might need a few minutes after leaving the cinema to readjust to everyday life. ~ AllMovie.

★★★★★ The film looks and feels so real you have to remind yourself virtually everything on screen doesn't actually exist. ~ Sky Cinema.

★★★★✭ ~ RTE.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ The Independent.

★★★★ ~ Financial Times.

★★★★ ~ The Observer.

★★★★ ~ Irish Times.

★★★★ ~ The Times.

★★★★ ~ Time Out.

 

 

 

 

BBC iPLAYER - CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

 

 

~ 2001 Oscar Winner: Best Foreign Language Film + Best Cinematography + Best Original Score (Dun Tan) + Best Art/Set Direction.

★★★★★ After success in his native Taiwan (with Eat Drink Man Woman) and Hollywood (Sense and Sensibility), director Ang Lee had a worldwide hit with this poetic, romantic martial arts adventure that turned the "wire-fu" action of Hong Kong action movies into a gravity-defying ballet. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★★ Whatever your preconceptions on yawny, subtitled, arthousey movies, we guarantee you have never seen anything like this before. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ With more action than all the Lethal Weapons combined and more heart-swelling humanity than The English Patient, Crouching Tiger manages to please all of the people, all of the time. Miss it and you're avoiding cinema at its very best. ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ BBC.

★★★★ ~ RTE.

 

 

 

 

CHANNEL 4 ~ GHOST IN THE SHELL.

 

 

★★★★✭ Based on a manga by Masamune Shirow and directed by Mamoru Oshii, Ghost in the Shell marries the best aspects of both creators' styles. ~ AllMovie.

★★★★★ A work of profound and melancholic beauty, Mamoru Oshii's sci-fi masterpiece is as essential in the 21st century as it was in the 20th. ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★ It is a dizzying film, a real evolutionary leap in the dark that anticipated our dependence on digital connection and our tendency to cede our identity and presence to the web. ~ The Guardian.

★★★★ Dynamic use of traditional cel techniques and computer-aided artwork, a vivid Blade Runner-esque landscape and a curvy cyborg heroine make it even more of a visual feast than the previous manga benchmark, Akira. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ From its baddie-eviscerating opening sequence through innumerable car chases, shoot outs and tongue-in-cheek dialogue exchanges, this is exactly the kind of film that James Cameron would make if they ever let him through the Disney front gates. ~ Empire.

★★★★ ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ Time Out.

 

 

 

 

CHANNEL 4 - C'MON C'MON.

 

 

~ 2022 BAFTA Nominee: Best Supporting Actor (Woody Norman).

★★★★★ What a film. ~ The Scotsman.

★★★★★ Joaquin Phoenix is at his career best in this great, big bear hug of a film. ~ The Independent.

★★★★★ The Joker actor continues to define ‘rumpled middle age’ and is brilliantly sympathetic in this sensational chamber piece. ~ The Telegraph. 

★★★★★ This gentle-yet-deep film about family, forgiveness and the future sees the Oscar winner meeting his match in child actor Woody Norman. ~ RTE.

★★★★★ This light-touch, bittersweet beauty of a story about the relationship between an uncle and his young nephew envelops you in its quiet loveliness. ~ The i.

★★★★★ Every frame of this 1955 classic is brilliantly contrived, particularly the underwater nightmare at the end. A gripping, complex chiller. ~ The Guardian.

★★★★★ Few films since have proved so widely iconic and influential. ~ Little White Lies.

★★★★★ ~ Sunday Irish Independent.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ The Irish Times.

★★★★ ~ Sunday Times.

★★★★ ~ The Observer.

★★★★ ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ ~ The Times.

★★★★ ~ Time Out.

 

 

 

 

AMAZON PRIME - A STAR IS BORN (2018 version).

 

 

~ 2019 Oscar Winner: Best Original Song (Lady Gaga & Mark Ronson).

★★★★★ As funny and romantic as any mainstream film this decade. ~ Irish Times.

★★★★★ Lady Gaga electrifies in a Hollywood musical for the ages. ~ Telegraph.

★★★★★ Bradley Cooper directs and co-stars in this outrageously watchable update of the love story doomed by shifting fame. ~ The Guardian. 

★★★★★ A remake that captures the tone and spirit of prior films, A Star Is Born still blazes its own heartfelt, authentic path. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ ~ Irish Independent.

★★★★★ ~ The Scotsman.

★★★★✭ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★✭ ~ RTE.

★★★★ ~ Sunday Irish Independent.

★★★★ ~ Little White Lies.

★★★★ ~ Sunday Times.

★★★★ ~ The Observer.

★★★★ ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ Time Out.

 

 

 

 

SKY CINEMA & AMAZON PRIME - ZERO DARK THIRTY.

 

 

~ 2013 Oscar Winner: Best Sound Editing.

★★★★★ A taut and morally ambiguous procedural for the ages. ~ Little White Lies. 

★★★★★ Kathryn Bigelow's dramatisation of the hunt for Bin Laden is a riveting thriller to match the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker. ~ The Observer.

★★★★★ Lean, mean storytelling: no backstories, no-frills – just action and an effortless forward momentum. ~ Time Out.

★★★★★ Gripping throughout, with an impressive central performance, this is like a Dogme 95 redo of a Chuck Norris film — by heroic effort, the good guys find and kill a bad guy. How you feel about that is something Bigelow leaves you to decide. ~ Empire.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ Financial Times.

★★★★ ~ The Irish Times.

★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★ ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ ~ Total Film.

