Whether you're on a date, catching up with your friends, or just looking for a way to kill a few hours on a gloomy Tuesday night, there are few modern indulgences that beat settling into a dark cinema and letting your worries escape you as you slip into another world. Spies, superheroes, lovers, musicians, presidents, dictators, robbers and cops: you'll encounter them all as the lights go down and the projector begins to whir.
There's plenty afoot a the pictures this month, so we're here to give you a little bit of help with choosing tonight's movie. See you at the candy bar.
Australian cinema has a new hero — or heroes, to be exact. In case 2013's neo-western crime thriller Mystery Road didn't make that apparent, Goldstone shouts it across the outback. On screen, Indigenous police detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) stalks through another remote desert town searching for the truth. Behind the camera, writer-director Ivan Sen guides another insightful examination of race, prejudice, inequality and exploitation inextricably linked to the Australian landscape.
If all a horror movie needed was a killer concept, then Lights Out would sit at the top of the spooky cinematic heap. At its core is an idea that's equally obvious, ingenious and universal: the unsettling feeling that springs in children and adults alike when a flick of a switch plunges a room into darkness. In fact, when Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg first toyed with the notion in his two-and-a-half-minute short film of the same name, it became a viral sensation, catching the eye of horror producer James Wan in the process. Three years later, Sandberg has fleshed out the attention-grabbing effort into his feature film debut.
In Frances Ha, Greta Gerwig became the on-screen embodiment of a predicament most twenty-somethings can relate to: knowing what you don't want out of life, rather than what you do. In Mistress America, she offered a different side of failing to achieve your dreams, this time from a slightly older perspective. Now, in Maggie's Plan, she grapples with the fact that you can't control everything, no matter how hard you try. Consider it the next phase in her ongoing examination of the idiosyncrasies of quarter-life malaise.
Who amongst us hasn't used music to process their thoughts and feelings? The right song can convey things that words alone cannot, as writer-director John Carney understands. In his films, moving ballads and catchy melodies intertwine with life and love, providing a killer soundtrack to memorable moments and an effective method of expressing emotions. When his characters pen lyrics, strum instruments and grab the mic, they're not just creating tunes and chasing dreams — they're helping make sense of everything around them.
Space, the final frontier. An infinite continuum capable of sapping morale and robbing voyaging crews of both purpose and progress since, by its very definition, there can never be an end in sight. Such is the existential crisis facing Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) at the beginning of this third instalment in the revised Star Trek franchise – a notably low-key opening compared to its bombastic predecessors.