There are a lot of big names, faces and - most importantly of all - movies hitting up Dublin this February for the film festival, and this entire list could be filled with simply listing them all. We've got the likes of Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin, Jesse Eisenberg in The Double, Liev Schreiber in The Last Days On Mars, Brendan Gleeson in Calvary, Andrew Scott in The Stag, Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive, Christoph Waltz in The Zero Theorem, an all-star cast in The Grand Budapest Hotel and loads more besides.
But the thing is, nearly all of these movies will be hitting the big screen in a matter of weeks or months anyway, so if you're looking for something that you may never get the chance to see again, then make the most of the festival, and check out the list below.
Warning: Some of these movies are on the same days at the same times, so you've got some tough decisions to make!
20 FEET FROM STARDOM – Sunday 23rd February, 11.00, Savoy
A documentary on the backing vocalists to some of the biggest stars in the world, this hugely entertaining and moving movie focuses on those who rarely get focused on. Interviews with Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Sting shed more light on those who are used to using their talents in the shadows.
A TOUCH OF SIN – Saturday 22nd February, 20.15, Lighthouse
Winner of Best Screenplay at last year's Cannes Film Festival, this is a dark, violent look at modern China. Renowned director Zhangke Jia brings us four interconnecting stories from all over the country, all dealing with the events leading up to and the aftermaths from four random acts of violence. This is intelligent, visceral film-making, and definitely one to keep your thinking-caps on for throughout.
THE CONGRESS – Wednesday 19th February, 20.45, Lighthouse
Robin Wright (The Princess Bride, or more recently, House Of Cards) plays an alternative reality version of herself, an actress who is all washed up. Danny Huston plays a Hollywood producer who strikes a deal with her - to scan, sample and own full rights to the 'image' of Robin Wright - and keep that version of her working, but only if the 'real' Robin Wright never works again. Looks deep into the murky pools of femininity and the blurred lines between reality and fantasy. One for fans of thoughtful sci-fi.
THE GAMBLER – Saturday 22nd February, 18.00, Lighthouse
Vincentas is award winning paramedic in Lithuania's Baltic coast is finding himself in deep financial debt, but finds his salvation is a dark underground gambling scheme: one that wages on the survival of the patients he works with. The entire medical unit is involved, all bar one co-worker, who Vincentas begins to fall in love with.
LOCKE – Saturday 22nd February, 20.30, Cineworld
Steven Knight (writer of Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things) and Tom Hardy combine forces for this nail-biting thriller that never leaves the interior of a car. Hardy plays Ivan Locke, a highly respected businessman who is about the have the best day of his life, when one mistake sends his life out into a tailspin, and Locke is constant chase trying to regain control.
OUT OF HERE – Saturday 22nd February, 20.30, Lighthouse
Fionn Walton (What Richard Did) plays Ciaran, a young man who has returned to Dublin after a year of travelling. What he comes home to is a world of friends, family and opportunities that have moved on without him, and he must decide whether or not he should stay, or take another chance at leaving. Director Donal Foreman will be in attendance at the screening.
PIONEER – Saturday 22nd February, 20.45, Cineworld
From the director of Insomnia, which was then remade by Christopher Nolan, Pioneer is the story of two of Norway's best professional divers. When they are hired to reach the bottom of the Black Sea after oil and natural gas has been discovered, tragedy strikes, and the survivors must find out what really happened. A massively suspenseful thriller, with a killer soundtrack by none other than Air, prepare to feel more than a little claustrophobic.
THE REUNION – Thursday 20th February, 21.00, Lighthouse
The movie begins with a class reunion, and one of the pupils is controversial Swedish artist Anna Odell. Things are more than a little uncomfortable, as it would appear that Odell was bullied quite harshly in school. Then, half way through, we find out that this is merely a recreation of the reunion that Odell was never actually invited to, and she wants to show the finished film to her former classmates. Half documentary, half recreation, an insightful look into wish fulfilment and the never fading scars that are inflicted by children.
STRANGERS BY THE LAKE – Saturday 15th February, 21.00, Lighthouse
Taking place on a French nudist beach populated almost solely by gay men, Strangers By The Lake looks at the place were sex and death become intertwined. Franck visits the beach to cruise for other men, and gets obsessively attractive to Michel, a man who is hiding a darker side to his personality than anyone could have guessed. A film for anyone who wished Hitchcock was still around today.
TRACKS – Sunday 16th February, 11.00, Savoy
Mia Wasikowska plays Robyn Davidson, the woman who travelled across the 1,700 miles of Australian desert in 1977 with four camels and a dog. Partly accompanied by a National Geographic photographer (played by Girls’ Adam Driver), this is a beautiful, hypnotic take on one woman’s trek of self-discovery, as well as the natural beauty of the Australian outback.
DAWN OF THE DEAD – Friday 21st February, 22.00, The Sugar Club
The 1978 classic zombie horror movie is given a jolt of life by the live performance of the score by the legendary Claudio Simonetti's Goblin for the first time ever. This will be followed by DJ's Sebastian Simonetti and Stefano Crosserini playing into the night, featuring some of the hottest Italo-disco and synth-soundtracks from the 70s and 80s. An absolute must for horror fans!
DUBLIN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE – Saturday 22nd February, 16.00, The Church
This year's JDIFF Jury will be handing out the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Irish Film, Best Documentary and Best Performances. DFCC president Tara Brady (The Irish Times) will be joined by the rest of the jury including Daniel Anderson (Click), Donald Clarke (The Irish Times), Brogen Hayes (Movies.ie), David O’Mahony (Access Cinema), Nicola Timmins (Average Film Reviews), Paul Whittington (Sunday Business Post) and yours truly from entertainment.ie, with another of our awesome staff - Gavin Burke - on hand to MC the entire affair.