Darkest Hour (2017)

Only 8 months into a global war that would last 6 years, Britain reached a pivotal point that almost led to the end of the empire.  Darkest Hour focuses in on May 1940 as Neville Chamberlain, played by Ronald Pickup, resigns as prime minister and Winston Churchill, played by Gary Oldman, takes over the premiership.  While Churchill’s war council is pushing for peace negotiations, he is forced to stand alone for the fight against Hitler.  At least, that is how the situation is portrayed in Darkest Hour.

Founder, The (2016)

The Founder follows Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton, as he transitions from a milk shake maker salesman to ‘founding’ the biggest name in fast food.  His duplicitous behavior helped bring him riches beyond his wildest imagination, but at the cost of both business and personal relationships.  The director, John Lee Hancock, straddles the benevolent nature of big business by showcasing Kroc’s success through self-fulfilling perseverance and blatant disregard for anyone else.  His desire to maintain forward momentum left many behind him in his wake in order for one the best business models to date to flourish.  Good, wholesome, intentions overpowered by greed and pride is at the heart of this film.  Did Richard and Maurice McDonald lack the follow-through to execute a venture on this magnitude or were they just steamrolled by an ambitious cutthroat?

Hell or High Water (2016)

Hell or High Water follows two brothers, Foster and Pine, as they crusade through West Texas with a carefully crafted bank robbing system.  Tepid on their trail are the Texas Rangers, Bridges and Birmingham.  The film falls victim to a few western clichés, the robin hood story and the soon-to-be retired Ranger on board for one last hurrah, however the story has some unexpected turns and is nimble and poignant in terms of lower class society.  The film touches on several relevant themes to the current social climate, including: the banking system, race, greed, and the effects all of these have on the working class.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

I was a little nervous going into this film.  With the resurgence of Star Wars films in the last 17 years there has certainly been some ups and downs and more downs than ups.  I enjoyed the recent addition to the saga, but was unclear as to how this film was going to fit in with the Star Wars story.  My initial impression was that this film would be the first part of a new trilogy, but I am glad that this is a standalone piece that fits in spectacularly with the original trilogy.

Little Prince, The (2016)

The Little Prince is a creatively reimagined retelling of the original novella, written by Antoine deSaint-Exupéry.  While not a direct adaptation, Osborne still succeeds in capturing the essence of the 1943 tale that is engaging enough for children and thoughtful enough for adults.  The film blends together a modern narrative, in the 3d animation format, and an interspersed recollection of the story “The Little Prince”, in stop motion.