11 True Crime Documentaries You Need to Watch Now

Why are we so obsessed with true crime documentaries? Is it because we’re somewhat strange or that we love to fear what monsters hide in the shadows or beneath our beds? Or is it simply because these documentaries are just so captivatingly good. But, what we’ve learnt from watching so many of these true crime documentaries is that nothing is ever simple; oh, and that you should never open your mouth without a lawyer present.

So, with this in mind, we thought we’d count down eleven true crime documentaries that you need to watch now.

Making a Murderer (2015)

true crime documentaries

Laura Ricciardi and Moria Demos’ Making a Murderer is the granddaddy, the forerunner of today’s true crime obsession. The docuseries narrates the story of Steven Avery, a man from Wisconsin who served 18 years in prison for a crime he (supposedly) did not commit.

The jewel in televisions true crime crown, Making a Murderer is enchantingly good to say the least.

The Staircase (2018)

The Staircase, a docuseries by filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, is often held up as one of the best true crime documentaries ever made. Lestrade never tries to solve the case, but rather examines how the criminal justice system treats the protagonist – Michael Peterson.

This noir masterpiece epitomises everything we love about true crime documentaries.

Mindhunter (2017)

We know that Mindhunter isn’t a true crime documentary. What it is, however, is one of the most intense, accurately portrayed crime dramas ever created.

Based on the book: Mindhunter: Inside the Federal Bureaus Special Crime Unit, Mindhunter (2017) revolves around the creation of the behavioural science unit.

The interviews’ with infamous “serial murderers” yield what can only be described as one of the most intense scenes ever between Holden Ford and Edmund Kemper.

The Confession Tapes (2017)

Sarah Loudenberg’s The Confession Tapes is an indictment of America’s criminal justice system, the trust we put in law enforcement, and the reasons why people confess to crimes they didn’t commit.

This isn’t similar to any of the other true crime documentaries on our countdown as most of the criminals aren’t even criminals, some of them weren’t even in the country when their crimes were committed.

What makes The Confession Tapes so hard to watch is exactly why you should watch it; we did warn you that nothing is ever simple in the world of true crime documentaries.

The Seven Five (2014)

Former NYPD policeman Michael Dowd recounts how he and his partner ran their own cocaine cartel while working in New York during the 1980s and early 90s. Dowd’s conviction in 1992 led to one of the largest police corruption scandals in NYPD history.

The Seven Five is 104 minutes of jaw-dropping action and deserving of high praise indeed.

Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail (2011)

Louis Theroux is the godfather of documentary making. And, as always, he shows everyone how it’s done in this true crime documentary.

Louis tackles this sensitive subject, and the interviewees and inmates he meets, with his usual concoction of empathy, genuine interest and awkwardness that makes him the best at what he does.

Theroux’s readiness to report on the dark underside of American culture makes Miami Mega Jail stick out above not only the spew of Louis Theroux documentaries, but also the numerous true crime documentaries that run aground when endeavouring to imitate his unique style.

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (2019)

The Ted Bundy Tapes take a look inside the mind of murderer Ted Bundy, featuring interviews with him on death row.

One of the newest and best true crime documentaries on our countdown, Jon Doran’s docuseries coincides with the announcement of Extremely Wicked, shockingly Evil, and Vile – a Zac Efron biopic that didn’t feature on our countdown of the most anticipated movies of 2019, but we’re starting to think it should have done.

You almost certainly won’t be sleeping much once you’ve watched this formidable docuseries.

Manhunt: Unabomber (2017)

As with Mindhunter, Manhunt: Unabomber shouldn’t be on our countdown of the best true crime documentaries, however, as with Mindhunter, it’s too good not to include.

Andrew Sodroski’s drama miniseries depicts a fictionalised account of the FBI’s hunt for the Unabomber and is true crime at its captivating peak.

Team Foxcatcher (2016)

Recounting the downward spiral of John Du Pont, Team Foxcatcher is absolutely astonishing and extremely fearsome in equal measure.

With the grace and panache of a murder mystery novel, Team Foxcatcher is a must watch for those who love true crime documentaries.

The Witness (2015)

James D. Solomon’s directorial debut is outstanding and superb, shocking and alarming, and therefore making it a must watch.

The Witness pioneered a new wave of true crime documentaries – recounting a murder from the perspective of 38 witnesses.

The Witness, therefore, is the epitome of bingeworthy.

