3 Movies Like Ransomed (2023)

Staff & contributors
The premise of Mars Express may not be novel, especially when films like Blade Runner have already gracefully explored the philosophical ramifications of the human-tech conflict. But the French animated movie’s richly built world, (digitally) hand-drawn characters, genuinely gripping action, and far-reaching ideas about space make it a refreshing watch. The plot is taut and tight, too, peppered with twists and grounded by character depth. It may look simple at first glance, predictable even, but by the end, you’ll be over the moon by the film’s imagination and ambition.

Genre: Action, Animation, Mystery, Science Fiction

Actor: Daniel Njo Lobé, Emmanuel Bonami, Geneviève Doang, Léa Drucker, Marie Bouvet, Marie Chevalot, Marthe Keller, Martial Le Minoux, Mathieu Amalric, Sébastien Chassagne

Director: Jérémie Périn

Rating: NR

Gangster films have an issue of glorifying organized crime, and in some ways The Pig, The Snake, and The Pigeon does the same. There are excellent, action-packed fight scenes that makes Ethan Juan as Chen Kui-lin look so damn cool, and the journey Chen takes as a stern criminal out for his legacy definitely romanticizes the character, but it’s so compelling to see him contemplate the purpose of his life through confronting those like him, who tend to move for the ideas of love and spiritual detachment. There are some moments when the pacing falters, but The Pig, The Snake, and the Pigeon delivers on its ending and reimagines the gangster as something to remember.

Genre: Action, Crime

Actor: Ben Yuen Foo-Wah, Chen Yi-wen, Cheng Yu-Chieh, Cherry Hsieh, Chien Sheng, Ethan Juan, Gingle Wang, Huang Di Yang, Lee-zen Lee, Ming Che Lee, Nelson Shen, Peggy Tseng, Troy Liu, Yi-Jung Wu, Yu An-Shun

Director: Wong Ching-Po

Making a good erotic thriller out on Wall Street is no easy feat, but Fair Play has just the right ratio of wit, sex, and sleaze to spice up a Friday night viewing. There's also undeniable pleasure in watching a fairytale love story corrode, especially under the influence of money and power—here's one for the romantic capitalists! And even if the script feels a bit uneven and Emily's character a bit too silent until the film's third act, it's a heightened yet realistic depiction of exactly how solidified heteronormative standards still are: in bed, at home, at the workplace. Who would have guessed that's where the true horror lies? 

Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller

Actor: Alden Ehrenreich, Brandon Bassir, Buck Braithwaite, Eddie Marsan, Filip Todorovic, Geraldine Somerville, Greg De Cuir, Ivona Kustudić, Jamie Wilkes, Jelena Stupljanin, Jim Sturgeon, Katarina Gojković, Laurel Lefkow, Leopold Hughes, Linda Ljoka, Patrick Fischler, Phoebe Dynevor, Rich Sommer, Sebastian de Souza, Sia Alipour, Yacine Ramoul

Director: Chloe Domont