Review
All These Sleepless Nights review: a beautiful though broadly irksome chronicle of self-absorbed youth

All These Sleepless Nights review: a beautiful though broadly irksome chronicle of self-absorbed youth

Polish director-cinematographer Michal Marczak ascends to Malickean heights of oneiricism in this beautiful though broadly irksome chronicle of self-absorbed youth. Following a decadent duo in Warsaw over of a year of hazy hedonism, All These Sleepless Nights gestures towards the uncertainties of youth and the emotional flux that people often find themselves victims of at...
Ghost in the Shell review: moments of humanity in a chaotic mechanical world

Ghost in the Shell review: moments of humanity in a chaotic mechanical world

Nearly 30 years after the original manga series, and over 20 years after the animated film, it’s striking how potent the world of Ghost in the Shell remains. Masamune Shirow’s creation was prescient upon release, and now, well into our current digital age, it still holds endless potential as a way of examining identity in...
Neruda review: far from a poetic revelation

Neruda review: far from a poetic revelation

Touted as a biographical drama, Pablo Larraín’s Neruda avoids being a cradle to grave account. With a very small part of Pablo Neruda’s life portrayed as  a morally ambiguous cat and mouse chase. here, the portrait of Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) intertwines with that of an invented character who desperately tries...
BFI Flare: Part 2 of our round-up from London’s LGBT film festival

BFI Flare: Part 2 of our round-up from London’s LGBT film festival

London’s leading LGBT film festival BFI Flare, now in its 31st edition, runs from the 16th – 26th March, featuring classic and contemporary cinema from across the globe. This is part 2 of our round up of the festival: The Handmaiden An exquisite Korean adaptation of the Sarah Waters novel by director Park Chan-Wook (Old Boy,...
All This Panic review: the mystery of sex, school politics, and annoying parents

All This Panic review: the mystery of sex, school politics, and annoying parents

Filmmakers needn’t submerge themselves in so-called “gritty” subject matter to make their work relevant – far from it. The old adage ‘make what you know’ often rings true, and director Jenny Gage and her partner and DoP Tom Betterton spent three years following seven teenage girls to make All This Panic. Gage has known Ginger...
The Age of Shadows review: brutal gun battles and political intrigue

The Age of Shadows review: brutal gun battles and political intrigue

Perhaps best known for I Saw the Devil and The Good, the Bad and the Weird, director Kim Jee-Woon follows 2013’s The Last Stand with a wartime thriller set during the Japanese occupation of Korea. In Kim Jee-Woon’s hands, 1923 Seoul is a gothic-asian wonderland where rebel fighters and law enforcement are locked in a...
BFI Flare: Part 1 of our round-up from London's LGBT film festival

BFI Flare: Part 1 of our round-up from London’s LGBT film festival

London’s leading LGBT film festival BFI Flare, now in its 31st edition, runs from the 16th – 26th March, featuring classic and contemporary cinema from across the globe. This is part 1 of our round up of the festival: After Louie Opening this year’s festival with a special presentation of new drama, After Louie portrays the life of...
Aquarius review: a time-tested, well-observed drama

Aquarius review: a time-tested, well-observed drama

Those familiar with Cannes selection of dramas will know it tends to skew toward simple narratives told in a realistic tone with great emotional depth. In this sense, Aquarius is no surprise. Selected to compete in the Palme d’Or at last year’s festival, it’s self-evident to see why the story of an elderly woman refusing...
The Eyes of the Mother review: a stylized low-key horror feast

The Eyes of the Mother review: a stylized low-key horror feast

The debut feature from director Nicolas Pesce is a stylized low-key horror feast that manages to suggest volumes by showing very little on screen. An occasionally gory, snail-paced, psychological-suspense thriller, despite some taxing moments The Eyes of the Mother makes for an interesting watch with a unique perspective.  Kika Magalhaes’s Francisca is an uncharacteristic murderer, whose means...
Interview: Screenwriter Paul Laverty talks about his new film The Olive Tree and the international response he's received to I, Daniel Blake

Interview: Screenwriter Paul Laverty talks about his new film The Olive Tree and the international response he’s received to I, Daniel Blake

Across his body of work, longtime Ken Loach collaborator and I, Daniel Blake writer, Paul Laverty has taken time to explore marginalised and often maligned people, prying apart the headlines of the right wing press and fighting back by creating people-centric counter narratives. This time Laverty collaborates with his partner, actress and director, Icíar Bollaín (Land...
Don't Knock Twice review:  ghostly goings-on and convoluted twists

