Dir: Gerard Johnson
With: Peter Ferdinando, Stephen Graham
Runtime: 112 minutes
FOR this year's opening gala, festival organisers lined up the world premiere of Gerard Johnson's blistering British cops and geezers thriller. Peter Ferdinando plays a Lahndan drugs squad chief who has blurred the line so much between right and wrong it is in danger of disappearing. Dixon Of Dock Green he is not. Under pressure financially, personally and professionally, a run-in with an Albanian gang dealing in drugs and people trafficking could offer a way out, or a chance to sink further into the mess he has created. There is a whiff of television drama in the sometimes tired dialogue, but generous slugs of bleak humour and a picture-stealing performance from Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire, This is England) ensure this Hyena is no donkey.
To be released later in year
A Dangerous Game
Dir: Anthony Baxter
Runtime: 98 minutes
YOU'VE Been Trumped, Anthony Baxter's look at the tussle between Donald Trump and local objectors to his golf course in Aberdeenshire, was a hit across Scotland and internationally, and this new documentary deserves to repeat the feat. Baxter returns to Aberdeenshire from his home in Montrose to find out what has been going on since the cameras left, and then ventures further afield to Europe, America and beyond to show that what happened in Scotland was hardly a one-off. The highlight of this funny, penetrating, and timely film is a sit-down between The Donald and Baxter.
June 24, 20.35; June 28, 15.30, Cineworld.
Dir: Gia Coppola
With: James Franco, Emma Roberts
Runtime: 100 minutes
FROM the presence of James Franco, on whose short stories the film is based, to Gia Coppola (dad is something in the movies apparently) on directing duties, Palo Alto is a film that is indisputably in with the in-crowd. Whether you feel at home in its Californian embrace will depend on your tolerance for movies that are more about mood than substance. There is no real story to Palo Alto because the bored, lovelorn, confused teenage protagonists, plus Franco as a gym teacher, are the story. Watchable performances, from Emma Roberts in particular, and visually stylish (has a spilled milk shake ever looked so cool?) but has all the narrative heft of a jeans commercial.
Tonight, 20.15; Sunday, 13.00, Cineworld
Finding Vivian Maier
Dirs: John Maloof, Charles Siskel
Runtime: 84 minutes
JOHN Maloof and Charles Siskel's outstanding documentary started with a blind bid for a box of negatives at auction. The street scene photographs inside turned out to be stunning, and taken by a photographer named Vivian Maier. But who was she, and why, despite taking so many photographs of others, was this woman, who worked as a nanny and housekeeper throughout her life, seemingly so obsessed with remaining anonymous? Maloof and Siskel piece together a tale of a not so ordinary American life that only grows more bizarre and enthralling as the minutes tick by.
Tonight, 18.00, Filmhouse; tomorrow, 20.15, Cineworld Edinburgh
Dir: Ryan Piers Williams
With: America Ferrera, Ryan Piers Williams
Runtime: 83 minutes
SEX and the city noughties style comes under scrutiny in this slickly executed, New York-set ensemble drama starring America Ferrera (Ugly Betty, How to Train Your Dragon). In the way of such things, some of the strands are stronger than others, but the whole adds up to a piece that will leave you wondering, not always optimistically, about the state of affairs between modern men and women. Director Ryan Piers Williams also stars.
Tonight, 18.00; tomorrow, 18.30, Cineworld
Stations Of The Cross
Dir: Dietrich Bruggemann
With: Lea van Acken, FranzisKa Weisz
Runtime: 107 minutes
MARIA is 14 and determined to live a good life. But the standards set by her devout mother mean she feels a constant failure. German director Dietrich Bruggemann's slow burner of a drama charts Maria's trials as she tries to cope with the typical burdens of a teenager's life - boys, peer pressure, the lot - while trying to keep church and family happy. The oppressive atmosphere conjured by Bruggemann seeps off the screen, making for an impressive if uncomfortable watch.
June 23, 18.00, Odeon Lothian Road
We Are Monster
Dir: Antony Petrou
With: Leeshon Alexander, Aymen Hamdouchi
Runtime: 88 minutes
THE true, shocking story of what happened when a violent racist was placed in a cell at a Young Offenders Institution with a young Asian man is told in Antony Petrou's hard-hitting drama, which is in the running for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film. The up close and intense style would be more at home in the theatre than on a cinema screen, but Petrou and his two young stars work wonders within the budget.
Tomorrow, 20.30; Saturday, 18.00, Filmhouse