The Keepers (2017)

In mood, theme, tone, and content, The Keepers is everything you’d expect from a true crime documentary. That’s it: watch, tremble and bask in the true crime seesaw of emotion that is The Keepers.

Get everyone together and binge watch one of the amazing true crime documentaries above in some our awesome movie-themed rooms. Come and join us, we’d love to hear from you today to organise a superb stay at Arthouse in 2019.

You can contact us on 0151 601 8801. Also, check out both our Facebook page and some of our amazing deals now.

Feel-Good Movies for the January Blues

Despite our endeavors, January is probably not the most exciting month of the year; although it is the darkest, coldest and grimmest. Christmas is over, the decorations are down and everyone is drudging back into work one miserable step at a time. The January blues are certainly upon us in 2019.

Having said that, we thought we’d share with you our pick of the best feel-good movies to get you out of the post-Christmas slump.

The Pursuit of Happyness | 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness is feel-good personified. I mean, it even has the word ‘happyness’ in the title – although it is spelt wrong.

Directed by Gabriele Muccino, The Pursuit of Happyness is a must for those who are devoid of motivation in January. This feel-good movie is about a young man who, in the throes of homelessness, is trying to raise his son.

Armed with a slew of instagramable motivational quotes, ideal for helping you out of bed in the morning – the foremost being: “if you want something go get it” – The Pursuit of Happyness is as feel-good as it is heartwarming.

Grease | 1978

Memorable showtunes and magnificent dance moves: two of the reasons why Grease is the ideal feel-good movie for banishing the January blues. The most dubious ‘teenagers’ ever go a long way to have you dancing the gloom away.

Featuring on our pick of the greatest teen movies that changed pop culture forever, Grease is guaranteed to have you popping your hood like Travolta as the rain crashes down on your way to work in January.

feel-good movie

Paramount Pictures

Another sure way to banish the blues this January is by staying in our stunning, Grease-themed room at the amazing Arthouse Hotel. You can guarantee you’re in for an exciting stay, as our room has been furnished to celebrate the hit 1978 musical.

Shape yourself up this January, you wont regret it.

500 Days of Summer | 2009

Now we know that 500 Days of Summer isn’t the happiest of happy movies, however, we believe it echoes everyone’s mood in January; not wanting to get out bed in the morning being one of them.

Indeed, this bubbling volcano of romance, comedy and everything inbetween is worthy of any January viewing on the bluest of blue days.

La La Land | 2016

La La Land is a technicolour behemoth of choreographed dance routines and musical numbers that are bound to banish the January blues.

The movie opens on a dreary overpass, and – in one swooping take – we find ourselves in the midst of a feel-good movie bursting with charm.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are awesome in La La Land as it is preposterous, ludicrous – and exactly the movie we need in January.

Mrs. Doubtfire | 1993

Released in 1993, Mrs. Doubtfire is a transvestic cauldron of madness about a man impersonating a nanny from Scotland and therefore ideal for January, when everyone could do with a laugh.

This feel-good movie is sure to have you laughing one minute and weeping the next, but don’t fear, it is wrapped up in a heartwarming bow at the end.

Mrs. Doubtfire, like The Pursuit of Happyness – and each and every one of our movies – is feel-good personified.

Arthouse Hotel

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As you’ve probably already guessed, we love the movies here at Arthouse Hotel.

So, why don’t you bring the entire family together and take advantage of our awesome hotel and movie-inspired rooms that wouldn’t look out of place in some of the marvelous movies listed above.

Come and join us! We’d love to hear from you today to organise a magical stay at Arthouse in 2019.

You can contact us on 0151 601 8801

Cinema | What to Look Out for in 2019

Excellence abounded at the movie theater in what was a remarkable year for cinema in 2018. From a mustachioed frontman to an opulent au pair, 2018 had something for everyone. But don’t be alarmed, 2019 is already looking like a rousing year for cinema.

So, whether you’re a would-be action hero or you go to the cinema for a bit more Hollywood glamour, 2019 has got you covered.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share with you what we’re looking forward to watching in 2019.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood | 7 June 2019

Cinema

Source: Twitter.com/OnceinHollywood

A washed-up actor and his longtime stunt double; the former played by Leonardo DiCaprio, embark upon a crusade to make a name for themselves in Charles Manson tortured Los Angeles in what is also Quentin Tarantino’s most ambitious movie for some time.

A chic-looking premise set in the context of a murderous cult and gruesome violence: it is easy to see how Once Upon a Time in Hollywood points towards a Tarantino triumph.

