Thirteen Lives

Need to Know
One of three projects, including The Rescue from National Geographic, about the race to extract a group of young footballers and their coach who became trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018.

Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman

Why Is It Worth Watching?
You would have to have been living under a rock in June 2018 to have missed the story of the Wild Boars junior football team – 12 boys and their assistant coach Ekkaphon Chanthawong – who, after practice one day, took the fateful decision to explore the nearby Tham Luang cave. When the boys failed to return, their concerned parents went looking and discovered their bikes at the mouth of the flooded cave.
And so began a rollercoaster, nail-biting 18 days as a rescue attempt was plotted and successfully executed – totally against the odds.
Initially the Thai Navy Seals arrive, but it’s immediately clear that this is very far from their speciality and it falls to British Cave Rescue Council divers Richard Stanton (Viggo Mortensen) and John Valanthen (Colin Farrell), along with supporting divers Chris Jewell and Jason Mallinson and Australian doctor Richard Harris, to attempt the seemingly impossible.
From the ability of Ekkaphon to seemingly keep the boys calm through meditation, to the revelation that the youngsters were actually drugged during the final extraction, this is edge-of-the-seat stuff and, despite being fully aware of the ending, the quality of the acting and underwater cinematography makes it feel as if you are watching events in real time.

Bullet Train

Need to Know
Billed as an action comedy, Bullet Train is based on the 2010 novel Maria Beetle by Kōtarō Isaka which sees Brad Pitt, as retired hitman Ladybug, hurtling across Japan on one of the country’s famous highspeed trains which just happens to be full to the gills of other killers – all of whom are out to get each other.

Director: David Leitch
Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Benito A. Martínez Ocasio (Bad Bunny), Sandra Bullock

Why Is It Worth Watching?
Well, if you’re a fan of Brad Pitt, you’ll want to catch the veteran actor at his wry and, sometimes hilarious, best. That said, this film, though billed as an action comedy, is more than a little ridiculous. With a pair of English assassin brothers known as Tangerine and Lemon and the unfeasibly young (or is that just us?) Joey King as a supposedly hardened mercenary posing as a British schoolgirl, it’s clear that everyone is playing it for laughs.
Loosely, the plot revolves around Ladybug attempting to retrieve a briefcase, which is protected by killers Lemon and Tangerine, on board a train travelling across Japan. Throw a grieving father, hellbent on revenge for his son’s death, into the mix, alongside the son’s ‘schoolgirl’ killer (who has her own murderous agenda) and a few other alltime bumbling baddies and it makes for a somewhat comically gory ride.
Watch out for uncredited cameos from Channing Tatum and Ryan Reynolds.