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The Old Man And The Gun

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Old Man And The Gun Starring Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek And Casey Affleck

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The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind Starring Maxwell Simba And Chiwetel Ejiofor

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Fighting With My Family

500 Days Of Film Reviews Fighting With My Family Starring Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden And Dwayne Johnson

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On The Basis Of Sex

500 Days Of Film Reviews On The Basis Of Sex Starring Felicity Jones And Armie Hammer

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Oscar Special - BlacKkKlansman

500 Days Of Film Reviews BlacKkKlansman Starring John David Washington And Adam Driver

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Oscar Special - Vice

500 Days Of Film Reviews Vice Starring Christian Bale And Amy Adams

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Oscar Special - Bohemian Rhapsody

500 Days Of Film Reviews Bohemian Rhapsody Starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton And Gwilym Lee

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Vice

500 Days Of Film Reviews Vice Starring Christian Bale And Amy Adams

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Mary Queen of Scots

500 Days Of Film Reviews Mary Queen Of Scots Starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie

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Beautiful Boy

500 Days Of Film Reviews Beautiful Boy Starring Steve Carell And Timothee Chalamet

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Colette

500 Days Of Film Reviews Colette Starring Keira Knightley And Dominic West

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Stan and Ollie

500 Days Of Film Reviews Stan and Ollie Starring John C Reilly and Steve Coogan

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Outlaw King

500 Days Of Film Reviews Outlaw King Starring Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh and Billy Howle

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Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot

500 Days Of Film Reviews Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Jack Black and Rooney Mara

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Bohemian Rhapsody

500 Days Of Film Reviews Bohemian Rhapsody Starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton And Gwilym Lee

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Beautiful Boy

500 Days Of Film Reviews Beautiful Boy Starring Steve Carell And Timothee Chalamet

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First Man

500 Days Of Film Reviews First Man Starring Ryan Gosling And Clare Foy

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22 July

500 Days Of Film Reviews 22 July Staring Jonas Strand Gravli, Anders Danielsen Lie And Jon Øigarden

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2018’s Top 5 True Life Movies

500 Days Of Film Reviews Five Of 2018’s Best Films Based On A True Story

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American Animals

500 Days Of Film Reviews American Animals Starring Barry Keoghan And Evan Peters 

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BlacKkKlansman

500 Days Of Film Reviews BlacKkKlansman Starring John David Washington And Adam Driver

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Adrift

500 Days Of Film Reviews Adrift Starring Shailene Woodley And Sam Claflin

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Brain On Fire

500 Days Of Film Reviews Brain On Fire Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jenny Slate

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10 Gripping True Crime Documentaries

500 Days Of Film Reviews 10 Utterly Gripping True Crime Documentaries

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My Friend Dahmer

500 Days Of Film Reviews My Friend Dahmer Starring Ross Lynch And Alex Wolff

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Molly's Game

500 Days Of Film Reviews Molly’s Game Starring Jessica Chastain And Idris Elba

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Stronger

500 Days Of Film Reviews Stronger Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany

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120 BPM

500 Days Of Film Reviews 120 BPM Starring Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois And Adèle Haenel

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Professor Marston & The Wonder Woman

500 Days Of Film Reviews Professor Marston & The Wonder Women Starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall And Bella Heathcote

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I, Tonya

500 Days Of Film Reviews I, Tonya Starring Margot Robbie, Allison Janney And Sebastian 

Stan

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The Post

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Post Starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep

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Darkest Hour

500 Days Of Film Reviews Darkest Hour Starring Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn And Lily James

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All The Money In The World

500 Days Of Film Reviews All The Money In The World Starring Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer and Mark Wahlberg

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Born To Be Blue

500 Days Of Film Reviews Bio-Pic, Born To Be Blue, Starring Ethan Hawke

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Maudie

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Maudie, Starring Sally Hawkins And Ethan Hawke