Brace yourselves for the comeback of the 1960s as we expect Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to not only be a cinematic success, but it could also secure DiCaprio his second Oscar.

Star Wars: Episode IX | 20 December 2019

“An emotionally resonant finale” is what J.J Abrams has promised Star Wars: Episode IX will be. Nonetheless, the final piece of the intergalactic jigsaw is sure to both wow and enrage die-hard Star Wars fans.

Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant are to join anew while Joonas Suotamo, John Boyega – now the darling of the chat show – Anthony Hamill and Oscar Isaac are set to make their noble returns.

This being the newest big-screen cosmic adventure, Star Wars: Episode IX is sure to be both an uproarious quest and financial smash.

Rocketman | 31 May 2019

As was Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman is directed by Dexter Fletcher and, like its contemporary, it is sure to be a sensational smash in 2019.

This long-awaited biopic – which was announced back in 2012 – is a foot-stomping, uncensored, completely human account of Sir Elton John’s breakthrough years.

The movie chronicles the years preceding the frontman’s meteoric move upwards when John, played by Taron Egerton – who replaced Tom Hardy in 2017 – united with iconic songwriter Bernard Taupin.

We’re certain that Egerton’s performance as Sir Elton John will be deserving of acclaim and award; however, it’ll be Lee’s absorbing screenplay and Fletcher’s spectacular directorship that’ll empower this movie.

The Irishman | TBA 2019

Martin Scorsese’s newest gangster movie is to be released sometime in 2019 on numerous platforms. The Irishman follows self-confessed hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as he recalls his possible involvement in the assassination of union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).

We think The Irishman will be a huge success in 2019 for two reasons: one being it’s enormous £110m budget and two being its stellar cast, which includes Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and scouser Stephen Graham.

This being Scorsese, we can only imagine how good this movie will be.

The Lion King | 19 July 2019

From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King (1994) is guaranteed to amaze and excite audiences both young and old.

If the wondrous trailer is anything to go by, then The Lion King is sure to be one of the most celebrated and talked about movies of 2019 due to both its stellar cast, which includes Donald Glover, James Earl Jones – who will be reprising his role as Mufasa – Seth Rogan and Beyoncé, and it being a visual treat.

So ready yourself for what is guaranteed to be an even more heart wrenching conclusion than back in 1994.

Us | 15 March 2019

From the remarkable mind of Academy Award winning author and director Jordan Peele comes Us, an even more nightmarish sequel to his directorial debut triumph Get Out (2017).

Adelaide Wilson, played by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and Gabe Wilson, played by Winston Duke, take their children to their beach house expecting to unwind. But as darkness descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some hideous doppelganger’s appear uninvited.

Due to the longing for a sequel created by the success of Get Out, Us is certain to shock and excite cinema goers in 2019.

Arthouse Hotel

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As you’ve probably already guessed, we adore the cinema here at Arthouse Hotel.

So, why don’t you bring the entire family together and take advantage of our excellent facilities and movie-inspired rooms that wouldn’t look out of place in some of the marvelous movies listed above.

Come and join us! We’d love to hear from you today to organise a magical stay at Arthouse in 2019.

You can contact us on 0151 601 8801

Celebrate the Release of Mary Poppins Returns at Arthouse Hotel

For almost everyone, Julie Andrews is Mary Poppins, and vice versa; she is opulent, astute, unspoiled and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. That is not to say that Emily Blunt isn’t all of those things, however, she certainty has her work cut out when navigating Andrews’ magic umbrella – and a spoonful of sugar may not be enough.

Mary Poppins Returns is released on December 21 in UK cinemas and, while you wait, experience a stay in the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mary Poppins room at The Arthouse Hotel.

Emily Blunt is Supercalifragilistic

From the moment the magic hero soars into shot there has to be immediate buy-in, not a minute of doubt or suspicion – Blunt is Poppins in all her pomp. With her blue boater hat and famous umbrella, Blunt certainly looks like Andrews, however, she ensures through her wonderfully unique performance that Andrews is all but a distant memory.

“For me, there was no one else but Emily; she is warm and vulnerable” maintained Robert Marshall, the movies director. Blunt is tough, poised and cornily British in everything she does and, importantly, she can sing and dance. She caricatures her natural London-ish voice into the kind of accent copied by American actors pretending to be British: the sort of elocution that ends every sentence with the phrase “I say!”

