PANIC ROOM
2002, Sony Repertory, 112 min, USA, Dir: David Fincher

When Jodie Foster and her daughter (a pre-TWILIGHT Kristen Stewart) move into their spacious New York brownstone, they are intrigued to find it includes a high-security safe room - which comes in handy when intruders Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto and Dwight Yoakam come looking for a treasure that belonged to a previous occupant.


REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
2000, Lionsgate, 101 min, USA, Dir: Darren Aronofsky

Writer-director Darren Aronofsky adapted the Hubert Selby, Jr., novel about mothers, sons, drugs and letting your demons take over your rational self. Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, Jennifer Connelly and an Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn turn in stellar performances in this hard-hitting film about the corrosive nature of addiction in all its forms. Once again working with PI cinematographer Matthew Libatique, Aronofsky juggles characters’ subjective and external worlds with an innovative visual style to evoke a nightmare that’s impossible to shake.


DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
2013, Focus Features, 117 min, USA, Dir: Jean-Marc Vallée

There was only one government-approved drug for AIDS in 1985, but it failed to work for Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), so the Dallas man sought out alternative treatments. With the help of his doctor (Jennifer Garner) and a fellow patient (Jared Leto), Woodroof began smuggling and supplying anti-viral medications to a growing number of people – until the FDA and pharmaceutical interests caught wind of his work. Gaunt and intense, McConaughey and Leto deliver career-best performances as unlikely warriors against a toxic tide of disease, greed and bureaucracy.


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