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2017's Best True Life Films

500 Days Of Film Reviews 2017's Best True Life Films

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The Disaster Artist

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Disaster Artist Starring James Franco And Dave Franco

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Battle Of The Sexes

500 Days Of Film Reviews Battle Of The Sexes Starring Emma Stone And Steve Carell

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Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool

500 Days Of Film Reviews Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool Starring Annette Bening And Jamie Bell

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Only The Brave

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Only The Brave, Starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges And Jennifer Connelly

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Borg Vs McEnroe

500 Days Of Film Reviews Sports Bio-Pic, Borg Vs McEnroe, Starring Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason, Stellan Skarsgård And Tuva Novotny

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First They Killed My Father

500 Days Of Film Reviews First They Killed My Father Starring Sareum Srey Moch

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Detroit

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Detroit, Starring John Boyega, Algee Smith, Anthony Mackie And Will Poulter

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American Made

500 Days Of Film Reviews Real Life Drama, American Made, Starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson And Sarah Wright

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Wind River

500 Days Of Film Reviews Thriller, Wind River, Starring Jeremy Renner And Elizabeth Olsen

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Dunkirk

500 Days Of Film Reviews Dunkirk Starring Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy

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Denial

500 Days Of Film Reviews True-Life Drama, Denial, Starring Rachel Wiesz, Timothy Spall, Tom Wilkinson And Andrew Scott

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The End Of The Tour

500 Days Of Film Reviews Bio-Pic Drama, The End Of The Tour, Starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg

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The Promise

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, The Promise, Starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte le Bon

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10 True Life Movies

500 Days Of Film Reviews 10 Films Based On True Life Events

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Patriots Day

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Patriots Day, Starring Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons And Kevin Bacon

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The Founder

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, The Founder, Starring Michael Keaton

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Hidden Figures

500 Days Of Film Reviews Real Life Drama, Hidden Figures, Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner

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Loving

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Loving, Starring Ruth Negga And Joel Edgerton

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Christine

500 Days Of  Film Reviews True Life Drama, Christine, Starring Rebecca Hall

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Hacksaw Ridge

500 Days Of Film Reviews True-Life Drama, Hacksaw Ridge, Starring Andrew Garfield

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Jackie

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Jackie, Starring Natalie Portman

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Lion

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Lion, Starring Dev Patel And Nicole Kidman

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The Young Offenders

500 Days Of Film Reviews Comedy, The Young Offenders, Starring Alex Murphy, Chris Walley And Hilary Rose

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I Saw The Light

500 Days Of Film Reviews Biopic, I Saw The Light, Starring Tom Hiddleston And Elizabeth Olsen

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

500 Days Of Film Reviews Comedy, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Starring Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman And Billy Bob Thornton

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Sully

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Sully, Starring Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart And Laura Linney

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A United Kingdom

500 Days Of Film Reviews Real Life Drama, A United Kingdom, Starring Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo and Jack Davenport

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Zodiac

500 Days Of Film Reviews David Fincher's Classic Thriller, Zodiac, Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. And Mark Ruffalo

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A Street Cat Named Bob

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, A Street Cat Named Bob, Starring Luke Treadaway And Bob The Cat

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Elvis & Nixon

500 Days Of Film Reviews Comedy, Elvis & Nixon, Starring Michael Shannon And Kevin Spacey

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Deepwater Horizon

500 Days Of Film Reviews Deepwater Horizon Starring Mark Wahlberg And Kurt Russell. 

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The Clan

500 Days Of Film Reviews True-Life Crime Drama, The Clan, Starring Guillermo Francella And Peter Lanzani

 

In early 1980s Argentina, a seemingly normal family, in the traditional neighborhood of San Isidro, hides a terrible secret.

 

They make a living out of kidnap and murder.

 

All are, to a greater or lesser extent, complicit in these crimes. Father, Arquímedes Puccio (Guillermo Francella), meticulously plans the operations. Meanwhile, his eldest son, Alejandro (Peter Lanzani), helps by identifying possible kidnapping candidates.