Emily Blunt said that she was “daunted” by playing Poppins, and who could blame her. And yet, her spectacular performance will achieve a rare thing in 2018: it will placate the purists and entertain those who have never seen the original.

Mary Poppins Returns

With pastel colours of intoxicating beauty and new show tunes practiced to perfection, Mary Poppins Returns is an admirably accomplished sequel, primed and ready to mesmerise a new-found audience.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a modern remake nor is it ironic or pretentious. The only applauded hint of newness is some ethnic variety in the supporting cast; otherwise this movie is a simple remastered version of the 1964 original. The tunes aren’t bad, and the movie is certainly a technical triumph – as it was in the 1960s.

Unable to detach itself entirely from the original, Dick Van Dyke makes a cameo in the sequel while his 2018 counterpart is again acted by an American: Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Collin Firth, Julie Walters, Ben Whisham, Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep head up a star-studded cast and, while there is no Christmas blockbuster to turbo-charge the ticket-booth in 2018, movie aficionados expect Mary Poppins Returns to be a colossal success.

Mary Poppins Returns is a practically perfect Christmas movie in every way.

Arthouse Hotel

Mary Poppins Returns

The Mary Poppins room is just one of many marvelous rooms within Liverpool’s movie-themed Arthouse Hotel. The unique hotel is ideal for celebrating special occasions in Liverpool.

We always have a wide range of special rooms to choose from, ensuring your stay is nothing short of Poppins-esc perfection.

So, come and join us! We’d love to hear from you today to organise a magical stay at Arthouse.

You can contact us on 0151 601 8801

Our Guide to the Best Movies of 2018

In 2018, a selection of stellar movies has showed that, regardless of genre, excellence abounds at the cinema.

In this modern cinematic era, you’d think that the visceral experience of going to the movies, buying popcorn and, extreme I know, putting your phone away, would be under threat. However, rather than retreating in dismay, cinema – notably in 2018 – has come out swinging in a Rocky Balboa-esc blaze of glory.

So, with a month to go until the calendar turns, we thought we’d share with you our picks for the best movies of 2018.

Bohemian Rhapsody

This long-awaited biopic is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their iconic mustachioed frontman – one of, if not the greatest entertainer ever to grace a stage.

The movie chronicles the years preceding Queen’s legendary performance at Live Aid in 1985 where Mercury, played by Rami Malek – who replaced Sacha Baron Cohen in July 2013 – led the band in one of the most iconic performances in music history.

Bohemian Rhapsody does, however, have its shortcomings – its tameness being one of them. Mercury lived a dramatic, hedonistic existence which doesn’t come through in the movie.

Nevertheless, the biopic regains its best-movie status when Mercury, in all his pomp and pageantry, performs at Live Aid in front of 72,000 computer-generated people.

A Prayer Before Dawn

A Prayer Before Dawn isn’t for everyone nor is it one to gather the family for, however, Joe Cole’s ferocious yet unblemished performance is one that transforms actors into megastars.

Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s reworking of boxer William Moore’s 2014 memoir that documents the three years he spent in the infamous Bangkok Hilton – Thailand’s toughest prison – is a primal masterpiece.

Cole is at home in Liverpool when recording Peaky Blinders; the period drama of which he is most known, however, in A Prayer Before Dawn – which was largely shot on location in Klong Prem Prison – he couldn’t be any more removed.

This bubbling volcano of a movie is worthy of being one of 2018s best pictures.

A Star is Born

Renowned movie expert and, aptly, musician Mark Kermode summed up A Star is Born in the opening sentence of his October review: “a timeless tale,” he hollered.

This maxim works wonderfully to describe this movie which, is most certainly timeless. Not only was this picture one of the best, but it was also one of the biggest, grossing £152,518,456 worldwide.

In A Star is Born we have Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga: the former making his directorial bow, the latter in her big-screen debut and, whilst Cooper is awesomely assured behind the camera, it is Gaga who stands out; a star is truly born.

On reflection, A Star is Born may be the best movie of 2018.

Black Panther

The newest big-screen superhero story is both an uproarious adventure and success.

Showcasing Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Michael B. Jordan as N’Jadaka, this Marvel masterpiece is a staple of 2018 cinema viewing. Visually handsome with a captivating plot to match, Black Panther is not only a good superhero movie, but it is also a good movie in general.

Not wanting to ignore the important themes the movie tackles Black Panther, subsequently, paved the way for future superhero movies in 2018 and, therefore, is deserving of a place on our list.

Crazy Rich Asians

Like Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians is a watershed moment for Hollywood.

