sat 15/12/2018

Film Reviews

Springsteen on Broadway, Netflix review - one-man band becomes one-man show

Adam Sweeting

When Bruce Springsteen’s one-man show opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre on New York’s West 48th Street in October last year it was only supposed to run for six weeks.

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Lizzie review - murder most meticulous

Adam Sweeting

The story of Lizzie Borden, controversially acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1892, has been explored many times on screen and in print (there’s even an opera and a musical version, not to mention the Los Angeles metal band Lizzy Borden).

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse review - a new hope for the superhero genre

Joseph Walsh

After Sam Raimi’s original mixed-bag trilogy, Andrew Garfield’s all too familiar outing as the webslinger, and last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, it would be fair to say we’ve had enough Spider-Man films. Despite the potential fatigue from yet-another-origins story, we now have Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

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The Old Man & the Gun review - sundown on Sundance

Adam Sweeting

Despite having enjoyed a prolific few years in which he has appeared in (among others) All Is Lost, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Truth and Our Souls at Night, Robert Redford has said that The Old Man & the Gun will be his last film role.

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Disobedience review - tough love

Nick Hasted

Lesbian love in a closeted Orthodox Jewish North London community suggests a place of barriers and secrets. In adapting Naomi Alderman’s novel Disobedience for producer-star Rachel Weisz, the Chilean-Argentine director Sebastián Lelio might as well have landed on the moon...

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Three Identical Strangers review - an extraordinary true story

Saskia Baron

The privileges of writing reviews are very few (it’s certainly no way to make a living these days) but one that remains is the possibility of seeing a film before reading about it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter knowing in advance how a story will play out. It’s probably a good idea to let audiences know that they won’t get child-rearing tips from Rosemary’s Baby.

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Shoplifters review - deserved Cannes prize winner

Saskia Baron

When a film is about a crime family, audience expectations tend to involve mobsters and thrills, but that’s not the territory that Hirozaku Kora-eda is exploring here.

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The Girl in the Spider's Web review - Claire Foy leathers up

Jasper Rees

The enthronement of Claire Foy has been quite a spectacle. Perhaps some of Her Majesty’s mystique has rubbed off, as she is now entering that territory known to few young actors, where you’ll happily pay to see her in anything. Should that policy extend to her newest incarnation?

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Siberia review - Keanu Reeves's duff Russian mission

Tom Baily

It is appropriate that Keanu Reeves sounds especially croaky and muffled throughout Siberia. Business meetings for his character Lucas Hill (a diamond trader) don’t normally involve much talk, just a swift briefcase handover and a confidential handshake.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald review - mischief not quite managed

Joseph Walsh

Two years after the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we return to the Wizarding World once again for the next, somewhat convoluted, chapter in the five planned prequel instalments, with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

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Suspiria review - kindly, slow-motion grand guignol

Nick Hasted

The first Suspiria was a sensation, and spectacularly, monomaniacally new.

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Widows review - feminist crime pays

Nick Hasted

Steve McQueen’s progress from video artist to Oscar-winning director has been deceptively smooth.

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Overlord review - nightmares in Normandy

Adam Sweeting

The trailer for Overlord promises havoc, horror, evil, madness, terror and rage, and to be fair it delivers on most of those.

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Wildlife review - Paul Dano's tense directorial debut

graham Fuller

A revelatory moment comes hallway through Wildlife when frustrated American housewife Jeanette Brinson (Carey Mulligan) is observed standing alone in her family’s backyard by her 14-year-old son Joe (Ed Oxenbould), the film’s anxious, steadfast protagonist.

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Peterloo review - Mike Leigh's angry historical drama

Veronica Lee

Considering how the UK prides itself on having created the "Mother of Parliaments" and its citizens having once chopped off a king's head for thwarting its will, remarkably little is taught in our schools about one of the seminal events on the way to fully democratising this country: the Peterloo Massacre.

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The Yukon Assignment review - two men in a boat test father-son bond

Tom Baily

The Yukon Assignment tracks a 500-mile canoe journey along a remote river in Canada taken by a British adventurer and his father.

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