Annette Bening captivates as a single mother enlisting Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning to help raise her 15-year-old son in this funny, nuanced memoir of late-70s lifestyles from director Mike Mills (Beginners).
Kiwi filmmaker Toa Fraser showcases his action chops on the world stage with this true-story hostage thriller set in 1980s London. Starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish.
Colin Farrell plays a wounded Civil War mercenary under the care of a commune of young women, led by Nicole Kidman, in Sofia Coppola’s beautiful, feminist take on Don Siegel’s 1971 Southern Gothic psychodrama.
Mugen no junin
Japanese super director Miike Takashi, in no less than his 100th film, returns to the bloody mayhem of 13 Assassins with this brutal and boisterous manga adaptation about a vengeful samurai who can grow back his own limbs.
Filmed over two years in Indonesia, the Philippines, Hawaii and Australia, this beautifully crafted wake-up call to the state of the earth’s oceans profiles inspiring individuals working to preserve and protect marine life.
Disney’s famed nature documentary unit brings the epic journey of three animal families enduring China’s vast and unforgiving terrain spectacularly to the big screen.
This weird and wonderful indie comedy stars Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney as a man totally obsessed with a TV show about a bear saving the world. Also starring Greg Kinnear, Mark Hamill, Claire Danes.
This fascinating documentary about urban planning considers the continuing relevance of the showdown, half a century ago, between the activist Jane Jacobs and the Trumpian Robert Moses: a fight for the future of New York.
Sent only a single invitation, dry, sarcastic, maddening Mary (marvellous Seána Kerslake) sets out to find a date for her best friend’s wedding in this barbed and funny Irish romcom.
Winner of an Audience Award at SXSW, this fascinating feel-good doco introduces us to blind card magician Richard Turner, who learns a few new tricks as he comes to terms with visual impairment.
La novia del desierto
Paulina García (Gloria) plays an uprooted woman who stumbles into a new-found freedom with help from Claudio Rissi’s friendly stranger in this delicate and charming Argentinean debut feature.
This animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ graphic memoir of his parents’ lives is both humble and profound, with gorgeous renderings of Briggs’ justly famous lines. Featuring the voices of Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn.
The incredible journey of the Voyager spaceship is retraced by the women and men closest to the action in this exhilarating big-screen documentary.
In a character study directed with wry wit by Stanley Tucci, Geoffrey Rush plays Alberto Giacometti and Armie Hammer plays James Lord, his young American biographer who endured endless sittings in hope of a portrait.
World-champion freestyle skier Jossi Wells is the subject of Kiwi filmmaker Toa Fraser’s absorbing examination of extreme sportspeople and the relationship between fear and true freedom.
Gabriel e a montanha
Brazilian Fellipe Barbosa’s richly layered road movie retraces his friend’s Africa-on-$3-a-day travels through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, based on the fond recollections of the people he befriended along the way.
A simple story told with the simplest means, A Ghost Story tracks the progress of a ghost who can’t let go of the woman he loved and the house they shared, evoking a profoundly moving sense of existential disquiet.
In this adrenalised Cannes sensation from guerrilla-filmmaker siblings Josh and Benny Safdie, Robert Pattinson is riveting as a small-time criminal on a frantic nocturnal odyssey to break his brother out of custody.
Set in Zambia, the birthplace of writer-director Rungano Nyoni, this strange, engrossing feature addresses the continuing marginalisation of ‘witches’ and revolves around a nine-year-old girl accused of witchcraft.
This Oscar-nominated documentary draws an astonishing, challenging and utterly contemporary examination of race in the United States entirely from the writings and interview footage of civil rights icon James Baldwin.
In this nerve-shredding post-apocalyptic thriller plague stalks the land and water is scarce. Joel Edgerton, along with his wife and teenage son, fight for survival, barricaded into an abandoned lodge in the woods.
A courageous teenage boy explores the murky waters of a small Australian town in Rachel Perkins’ atmospheric, richly peopled adaptation of a popular Australian murder mystery.
More than just another example of cute kittens on camera, this documentary about the cats of Istanbul and the people who watch out for them exudes charm and insight that a million YouTube videos cannot match.
