Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo is the greatest movie ever made—at least according to last year's Sight and Sound magazine worldwide poll of film directors and reviewers. Indeed there was once a generation of movie directors for whom Hitchcock was known simply as The Master. Notable among the acolytes was Brian De Palma and in much of the director's work you can observe the familiar ratcheting of tension, the plots riddled with red herrings and the unreconstructed representations of staggeringly beautiful women. De Palma's been relatively quiet since 2007's Rendition so it's something of a treat to see him back in the game and casting Rachel McAdams as a Hitchcock blonde with a Madeleine Elster hairstyle in Passion. The kind of thriller that is going to be more fun the less you know of it before you see it, Passion is a remake of a French language film so that shouldn't be a problem in these Americas.
Hard though it is to imagine that only now has someone thought to pair them, Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez are a prize double act in car chase thriller Getaway. The trailer opens with sleazy promise as professional car racer Ethan is forced to drive like a lunatic for an unseen psycho or his wife dies, almost as if he is Liam Neeson. And then there is something of a handbrake turn when Selena shows up in a hoodie as a car jacker. Rib-tickling stuff.
In other cinema releases this week, Closed Circuit is a modern conspiracy thriller with Eric Bana the dead-eyed victim of some sort of CCTV-related plot; there's Instructions Not Included, seemingly a rather sweet tale of a Mexican Lothario suddenly lumbered with a baby daughter by a former fling; and, finally, I Declare War, which is about to become a classic. It's an afternoon of kids playing soldiers in the woods, but in the film, their imaginary weapons become real guns and bombs and are accompanied by terrifying explosions, blood and guts. A tribute to the imagination of children and another way to ask the question: How many times must the cannonballs fly before they're forever banned?