As we step into a brand new year, 2016 is already a distant memory and resolutions are ready to be broken. Trailers for this year’s biggest and brightest blockbusters are coming thick and fast, and the calendar is filled with franchises and sequels. It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for movie goers, but let’s not forget about the smaller titles, great films that could easily pass by unnoticed. Here are ten of the best hidden gems on Virgin Movies this January
Atmospheric and full of genuine tension, Hell Or High Water is a modern-day western and a true highlight of 2016. Every aspect of the film screams quality, but particular praise must go to the stunning score, and Jeff Bridges’ award-worthy performance. An absolute gem of a film and a must watch.
A sequel to the genre-inventing Blair Witch Project, the story behind this follow up is almost as interesting as the film itself. Originally titled The Woods, director Adam Wingard kept the fact that it was a sequel a complete secret until it actually premiered at Comic-Con. Clever marketing aside, the witch’s return is a welcome one.
No, this is not a new superhero movie. A festival hit, and Golden Globe nominee, Captain Fantastic is a quirky film that Wes Anderson would be proud of. Featuring a great cast including Viggo Mortensen and Kathryn Hahn, and a story that is both moving a funny, this a charming hidden gem.
In an animated movie world dominated by Disney, it’s often hard for anyone else to get a look in. But in 2016 Laika, the animation studio responsible for Coraline and The Boxtrolls, managed to turn heads. Thanks to a combination of gorgeous animation, an absorbing story and a strong cast including Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron, Kubo has a serious chance of nabbing an award or two.
Do you remember Quint’s iconic monologue in Jaws? The chilling and moving speech delivered from inside the Orca? Well this film is about that very story. Part war film, part gripping survival thriller, this is a powerful true story with a great cast including the one and only Nicolas Cage.
The zombie movie is a genre in itself. Over the years we’ve seen many different types of the undead – fast, slow, funny, animals – the list goes on. Yes, The Girl With All The Gifts is different because the story focuses on children, but the film is far more than a zombie movie with a twist. A British indie movie starring Paddy Considine and Glenn Close, this is an intelligent and gripping take on the genre.
Stories relating to Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar have been told many times before. But thanks in part to Netflix’s Narcos, there is now a hunger for more. Starring Bryan Cranston as a US Customs agent who sets out to infiltrate the trafficking network of Escobar, this is a gritty, gripping and engrossing true story about the infamous man.
Brian De Palma is undoubtedly one of the most influential filmmakers of the last fifty years. As the director of Carrie, Scarface and The Untouchables, he will always be remembered and revered. But despite his renown, he has often been seen as a controversial figure. This fascinating documentary explores De Palma’s work, in his own words.
Stories of struggle and hardship are not always everyone’s cup of tea. But when they are told well, there is no doubt they can be as engrossing as any other subject matter. Starring Matthew McConaughey as a man who forms a rebellion during the Civil War, Free State Of Jones is a great example. Powerful yet entertaining, this is one to watch.
From writer/director John Michael McDonagh, the man responsible for the hilarious Calvary and The Guard, comes the story of two corrupt and violent cops who are completely without morals. Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena play said duo, and they do so with style. If you like your comedy dark and twisted, then this one is definitely for you.