Tuesday Top Ten – My Favourite Bruce Willis Films

This Sunday just gone, it was Bruce Willis’ birthday, so what better time for me to take a look back on some of my favourite films of his? It was tough narrowing this list down if I’m honest – I’ve seen a few too many Bruce Willis films in the last few years. Trimming the shortlist from 25 to 10 was hard, but I got there eventually.
10. Split

Fair enough, this maybe wouldn’t be considered a Willis film by most, but the way I see it is he appeared in it, so it counts. So far this year, this has probably been my favourite mainstream film to come out, however because it’s not really a Willis film, I couldn’t put it any higher.

9. The Jackal

This film is a guilty pleasure of mine, and it is one of my favourites by Brucie. For me, there’s a few plus points with The Jackal, not least Richard Gere’s god-awful Irish accent – I think he would have given Brad Pitt a run for his money in Snatch. I find it to be a fun watch, even if it is considered to be rather terrible my a lot of people.

8. Over The Hedge

This Dreamworks animation is one I always enjoy watching. Willis plays RJ, and isn’t exactly a good guy, but isn’t quite a supervillain either. While they’re never equal to the quality of Pixar’s early years, I do like Dreamworks films for the fact that they push their innuendos and disguised adult humour a bit further than most kids’ films.

7. Twelve Monkeys

This was a film that I really enjoyed for the first half, maybe even the first three quarters of it’s runtime, however it was after this point that it lost me entirely. Willis may have been the lead in the film, but it was Brad Pitt who was terrific here, and he was the reason I stuck with the whole thing to the end.

6. Die Hard With A Vengeance

This third instalment in the franchise is my favourite after the original. I loved the partnership between Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, which is a pairing that will feature more than once on this list. There are a number of scenes in this film that really make me laugh, but also there was plenty of action to go with them.

5. Lucky Number Slevin

I liked this film, but it was nothing special. I watched Tarantino-esque Lucky Number Slevin a few years ago and just thought it tried a bit too hard to be something it wasn’t. Nonetheless, it was a bit of fun and I’m glad I watched it.

4. Sin City

Sin City was a film that I also watched a few years ago and enjoyed, although to this day I’m still not entirely sure what actually went on throughout the story. Willis played a key character here in the form of Hartigan and was his usual wonderful self as a grizzled law enforcer. The man knows what he’s good at, and he’s reasonably good at sticking to it.

3. Unbreakable

I remember when I first watched Unbreakable, I don’t think I was overly impressed by it – I enjoyed it, but was singing from the rooftops about it. Looking back however, I can appreciate it far more. It is a brilliant film that I am planning to revisit very soon, and was also part of the reason why I enjoyed Split so much.

2. Pulp Fiction

Of course Tarantino’s best known film had to feature here somewhere. Willis’ role as Butch Coolidge here was brilliant, and in a line up of some really great characters, he completely held his own.

1. Die Hard

It would have been sacrilege to not put Die Hard at number one in a list of my favourite Bruce Willis films. This will always be known as the film that made him into a huge action star, and also the film that raised the bar for the action genre. 

So that’s all ten of my favourite Bruce Willis films. I enjoyed each and every one of them for different reasons, as I also did with many of the films that didn’t make the list. What would you include that I didn’t? Let me know via the comments below.  

Tuesday Top Ten – My Favourite Irish Actors & Their Best Work

 This Friday is the 17th March, and anyone with even a trace of green blood flowing through their veins know that it is a big day on the Irish calendar. Yes, lovely readers, it is indeed St. Patrick’s Day, and seeing as I’m more or less a Paddy who was just born in the wrong country, I’ve decided to celebrate with this week’s Top Ten. Here is my countdown of my favourite Irish actors, along with what I think is their best work to date.
10. Aidan Gillen – The Wire

 Aidan Gillen is a familiar face for many people, having appeared in Game Of Thrones and a number of feature films. For me, my favourite appearance of his was in The Wire as Tommy Carcetti. I know I’ve said that when it came out his turn in the show, I found it all got a bit too political for my liking, but Gillen played a great character, I can appreciate that.

9. David Caves – Silent Witness

Someone who I think is an emerging face from the Emerald Isle is David Caves. The only thing I’ve really seen him in is Silent Witness, and I have to be honest, he’s kind of the reason I’m such a big fan of the show. I would definitely say watch this space for him showing up in a few bigger projects in future – he’s already made a brief appearance in Oscar-nominated Jackie, and the only way is up I’d say.

8. Gabriel Byrne – The Usual Suspects

I’ve not seen loads of Gabriel Byrne’s work, but of what I have seen, The Usual Suspects has been my favourite. He played a great role as Keaton himself, but the whole film was wonderful if you ask me. It’s been a while since I last saw it, so maybe I should get round to it again soon.

7. Robert Sheehan – Fortitude

He has taken on one of the main roles in the second season of Fortitude, and despite only being on my radar for a few weeks, I am already quite a fan of Robert Sheehan. He’s been in a few TV series and perhaps the odd film here and there, although I’ve not seen him in anything else besides what he’s currently starring in. Of course, now that I have discovered him, I shall be making it my mission in life to find other works of his.

6. Liam Neeson – Michael Collins

Now, you cannot have a list on Irish thespians without mentioning the actor who portrayed the man who played such a huge part in the independence movement that eventually led to the formation of the Irish Free State. Liam Neeson took on the role of Michael Collins in the film of the same name, and did a wonderful job. For anyone wanting to get a feel for the history that has ran between Ireland and Britain in the last century or so, this film is a great starting point, and one that I would absolutely recommend.

5. James Nesbitt – The Missing

This man is everywhere you look on British TV – you can’t seem to avoid him, even if you try! Thankfully though, James Nesbitt is a very good actor, and had been in some terrific shows over the years. One of my favourites has to have been The Missing, although I have to be honest, Nesbitt made his appearance in the pilot season, which wasn’t quite as wonderful as season two.

4. Colm Meaney – The Commitments

I’ve seen a lot of films with Colm Meaney in, but my favourite by a long way is The Commitments. He was so good as Jimmy’s dad in this film, and reminded me a lot of my dad when I watched him. He has a great deal of very funny one liners and off-the-cuff comments in the film, with a few rather brilliant words about U2 being amongst many that have stuck in my head since watching it.

3. Brendan Gleeson – The Guard

This. Man. Is. A. God. I will never tire of watch Brendan Gleeson with his dry sense of humour and dead pan face in any film, not least in The Guard. This film… I laugh every single time I watch it. I also really liked him in In Bruges with fellow countryman Colin Farrell, but The Guard still has the top spot in my book.

2. Michael Fassbender – Slow West

An actor who just seems to be going places is Michael Fassbender. He’s done everything – a western, a Nazi war film, a video game adaptation – you name it, Fassbender has probably done it. The last I heard he was in the running to be the next James Bond, so who knows where his career could take him next? For now though, my favourite film he’s been in is Slow West, for so many reasons.

1. Cillian Murphy – The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Another very good film that takes a look at Irish history and the journey towards independence is The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Cillian Murphy takes the lead here and since watching the film for the first time a few years ago, I’ve become a huge fan of his work. Murphy has taken roles in some awesome films, but is also the main character in BBC’s Peaky Blinders. He is a tremendous actor and certainly a fine talent to have come out of Ireland.

So there you have it –  my favourite Irish actors, all in time for St. Paddy’s day at the end of the week. They are a wonderful bunch, and I would urge that you check out their work if you haven’t already, especially those that I have mentioned on this list because I’m hoping that if I enjoyed them, I can share those with you as well. Until next time, erin go bragh!

Tuesday Top Ten – My Favourite Blockbusters

The end of awards season marks the beginning of the run up to summer blockbuster releases, so this week I have complied for you a list of my favourite highest-grossing box office hits. The films featured on this list all came from filmsite.org’s 100 All-Time Box Office Top 100. I was quite surprised to see that from the worldwide list, upon which my own list is based, that the majority of films came from this side of the year 2000. Anyway, that’s enough of me yabbering on, here’s my selection.
10. Avatar

It’s been an absolute age since I watched Avatar, but one thing I remember about the film is I enjoyed it watching it. Quite unsurprisingly, this film is the highest-grossing film of all-time according to website I looked at for help with this list. I can recall the hype surrounding the film when it came out – there was an awful lot of excitement about it, so the fact that it majorly cleaned up whilst in cinemas is no big shock for me.

9. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Another film that I have gone a long, long, long time without seeing is this instalment in the Mission Impossible franchise. It was the big return of Ethan Hunt and was good fun when I watched it one Friday night many years ago. Not being the greatest fan of Tom Cruise, it is no mystery to me as to why it has been so long since I saw the film, but evidently this was not something that put the masses off of flocking to see the film when it was released as it comfortably made filmsite.org’s top 100.

8. Avengers Assemble

Marvel films are always a fun affair, aren’t they? Alongside this, they are always guaranteed to take in astronomical figures at the box office. Avengers Assemble was a huge project that did very well with audiences everywhere, and when I eventually hopped on the bandwagon, I thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

7. The Hunger Games

Most franchises that start life as a series of books tend to be a sure fire hit provided the film adaptation of the first instalment is well received. The Hunger Games franchise was something that seemed to do better and better as each film hit cinemas. At this moment in time, I’ve only seen the first in the series, but I found it to be a much better film than I had anticipated, which is never a bad things.

6. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

As anyone who read my review of this film will know, I was very, very pleasantly surprise by how wonderful I found this film to be. Fantastic Beasts had big boots to fill, and I would say it did a damn good job of doing that. This was mainly down to the casting of Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander in my opinion – I think that was the best casting choice in a long time. Fantastic Beasts could be the next big franchise for kids, and I wouldn’t be sorry if that was the case. I’m glad it was a huge success.

5. The Lion King

It will come as no surprise to anyone that The Lion King is one of the highest grossing films of all time. I think you will struggle to come across anyone who hasn’t seen it. It was a staple film of my childhood so I couldn’t not include it here. The music is wonderful and the story is one that never seems to get old. If we’re being realistic, it could only make money.

4. Up

This was a fantastic movie, and in my eyes it was the last great film that Pixar made. I can remember it being all over the news for how it had been such a hit with audiences, and when I finally got to see it for my birthday that year, I really enjoyed it. It is in my DVD collection and is a film I’m always happy to revisit.

3. Finding Nemo

Another tremendous film from my childhood was Finding Nemo. This film will always be untouchable, and is one of the early reasons why you don’t mess with Pixar films. Ever.

2. Skyfall

I am a huge fan of this instalment in the James Bond franchise. It has so much going for it, not least Javier Bardem as Bond villain Raoul Silva. This was another birthday cinema treat, and is a film I continue to enjoy every time I watch it. It also had quite a bit of pressure to do well at the box office as it was the most expensive Bond film ever made. It absolutely brought home the bacon.

1. Forrest Gump

One of only two films on this list that is from outside the 2000s & 2010s is Forrest Gump. It made a huge amount of money when it was on cinema release, but was a film I only just saw a couple of years ago. I sat through it from beginning to end with a huge great smile on my face, and I can tell you now that if it ever gets re-released in cinemas I will have no qualms with spending my money on the best seats.

There you have it – a run-down of my favourite blockbuster films. I think this is a fair mix of genres that touches on films that reach out to all audiences. If ever you’re stuck for some easy watching, these films are just a few of the options available to you to make for a nice night in in front of the TV with your choice of snacks and favourite pyjamas on.

Tuesday Top Ten – Actors & Actresses Still To Win An Oscar

My final Oscars-themed list is taking a look at those actors and actresses who have not yet won an Oscar, despite them having work that could very well be deemed Oscar-worthy. I mentioned on Twitter that I was surprised to discover some of these people had not won an Academy Award – there are certainly some shocks to come!
10. Johnny Depp

The man is a chameleon, and he has played some iconic characters over the years. There is no doubt over his capabilities as an actor, so he doesn’t need an Oscar to his name to remind us of how great he can be. A good job too, as despite three nominations for the prestigious awards over the years, he is yet to win anything.

9. Amy Adams

I’ll keep it brief, but Amy Adams has only gotten better as she has progressed throughout her career. The fact that she has not yet won an Oscar is beyond me, and what baffles me more is the fact that she wasn’t even nominated for her role in Arrival. The process undertaken by the people in charge of the Oscars baffles me sometimes, this being a prime example of that.

8. Matt Damon

Of all the people on this list, Matt Damon was the biggest surprise to me. Technically he has won an Oscar, but I’m talking about acting gongs here so his writing award doesn’t count. Out of his three nominations, I wish he would have won for his role as François Pienaar in Invictus – I really enjoyed that film and thought he did a terrific job as the South African rugby captain.

7. Mark Ruffalo

Another person I was a tad bitter about recently was Mark Ruffalo when he didn’t win for his role as Mike Rezendes in Spotlight. He may have been part of an ensemble in that film, but he is the person who stands out in my mind as being truly fantastic in what was a very affecting piece of cinema.

6.Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson is a name everybody knows. Something we’re not all that familiar with, however, is the fact that he is yet to win an Oscar. In fact, the only nomination he has ever received was for his role as Jules Winnifield in Pulp Fiction. He may be an internationally recognised actor, but not one whose work has been honoured by the Academy just yet.

5. Edward Norton

I mentioned last week that Edward Norton is someone who should’ve won an Oscar for his role in American History X. Little did I know that to this day, he is still only a nominee and not a winner of any Oscars. He is a very talented actor, and one who seems to be extremely underrated when it comes to these famous awards.

4. Jessica Chastain

She is one of my favourite actresses as she has brought to the screen a number of brilliant characters, but Jessica Chastain hasn’t won an Oscar yet either. Of the two roles she has been nominated for, I think she definitely deserved to win for her portrayal of Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, but she was equally as wonderful as Celia Foote, a very different character, in The Help too.

3. Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver was another shock for me here, because she hasn’t won an Oscar, nor has she really received that many nominations either. I was very surprised to discover that she has only ever been a nominee three times throughout her career. I’ve only seen her in one of her Oscar-nominated roles, but am in no doubt about what a significant figure she is, so this did nothing to lessen the blow.

2. Harrison Ford

He is the highest-grossing actor of all-time, and he has taken on some iconic roles in a career that only started properly in his thirties, but Harrison Ford is another well known actor that makes this list. And, much like Sigourney Weaver, he has had far less nominations than you may initially think. One nomination. That is all this man has had. Major bloody surprise if you ask me.

1. Brad Pitt

Finally we move onto Brad Pitt. Over the years he has been in some cracking films, and for his performances, he has received three nominations for. Of course, he’s never actually won for his acting. I think he was very good as Jeffrey Goines in Twelve Monkeys, and he perhaps should have won for that role.

That marks the end of this list, but also the end of this little series that took a look back at the Oscars over the years. There have been plenty of great performances and good films discussed during the course of these lists, and I’ve also been able to have bit of a moan about a few injustices that have also occurred at the different ceremonies that have taken place.

Tuesday Top Ten – My Favourite British Actors 

Yesterday’s review of Killer Elite and lack of any other inspiration for a Top Ten has meant that this week’s countdown is going to take a look at my favourite British actors. For the first time in a couple of weeks, I have managed to put the list in an order as well, so you’re properly spoilt with this one. Let’s get started!

10. Anthony Hopkins

Before any riots start, the only reason Anthony Hopkins only just makes this top ten is because I have only seen one film… THAT film. Yes, The Silence Of The Lambs is the film that shows Hopkins in all his glory, and proves that you don’t have to come directly from Hollywood to shake audiences for generations to come. In fact, West Glamorgan in Wales will do you just fine.

9. Dominic West

This man was a big part of my life for a very long time when I worked my way through five seasons of The Wire last year, and I thought he was great. He’s been in a few films I’ve seen since, and also that other show, The Affair, which I’m not so fond of. Nonetheless, Dominic West has proved that the northern boys can do it, although I think private education may have also helped him out a little.