 

However, as Argentina moves from a military dictatorship towards democracy, the immunity granted to Arquímedes begins to fade - putting his entire family at risk.  

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Good Vibrations

500 Days Of Film Reviews Musical Bio-Pic, Good Vibrations, Starring Richard Dormer and Jodie Whittaker

 

In 1970s Belfast, a bloody conflict (known as the Troubles) decimated the city and forced friends to take sides.

 

On the most bombed half-mile in Europe, music lover Terri Hooley opens a record shop called Good Vibrations. 

 

While running his store, Hooley discovers a compelling voice of resistance in the city's nascent underground punk scene. While at a gig, Hooley has an epiphany - this is the music that could break through the hatred.

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Trumbo

500 Days Of Film Reviews Trumbo Starring Oscar Nominated Bryan Cranston

 

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood’s top movie screenwriter.

 

Trumbo’s life was changed forever when he was jailed and blacklisted for his political beliefs.

 

However, Trumbo refused to let fear and isolation stop him from writing. Instead, for 13 years, he used words to win two (uncredited) Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice of the blacklist.

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Belle

500 Days Of Film Reviews Belle: Amma Asante’s Gorgeous And Thought Provoking Costume Drama

 

Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. 

 

Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Chief Justice Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage allows her access to many privileges.

 

However, the colour of her skin prevents her from fully participating in society. 

 

When Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son, she risks everything to help him shape Lord Mansfield's view of slavery in England.

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Florence Foster Jenkins

500 Days Of Film Reviews Florence Foster Jenkins And Finds A Charming And Poignant Tale Of Courage And Passion 

 

Director, Stephen Frears’, latest film tells the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep), the legendary New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great opera singer. 

 

The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was awful. And yet, they loved her.

 

Her “husband” and manager, St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence. 

 

However, when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St Clair knew that he could no longer shield her from the truth.

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Eddie The Eagle

500 Days Of Film Reviews Eddie The Eagle Starring Taron Egerton In The True Story Of Britain’s Unlikely Olympic Hero 

 

Eddie The Eagle is the inspirational story of Eddie Edwards who set out to become Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

 

Against the odds, and with the help of washed up former ski jumper Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and touches the hearts of millions. 

 

Despite coming last (by quite some way) Eddie embodied the true spirit of the Olympics. After all, as the founder of the games, Pierre de Coubertin, famously said: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

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Bridge Of Spies

500 Days Of Film Reviews Bridge Of Spies And Finds A Remarkable Film About A Remarkable True Story

 

In the midst of the Cold War, American insurance lawyer, James Donovan (Tom Hanks), is recruited to defend captured Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance).

 

No one expects or wants Donovan to do more than an adequate job. In the eyes of the courts and society in general, Abel is guilty and should be sentenced to death. 

 

However, Donovan believes that it is his duty to uphold the American constitution and defend Abel to the very best of his ability.

 

His case for the defense falls on resolutely deaf ears until Donovan suggests that a living Abel could prove invaluable should the US need to negotiate the release of one of their own.  ,

 

His insight is proved correct when US pilot, Frances Gary Powers, is captured by Soviet Russia. Donovan then finds himself at the very center of negotiations for an unprecedented spy swap.

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10 Utterly Gripping True Crime Documentaries

At the beginning of this year, I found myself hopelessly addicted to Netflix’s Making A Murderer.

 

It became quite a problem as all I wanted to do was binge watch this remarkable true crime series. 

 

I was, of course, not alone. Making A Murderer has become quite the international phenomenon. 

 

The only trouble with binge watching a television series is that I tend to feel utterly lost once it has finished. Do you find that too?

 

This prompted me to look for other true crime documentaries … and boy did I find some superb films.

 

In this post, I will list my top ten true crime documentaries (taken from the films that I have watched during my 500 Days Of Film Challenge).

