Horror, whodunit, action, inspiration

We are drowning in content from gazillions of platforms, and it’s hard to pick which movie is worth your time.

Here’s a rundown of popular picks now playing in cinemas and on the streamers.

‘A Haunting in Venice’ (2023)

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie and Christie’s fictional Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, then indulge yourself in A Haunting in Venice, the third installment in the Poirot cinematic universe and the sequel to Death on the Nile (2022). The first Poirot movie was Murder on the Orient Express (2017).

Kenneth Branagh directs and reprises his role as the mustachioed detective in A Haunting in Venice, a stylish, dark, eerie whodunit mystery set in post-World War II Venice. I saw this at the luxurious Venice Ultra Cinema at the Venice Grand Canal — the perfect venue to enhance the movie’s Venice-canal mystery feels.

Here, the retired Poirot is forced to solve a spooky murder by attending a séance at a haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, you’ll have fun solving the mystery with him.

(Now showing in cinemas)

‘Immersion’ (2023)

From Japanese filmmaker Takashi Shimizu, best known as the creator of Ju-on: The Grudge, comes another horror film, Immersion. Utilizing modern technology to incorporate into his supernatural tale, Shimizu takes viewers to a VR-reality research facility where all the horror takes place.

Starring Daigo Nishihata, Noa Kawazoe, Rina Ikoma and Yûta Hiraoka, Immersion uses grisly murder, rape, adultery, vengeance and redemption as themes in this modern tale of terror.

(Now showing in cinemas)

‘The Equalizer 3’ (2023)

DENZEL Washington in ‘The Equalizer 3.’ | photograph courtesy of SONY PICTURES

As long as it’s Denzel Washington, the film is bound to be important. The vigilante tale directed by Antoine Fuqua is the action-packed sequel to The Equalizer 2 and the final installment in The Equalizer trilogy.

Washington reprises his role as retired US Marine and DIA officer Robert McCall, who is now settled peacefully in a small town in Southern Italy. He’s made new friends, life is good, life is violence-free.

But when McCall discovers that his new friends are under the control of the local mafia, then he has no choice but to unleash his government-assassin skills and wipe them all out.

With action-man Fuqua directing and Washington’s star power, The Equalizer 3 makes for one hell of a finale.

(Now showing in cinemas)

‘Tár’ (2022)

CATE Blanchett as Lydia Tár. | photograph courtesy of UNIVERSAL PICTURES

In Todd Field’s Oscar-nominated psychological thriller, Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, a world-renowned conductor facing accusations of misconduct. The riveting, thought-provoking film delves on cancel culture and the #MeToo movement from a compelling angle.

This film, one of the best from last year’s Best Picture nominations at the Academy Awards, also won Blanchett the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Field’s superb film is restrained yet thick with tension. It’s for cinephiles who enjoy deep conversations and discussions on art versus artists, among other issues.

(On HBO Go)


‘A Million Miles Away’ (2023)

MICHAEL Peña in ‘A Million Miles Away.’ | photograph courtesy of AMAZON PRIME

Inspired by a true story, A Million Miles Away stars Michael Peña as NASA flight engineer José Hernández. The biopic follows the life of the flight engineer from his hometown in Mexico to his life on the International Space Station.

The stirring tale reveals to viewers how Hernandez started out as a farm worker before becoming an engineer, then an astronaut. If you feel that your dreams are impossible, then get your motivational shot from this movie.

(On Prime Video)