Oslo, Parasite, Joker, After We Collided, Greenland, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Just Mercy, The Way Back
OSLO | Stream now
HBO’s riveting political drama Oslo is based on the true-life, previously secret, back-channel negotiations in the development of the pivotal 1990s Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Starring Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair) as Mona Juul, a Norwegian foreign minister, and Emmy nominee Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) as Terje Rød-Larsen, a Norwegian sociologist and Mona’s husband, the film details the secret talks, unlikely friendships and quiet heroics of a small but committed group of Israelis, Palestinians and one Norwegian couple.
Rounding out the cast are Salim Dau (Fauda) as Ahmed Qurie, finance minister of the PLO; Waleed Zuaiter (Ramy) as Hassan Asfour, Qurie’s associate & PLO liaison; and Jeff Wilbusch (Unorthodox) as Uri Savir, director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Variety’s Award Circuit has already tipped the film as a late contender for Best TV Movie at this year’s Emmys.
PARASITE | Stream now
Considered one of the best films of the century so far, the South Korean black comedy thriller Parasite won over 300 awards worldwide, including the Cannes Palme d’Or, a Golden Globe, two BAFTAs, and four 2020 Oscars: Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film and – a first-ever for a non-English language film – Best Picture.
Co-written and directed by Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host, Mother, Okja), Parasite weaves a tale of class discrimination and greed as a poor family schemes to infiltrate a wealthy household by posing as highly qualified, unrelated individuals.
Vulture calls Parasite “a nerve-racking masterpiece,” saying, “You expect Parasite to be one thing, but it mutates into something else,” while New York Times says it’s “Bong at his best” in “an urgent story of class, told in the most sensationally entertaining way.”
#30 in IMDb’s Top Rated Movies of all time, with an 8.6/10 score, Parasite has a 98% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed over $250 million at the 2019 global box office. In IndieWire’s 2019 poll of over 300 critics, Parasite ranked #1 in the Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Foreign Film categories, with 77 first places and mentions on the year-end top 10 lists of over 240 critics as aggregated by Metacritic.
IMDb’s 65th highest-rated film of all time, and the sixth biggest box office hit of 2019, Joker won 2020 Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Critics Choice Awards for Joaquin Phoenix (Best Actor) and Hildur Guðnadóttir (Best Score), as well as over 100 other awards around the world.
Joker centres on Arthur Fleck, a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night… but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study of the iconic arch nemesis.
Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover), Joker also stars Oscar winner Robert De Niro (Raging Bull,The Godfather: Part II), Emmy nominees Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2, Atlanta) and Bill Camp (The Queen’s Gambit, The Night Of), Golden Globe winner Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, American Horror Story), and three-time Screen Actors Guild Award winner Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire, American Hustle).
THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY & THE HOBBIT TRILOGY | Binge from 29 July
The ultimate epic fantasy binge, The Lord of the Rings trilogy includes The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.
Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth and based on the classic, bestselling novel by Bloemfontein-born JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings follows hobbit Frodo Baggins as he and the Fellowship undertake a dangerous quest to destroy the One Ring and ensure the downfall of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron.
Shot in the epic landscapes of New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings’ ensemble cast includes Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Sir Christopher Lee, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Liv Tyler, Andy Serkis, Sean Bean, John Rhys-Davies, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, and Dominic Monaghan.
The trilogy won 17 Oscars, grossed almost $3 billion worldwide, and is still considered one of the most influential film series ever produced, with both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King in IMDb’s top 10 highest-rated films of all time list.
Also watch The Hobbit trilogy: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies on Showmax ahead of the upcoming TV series, tentatively due later this year and set to be the most expensive TV series ever made.
AFTER WE COLLIDED | Stream from 12 July
Calling all Afternators: After We Collided, the 30th biggest box office hit of 2020 globally, continues the romantic saga of Tessa and Hardin, following Hessa’s intense breakup and its aftermath. Will love overcome the past?
As Tessa and Hardin, Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin reprise their Teen Choice-winning roles from the first film, After, which won the 2019 People’s Choice and Teen Choice Awards for Favourite Drama Movie. Three-time Kids Choice winner Dylan Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) joins the cast as Hardin’s competition for Tessa.
GREENLAND| Stream from 22 July
MTV Movie Award winner Gerard Butler (300, Angel Has Fallen) and Emmy nominee Morena Baccarin (Homeland, Deadpool) must survive a planet-killing comet in the action drama Greenland, directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Angel Has Fallen).