8. Daniel Day-Lewis

There is so much that can be said about Daniel Day-Lewis. He is a truly magnificent actor who can seemingly take on any role and just absolutely own it. He’s the only actor have ever won three Best Actor Oscars, and each was for a role that was so very different to the last. Day-Lewis just has a way of becoming whoever he seems to set his mind to, and Old Blighty is very proud of him for that.

7. Tim Roth

Another very gifted character actor is Tim Roth. Much like Day-Lewis, he doesn’t play characters, he becomes them. He is also talented when it comes to accents, something that all British actors have be if they want success across the pond, it would appear. However, Roth’s accent was so good in Reservoir Dogs that I didn’t question it – I mean, why would you? It wasn’t until I heard his character in Pulp Fiction that I looked him up, and there was London written as his place of birth. 

6. Idris Elba

Idris Elba spent three years starring opposite West in The Wire and he was fantastic. Since then he has become a household name here in his home country after taking lead roles in the TV series Luther and a number of films. It’s kind of disheartening to think that if it hadn’t have been for The Wire, we may never have heard of Elba though, or at least not until much later, as British screens, much like last year’s Oscars, used to be quite lacking in diversity. 

5. Jason Statham

This bloke epitomises the British gangster film. Jason Statham is that man who Guy Ritchie always has in mind when he’s making a film – you only need to look at Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels for proof. Yes, his acting can be questionable at times, but he’s been in some bloody brilliant all-out in-your-face action films and he has a special place in my heart for these reasons – plus, he’s from Derbyshire, which is pretty local to me.

4. James McAvoy

After seeing Split at the weekend, James McAvoy has quickly risen through the ranks for me. He has incredible acting skills, and has shown this on a number of occasions, not just recently. The Last King Of Scotland ring any bells? That was a while ago now, wasn’t it? I’ve always been aware of him, but he’s now well and truly in the spotlight for me. 

3. Christian Bale

It took American audiences a while to cotton on to the fact that the guy who played Batman for so long was not one of their own. This was something that Christian Bale actually tried to hide from the public, speaking with his put-on American accent in interviews. He is yet another chameleonic actor, with famous performances in The Machinist and American Psycho making up just a fraction of his filmography.

2. Tom Hardy

I think everyone loves a cheeky bit of Tom Hardy. He has been one of the top British actors in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. During his career he has provided us with some absolutely fabulous performances in a variety of genres, and has made his mark on TV screens in the last couple of years with appearances in Peaky Blinders as Alfie Solomons. He surely will remain a favourite for years to come.

1. Clive Owen

My favourite British actor however has to be Clive Owen. I’ve loved his work since first seeing him in Children Of Men, and have watched a number of his films since (Closer and Inside Man are a couple). What makes him my favourite Brit actor is that he is about as close as you can get to a working class actor in this country, something that has become bit of a rarity lately. And, coming from Coventry, he’s another one who is reasonably local to me.

There you have it – another week, and another top ten is out the way. You had my favourite actors ages ago, and this list has brought things a little closer to home. It’s been fun for me to look through what big names have come from the British Isles over the years, and some of the iconic performances they have been responsible for. However, glancing over the names has revealed to me that it is getting tougher for aspiring actors and actresses to make a career for themselves in Britain if they’re anything below middle-class. Nonetheless, there is plenty of talent to be found here, even if you need to look a bit harder for it.

Tuesday Top Ten – TV Shows That Aired In 2016

While I may have watched more films in the cinema in 2016 than I have done any other year, I also found plenty to watch on the small screen last year as well. In no particular order, here is my rundown of my top ten TV shows that aired new episodes in 2016. Any older series that I may also have seen last year will not be featuring on this list – that’s for another day…

10. Rillington Place

This period drama that took a look at the murders committed by John Reginald Christie at 10 Rillington Place during the 1940s and 50s did really well in my book. Tim Roth was magical as the lead character, and was supported well by Samantha Morton as his wife Ethel. I really enjoyed this three-part mini-series, and would certainly recommend it to people.

9. The Night Manager

It seems a long time has passed since this TV adaptation of John Le Carré’s novel of the same name was on our screens. It provided us with Sunday night viewing that BBC1 hasn’t been able to match since it finished. Since then, the show has aired all over the world I would imagine, and has won numerous Golden Globes. I clearly wasn’t the only one impressed with this one.

8. Silent Witness S19

Seeing as it’s been on our screens since 1996, I don’t think you need me to tell you too much about Silent Witness. Obviously I haven’t been watching since the very beginning (I wasn’t born then), but it is a show I’ve looked forward to seeing every year since I started watching about four or five seasons ago. I have no real explanation for why I enjoy this show so much – there are a number of reasons for why I love it as much as I do, that’s all I can say.

7. Peaky Blinders S3

I got into this show as it started it’s second season and it became a favourite straight away. The excessive violence and creative use of language are always something I enjoy seeing, but there are other things that Peaky Blinders has always had going for it. Firstly, we get to see Cillian Murphy in the lead as the delightful Tommy Shelby, and then we get a whole host of big names alongside him – Tom Hardy and Sam Neill are just a couple. The performances are brilliant, the sets are tremendous, and overall, the show is a winner from start to finish. 

6. The Five 

With a story that came from the mind of acclaimed thriller writer Harlen Coben, The Five sounded promising. This was another mini-series that was very impressive. The story was phenomenal, and I, nor anyone else who watched it with me, had a clue about who did what right until the very end. What more could you want from a crime thriller?

5. The People Vs. O.J. Simpson

I don’t really know what reception this was met with. What I do know is I was really looking forward to seeing it, and when it came to sitting down and watching it, The People Vs. O.J. Simpson went way above my expectations. Some of the performances here – specifically Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clarke, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran – were mind-glowingly good. This one didn’t focus so much on the person who may or may not have committed the crime, but more on the drama that unfolded in the courtroom and lawyer’s offices behind the scenes. Compelling stuff!

4. Ray Donovan S4

Another show i got into as the second season began was Ray Donovan, and as I write this I am waiting to find out where season five will pick up. This most recent season of the drama that revolves around the life and work of L.A. fixer, Ray Donovan, was, in my eyes, the best to date. Ray’s work and family life clashed this time round, which raised the stakes massively and made it unbearable waiting for a new episode each week.

3. Ripper Street S4

One of my favourite shows to ever exist is Ripper Street. When BBC cancelled it after season two, I signed every petition going and even wrote a letter to the head of whatever to tell them what a terrible decision they had made, and when it was announced that the show was being decommissioned for seasons three, four and five… well, you can imagine my reaction. Season four was fantastic as always, but dealt us a blow at the end that I’m still not quite over, and I don’t think I ever will be.

2. The Missing S2

The highly anticipated second season of The Missing arrived late in 2016 and was actually far better than it’s predecessor. I hadn’t been that excited for it, but was pleasantly surprised by what was actually presented to me. The story was excellent and with some real British acting heavyweights in two of the lead roles, plus Tchèky Karyo returning as Julien Baptiste, the performances weren’t half bad either.

1. The Night Of

One of the biggest, most talked about shows from last year arrived at some point around September or October I think. The Night Of won me over when I saw the face of The Wire‘s Michael Kenneth Williams in the preview, and I’m glad I saw him then because I may otherwise not have watched the show. A perfect example of what can be achieved with solid storytelling and acting is one of the greatest compliments I could give this show, and with talks of season two starting before it had even finished this one, I am looking forward to it’s return.

So there’s my list of my top ten shows that aired in 2016. Some great newcomers, the return of old favourites and a few pleasant surprises would be a great way to describe last year’s TV for me. How about you? What are your thoughts on these shows? What would have featured on your list? As always, let me know! It’s nice hearing what you guys think.

Tuesday Top Ten – Most Anticipated Films Of 2017

My second Top Ten is taking a look at the films that have caught my attention as we come into 2017. This list comes in order of release date, and doesn’t in any way represent which films I am looking forward to more. Let’s begin, shall we?

10. La La Land (out now)

The things that I have already heard/read about this film have made me sway towards it. It hadn’t been on my radar at all, but good reviews started coming in and then I saw the trailer at the cinema before Christmas. It seems to me as though La La Land with be an uplifting musical drama that will raise spirits and, if nothing else, will probably win numerous awards for what I can only imagine will be a terrific soundtrack and score.