 

All of these films come highly recommended. Just a few words of warning - for maximum enjoyment and impact… watch first and Google later :)

 

Top 10 True Crime Documentaries

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127 Hours

500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, 127 Hours, Starring James Franco

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Spotlight

500 Days Of Film Reviews Spotlight And Finds A Powerful Film About A Scandal That Rocked The World

 

Spotlight tells the true story of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into allegations of child abuse in the Catholic Church.

 

The year-long investigation by the newspaper’s Spotlight team of reporters would find a cover-up at the very highest levels of Boston’s establishment.

 

For as the film states: it may take a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to abuse one. 

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Fruitvale Station

500 Days Of Film Reviews Fruitvale Station And Finds A Moving Depiction Of A Tragic True Story

 

In the early hours of 1 January 2009, Oscar Grant made his way home after celebrating the New Year with his girlfriend and friends in San Francisco. 

 

Grant, following his mother’s advice, had decided not to drive into the city and, instead, to travel home by train.

 

 

However, a fight in the packed carriage led to the arrival of the police. Grant and his friends were detained on the platform of Fruitvale Station. 

 

Minutes later, Grant was shot in the back by Bay Area Rapid Transit policeman, Johannes Mehserle. He died in hospital.

 

Oscar Grant was only 22 years old.

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Testament Of  Youth

500 Days Of Film Reviews Testament Of Youth And Finds A True Story Of Love, War And Remembrance

 

Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander) is a feisty, independent young woman who has to overcome her family’s prejudices in order to secure a scholarship to Oxford. 

 

She is thrilled by the new literary life that awaits her at university - an experience she hopes to share with new love Roland (Kit Harington).

 

However, all her dreams are shattered following the start of World War One. First Roland and then her brother, Edward, sign up.

 

Vera soon realises that she cannot continue her education while her friends and loved ones fight for their country. As a result, she volunteers as a nurse. Nothing could prepare her for the tragedies to follow.

 

After the end of the war, Vera decided to publish her memoir. This was her way of both honouring those she lost and also showing the horrific futility of war.

 

Vera's testimony would become a bestseller - one of the few books to detail a woman’s experience of World War One.

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Love & Mercy

500 Days Of Film Reviews Love & Mercy And Finds A Superb And Moving Film About Musical Genius, Brian Wilson.

 

In the 1960s, Beach Boys co-founder, Brian Wilson (Paul Dano) is interested in only one thing - getting the music he can hear in his head out into the world.

 

Wilson is both obsessed and tormented by this process - often to the anger and frustration of his fellow band members and those around him.

 

However, the final product, Wilson's music, is wonderful. It's innovative, it's beautiful. And the world wants more.

 

Years later, Wilson (John Cussak) is struggling with mental health issues - his musical genius imprisoned by manipulative psychiatrist, Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamati).

 

Car saleswoman, Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks), may be Wilson's only hope for salvation.    

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The Big Short

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Big Short And Finds A Hugely Entertaining True Story About The Global Financial Collapse

 

It’s 2005 and San Jose-based money manager, Dr Michael Burry (Christian Bale), has made a startling discovery.

 

For years, financial products have been created by bundling hundreds of residential mortgages together.

 

These financial instruments have then been sold on the basis that the housing market is a good, safe (as houses) bet. 

 

However, Burry spots something that few other financial experts have noticed (or wanted to notice). The housing market is a bubble that is going to burst. The home loans on which these complex financial products have been based are bad and will default - and the entire global financial market is at risk from the fallout.

 

Burry also sees an opportunity for his investors. He asks a number of banks to structure a financial instrument (called a credit default swap) that will, in return for a regular premium payment, pay out in the event of a default in these underlying subprime mortgages.

 

The banks are only too happy to oblige. They almost rub their hands together with glee. After all, who in their right mind would bet against the mortgage industry? Who indeed.

