15. Hanna

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Barden, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng

If you watch Hanna on a purely surface level, it’s very likely that director Joe Wright’s assassin-on-the-loose action flick will wash over you, registering as little more than a serviceable Jason Bourne variation. But that’s the completely wrong way to view Hanna; the correct manner to undergo the film’s fairy-tale-like narrative and trippy energy is to pay close attention to Wright’s technical wizardry.

As the titular protagonist, Saoirse Ronan owns her role as a sheltered warrior-type let loose into an unfamiliar world; when it’s time to knuckle up, Ronan bobs, weaves, and strikes with vicious aplomb, and the character’s quieter moments of self-discovery are just as expertly done. But it’s Wright who steals the show here, making an unexpectedly drastic leap from his elegant costume dramas (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) to an action-thriller pulsating with nihilistic sensibilities.

Hanna boasts several impressive set-pieces, but it’s the film’s centerpiece—a three-versus-one fight inside a vast container park—that takes the cake. Wright’s camera zigs and zags with reckless abandon, and the dizzying electronic score, courtesy of The Chemical Brothers, is simultaneously hypnotic and immersive. The same can be said for Hanna as a whole.