Six of the Fest: Thrillers

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We guarantee you’ll be on the edge of your seat with this superior selection of terrific thrillers.

Extraordinary Rendition
The directorial debut of British director Jim Threapleton is a punishing thriller, which follows the unexplained detention of a UK academic, played by United 93 star Omar Berdouni. Harrowing and tense, it signals the arrival of a major new talent in Threapleton.

The Interpreter
Lauded on its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, this taut thriller is exquisitely crafted. The eponymous interpreter – the beguiling Julia Batinova -  turns gumshoe to exonerate a Russian businessman accused of drug dealing, and is dragged into the murky Muscovite underworld.

The Serpent
Gallic intrigue abounds in this adaptation of Jim Lewis’ novel Plender. A pair of unscrupulous criminals target wealthy married men and use a serpentine female to extort cash, but it isn’t long before they’re gunning for each other. Clovis Cornillac turns in a tremendously disquieting performance as Plender.

Director Tom Shankland adds British grit to a genre popularised by Hollywood. Melissa George’s rookie detective is assigned to a series of gruesome murders, but her progress is inexplicably slowed by her superiors. EIFF guest Stellan Skarsgard excels as a compromised cop.

The Counterfeiters
Nominated for a Golden Bear at the Berlinale, The Counterfeiters tells the story of an imprisoned group of artists, conmen and financiers who forged banknotes for the Nazis during WWII. Utterly gripping, the film has already been recognised as one of the great wartime thrillers.

EIFF guest Chris Cooper brings his signature intensity to the role of FBI double agent Robert Hanssen in this real-life espionage thriller. Ryan Philippe is the young agent assigned to uncover Hanssen’s deception in director Billy Ray’s follow up to 2003’s Shattered Glass.

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