 

News of Burry’s discovery soon gets out and Wall Street banker, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), persuades hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) and his team to invest millions in the strategy.

 

Meanwhile, young money managers, Jaime Shipley (Finn Wittrock) and Charlie Geller (John Magaro) also find out about Burry’s controversial financial position. Unable to get a seat at the big boy’s table, they enlist the help of disillusioned ex-banker, Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt).

 

 

In 2008, the mortgage market finally crashes. Those who have gone short and bet against the banks make a fortune. However, they are all too aware that their success has come at a very high price for millions of people.

Is It Any Good?

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The Danish Girl

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Danish Girl And Finds An Important And Moving Story About A Transgender Pioneer

 

The Danish Girl is a love story.

 

Dutch artists Einar Elbe and Gerda Wegener have been married for six years when they both realise that Einar is a woman, Lili, trapped inside the body of a man.

 

The couple go on a remarkable, emotional journey as Lili examines her transgender identity and seeks to become one of the first recipients of sex reassignment surgery. 

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Steve Jobs

500 Days Of Film Reviews Steve Jobs And Finds An Intense and Powerful Film About An Intense And Difficult Man


Steve Jobs is not a biopic.  


It may look like a biopic, some people may have wanted it to be a biopic, but this film is most definitely not a biopic. 


What is it then, you might (understandably) ask. It is a dramatisation of several key points of friction in Steve Jobs' life.


It focuses on the conflicts between Jobs and his ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, between Jobs and Lisa Brennan (the daughter that he, at first, refused to accept), between Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and between Jobs and Apple CEO, John Sculley.


Adopting a theatrical three act structure, the film takes us behind the scenes as Jobs prepares to launch three key technological innovations. Here, we build up a picture of Steve Jobs the man - conflict by conflict.

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Behind The Candelabra

500 Days Of Film Reviews Behind The Candelabra And Finds An Entertaining Movie With An Astounding Performance From Michael Douglas. 


It was on the set of his 2000 film Traffic that Steven Soderbergh first mentioned his Liberace project to Michael Douglas.

 

Fast forward thirteen years to 2013 and the director attended Behind The Candelabra’s international premiere at The Cannes Film Festival.


The catalyst that drove the film from concept to finished product? The publication of Scott Thorson’s memoir about his life and relationship with Liberace. 


This gave Soderbergh an entry point into a story that is less about the bling and more about relationships and their complexities. 

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Rush

500 Days Of Film Reviews Rush And Finds That The True Star Of Rush Is Its Cinematographer


Rush is Ron Howard’s 2013 film about the fierce rivalry between Formula One race drivers Niki Lauder and James Hunt.


This is a fabulous film and (much like Asif Kapadia’s Senna) is well worth watching whether you are a motor racing fan or not.


Chris Hemsworth is impressive as James Hunt and Daniel Brühl turns in a haunting performance as Lauder. Howard’s direction is superb and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is brilliant.


However, the real star of the show (for me) is its cinematographer, Antony Dod Mantle. I was left astounded by the look and feel of Rush. I left the film desperate to find out more about how this film created such realistic and gripping F1 racing scenes.

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Suffragette

500 Days Of Film Reviews Suffragette And Finds A Shocking And Moving Story Of Struggle And Sacrifice 


All they wanted was the vote. However, at the beginning of the 20th century and after fifty years of peaceful protest, Britain's suffragette movement was no closer to achieving this aim. 


Desperate and frustrated, factions within the movement decided the time had come for civil disobedience.


Suffragette tells the story of one group of women who are willing to risk everything to stand up and fight for their rights - and ours.

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Pride

500 Days Of Film Reviews Pride And Finds A Funny And Moving Film About Solidarity


In a small Welsh town, deep in the valleys, lies a community in trouble.


The year is 1984 and the people of Onllwyn are struggling to cope during the miner’s strike.


The difficulties facing these miners is then recognised by a group of people in London who decide to raise awareness and money to help.