Kiki, el amor se hace
Anyone for harpaxophilia? How about somnophilia? In five intertwined mini-romcoms, a scorching summer heatwave intensifies the very particular desires of a collection of Madrid lovers. A major hit at the Spanish box office.
As Annie Goldson’s impressively detailed documentary clearly sets out the battle between Dotcom and the US Government and entertainment industry, it goes to the heart of ownership, privacy and piracy in the digital age.
This warm and humorous doco about Kobi Bosshard, widely regarded as the grandfather of contemporary New Zealand jewellery, explores his philosophy of life and work, as captured by his daughter Andrea Bosshard.
Supported by abundant footage, old and new, of spectacular dance and outstanding flamenco music, this intimate portrait is a loving tribute to the legendary gypsy dancer whose passion burns as strongly as ever.
Florence Pugh is mesmerising as she transmutes from nervous bride to femme fatale in this bracing British period drama based on a 19th century Russian classic.
Charlie Hunnam makes a commanding flawed hero as British Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett in a sweeping giant screen epic, filmed with rare intelligence by writer/director James Gray. With Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson.
Sally Hawkins delivers an unforgettable performance as Nova Scotian folk artist Maud Lewis, irrepressible despite arthritis and a churlish husband (Ethan Hawke), in this gently flowing biopic set in the 1930s.
Catherine Frot stars as a conscientious midwife reluctantly reconnecting with Catherine Deneuve as the flamboyant step-mother who absconded 30 years earlier, in this lively drama from writer/director Martin Provost (Séraphine)
A story-telling monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) helps a sleeping boy with his waking-life nightmares in this adaptation of Patrick Ness’ novel, spectacularly realised with lavish CGI and painterly animations.
A spectacular musical and cinematic collaboration, Jennifer Peedom’s new movie exalts the spellbinding force of the world’s great mountains – and the power they exercise over the human imagination.
My Life As a Zucchini
This soulful and subversive Oscar-nominated feature uses stop-motion animation to tell the story of an orphan named Courgette. From the key animator on Fantastic Mr Fox, and adapted for the screen by Girlhood’s Céline Sciamma.
In Hugh Macdonald’s fascinating and inspiring doco, his cousin, writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch, retraces a long life dedicated to sharing her understanding and love of New Zealand’s nature and history.
Music video director Geremy Jasper launches an unlikely rap star – a plus-size, white New Jersey rapper played by Aussie sensation Danielle Macdonald – in this high-energy feature debut.
This quietly charming, slightly surreal road movie features a bromance between an over-the-hill architect and his long-lost pet elephant as they escape Bangkok and head back to their village hometown.
Fighting the tough realities of their disadvantaged neighbourhood, Step follows three irrepressible young women in an enlightened Baltimore school as they prepare for college – and rehearse for step dance glory.
Catalan director Carla Simón’s award-winning dramatisation of her own experience as a six-year-old orphan adjusting to a new life in the country features the most remarkable and mesmerising child performances in years.
Taking its cue from its subjects, Julian Boshier’s all-access portrait of Head Like a Hole’s Nigel ‘Booga’ Beazley and Nigel Regan at home, on the road and in full roar on stage tells it like no other NZ music doco ever dared.
This epic sports doco captures the remarkable and unconventional life of legendary big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. Sweeping cinematography puts us in the lineup with a master playing the sea.
When accused of bartering her students’ grades for goods and services provided by their parents, a schoolteacher mounts a devious defence in this blackly funny dramedy set in the communist era.
Suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome but told by her doctor it was all in her head, journalist and academic Jennifer Brea started filming from her bed, contacting other sufferers via Skype, to explore the little understood condition.
When Margaret was diagnosed with a terminal disease in 2011, husband Stephen became her full-time carer. Filmed over four years, Gwen Isaac’s documentary provides an intimate account of ‘till death us do part’.
Rookie FBI agent Elizabeth Olsen teams with her Avengers co-star Jeremy Renner to investigate a mysterious death on an Indian reservation in this atmospheric western thriller directed by gun screenwriter Taylor Sheridan.