Don’t Knock Twice review: ghostly goings-on and convoluted twists

Following up 2013’s The Machine, Caradog James turns his directorial talents once more to low-budget genre fare in Don’t Knock Twice; a suitably spooky supernatural horror starring Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackoff. On the face of things, Don’t Knock Twice is a promising story about sculptor and reformed addict, Jess (Sackoff), and her attempts to win...
Mum’s List review: Terminal illness films are ten a penny but some really hit home

Mum’s List review: Terminal illness films are ten a penny but some really hit home

These days it feels like romantic dramas about people with terminal illnesses are ten-a-penny.  The Fault in our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, being notable examples. If there’s an easy way to get the tears flowing, you can be sure it’s the big C. So when you find out what Niall Johnson’s...
Beauty and the Beast review: all of 1991's charm and romance returns

Beauty and the Beast review: all of 1991’s charm and romance returns

Since 2014’s Maleficent, the trend for live-action remakes of animated Disney classics has, for better or for worse, persevered. The latest instalment of Beauty and the Beast manages to avoid the pitfalls of previous reimaginings; with the irksome, excessive narration and unnecessary plot changes of Maleficent and Cinderella in a land far, far away from...
Personal Shopper review: Kristen Stewart's newest combines high fashion with supernatural scares

Personal Shopper review: Kristen Stewart’s newest combines high fashion with supernatural scares

  Director Olivier Assayas new feature Personal Shopper, much like its predecessor Clouds of Sils Maria, finds Kristen Stewart in an assistant role. An unusual collaboration of high fashion and the supernatural, this time Stewart takes the dramatic lead. Successfully combining Hollywood glamour with European arthouse cinema sensibilities, Stewart’s simple understated performance stands toe-to-toe with...
Elle review: Huppert brings another compelling protagonist to screen

Elle review: Huppert brings another compelling protagonist to screen

Elle’s opening credits make that comfortable seat you’re in, a wasted fluffed up effort. But Anne Dudley’s haunting, melodramatic score is only a minor indication of what Paul Verhoeven has in store. Grotesque and unrelenting, the attack on Isabelle Huppert’s Michèle is horrifying, but her reaction is perhaps even more strange. Blunt and uncompromising Michèle...
Kong: Skull Island review: "the umpteenth film about the monstrous king ape"

Kong: Skull Island review: “the umpteenth film about the monstrous king ape”

Kong: Skull Island, the umpteenth film about the monstrous king ape, is part of the Legendary Entertainment franchise that includes Gareth Edward’s 2014 film Godzilla. Created with the idea of making the two creatures clash in an upcoming feature – sequels and reboots and increasingly-difficult-to-countenance franchises are fast becoming Hollywood’s most prodigious monsters. Considering Vogt-Roberts...
Certain Women review: short stories to the big screen with a faultless simplicity

Certain Women review: short stories to the big screen with a faultless simplicity

When Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield says something just about killed him, he could’ve been talking about Reichardt’s films. Their distinctly heart heavy tug packs an almost murderous punch of sadness, melancholy and hope; that could surely just about kill anyone. Like the Maile Molloy short stories that begat it, Certain Women has three...
Trespass Against Us review: Fassbender flexes his acting muscles but a flimsy script disappoints

Trespass Against Us review: Fassbender flexes his acting muscles but a flimsy script disappoints

Low-key, gangster indie Trespass Against Us centres around a group of Irish travellers with a criminal bent. A vehicle for Michael Fassbender to flex his already established acting muscles, with a few other big names enlisted, despite smooth direction and well-written dialogue Trespass still doesn’t convince. Free-spirited Chad Cutler (Fassbender) lives in a small traveller...
Interview: Director Juanjo Giménez on his Oscar Nominated Short Film "Timecode"

Interview: Director Juanjo Giménez on his Oscar Nominated Short Film “Timecode”

Dance and musical are a big theme at this year’s Oscars with La La Land touted for numerous awards. Bringing up the Short Film section is nominee Timecode from Spanish director Juanjo Giménez. With more than enough charm to bring home the prize, having already won big at Cannes this year, it’s a sure contender....
Interview: Director Kristóf Deák talks about his Oscar Winning Short Film "Sing"

Interview: Director Kristóf Deák talks about his Oscar Winning Short Film “Sing”

Simplistic in narrative but wholly complex in its emotion and effect, Kristóf Deák’s Sing is that rare kind of inspirational film, short or not, that lifts audiences right out of their daily lives. Set in Budapest, Hungary in the 1990s, a young girl joins the award winning choir of her new school to discover that...
A cure for wellness review: The sickness is business, and Dane’s got it bad.