The group - Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) - decide to take the money that they have raised to Onllwyn - but are the people there ready for their visit?

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The Walk

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Walk And Finds An Exhilarating And Moving Film About Philippe Petit’s Death Defying Wire Walk


In 1974, Frenchman Philippe Petit fixed an illegal wire between the two World Trade Center towers.


He then walked and danced on this wire for 45 minutes. 


1,350 feet above ground, Petit didn’t have so much as a safety harness - because that would be cheating.


Of course.

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Zero Dark Thirty

500 Days Of Film Reviews Zero Dark Thirty And Finds A Gripping Story... But Fails To Understand The Controversy


On 2nd May 2011, a team of US special forces operatives based in Afghanistan climbed on board two stealth helicopters and traveled to a compound 120 miles inside Pakistan.


40 minutes after they arrived, five men from the compound were dead. One of those men was Osama bin Laden.



Zero Dark Thirty looks examines the hunt for bin Laden, the intelligence that was gathered and the almost obsessive dedication of those responsible for finding him. 

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Everest

500 Days Of Film Reviews Everest And Finds A Moving And Exhilarating True Story


“Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitude of a 747” - Rob Hall, Everest


On 10th May 1996, Rob Hall (played by Jason Clarke) set out to guide a group of experienced climbers to the summit of Mount Everest. 


The expedition was organised by Hall’s business, Adventure Consultants, which pioneered the commercialization of Everest.   


However, on that day things started to go wrong. Tragically wrong.


The trek became overcrowded with climbers, mountain ropes were not fixed properly and oxygen tanks went missing. 


When a massive storm hit the mountain, Hall and his group were left stranded - each trying to survive the night, each suffering in the most brutal conditions.

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American Sniper

500 Days Of Film Reviews American Sniper And Finds The Powerful Story Behind A Sniper’s Experience Of War


Chris Kyle was a US Navy SEAL.


Nicknamed The Legend, he was the most lethal sniper in US military history with over 160 kills officially confirmed by the country’s Department of Defense.


American Sniper is Kyle’s story - a story that looks at why he joined the military, how he coped with what he was asked to do and what happened when he finally returned home.

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Snowtown

500 Days Of Film Reviews Snowtown And Finds A Hard To  Watch, Horrific True Story


Jaime lives with his mother and two younger brothers in a disenfranchised suburb of Adelaide in South Australia.


He is deeply unhappy and feels frustrated with his life, its lack of stability and hope. 


Things change meets John. John is a charismatic man who starts to turn Jamie’s house into a home.


He provides the whole family with the support and structure that they so desperately crave.


John soon becomes a mentor for Jamie - showing him how to make his way in the world and how to protect himself from those who would do him harm. 


However, Jamie realises that John is not all he seems and that his protector is by far the most dangerous person in his life.


However, by then it is far too late.

Is It Any Good?

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Fair Game

Fair Game Film Review www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews Fair Game And Finds An Engaging Thriller And A Moral Dilemma


Fair Game tells the story of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame (played here by Naomi Watts) who, in 2003, was outed by the US 

government in retaliation for claims made by her husband, former US diplomat, Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn).


In 2002, Wilson had been tasked by the CIA to visit Niger in order to discover if Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy nuclear materials in the country. He found no evidence of this attempt. 


However, the US government ignored his findings and used the attempted purchase as one of the grounds for a potential invasion of Iraq. 


Wilson could not stand by and watch the US government use incorrect intelligence information as a basis for war. As a result, he wrote an article for The New York Times called “What I Didn’t Find In Africa”. 


In his piece, Wilson states that: “Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”  


In an attempt to discredit and silence Wilson, the US government leaked Valerie’s identity to Washington Post journalist Robert Novak. This act ended Valerie’s career in the CIA and also put her, her family and her contacts in danger.

Is It Any Good?

