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Movies & TV

17th May 2024

One of the best crime thriller movies of the 21st century is on TV tonight

Stephen Porzio

Fans of the film Man on Fire will want to check out this similarly gritty crime thriller.

Our TV movie pick for tonight is the phenomenal 2017 neo-noir crime thriller You Were Never Really Here starring now Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix (Joker).

The film was adapted for the screen by the great writer-director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) from the novella of the same name from Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death)

Phoenix stars as Joe, a hired gun in New York traumatised by his life of violence who is known for rescuing trafficked girls and inflicting brutal pain upon their captors.

After he accepts a large sum of money to discreetly rescue Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), the abducted daughter of a New York State Senator, Joe becomes embroiled in a sinister conspiracy with far reaching implications – causing his life to spiral out of control.

You Were Never Really Here earned two awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival after its premiere – Best Actor for Phoenix and Best Screenplay for Ramsay – and it is easy to see why.

Ramsay’s gritty yet stylish direction works incredibly to place the viewer right inside Phoenix’s vigilante hero’s tortured psyche – in a way which actually recalls filmmaker Tony Scott’s work in another modern classic with a similar plot, Man on Fire.

And also like Man on Fire, while You Were Never Really Here deals with grim subject matter, it is ultimately a movie about redemption as the similarly traumatised Joe and Nina wind up helping each other out of the darkness.

Holding an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes and totalling only 90 minutes in length, You Were Never Really Here is airing on TV tonight on Film4 at 11.50pm.

It is also available to rent on Apple TV+, Curzon, Microsoft and Sky Store.

Here are the other movies on TV tonight:

Carlito’s Way – Film4 – 9pm

This incredible crime drama from director Brian De Palma (Scarface, The Untouchables) follows a criminal (Al Pacino) who vows to go straight and to retire in paradise.

His criminal past proves difficult to escape, however.

World War Z – E4 – 9pm

Brad Pitt stars in what is probably the biggest zombie movie of all time.

Stratton – Legend – 9pm

A British Special Boat Service commando (Dominic Cooper) tracks down an international terrorist cell in this action film from the director of Con Air.

Standoff – Legend Xtra – 9pm

In this thriller, a troubled veteran (Thomas Jane) gets a chance at redemption by protecting a young girl from an assassin (Laurence Fishburne) after she witnesses a murder.

Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie – RTÉ One – 9.35pm

Mrs. Brown (Brendan O’Carroll) headed to d’big screen with this 2014 comedy movie spin-off.

21 Bridges – Virgin Media One – 10pm

The late and great Chadwick Boseman stars as an NYPD officer on the hunt for two cop killers in this very solid action thriller that JOE has also recommended in the past.

Hope Gap – RTÉ Two – 10pm

Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor star in this British family drama.

Office Space – Comedy Central – 10.35pm

The beloved ’90s satirical comedy which takes aim at office work.

The Imitation Game – BBC One – 10.40pm

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as real-life cryptanalyst Alan Turing in the solid World War II thriller.

High Plains Drifter – TG4 – 11pm

The legendary Western with Clint Eastwood that we’ve also recommended before.

Dancing at Lughnasa – RTÉ One – 11.25pm

The adaptation of Irish playwright Brian Friel’s classic play starring Meryl Streep.

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