With 13 Hours, Michael Bay doesn’t so much wear his political heart on his sleeve as use it as a club to beat his audience into submission. His dramatic retelling of the September 2012 terrorist attack on US diplomats in Benghazi, Libya – during which two members of a covert security team lost their lives along with American ambassador Christopher Stephens – plays like an extended Republican party political broadcast, complete with relentless hand held camera carnage and beating jungle drum soundtrack.
Writer-director Sean Baker’s blistering Tangerine is a truly astonishing piece of filmmaking – and not just because it was shot using three iPhones. While that is clearly a huge achievement in itself, Baker uses that ultra-portable filming device to access the fringes of Los Angeles and shine a light on those human stories rarely given an audience.
The truth, so the old adage goes, will set you free. Not so for CBS 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) who found herself in the middle of an ethical and political maelstrom when she aired a 2004 story questioning then-President George W Bush’s Air National Guard service record. It included as evidence two military documents which, it transpires, may not have been authentic; a fact which resulted in a public investigation and the loss of jobs for many of those involved, including long-time anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford)