Review
Burn Burn Burn review: tender comedy

Burn Burn Burn review: tender comedy

Chanya Button’s directorial debut Burn Burn Burn is a dramatic comedy/road trip across the UK, covering death, friendship, and love. It’s a sweet film that could have been better executed; like a birthday card made from macaroni, it’s not perfect but it’s great for what it is. Burn Burn Burn stars Laura Carmichael as Seph...
After Love review: claustrophobic drama

After Love review: claustrophobic drama

It’s probably a little lazy of me to describe Joachim Lafosse’s After Love (L’Économie du Couple) as ‘play-like’. Not only is it lazy, but it is also an entirely unoriginal interpretation; it only takes a brief survey of the available reviews online to find the comparison numerous times already. It is, however, the easiest point...
Doctor Strange review: a mind-bending Marvel

Doctor Strange review: a mind-bending Marvel

After a cityscape bending opening fight sequence teasing us with what’s to come, we settle in and meet Dr. Stephen Strange: an arrogant, ambitious, and flashy neurosurgeon who due to an accident must go on a journey of discovery. Initially hoping to find a way to heal his all-important hands, he ends up mixed up...
I, Daniel Blake review: bitter benefits drama

I, Daniel Blake review: bitter benefits drama

I, Daniel Blake makes its intentions blindingly clear from its opening salvo: a fiery criticism of successive UK governments’ efforts to dismantle the country’s benefits system. The film opens on black as the credits roll, accompanied by the sound of the titular Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) undergoing an assessment for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)....
Free Fire review: inventive fun

Free Fire review: inventive fun

Ben Wheatley has kept mostly to high concept fare in his films to date, but with BFI London Film Festival closer Free Fire he’s keeping things simple: 12 men (and woman), a lot of guns, a lot of money, and a single warehouse. The setting is Boston, 1978. The IRA (represented here by Cillian Murphy...
Snowden review: a little too conventional

Snowden review: a little too conventional

You don’t have to be a film buff to guess what Snowden, the latest film from Oliver Stone, is about. Edward Snowden, IT consultant and former employee of the CIA and NSA, made headlines all over the world when he leaked thousands of classified documents to the press, exposing the illegal practices adopted by the...
Your Name review: deserves huge admiration

Your Name review: deserves huge admiration

Your Name, Japanese director Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated feature, bubbles over with far more mirth than most of Studio Ghibli’s collection but nonetheless, comparisons have been drawn between both, as well as between him and the now retired Hayao Miyazaki. Frustratingly it’s impossible not to enter this film with every Ghibli movie swimming around in...
It's Only the End of the World review: touching and explosive

It’s Only the End of the World review: touching and explosive

All families are dysfunctional. But this is a Xavier Dolan family – and therefore about as dysfunctional as they get. It’s Only the End of the World is 27-year-old Dolan’s sixth feature, and, if he proved his maturity with Mommy, his most recent film shows he is definitely here for the long haul. Here we...
The Autopsy of Jane Doe review: masterful horror

The Autopsy of Jane Doe review: masterful horror

After shocking us with the unmissable, one-of-a-kind Troll Hunter, Norwegian director André Øvredal has become a talent you want to keep a close eye on. His new feature The Autopsy of Jane Doe is debuting at the London Film Festival as the Cult gala, and rewards that close attention. While the synopsis warns that this is a...
La La Land review: sure to be a classic

La La Land review: sure to be a classic

It’s satisfying just to see Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling tap dance whilst simultaneously looking for their cars on the gargantuan Hollywood Hills really, but this is far from the highlight of Damien Chazelle’s latest film. The success of his last, Whiplash, placed considerable and not unwarranted expectation on La La Land. Spectacular in style and...
My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux breaks the formula

My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux breaks the formula

Across his body of work as a documentarian, Louis Theroux has covered a vast array of topics, groups and points of view, but there have been two simple constants: first, his chosen method, to enter groups, families and organisations to get to know the people involved on a personal level; second, his utterly unshakeable politeness....
Tiger Raid review: suspenseful and unpredictable

Tiger Raid review: suspenseful and unpredictable

Tiger Raid is a dark, suspenseful,  and unpredictable film which will keep you hooked from start to finish. It follows two Irish mercenaries as they travel across the deserts of Iraq to complete a mission. As it progresses, their frenzied world turns in on itself as past misdeeds come to the surface, and violently threaten...
A United Kingdom review: unapologetically heartwarming

A United Kingdom review: unapologetically heartwarming

A United Kingdom is filled with moments of deep, brittle, and slow-burning tension, as it explores the intertwining of race, class, politics, and love, in a story based on true events in the years following the Second World War. Namely the swift love affair and marriage of Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a clerk from a...
War on Everyone review: mixed laughs

War on Everyone review: mixed laughs

Does a mime make a sound when you hit him with a car? This and other questions you’ve never asked are answered over the course of War on Everyone, the third film from director John Michael McDonagh. After sticking with rural Ireland for previous efforts The Guard and Calvary, he’s crossed the pond to New...
Free State of Jones review: squandered promise

Free State of Jones review: squandered promise

This American Civil War drama is blessed with an intriguing real-life figure as its subject, yet squanders its promise with a meandering narrative and some troubling racial politics. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Free State of Jones tells the remarkable story of farmer Newton ‘Newt’ Knight, who defected from the army and singlehandedly sparked a rebellion against...
Under the Shadow review: strips horror back to the basics

Under the Shadow review: strips horror back to the basics

In a genre that has a reputation for endlessly pursuing gore, using violence and bloodshed as shortcuts for real scares, Under the Shadow is a welcome surprise. Across the film’s scant 84 minutes there’s hardly a drop of blood shed, and nobody is dismembered, maimed, or separated from their innards. There’s just one death, and...
Swiss Army Man review: 'a triumph'

Swiss Army Man review: ‘a triumph’

Possibly referred to as the Daniel-Radcliffe-farting-corpse-movie, Swiss Army Man comes from the screenwriting and directorial hands of the Daniels Kwan and Scheiner, and is the duo’s first feature length film. Swiss Army Man concerns Hank (Paul Dano), a young man inexplicably marooned on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. Hank’s predicament is so dire...
Imperium review: scratches the surface

Imperium review: scratches the surface

Given the timing of its release, a film about an FBI agent infiltrating a white supremacist group seems almost redundant. With countries on high terror alert and Donald Trump drumming up support by spurting thinly veiled hate speech, it wouldn’t be hard to produce a similar screenplay with a news bulletin and a few carefully...
The Magnificent Seven review: a film of two halves

The Magnificent Seven review: a film of two halves

The old saying goes that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Ben-Hur, anyone? Not content to let sleeping dogs lie, Antoine Fuqua follows prevailing winds currently battering screens all over the world by remaking John Sturges’ 1960 Steve McQueen/Yul Brynner classic The Magnificent Seven, itself a Hollywood iteration of Akira Kurosawa’s seminal masterpiece Seven...
Little Men review: quietly challenging

Little Men review: quietly challenging

The most quietly devastating moment in Little Men, Ira Sachs’ latest, features little more than a young teenager rollerblading through the Bronx, alone. We’ve seen Jake Jardine (Theo Taplitz) skate this same route twice before – but each time in the company of his unlikely friend Tony Calvelli (Michael Barbieri). But now forces beyond their...
Their Finest review: a bittersweet wartime tale

Their Finest review: a bittersweet wartime tale

This is another successful film from director Lone Scherfig (An Education), who has adapted Lissa Evans’s book Their Finest Hour and an Half with elegance and talent. Set predominantly in London during the Second World War and in the midst of the Blitz, Their Finest focuses on a film production team that comes up with...
Sing review: marvellous musical medley

Sing review: marvellous musical medley

From the makers of Minions and Despicable Me, with a plot inspired whilst enjoying a pot of tea, comes the musical medley Sing. It’s a movie that stirs a sense of self-determination, sacrifice, taking bold decisions in life, and doing whatever it takes to succeed no matter the challenge. For those of you who enjoy...
The Infiltrator review: Cranston is a true film star

The Infiltrator review: Cranston is a true film star

Bryan Cranston’s latest vehicle sees him once again embroiled in the illegal drug trade, although this time on the legal side of the law. A real-life tale of money-laundering and undercover agents, The Infiltrator stars Cranston as Robert Mazur, a US Customs officer who realises that the key to winning the drug war raging in...
Hunt for the Wilderpeople review: warm, witty, and relentlessly entertaining

Hunt for the Wilderpeople review: warm, witty, and relentlessly entertaining

New Zealand’s Taika Waititi is in the midst of a major career transition, from the low budget likes of Eagle vs Shark and What We Do in the Shadows to next year’s massive Marvel epic Thor: Ragnarok. It’s no surprise then that there’s renewed attention on his latest release, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, in the...
Blair Witch review: relentlessly terrifying

Blair Witch review: relentlessly terrifying

When it was announced that director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett were working on a new horror film titled The Woods, horror fans were rightly excited. This was the pair responsible for You’re Next and The Guest, after all, and they’d comfortably proven they were talents to watch. Many reacted with trepidation then to...
The Man Who Fell to Earth review: a showcase for Bowie

The Man Who Fell to Earth review: a showcase for Bowie

It’s one of those curious quirks of fate that the year of David Bowie’s death would align so neatly with major anniversaries of a few of his most notable cinematic works. We’ve already had the 30th anniversaries of both Labyrinth and the underrated Absolute Beginners, and we can no doubt expect people to make a...
Hell or High Water review: 'a mesmerising modern western'

Hell or High Water review: ‘a mesmerising modern western’

This mesmerising modern western in the Cormac McCarthy mould has Chris Pine and Ben Foster as two brothers on a crime spree with more to it than meets the eye, whilst Jeff Bridges is the shrewd old Texas Ranger who, a few days from retirement, gets obsessed with taking them down. Director David Mackenzie’s last...
Kubo and the Two Strings review: exquisite

Kubo and the Two Strings review: exquisite

“If you must blink, do it now.” So opens Kubo and the Two Strings, and it’s hard to think of a more apt opening. Get all your blinking out of the way, because you won’t want to miss a frame of the exquisitely animated, heartbreakingly powerful latest from Laika. The stop-motion studio that first made...
Sausage Party review: funny but forgettable

Sausage Party review: funny but forgettable

Seth Rogen has admitted he smokes weed to aid his creative process, which might explain the likes of This Is the End, a movie where he hangs out with his real life buddies smoking weed. It’s certainly no surprise to learn that’s how animated adventure Sausage Party came about, a movie that’s basically Toy Story with food and about a million d*** jokes. The...
Things to Come review: Isabelle Huppert is a marvel

Things to Come review: Isabelle Huppert is a marvel

Saying a lot with very little is the mark of a truly great actor: non-verbal communication, underplaying emotion, using stillness and economy of gesture efficiently, talking in whispers when a scream is expected. Able to convey crippling fragility, fear, fury and fervour in the blink of an eye, there is no questioning that Isabelle Huppert...



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