ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
As a musician whose career spans over 30 years, Nick Cave’s reputation was crystallised by last year’s documentary 20,000 Days on Earth. But he’s a breathtaking writer, too, having produced poetry, novels and screenplays. Lawless, which he adapted from the fact-based novel The Wettest County in the World, is a hillbilly gangster saga directed by John Hillcoat, who Cave previously collaborated with on 2004’s outback western The Proposition. The setting is the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia, where moonshine is the primary industry during Prohibition, and Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke play the elder Bondurants, the dominant local bootleggers. Shia LaBeouf is their less brutalised younger sibling (who falls for preacher’s daughter Mia Wasikowska), Guy Pearce is a preening, crooked lawman and Jessica Chastain plays the love interest to the near-unintelligible Hardy. The violence is tactile and shocking, but – according to Cave – toned down from the book, and his score with Warren Ellis is atmospheric. Sadly, nobody seems to know how to end the film.
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon ★★★★★
John Wayne and director John Ford made some of the greatest westerns ever, and this is one of them. But Monument Valley is as much a star of the film.
Along Came a Spider ★★★
If Little Miss Muffet went missing, Morgan Freeman could find her. He plays detective Alex Cross, who’s brought in when a senator’s daughter is kidnapped.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ★★★★
The hit Swedish crime thriller gets a slick Hollywood makeover. Daniel Craig and an Oscar-nominated Rooney Mara keep it grounded and gritty.
The Cabin in the Woods ★★★★
A weekend away becomes a zombie nightmare for five teenage friends – but that’s only the first twist in this sly, genre-crossing experiment co-written by Avengers whizz Joss Whedon.