fri 24/05/2019

Film Reviews

Arctic review - The Martian on ice

Adam Sweeting

This is the first feature film by Brazil-born director Joe Penna (previously best known for his hit YouTube channel MysteryGuitarMan), but you’d never have guessed. Clocking in at a crisp and chilly 98 minutes, Arctic is an immaculately controlled exploration of the theme of man versus the elements, assisted immeasurably by having Mads Mikkelsen as its protagonist, Overgård.

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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile review - pedestrian Ted Bundy biopic

Saskia Baron

Why make a feature film about Ted Bundy, the notorious 1970s serial killer when you’ve already made Conversations with a Killer, a four-part factual series for Netflix about him?

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Vox Lux review – music biz drama with big ideas

Graham Fuller

Common to the recent spate of films about aspiring singers, the theme of fame’s corrupting influence is hardly new.

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Woman at War review – timely comedy-drama about an eco-warrior with a difference

Demetrios Matheou

What is it about Nordic women and the environment?

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Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, Design Museum review - immersive detail

Tom Birchenough

Who would have known that the word “Kubrickian” only entered the Oxford English Dictionary last year? You’d have thought that one of the great film directors of the 20th century would have earned his own epithet long ago.

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Tolkien review - biopic charms but never wows

Joseph Walsh

Finnish director Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien follows the same formula of many literary biopics, with a tick-box plot of loves, friendships and hardships that forged the writing career of one the 20th Century’s greatest fantasy writers.

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Long Shot review - semi-hilarious odd couple romcom

Nick Hasted

This is a romcom of two radically different halves, vaulting so dizzyingly from insultingly unbearable to daringly hilarious that walking in half-way through becomes a viable option.

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Donbass review - war stories from the Ukrainian front

Tom Birchenough

The latest from the prolific Sergei Loznitsa, Donbass is a bad-dream journey into the conflict that’s been waging in Eastern Ukraine since 2014, barely noticed beyond its immediate region.

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Styx review - high seas, high stakes refugee nightmare

Nick Hasted

The Mediterranean’s massacres of the refugee innocent come uncomfortably close to a lone female sailor in this stark parable of European helplessness and indifference.

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Avengers: Endgame review - Marvel save the biggest and best for last

Owen Richards

The Earth’s mightiest defenders are back in a triumphant climax, 11 years in the making. Despite a three hour runtime and an overstuffed preceding chapter, the Russo Brothers pull off the near-impossible by creating a wholly satisfying final chapter, and possibly the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Eighth Grade review - a dazzlingly real portrait of a teenage girl

Markie Robson-Scott

“Hey guys, it’s Kayla, back with another video. So, the topic of today’s video is being yourself.” Kayla Day (the wonderful Elsie Fisher, nominated for a Golden Globe and also heard as the voice of Agnes in Despicable Me) is in her last week of eighth grade in upstate New York, compounding the horror of being 13 years old by making self-help YouTube videos in her bedroom. “As always, make sure to share and subscribe to my channel.

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Red Joan review - Judi Dench can't lift lumbering espionage drama

Matt Wolf

The decades-long stage relationship between Judi Dench and Trevor Nunn translates to surprisingly little with Red Joan. This is veteran theatre director Nunn's first film since Twelfth Night in 1996.

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Loro review – hedonism must have an end

David Nice

"Them" - the "loro" of the title (with a further play on “l’oro”, gold) - denotes the mostly sleazy opportunists willing to use and be used by "him" ("lui"), "Presidente" Silvio Berlusconi in his septuagenarian bid for an extended sexual and political life.

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Dragged Across Concrete review - Mel Gibson's hard-boiled high

Nick Hasted

Mel Gibson’s vile drunken rants a decade ago, his 63 years and the price of both inform his role as cop Brett Ridgeman. Writer-director S. Craig Zahler won’t comment.

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Greta review – Isabelle Huppert goes full psycho in eccentric stalker thriller

Demetrios Matheou

Isabelle Huppert is famed for the chilly intensity of many of her performances, and a willingness to mine all manner of darkness and perversity – her recent, award-laden turn in Elle being a good example. So it’s surprising how rarely she’s played unequivocal villains.

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Hellboy review - vivid monster mash

Nick Hasted

No one was waiting for another Hellboy film, but here this rude, crude reboot is anyway, stomping all over Guillermo del Toro’s 2004 original with freewheeling energy.

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