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The Fighter

The Fighter Review www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Fighter And Finds An Enjoyable True Story About The Ward Boxing Brothers


The Fighter is based on the 1990s true story of Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) as he stands on the cusp of achieving success as a welterweight boxer. 


Trying to move his career forward towards more serious matches, Micky starts to question the abilities and motivations of his mother/manager Alice Ward (superbly played by Melissa Leo) and his trainer - elder brother and ex professional boxer Dicky (Christian Bale).  


Dicky is hailed as ‘The Pride Of Lowell” (Massachusetts) after his 1978 fight with Sugar Ray Leonard when he knocked Leonard down and eventually won the match. However, since then, Dicky’s life has spiralled downwards - he lives in the past, is delusional about his future and has become addicted to crack. 


Micky is torn between his feelings of loyalty towards his family who may be standing in his way and his aspirations as a boxer. 

Is It Any  Good?

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United 93

United 93 Review - www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews United 93 And Remembers 11 September 2001. 


United 93 tells the story of the passengers and crew on board one of the flights that was hijacked on the 11th September 2001.


The film portrays the attempt to overthrow the hijackers and how that brave act stopped the terrorists from reaching their intended target - The White House. 


United 93 also gives a fascinating, real time account of how the relevant air traffic controllers dealt with the events of that terrible day.


United 93 eventually crashed near Shanksville in Pennsylvania with the loss of all on board.

Is It Any Good?

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The King's Speech

The King's Speech Review - www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews The King’s Speech And Finds a Fabulously Royal Film With An Unlikely Friendship


In 1936 King King Edward VIII abdicated the throne, forcing his reluctant brother to take his place and become King George VI. 


Thrust into a new media world where monarch’s are expected to make stirring speeches via the radio, King George battles with his stammer - something he cannot get to grips with no matter how many marbles he is forced to stick in his mouth. 


Then he meets an unorthodox Australian speech therapist who, while helping him with his stammer, soon becomes a true friend.

Is It Any Good?

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Of Gods And Men

Of Gods And Men Review - 500 Days Of Film

500 Days Of Film Reviews Of Gods And Men And Finds A Powerful And Heartbreaking Film About Faith, Friendship And Sacrifice


A group of French monks, living in The Monastery Notre-Dame de l'Atlas of Tibhirine in Algeria, come under threat from Islamist rebel groups fighting in the country’s civil war.


Algerian government officials warn the monks of the danger that they face from the rebels and urge them to leave their monastery. However, the monks are conflicted. They do not want to become easy targets and yet they are also deeply reluctant to desert their community.


Each monk must examine his faith and choose to stay... or to leave.

Is It Any Good?

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Made In Dagenham

Made In Dagenham Film Review -  500 Days Of Film

500 Days Of Film Reviews Made In Dagenham And Finds A Powerful, Emotional Film That Tells An Extremely Important Story

 

I have something terrible to admit. I didn’t realise what this film was about and judged it, purely from its title, to be a geezery, crime flick that I just didn’t care to watch.


Could I have been more wrong? I don’t actually think it is possible. And this is one of the reasons why I am doing this film challenge.


I can’t  bear to think that I may never have seen this wonderful film.


Made In Dagenham tells the story of Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) a machinist in Ford’s factory in Dagenham. In 1968, O'Grady inspires her fellow workers to go on a strike that would later lead to the advent of the Equal Pay Act.   

Is It Any Good?

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The Social Network

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Social Network And Finds A Fascinating Film About The Anti-Social People Who Created Facebook


The Social Network is the first movie of my 500 Days Of Film challenge that I had already seen.

 

However, (scarily) it has been a good few years since I watched this film about the creation of Facebook.


Well, hang on, actually this film isn’t about Facebook. It is about the theft of intellectual property. And who wouldn’t want to watch a film about that?

Is It Any Good?

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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


Disclaimer:

This site contains my own

thoughts and opinions on

films. Other opinions are

available but may not be correct.