MILE 22 (18) ★★★★★
THE bromance of director Peter Berg and muscular leading man Mark Wahlberg has been going strong since 2013, when the two men ventured into war-torn Afghanistan for the explosive true story of Lone Survivor. Two further tales of gung-ho, real-life heroism – Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day – followed.
Mile 22 cranks up the on-screen violence, cramming as many slam-bang thrills as possible into 94 adrenaline-fuelled minutes.
Wahlberg plays James Silva (pictured), leader of a team of black ops soldiers code-named Overwatch, who undertake secret missions for the US government under the command of handler James Bishop (John Malkovich) aka Mother.
The squad tracks a stolen shipment of highly toxic caesium, which can be weaponised to kill thousands, to a Russian safe house on American soil. “You’re making a mistake,” an injured 18-year-old suspect snarls at Silva.
“I’ve made a lot of them,” coldly replies the US agent before he clinically dispenses a bullet into the teenager’s head.
Sixteen months later in Indocarr City, police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais) arrives unannounced at the US embassy, claiming to know the location of the caesium. He promises to share this intelligence as soon as he is safely on a plane to America.
Silva assembles his team to escort Li Noor the 22 miles from the US embassy to the airfield. Within a minute, Overwatch comes under attack from gun-toting motorcyclists and the fight for survival begins.
THE LITTLE STRANGER (12A) ★★★★★
SPECTRES of the past lash out with horrifying consequences in The Little Stranger, an ambiguous thriller of simmering desires set inside a crumbling mansion in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Dr Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson, pictured) is summoned to Hundreds Hall, which is owned by physically and mentally scarred soldier Roderick Ayres (Will Poulter), who exhibits symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Roderick lives in the property with downtrodden sister Caroline (Ruth Wilson), imperious mother Angela (Charlotte Rampling) and a housemaid, Betty (Liv Hill).
The veteran is convinced that a dark force in the house means him harm.
Faraday becomes a regular visitor to the house and a dutiful companion to spinster Caroline.
During a dinner party, a young guest is mauled by the family’s normally placid labrador. Soon after, Faraday discovers scrawls on a wall purportedly left by Angela’s dead daughter Susan (Tipper Seifert Cleveland). As Angela’s mental state unravels, Faraday steps in to oversee her treatment, clashing with Caroline about the best course of action.
Adapted from Sarah Waters’ gothic novel, A Little Stranger is an impressive exercise in mood and inference, which holds us in a steely grip for almost two hours.