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Alice Creed: Two men kidnap a woman and demand a ransom from her wealthy father. This is the very definition of a ‘tight’ film; 3 actors, handful of locations, and a simple story that’s jam-packed with universal drama – it doesn’t get more basic than this. All three actors are great, but I can’t help but feel that the more seasoned Marsan was upstaged by both youngsters. Special points to Arterton, who is still on her way up, but isn’t afraid to appear in a risky film like this. The story – and its development – are both strong, aided by a few tasty reveals; the ending’s also solid, and keeps you guessing. The opening 10 minutes is bizarre with almost no dialogue and a very, very unsettling vibe. Alice Creed is a fantastic ‘little’ gem packed with more drama than most blockbusters – just stay away from any more reviews (almost any plot info would be a spoiler) and capture this for yourself!

Score: 9/10

Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood’s acting swan song, where he cast himself as a lonely raging Polish bigot that spoke like the new batman and spent the whole film pointing guns and swearing at ethnics. He was happy to put differences aside for some beer though! The heavy handed racism makes the film hard to watch at times, and feels pretty excessive – not unlike Crash. The more times you see a frail pensioner stand off against gangs the less realistic the film felt. It’s great to see his relationship grow with his new friends but it takes a long time to kick in and the last scene, although epic, is pretty contrived – the film’s essentially an urban / modern Western. It’s a simple and powerful story, but it is full of stock characters and trundles along at a snail’s pace. His acting’s spot on, but overall the film’s missing some depth. As a comparison, it doesn’t have much on Mystic River.

Score 6/10