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Predestination Bar Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Madeleine West, Christopher Kirby, Freya Stafford, Jim Knobeloch, Christopher Stollery, Tyler Coppin, Rob Jenkins, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig, Spierig brothers

Predestination [no spoilers]: an elite time-hopping agent who has saved thousands of lives by preventing disasters is struggling to catch his final target – the Fizzle Bomber. After one brief action scene the 50-minute setup is a big gamble that could potentially lose the audience… however, it pays off big time as bucket-loads of seemingly throwaway details come together to form a sublime ‘penny-dropping’ finale that may well melt your tiny, panicking brain. It’s a very tight story, played out through an exceptional pair of performances from both Hawke (who is making some great film choices at the moment) and Snook (who comes out of nowhere); proving that, although difficult, you can fuse both high-concept sci-fi and low-level personal drama. Storytelling aside, the film looks and feels fantastic – given the modest ~$7M budget – with stylish retro, retro-future and retro-sci-fi vibes, paired with strong framing and camerawork / camera tricks. I also liked the subtle references to other time travel movies, but to mention them may be spoiler-tastic. Put this all together and you have the most complex and intelligent time travel story since Primer, that feels like something a young Christopher Nolan would have done. Predestination is a fresh, original, and smart time-travel thriller: if most movies had even a 10th of this film’s ambition, the film industry would be a much better place. If this sounds up your street don’t read another word or review before you check it out.

Score: 9/10

Predestination Sarah Snook, Ethan Hawke, Noah Taylor, Madeleine West, Christopher Kirby, Freya Stafford, Jim Knobeloch, Christopher Stollery, Tyler Coppin, Rob Jenkins, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig, Spierig brothers,


Submarine: Oliver Tate just got his first girlfriend, right as his parents marriage begins to crumble – so he tries to give them a hand… For being a one-boy show, the central character’s great; despite being a little clichéd he’s good fun to watch, and his monologues / voiceovers are a solid way of pushing the story forward. The scriptwriting scores in two ways: the dialogue is offbeat yet manages to stay below the annoying radar; and the humour is so dry, deadpan and dark that the two elements really complement each other. For being his first time behind a camera, it’s strongly directed, and has some surprisingly cinematic moments – given that it is intentionally an indie-feeling film. The casting’s spot on and despite each character having a hint of the absurd, you can still buy in to them as they’re all very human. What’s best about this coming-of-age tale is that it captures the awkwardness of youth like you rarely see; even though these exact events didn’t happen, it’s all too easy to relate to the story, and Oliver. Despite bring painfully indie Submarine remains very watchable and entertaining for the duration.

Score: 7/10