thu 27/06/2019

Film Reviews

Yesterday review - Beatlemania in a parallel universe

Adam Sweeting

The price of fame and the value of artistic truth are among the topics probed in Danny Boyle’s irresistible comedy, a beguiling magical mystery tour of an upside-down world where The Beatles suddenly never existed.

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Apollo 11 review - an awe-inspiring leap

Tom Baily

How could this story be told again? Director Todd Douglas Miller has found a way: strip away narrative and give the audience the purity of original record. The result is a gripping non-fiction experience that sits in a unique space between documentary, art, drama and dream.

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Mari review - bittersweet drama with flair

Owen Richards

Mari is one part kitchen sink drama, one part dance performance, bringing a refreshing take on bereavement and family.

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Toy Story 4 review - fabulous return to the big screen

Saskia Baron

Making it to the fourth film in a series and maintaining quality is a feat pulled off by very few franchises, (see last week’s dreary Men in Black: International). But Pixar has done it with Toy Story 4.

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The Captor review - Stockholm syndrome silliness

Nick Hasted

The botched 1973 hostage incident which inspired the term Stockholm syndrome comes to flatly comic life here, the strange psychological phenomenon of captives falling for their captors over time being reduced to an absurd caper.

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Diego Maradona review - entertaining but skin-deep

Joseph Walsh

There's something unsatisfying about the fact that Asif Kapadia's new documentary on the controversial 1980s sporting legend Diego Maradona has a two-word title.

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Men in Black: International review - lacklustre sequel missing original stars

Saskia Baron

The best joke in Men in Black: International happens before the film starts, when the iconic Columbia Pictures lady in a toga whips out a pair of familiar dark glasses. It’s a nifty, witty gag that doesn’t outstay its welcome, which is more than can be said for the feature that follows. The original stars are absent and there’s an absence too of the screwball humour that made the first film, back in 1997 such a hit. 

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Sometimes Always Never review - small but perfectly crafted

Adam Sweeting

A starring role for Scrabble is one of the things that sets this small-scale but deceptively affecting film apart.

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We the Animals review - lyrical story of brotherly love and family trauma

Markie Robson-Scott

“When we were brothers we wanted more: more volume, more muscles, us three, us kings.” So begins documentary-maker Jeremiah Zagar’s faithful but watered-down adaptation of Justin Torres’s autobiographical coming-out novel, set in the 1990s.

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Bob Dylan Special - Rolling Thunder Revue, Netflix

Tim Cumming

Tomorrow, Martin Scorsese delivers, via Netflix, two hours and 22 minutes of screen time devoted to Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, following on from the release last week of the latest Bootleg Series boxed set, 14...

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Dirty God review - an important piece of filmmaking

Owen Richards

With the continued prevalence of acid attacks in the UK, it was only a matter of time before they became the subject of a film. Thank goodness, then, it's handled with such unflinching care as it is in Dirty God.

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Eating Animals review - a compelling tale of imminent disaster

Sarah Kent

Eating Animals begins as a David and Goliath tale of independent farmers versus industrial farming. Frank Reese specialises in rare-breed turkeys and chickens. He calls his farm the "Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch" because, for him, his traditional way of farming is akin to a religious experience.

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X-Men: Dark Phoenix review - a grand finale

Nick Hasted

One day, when superhero films are as rare as westerns, we will appreciate the brilliant talent applied to the best of them. X-Men: Dark Phoenix moves with a classic’s smooth conviction from its very first scenes.

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Late Night review - Emma Thompson star vehicle needs a serious rewrite

Matt Wolf

“Get me rewrite!”: That’s likely to be a common reaction to Late Night, the well-meaning but surprisingly slipshod star vehicle for Emma Thompson set in and among the writing world of a New York late-night chat show that is hitting the skids.

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Gloria Bell review - dancing away the heartache

Adam Sweeting

With Gloria (2013), A Fantastic Woman (2017) and Disobedience (2018), Chile’s Sebastián Lelio has earned a deserved reputation as a sympathetic director of women.

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Sundance London 2019 review - psychotic maniacs and old-fashioned weepies

Adam Sweeting

This fifth edition of Sundance’s London offshoot covered the first moon landing in Apollo 11, probed philosophical pranksters The Satanic Temple in Hail Satan? and took a trip through the alt-right...

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latest in today

Yesterday review - Beatlemania in a parallel universe

The price of fame and the value of artistic truth are among the topics probed in...

Blu-Ray: People on Sunday

Weimar Germany produced some extraordinary cinema – with Pabst, Murnau, Fritz Lang  and others creating a language that transformed the...

CD: Mark Mulcahy – The Gus

On his last album, 2017’s acclaimed The Possum in the Driveway, singer songwriter Mark Mulcahy presented a collection that seemed almost...

The Hunt, Almeida Theatre review - tense Scandinoirland dram...

For a while, child abuse has been banished from our stages. After all, there is a limit, surely, to how much pain audiences can be put through....

Present Laughter, Old Vic review - Andrew Scott continues hi...

"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" can be heard pulsating through the...

Apollo 11 review - an awe-inspiring leap

How could this story be told again? Director Todd Douglas Miller has found a way: strip away narrative and give the audience the purity of...

theartsdesk on Vinyl 50: Depeche Mode, Black Midi, Primal Sc...

So theartsdesk on Vinyl reaches its 50th edition. That’s at least a novels’ worth of words. Maybe two! But we’re not stopping yet...

Ax, Keenlyside, Dover Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – celebra...

Emanuel Ax here celebrated his 70th birthday with an all-...

The Planets, Series Finale, BBC Two review - ice cold on Nep...

As an aid to meditation, Professor Brian Cox’s latest series The Planets (...

Drag SOS, Channel 4 review - absolutely fabulous

According to the Manchester drag collective the Family Gorgeous, “drag should be for everyone.” And on the evidence of Drag SOS (...