Listing it at #8 on their list of the Best-reviewed Sci-fi/Fantasy Movies of 2020, Rotten Tomatoes says, “To prove once and for all 2020 was a crazy year, Gerard Butler was actually in a movie critics like: Greenland, his first Certified Fresh live-action movie since 2011’s Corolianus.” (Perhaps, as Time Out puts it, because “Gerard Butler finally faces an adversary he can’t punch”).
JUST MERCY | Stream from 8 July
Emmy nominee Michael B Jordan (Black Panther, Creed) and Oscar winners Jamie Foxx (Ray, Baby Driver, Django: Unchained) and Brie Larson (Room, Captain Marvel) star in Just Mercy, about a civil rights defence attorney working to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.
Award-winning filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, The Glass Castle) directed Just Mercy from a screenplay he co-wrote, based on the award-winning non-fiction bestseller by Bryan Stevenson.
Just Mercy has an 85% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won 2020 NAACP Image Awards for Best Film, Best Actor (Jordan) and Best Supporting Actor (Foxx), as well as the Freedom of Expression award from the National Board of Review and audience awards at Mill Valley, St, Louis and Virginia film festivals, among other awards. Just Mercy was also nominated for 2020 Black Reel, Screen Actors Guild and BET Awards, among others.
THE WAY BACK | Stream from 15 July
Back in high school, Jack Cunningham (Oscar winner Ben Affleck from Argo) had everything going for him. A basketball phenomenon, he could have punched his ticket to college or even the pros, but, instead, he chose to walk away from the game, forfeiting his future.
Jack’s glory days are long gone but, as it turns out, not forgotten. Years later, he gets the chance to take back his life when he is asked to coach the struggling basketball team at his alma mater. Jack reluctantly accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boys start to come together as a team and win, Jack may get his last shot at redemption…
Directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, The Accountant), The Way Back earned Affleck a 2020 People’s Choice and 2021 Critics Choice nomination, among other honours. The film has an 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Atlantic praising “the rawest and most natural performance Affleck has given in his career.”
ROBIN’S WISH | Stream from 16 July
Ahead of what would have been legendary Oscar-winning comedian Robin Williams’ 70th birthday on 21 July, the documentary Robin’s Wish tells the story of what really happened to one of the greatest entertainers of all time – and the devastating disease his mind was fighting in the lead up to his tragic suicide in 2014.
Featuring interviews with the people who knew and loved Robin, from his widow, Susan Williams, to the many directors who worked with him, the documentary holds an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Robin’s Wish offers an emotional look at the end of a life suddenly cut short — and pays warm tribute to the brilliant legacy that was left behind.”
Wall Street Journal says Robin’s Wish “offers a portrait in unfathomable courage. It’s a horror story shackled to a hero’s journey in which a man with a surpassingly fertile mind feels himself – his deepest, essential self – coming inexorably, inexplicably undone.”
Also watch the award-winning HBO documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind on Showmax.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
ROCKY BOXSET | Binge from 19 July
Sylvester Stallone’s legendary Rocky franchise is arguably the first and last word in boxing dramas, grossing a collective $1.7 billion over three decades at the worldwide box office. Along the way, the films picked up 12 Oscar nominations (including Best Actor for Stallone), with three wins, including Best Picture and Best Director for the 1976 classic that started it all. The full Rocky boxset: Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, and Rocky Balboa, is coming to Showmax on 19 July.
THE EDGE OF TOMORROW | Stream from 19 July
Three-time Oscar nominee Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible) is a soldier caught in a time loop as he relives the same day over and over again in a war against a force of alien invaders in the 2014 science fiction blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow, which grossed over $370 million, won a Critics Choice Award (for Emily Blunt), and holds a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
TRAINING DAY | Stream from 22 July
Denzel Washington won an Oscar for Best Actor, with Ethan Hawke nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the 2001 crime thriller Training Day, which follows two LAPD narcotics officers over a 24-hour period in the ganglands of Los Angeles.
I AM LEGEND |Stream from22 July
Oscar nominee Will Smith (Men In Black) is the last man on Earth (except for all the ones that want to eat him) in the seventh-biggest film of 2007 (with a global gross of $585 million), I Am Legend. Smith won Best Actor for the role at the MTV Movie Awards and the Teen Choice Awards, where I Am Legend also won Choice Horror/Thriller.
KNOCKED UP | Stream now
A one night stand has unintended repercussions in the romantic comedy Knocked Up, directed by Judd Apatow (The King of Staten Island, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and starring Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, and Jason Segel. The film has an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and won a 2008 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Comedy, and two Teen Choice Awards, for Choice Comedy Movie and Choice Movie Hissy Fit, for Ryan Seacrest’s cameo scene.