tue 13/04/2021

Film Reviews

Night in Paradise review - lukewarm bloodbath

Tom Baily

Since launching his directing career in 2011 with The Showdown, Park Hoon-jung has established himself as a promising devotee of the bloody gangster genre. The pandemic may have slowed the South Korean director’s momentum, as the producers were forced to release the film belatedly on Netflix.

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Sequin in a Blue Room review - soullessness and sex in Sydney

Matt Wolf

Sequin is the screen name for the questing 16-year-old at the slowly awakening heart of Sequin in a Blue Room, a 2019 Australian film only now reaching the UK.

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Sound of Metal review - hidden depths behind the decibels

Adam Sweeting

I once went to see Motorhead, back in the days when real men didn’t wear earplugs, and afterwards it was if somebody had completely sawn off the top half of my hearing register. Weird and scary, and the band were putting themselves through that every night.

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Undine review - respecting the nymph

Graham Fuller

Illogical in its twists and turns, elusive as a fading dream but not stylistically dreamy – Christian Petzold’s optimistic romantic tragedy Undine is a ciné-conundrum par excellence.

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Wilderness review – 'what comes after besotted?'

Sebastian Scotney

Wilderness has close-ups. And intimacy. And glorious empty beaches. A couple – John (James Barnes) and Alice (Katharine Davenport) – first meet outside the back door of a jazz club. They become completely infatuated with each other. We see them heading off to a seaside cottage in a 1960s Volvo sports car.

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Godzilla vs. Kong review - let battle commence (again)

Saskia Baron

All is harmony as another day breaks in paradise. Kong yawns and stretches luxuriously, his furry brown musculature surely paying homage to Burt Reynolds’ iconic yet discreet Playgirl centrefold. Bobby Vinton croons Over the Seas over invisible speakers as the giant ape showers in a waterfall. If only Godzilla vs.

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The Drifters review - lovers-on-the-run with little moral depth

Tom Baily

The Drifters remakes the romance crime genre by placing the main themes of rebellion and freedom in the context of the race and migration divisions of present day Britain. It is a noble mission for a debut by British director Benjamin Bond.

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The Mauritanian review – moving 9/11 drama

Demetrios Matheou

Whether he’s making documentaries or dramas, director Kevin Macdonald has an eye for the bleak moments in our history, and a dynamic way of recreating them, from the Oscar-winning doc Four Days in September, about the Munich massacre, to the fictionalised account of the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, The Last King of Scotland, which at times played like a horror film.

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Memories of My Father review - the richness of childhood, the cruelty of history

Tom Birchenough

Spanish director Fernando Trueba’s Memories of My Father adapts the Colombian writer Héctor Abad Faciolince’s 2006 family memoir, which was published in English as Oblivion: the Spanish-...

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Stray review - a delightful portrait of a dog named Zeytin

Sarah Kent

It’s a dog’s life, this lockdown; if only I could meet my friends whenever I want to and roam around freely without obeying these annoying restrictions! 

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Six Minutes to Midnight review - Judi Dench retains her dignity

Matt Wolf

It can't be easy maintaining dignity when everyone in your vicinity is losing theirs. But that's the position in which the inimitable Judi Dench finds herself in Six Minutes to Midnight, a bewildering movie in which star and co-author, Eddie Izzard, spends a lot of time running hither and yon even as the film itself refuses to budge.

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Amber and Me review - sensitive documentary about twin girls, one with Down Syndrome

Saskia Baron

This heartfelt documentary follows twin girls who are just starting primary school. We first meet Amber struggling to pop her head through her shirt, helped by her sister Olivia.

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Minari review - a Korean family searches for the American dream

Markie Robson-Scott

“David, don’t run,” is the refrain that runs through the first scenes of Lee Isaac Chung’s affecting, autobiographical Minari, acclaimed at Sundance, winner of a Golden Globe for best foreign language film (it’s mainly in Korean) and nominated for several Academy Awards.

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Verdict review - social realism and court procedural combine in powerful Manila drama

Tom Birchenough

There’s something of an anomaly in Filipino director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s debut feature between its fast-moving dramatic opening, defined by an agile hand-held camera, and the much slower, more static scenes that follow.

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Wander Darkly review - bold psychodrama falls short

Tom Baily

Like the sun-happy LA of this film’s setting, there’s a hard-to-pinpoint sham quality to Wander Darkly. It feels like too much phoney dialogue crept in to the final script of this “serious” film by writer-director Tara Miele.

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The Columnist review - taking out the trolls

Graham Fuller

There aren't many unforgettable moments in The Columnist, but one occurs when the eponymous Dutch journalist Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) clambers from the skylight of her house and, unseen by her middle-aged neighbour (Rein Hofman), who's doing DIY on his roof, tips him to his death on his patio.

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