9. Manchester By The Sea (out now)

A few things caught my eye here. Firstly, I really like Casey Affleck – I thought he played a good supporting character in Good Will Hunting, plus he was terrific in Out Of The Furnace (check it out if you haven’t already). To have him as the lead here is a big draw for me. The storyline may not be the most overly original plot, but I just have a good feeling about this film given the cast and the release date. I will definitely be checking out Manchester By The Sea as soon as I get the chance.

8. Live By Night (out 13 Jan)

I’m a self-confessed history geek, but I find some periods in history more interesting than others. One of my favourite periods is the Prohibition Era in 1920s America, which is why I’m looking forward to Live By Night. Upon closer inspection, the cast also looks pretty good, with a handful of big names popping up on the quiet. It’s had mixed reviews in the U.S. where it’s already out, but I do have a soft spot for films like this. We’ll see how it goes.

7. Split (out 20 Jan)

To say I’m a bit excited about this film would be an understatement. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the trailer, or checked when it was set to come out in cinemas. James McAvoy is playing a man with 24 different personalities and is going to kidnap some girls. You all know by now how much I love a good psychopathic villain in films, and McAvoy is showing extreme promise here. The only thing that worries me slightly is M. Night Shyamalan is directing, and I haven’t been 100% wowed by his films in the past, but maybe this can change that.

6. Fences (out 10 Feb)

Another film that is set to come out that will have a lot of history behind it is Fences. Seeing Denzel Washington’s face on the poster was enough to grasp my curiosity, and when I went to find out more, I was rather pleased by what I discovered. Viola Davis will co-star alongside Washington. I loved her in The Help, and think she will be perhaps the best match for the lead actor here. Black history is another area of history that hugely interests me, so it will be good to see another film that explores that.

5. Moonlight (out 17 Feb)

We’ve had a bad deal here in England with this one I think. Moonlight has been out in America for ages, yet we still have to wait another month to see it. The wait has been hard, as I have yet to hear a bad thing about this film. People have really loved this film for it’s performances and the issues it raises. Are awards in this film’s future? By the sounds of things, I’d say so.

4. The Eyes Of My Mother (out 24 March)

This is the film I know the least about on this whole list, which holds an awful lot of excitement for me in itself. I don’t know if it’s a foreign or English speaking film, or what it is about entirely. I don’t even know any of the cast members. The Eyes Of My Mother has me going in blind (pun intended), but I really like what little information I do know about this film. I’ve become quite adventurous with horror films over the last few months or so, with my viewing of the Saw franchise and that glorious film, The Hills Have Eyes, so I know that even if I hate the film, I’ll have a grand old time with the review afterwards.

3. Free Fire (out 31 March)

If nothing else, this film will be so much fun! The idea of the plot is something that has me in much anticipation of it’s release, and then there’s also the cast has a couple of low-key huge talents dotted amongst it i.e. Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy. The film is set in 70s Boston, and focuses on the meeting of two rival gangs in a warehouse. Already I am beginning to think about what songs are going to feature in the score of this film. 

2. The Zookeeper’s Wife (out 5 May)

I love Jessica Chastain. I think she has been excellent in every film I’ve seen her in to date, which include Interstellar and The Martian, although she was only in those for relatively short amounts of time. She is set to warm hearts in (another) historical drama, The Zookeeper’s Wife, which is based on the true story of Antonina Zabinski. I think this has potential to be a wonderful family film, although I’m aware no age ratings have been released yet, so I could be completely wrong there.

1. Alien: Covenant (expected 19 May)

I have to say, the only reason I really picked Alien: Covenant was because I needed ten films and I was running it of films where the poster caught my eye – I know… It’s not the recommended way of deciding which films you’re looking forward to, but it’s worked okay for me in the past so I’ll stick with it for now. I haven’t seen a single film in the franchise yet, although I plan on changing that before this comes out, hopefully, early in the summer.

So there’s the handful of films I’m most looking forward to for at least this half of 2017. What do you think of my top ten? Would you have picked anything different? Let me know! It’s always good to talk film with you guys, so leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions you think should have made an appearance here.