Sandra Bullock finds herself in a very precarious position when an accident in space leaves her all alone and she finds herself using all her ingenuity to get home. A film I didn't like at first but one that has grown on me immensely since I first saw it. The opening 10 minutes will pin you to the wall. Absolutely petrifying and depending on your constitution, quite nauseating too. Bullock is immense in a very entertaining film.
The Cider House Rules Sat 9/12 BBC2 @ 23.15
After coming of age in an orphanage run by a kind older doctor a young man decides it's time to get out and see the big bad world with the help of some new friends. Lasse Hallström's adaption of John Irving novel is a beautiful little film, touching and well written and packed full of top notch acting. Tobey Maguire as usual is solid in the lead but Michael Caine and Charlize Theron own the film.
The Drop Sat 9/12 CH4 @ 23.35
A quiet bartender in a mob run bar in Brooklyn finds his life getting very complicated when the place is robbed & when he becomes involved his neighbour. A nice little low key thriller that's smart, funny, exciting and full of great characters. Tom Hardy is good as his usual gruff self and gets cracking support from Noomi Rapace and the late and much missed James Gandolfini. Quite different to your usual mob film & one that I recommend highly.
Shooting For Socrates Sun 10/12 RTE2 @ 00.00
The mid 80's in Belfast weren't the best of times but all football mad 9 year old Tommy can think of its the upcoming 1986 world cup in Mexico. A charming little tale with a nice Irish cast including Conleth Hill, Bronagh Gallagher and Richard Dormer all on form. The kind of film where you know how it's all going to end but the joy is in the journey and the period details.
Unbroken Sun 10/12 CH4 @ 23.30
The biography of Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic athlete who had a very harrowing World War 2 experience. Jack O'Connell gives his all as Zamperini in a film that was bafflingly overlooked at the box office. Directed by Angelina Jolie and written by the Coen Brothers it's tough going but it's a fine tale of bravery and endurance. Domhnall Gleeson and Garrett Hedlund are good in support.
Headhunters Mon 11/12 BBC2 @ 01.05
Roger is a corporate headhunter and a successful burglar. When he makes a poor decision regarding a new target he finds it coming back to bite him badly. This adaption of a Jo Nesbo novel is a highly entertaining watch. Chockablock with dark humour, this is a violent and nasty but thoroughly exciting watch. Aksel Hennie and Nikolia Coster-Waldau are great fun as mouse and cat respectively.
Things We Lost In The Fire Mon 11/12 TG4 @ 21.30
After the death of her husband, a woman invites his drug addicted best friend to stay with them and plan his funeral. Together they begin to help each other. Yes it sounds mawkish and sentimental and it might be a little of both but it's also affecting, poignant and superbly acted by the two leads, Halle Berry and the always dependable Benicio Del Toro. David Duchovny and the super John Carroll Lynch add fine back up.
Shane Tues 12/12 Film4 @ 15.45
A worn out gunslinger wants to retire and tend to a farm but as finds himself drawn into a conflict between a land owner and a rancher. One of the all time best westerns here and also contains one of the best bar fight scenes ever. You can't go wrong watching this. Alan Ladd is superb in the main role and gets solid support from familiar faces of the genre like Van Heflin, Elisha Cooke Jr and the brilliant Jack Palance.
Scanners Thurs 14/12 The Horror Channel @ 22.45
David Cronenberg's 1981 sci-fi/horror/thriller is a brilliant example of the body horror genre. It stars Stephen Lack and Michael Ironside as two men who have dangerous psychic powers. One is on the run from society and one wants to dominate it. A dark, intriguing and blackly comic film that contains some special effects that beat modern CGI hands down. One scene near the start will literally blow your mind. Not for the squeamish.
Hyena Fri 15/12 Film4 @ 23.15
When circumstances force a change, a crooked London cop finds his life getting very very complicated. On both sides of the law. This 2014 thriller is a good one and full of nerve jangling tension but it's also scaldingly horrible and hard to watch in places. One scene in particular is very disturbing so take heed of this warning. Seriously. Peter Ferdinando, Myanna Buring and Stephen Graham all put in solid performances.
The Dead Fri 15/12 RTE1 @ Midnight
Conversations about long lost love during a dinner party in early 20th century Ireland unearth memories and emotions. Sounds like a snoozefest yes? No, its not, it's so far from it. It's a sumptuously acted story that will hit you right in the gut and stir up thoughts and memories of your own. It's brilliant. From a story by James Joyce and with 2 stunning lead turns from Angelica Huston & Donal McCann, this one will stay with you for a long time.