A cure for wellness review: The sickness is business, and Dane’s got it bad.

Ruthless, ambitious and heartless, Dane DeHaan plays Lockhart, a corporate financier tasked with retrieving a rogue colleague who’s turned his back on the material world to instead seek…A Cure For Wellness. The metaphors are a little heavy-handed in the opening act, as ambition, capitalism and greed are all suggested as diseases that afflict otherwise healthy...
Interview: Director Sélim Azzazi on his Oscar nominated short "Ennemis Intérieurs"

Interview: Director Sélim Azzazi on his Oscar nominated short “Ennemis Intérieurs”

Ennemis intérieurs is of the year’s most vital surprises. Short in runtime but heavy in political punch, it’s a strongly-scripted chamber piece that comes as the fearsome directorial debut from established actor and sound engineer Sélim Azzazi. An immensely skilled storyteller, Azzazi crafts a tale it’s difficult not to relate to today’s international news. Set...
Interview: Director Anna Rose Holmer talks her new film "The Fits"

Interview: Director Anna Rose Holmer talks her new film “The Fits”

In anybody else’s hands The Fits carefully thematic balancing act of the uncertainty and disorientation of early adolescence might not have worked. We’ve all seen examples. Perhaps, it would’ve fallen foul of cliché or presented its finding in too prosaic a fashion to keep anyone’s attention. Or maybe it would’ve been another coming-of-age tale that...
Interview: Patriot's Day Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese

Interview: Patriot’s Day Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese

Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese of Watertown Police never expected to find himself on a Hollywood film set alongside Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon and director Peter Berg. And yet, having played a crucial role in the apprehension of the perpetrators of the 2013 Boston bombing, Sgt Pugliese is a key figure in Berg’s upcoming blockbuster Patriots Day,...
Interview: Director Timo von Gunten on his Oscar nominated short film “La Femme et le TGV”

Interview: Director Timo von Gunten on his Oscar nominated short film “La Femme et le TGV”

Filmmaker Timo von Gunten’s La Femme et le TGV has found many adoring audiences worldwide and its Oscar Nomination in the Short Film category is sure to garner it many more. Based on the real life encounter between a train driver and a woman who improbably pass each other love letters from a high speed...
Moonlight review: completely absorbing

Moonlight review: completely absorbing

My first question on coming out of Moonlight was: who is Barry Jenkins? Who made this beautiful, completely absorbing, and perfectly cast film about a young man growing up gay and in poverty in Miami? From the get-go the cinematography shows the confusion and instability of the world we’re entering. In the first scene, when...
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them review: the magic remains

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them review: the magic remains

Nearly five years since the last Harry Potter movie came out, JK Rowling returns with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel to the wizarding series that captured so many imaginations. Set in the 1920s, the only returning influence to the franchise is director David Yates, bringing the same flare and style that drove the last four...
The Innocents review: a haunting drama

The Innocents review: a haunting drama

At first glance, The Innocents seems to mark a departure from Anne Fontaine’s previous films. Set in Poland at the end of the Second World War and based on notes written by French Red Cross Doctor Madeleine Pauliac, you won’t find tumultuous love triangles or blissful beach life. And yet the director’s signature themes remain:...
Arrival review: unbeatably imaginative sci-fi

Arrival review: unbeatably imaginative sci-fi

Anyone watching director Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival would openly admit that this isn’t your ordinary alien invasion movie. Arrival is impressive in being just as harrowing as any other extra-terrestrial movie, but is so incredibly unlike what’s gone before it, which is what makes it exceptional. It’s a deeply thought-out narrative that anyone with a love...
Nocturnal Animals review: cold and terrifying

Nocturnal Animals review: cold and terrifying

If Tom Ford’s first feature, A Single Man, was clearly the work of a fashion designer, his new offering, Nocturnal Animals, displays his real calibre as a director. Elements of his previous work remain, but they are subtler and less superfluous. Here we have a film based on Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony and Susan,...



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