24/09/2015 11:53 BST | Updated 24/09/2016 06:12 BST

Film Reviews: 99 Homes - Captive - Mia Madre - Solace

'99 Homes', a tale of greed and corruption during the real estate crash is a tense and relevant drama - 'Captive' is a true story edge-of-the-seat thriller hostage drama - 'Mia Madre,' Nanni Moretti's family drama on the loss of a parent is saved by John Turturro- 'Solace' nods to 'Se7en', mixes serial killings with the supernatural but is lost in wide screen visuals.

'99 Homes', a tale of greed and corruption during the real estate crash is a tense and relevant drama - 'Captive' is a true story edge-of-the-seat thriller hostage drama - 'Mia Madre,' Nanni Moretti's family drama on the loss of a parent is saved by John Turturro- 'Solace' nods to 'Se7en', mixes serial killings with the supernatural but is lost in wide screen visuals.


99 Homes

Director: Ramin Bahrani

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Country of Origin: USA 2014 112 mins.

Certificate 15

Rating: ****

A thumping score from the first frame leads into a tense, exciting and relevant drama with superb lead performances set in the greed filled and corrupt world of America's 2010 real estate crash.

The American dream, own your own home didn't allow for the real estate crash and repossession. With no site carpentry work and mortgage arrears piling up single father Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) who shares his home with his son Connor (Noah Lomax) and mother Lynn (Laura Dern), it's a relentless battle. For Florida based real estate broker Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), the man with the e cigarette and a pistol strapped to his ankle it's a big bucks honey pot with his ever polite repossession team including a couple of hand picked 'in-the-pocket' cops ready to kick 'em out and Dennis Nash is on Rick Carver's kick out list.

When Rick Carver offers cash during a repossession job that no one else will touch Dennis Nash's desperation leads him to take his first sip from the devil's cup and the feel of crisp dollar bills triumphs. Survival's the word and Nash is no longer the man on the edge, he's shaken hands with the devil and eventually moves to front Carver's team. The Faustian pact is sealed. No thoughts about the homeless owners, no place for conscience or compassion. It's cash up for grabs and there's lots of it including public funds. Perhaps Nash can dream of a big Florida home with all mod cons. Rick Carver did it, he clawed his way up. Now It's Dennis Nash's turn.

Released 25th September


Director: Jerry Jameson

Cast: David Oyelowo, Kate Mara, Leonor Varela

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA 2015 mins.

Certificate: 12A

Rating: ****

Brian Nichols (David Oyelowo), on trial for the rape, kidnap and assault of his long term girlfriend wants to see his new born son, Christopher. He breaks out killing a judge, court reporter and two cops. Crystal meth addict Ashely Smith's (Kate Mara) hooked on crystal meth since the death of her husband lost custody of her young daughter to her aunt (Mimi Rogers). on 11th March 2005 two damaged characters meet when Nichols, paranoid, vindictive and obsessed breaks into her apartment. Nichols wants drugs, Smith wants out. While Detective John Chestnut (Michael K. Williams) leads a county wide search Ashley Smith, damaged but tough, smart and resilient gains Nichols trust and eventually her freedom in a 7-hour ordeal that includes reading him passages from Rick Warren's 'The Purpose Driven Life.' Ashley Smith's life's turned around and Brian Nichols receives multiple life sentences without parole.

Based on Ashley Smith's non-fiction novel 'Unlikey Angel' 'Captive' is a tense, edge of the seat thriller hostage drama with strong lead performances. Pity it needs to tip its hat in the final credits to an evangelical PR job for Rick Warren.

Released 25th September


Mia Madre

Director: Nanni Moretti

Cast: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini

Genre: Drama

Language: English, Italian with English subtitles

Country of Origin: Italy, France 2015 106 mins.

Certificate 15

Rating: ***

Margherita's (Margarhita Buy) run ragged and an emotional wreck. How does she juggle shooting a film about a factory occupation, her daughter Livia (Beatrice Mancini) who's school grades are poor particularly in latin, a love life that's hit and miss and caring for her mother Ada (Giulia Lazzarini), a classics scholar who's nearing death and in hospital? It's OK for her brother Giovanni (Nanni Moretti). He's taken time off work and copes with it all. Mamma even gets her favourite pasta dish courtesy of her loving son.

This family drama about the loss of a parent has it's tender moments, comedic touches, hints of social satire and a personal touch for Nanni Moretti as his mother died during the filming of 'We Have A Pope' but it drags and doesn't connect for me. Thank goodness for John Turturro who turns up as Italian American actor Barry Huggins for a part in Margherita's film. Erratic, ego driven, prone to forgetting his lines, insufferable at times and with sufficient booze prone to reminiscing on imagined works with Stanley Kubrick.

Released 25th September


Director: Afonso Poyart

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA 2015 101 mins.

Certificate 15

Rating: **

'Solace' nods to 'Se7en' and 'Silence of the Lambs' but offers little originality. The serial killer's five inch long blade may find the victims medulla oblongata but it has the look of a not too sure why it's there ad campaign with its eye firmly placed on wide screen style visuals, slow motion shots and a lot of rain. All a bit too camera conscious even with a five-inch blade, some blood and a touch of the see-it-all supernatural.

With a series of bizarre murders, the victims of which had chronic or terminal diseases, FBI detective Joe Merriwether (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) turns to retired civilian analyst Dr. John Clancy, played with consummate ease by Anthony Hopkins whose intuitive powers could lead to the serial killer. The problem is John Clancy's extraordinary powers are no match for those of the killer, who's 'killing them with kindness, sparing them a lot of suffering.' The film follows the expected path, an initial suspect is killed, skeptical FBI agent Katherine Cowles has a past, the killer's revealed, the cat-and-mouse game with the serial killer reaches a climax and and John Clancy's 'visions' help it on it's way.

Released 25th September

Recommended BLU-Ray/DVDs

Catch Me Daddy (15) Thriller 112 mins. Compelling and powerful, confidently directed with an authentic feel and stunningly shot by Robbie Ryan - it's gripping cinema.

L'Eclisse (PG) Drama 122 mins. Michelangelo Antonioni's unconventional, mysterious and mesmerising classic is reissued in a new digital remastered version with stunning performances from 60s icons, Monica Vitti and Alain Delon.

For further details on this weeks film and Blu-Ray/DVD releases see