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Peaky Blinders is a fierce, exciting entry for Netflix

The first time we see Cillian Murphy’s gangster Tommy Shelby he’s riding a white horse through a small neighborhood in Birmingham England. It’s seemingly deserted, with most of its citizens hiding from him, from his reputation. It is one heck of an entrance, not just for the characters but for the show. More than any other series, Peaky Blinders is helping Netflix define itself as a wholly original network.

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‘Transcendence’ a bland, low-key, and ultimately silly techno-thriller

Transcendence Written by Jack Paglen Directed by Wally Pfister United Kingdom, China, and USA, 2014 It’s been more than a decade since Johnny Depp moved from being a bundle of quirky nerves in the body of a heartthrob to a full-fledged movie star, and it may be the worst thing that happened to his career. …

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’28 Days Later’: A daring example in the zombie genre

There is an absolute basic terror to be found in Danny Boyle’s kinetic, vivid take on zombie films. Upon first viewing, 28 Days Later is one of the most viciously terrifying films made. It’s only on multiple viewings do you begin to see how amazing Boyle was in creating a world inhabited by monsters but made even scarier by the humans still left.

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‘Sunshine’ a parable on science vs. religion masquerading as an unlikely thriller

The general consensus regarding Danny Boyle’s 2007 flick Sunshine is as follows; thoughtful and atmospheric set up, promising narrative with originality and good characterization and mood, then dumped on its ass by an off-tangent mood swing of a climax, resorting to slasher horror suspense instead of its distinct brainy sensibilities. Considering the fact that Boyle …

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Unsung Gems – ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’

The Wind That Shakes the Barley Directed by Ken Loach Screenplay by Paul Laverty Ireland, 2006 More commonly associated with hard hitting, often brutal kitchen sink drama and gritty small scale drama, Ken Loach’s film repertoire has earned him a critically acclaimed niche in cinema’s fickle hall of fame. Ever since Kes, his name has …

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‘Red Lights’ disappontingly contrived and empty

Red Lights Directed by Rodrigo Cortés Written by Rodrigo Cortés USA, 2012 In 2010, writer and director Rodrigo Cortés made a splash with his film Buried, a low concept, low budget, but extremely well executed thriller of a picture. Two years later, he unfortunately offers up an endeavor that’s the exact polar opposite. With a …

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Win one of 10 double passes to the Toronto Advanced Screening of Rodrigo Cortés’s “Red Lights”

Rodrigo Cortés, who made a bit of a splash in 2010 with his high-concept / low-budget thriller Buried, is back with a new paranormal thriller entitled Red Lights, and if you can make it to the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Wednesday, June 27th, then you might just want to email admin@popoptiq.com with the heading “Red …

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Fantasia 2011: ‘Retreat’ an absorbing thriller that consistently keeps you guessing

Retreat Directed by Carl Tibbetts Written by Janice Hallett & Carl Tibbetts UK, 2011 Retreat might not be a perfect film, but it is a well-constructed and closely observed claustrophobic thriller that continually teases its audience to uncover the truth behind all the madness. Both psychologically frightening and maddening to the senses, Retreat is a …

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