 

 

 

 

BBC iPLAYER & AMAZON PRIME - THE BABADOOK.

 

 

★★★★★ One of the strongest, most effective horror films of recent years; with awards-quality lead work from Essie Davis, and a brilliantly designed new monster who could well become the break-out spook archetype of the decade. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ The Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent's bravura new horror pic combines subtlety and psychological depth with some very full-blooded shock tactics. ~ The Independent.

★★★★★ If Kent’s goal is to steer horror back toward a rigorous, non-digital realm for serious artists, her work is done. ~ Time Out.

★★★★★ A haunting tale with deep wells of howling grief at its centre, this is one bedtime story that will stay with you for weeks. Sleep tight... ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ Irish Independent.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ Financial Times.

★★★★ ~ The Irish Times.

★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★ ~ The Observer.

★★★★ ~ The Guardian.

★★★★ ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ ~ The Times.

★★★★ ~ RTE.

 

 

 

 

CHANNEL 4 - ANIMAL KINGDOM.

 

 

~ 2011 Oscar Nominee: Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver).

★★★★★ Relatively infrequently a film emerges, seemingly from nowhere, and stakes a claim to be considered a modern classic. Animal Kingdom, a pulsating account of Australia’s contemporary criminal landscape from first-time director David Michôd, belongs in this category. ~ Little White Lies.

★★★★★ With its vivid portrayal of a realistically grimy underworld, this is a tremendously exciting and challenging thriller that builds unnervingly to a stunning conclusion. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ Financial Times.

★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★ ~ The Guardian.

★★★★ ~ Sky Cinema.

★★★★ ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ Empire.

★★★★ ~ RTE.

 

 

 

 

CHANNEL 4 - DJANGO UNCHAINED.

 

 

~ 2013 Oscar Winner: Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz) + Best Original Screenplay.

★★★★★ Quentin Tarantino makes a dizzy return to form with a horribly funny slavery western – and Samuel L Jackson is extraordinary as the ultimate Uncle Tom. ~ the Guardian.

★★★★★ This brazenly blazing rewrite of US history is fantastically entertaining. ~ Irish Times.

★★★★★ There is strange and brilliant magic at work in Tarantino's film. ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★✭  Arguably the daring, compelling and extremely talented filmmaker's most serious film to date, and one of his very best. ~ The Irish Independent.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ Little White Lies.

★★★★ ~ The Scotsman.

★★★★ ~ Radio Times.

★★★★ ~ Sky Cinema.

★★★★ ~ Total Film.

★★★★ ~ Time Out.

★★★★ ~ Empire.

★★★★ ~ RTE.

 

 

 

 

AMAZON PRIME & SKY CINEMA - THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.

 

 

~ 2014 Oscar Nominee: Best Picture + Best Actor (Leonard DiCaprio) + Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill) + Best Director (Martin Scorsese) + Best Adapted Screenplay.

★★★★★ Martin Scorsese's funniest and most focused film in a long time, a jet-black sex and drug-soaked comedy featuring a bravura performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ Scorsese's fifth collaboration with DiCaprio is the closest the director has come so far to duplicating the career-defining highs of the eight films he made with his former favourite collaborator, Robert De Niro. ~ Radio Times.

★★★★✭ A licentious and hilarious essay on greed and excess. ~ Little White Lies.

★★★★★ Despite the US censors trimming back the screwing and swearing, this is an audacious, riotous epic. ~ Total Film.

★★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★★ ~ Sky News.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ Sunday Times.

★★★★ ~ The Guardian.

★★★★ ~ Time Out.

★★★★ ~ RTE.

 

 

 

 

NETFLIX & SKY CINEMA ~ MUNICH.

 

 

~ 2006 Oscar Nominee: Best Picture + Best Director (Steven Spielberg) + Best Adapted Screenplay. + Best Original Score (John Williams) + Best Editing.

★★★★★ This is Spielberg operating at his peak — an exceptionally made, provocative and vital film for our times. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ A gruelling, remorseless thriller that grapples with vital, intractable issues. No easy answers, no condescension, no compromise. Devastating. ~ Total Film.

★★★★★ Beneath its thriller format, Munich is a serious inquiry into the Israel-Palestine conflict, albeit one told in the most brilliantly tuned filmmaking language available. ~ BBC.

★★★★ ~ Radio Times.

 

 

 

 

AMAZON PRIME ~ BLOSSOMS - BACK TO STOCKPORT.

 

 

★★★★ If there was any doubt about it, Blossoms‘ new documentary proves they’re the nicest boys in the business. With plenty of Beatles-esque charisma on display – and not just because they’re also from up north – Blossoms: Back to Stockport tells the story of the band’s most special moment to date. They’d done Glastonbury, they’d travelled the world, but the most important gig of their life was the one that saw them come home to play Edgeley Park. ~ NME.

 

 

 

 

CHANNEL 4 ~ HELL IS A CITY

 

 

~ 1961 BAFTA Nominee: Best British Screenplay + Best Newcomer (Billie Whitelaw).

★★★★ A gritty, urbane and stylish Brit thriller. The city in question is Manchester in this Hammer Films' gripping police procedural, which counts at least as impressive a genre outing as the Science Fiction and horror films which made the studio's name ~ Empire.

★★★ Studio executives were so worried that the locals would resent this portrait of their city that Mancunian screenings were prefaced by a speech from a neighbourhood bobby assuring all that the film-makers didn't really equate their home with the inferno. ~ Radio Times.

 

 

 

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