Directed by Jon M Chu, Crazy Rich Asians follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu who journeys to Singapore to meet her spouses’ kin. Nevertheless, like every rom-com ever, there’s an adorable twist. Rachel’s boyfriend is from one of China’s most moneyed families and shock, Rachel doesn’t know.

Normally, a movie such as this wouldn’t pop up on a list like ours, however, Crazy Rich Asians is a lesson on how to both cast a movie and adapt a best-selling novel.

Lady Bird

Lady Bird is a movie overflowing with warmth, humour and sadness that manages to feel current despite the “overly stacked nature” of the teenage-angst genre.

This evocative performance by Saoirse Ronan as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is deserving of acclaim and award; however, it is Greta Gerwig’s absorbing screenplay and spectacular directorship that empowers this movie.

Arthouse Hotel

best movies

At Arthouse Hotel, we have an array of amazing offers for celebrating Christmas & New Year in Liverpool.

Bring the whole family together and take advantage of our excellent facilities and movie-inspired rooms that wouldn’t look strange in some of the marvellous movies listed above.

So, come and join us! We’d love to hear from you today to organise a magical stay at Arthouse.

You can contact us on 0151 601 8801

The Best Christmas Movies for a Wintry Night in this Festive Season

The festive season is looming and that involves copious amounts of Christmas eatables and numerous wintry movies. We’ve assembled a selection of some of the greatest festive movies to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Arthouse Hotel is the ultimate spot to bring friends together for the complete cinematic experience. So, why not immerse yourself in and explore Liverpool’s most unique hotel.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life is an undisputable staple of Christmas movie viewing. Frank Capra’s depiction of a suicidal building banker (George Bailey) and his Scrooge-like awakening has nestled its way into movie folklore as a festive classic.

This greyscale, festive fairytale follows Bailey on Christmas Eve 1945. In the movie the protagonist is visited by Clarence Odbody, a celestial messenger who shows the downtrodden banker exactly what he has to live for.

Drawing upon Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843), the otherworldly Odbody prompts a phrase that is guaranteed to get you in the Christmas movie spirit: “Merry Christmas, movie house!”

Home Alone (1990)


Guaranteed to get you in the Christmas vein with its festive soundtrack and slapstick shenanigans, Home Alone is a Christmassy masterpiece. Macaulay Culkin’s portrayal of the loveable, albeit hyperreactive Kevin McCallister, is both legendary and heartwarming.

That said, the shovel smacked Joe Pesci and the tarantula covered Daniel Stern would almost certainly disagree.

Not only is this Christmas classic ideal for those wintry nights, but it is also certain to amuse the Ebenezer in every family.

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol is Christmas in a nutshell. Written by Charles Dickens in 1843, this festive monograph arguably invented the celebration we recognise today. Nevertheless, Joseph Mankiewicz’s adaptation is iconic. Despite its greyscale depiction of Ebenezer Scrooge and his supernatural companions, this cinematic pioneer captures the essence of Christmas.

That said, Michael Caine’s A Muppets Christmas Carol (1992) is Mankiewicz’s greatest competitor as any festive movie is enhanced by musical cabbages and skating penguins.

Love Actually (2003)

Richard Curtis’ Christmas-themed romantic comedy is a modern classic. This star-spangled, multi-narrative movie is both corny and joyous in equal measure, perfect for Christmas Eve viewing.

Love Actually is a must-watch for your festive film catalogue. Starring the prime ministerial Hugh Grant, alongside a plethora of lovestruck characters, this festive staple is here to stay this Christmas.

Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell is a bubbleheaded orphan nurtured by Santa Clause and his assembly of elves in the North pole who travels to New York City to locate his biological father. This nonsensical, clownish Christmas comedy – which was released seven days before Love Actually – is both sidesplitting and, unusually tearjerking.

Prepare for numerous quotable catchphrases as the loveable Elf (Ferrell) bounces about the New York cityscape draped in khaki clad and pointy headgear.

Jon Favreau and David Berenbaum’s Elf is unmissable festive viewing for the entire family this Christmas.

Arthouse Hotel

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At Arthouse Hotel, we have a multitude of amazing offers for celebrating Christmas in Liverpool. Bring your family together for a comfortable stay in Liverpool this festive season.

Take advantage of our excellent facilities and movie-inspired rooms over the Christmas period.

So, come and join us! We’d love to hear from you today to organize a magical stay at Arthouse. You can contact us on 0151 601 8801.