sat 19/09/2020

Film Reviews

Chemical Hearts review - turn off the sound

Matt Wolf

Musings on the agonies of adolescent love fall like dead weight in this wearying if well-acted adaptation by writer-director Richard Tanne of the 2016 Young Adult novel Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. 17-year-old Henry Page (Austin Abrams) falls hard for Grace Torn (Lili Reinhart, from TV's Riverdale), the indrawn new transfer student at his New Jersey high school who walks with a cane and speaks of needing her sins erased....

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Ava review - Sadaf Foroughi powerhouse drama about teenage rebellion

Joseph Walsh

Canadian-Iranian director Sadaf Foroughi offers up a gut-wrenching tale of adolescent rebellion set against the strictures of an oppressive Middle Eastern society.

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Random Acts of Violence review - study in horror lacks scares

Joseph Walsh

The debate about whether violent films cause violent acts has been around for decades.

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Yes, God, Yes review - coming of age, emphasis on coming

Saskia Baron

It’s somewhat dispiriting to watch a coming-of-age rom-com that rarely rises above clichés and limps along as slowly as Yes, God, Yes.

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My Rembrandt review - hard cash and hubris

Florence Hallett

In the gloomy splendour of Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch gazes up at Rembrandt’s Old Woman Reading, 1655. The painting has belonged to the Scott family for more than 250 years, and like generations before him, the duke has known it all his life.

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Babyteeth review - teenage love and terminal illness in the Sydney suburbs

Markie Robson-Scott

Babyteeth gets off to a terrific start. A semi-naked, manic Moses (Toby Wallace, full of scabby charisma) almost pushes 15-year-old Milla (Eliza Scanlen; Sharp Objects, Little Women) on to the Sydney train tracks as she waits on the platform in her school uniform, carrying her violin. It’s a thunderclap: she’s smitten.

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Project Power - so-so attempt to reinvent the superhero genre

Joseph Walsh

What if there was a pill you could pop that gave you superpowers? The only catch is that, while it might make you invisible or bullet-proof, it might also boil your brain or make you explode with just one hit.

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Spree review - a wild ride through social media madness

Adam Sweeting

Allergic to that word “influencer”? Afraid that social media is the death of civilisation as we’ve known it? Then this movie may be for you.

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Pinocchio review - wooden heart

Nick Hasted

This seems a perfect project for Matteo Garrone, a director who has found new ways to conjure old Italian dreams, and invests even his most grimly realistic films with fairy tale logic and wonder. Carlo Collodi’s 1883 story is here returned to its local time and place, as Pinocchio’s picaresque journey of experience unfolds in a deliberately traditional, lovingly crafted children’s film.

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Perfect 10 review - a small movie with a big heart

Matt Wolf

We first see Leigh (Frankie Box), the cheeky heroine of Scottish writer-director Eva Riley’s debut feature Perfect 10, hanging upside down during a gymnastics workout.

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An American Pickle review - sweet and sour screwball comedy

Joseph Walsh

Seth Rogen offers up double the laughs by taking on both lead roles in a time-hopping, Rip-Van-Winkle screwball comedy, but with an oddly mixed conservative message about the merits of family and...

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Young Ahmed review - jihadist drama misses the mark

Owen Richards

Belgian filmmaking duo the Dardenne Brothers have long been darlings of Cannes Film Festival, winning awards for hardhitting dramas like La Promesse, Le Silence de Lorna and The Kid with the Bike.

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Proxima review - family frays before lift-off

Nick Hasted

This sober French space movie is concerned with what a female astronaut leaves behind on Earth, not what she finds in the cosmic dark. Sarah (Eva Green) has been selected for a European Space Agency mission towards Mars, realising a childhood dream.

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Make Up review – coming of age in creepy Cornwall

Graham Fuller

Minutes into Make Up, Claire Oakley’s auspicious first feature as writer-director, unearthly sounds welcome unwitting Ruth (Molly Windsor) to her intimidating baptismal adventure as an 18-year-old who's not so much bi-curious as bi-phobic. A nail-biter to begin with, she’s soon hearing and seeing portents of horror everywhere, not least on the tips of her fingers.

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Unhinged review - road-rage Russ goes gonzo

Adam Sweeting

It may be one of the first movies to be shown in cinemas post-lockdown, but Unhinged is a pale ghost of some much better movies.

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Infamous review - Bonnie and Clyde for the digital age fails to deliver

Joseph Walsh

Like a sub-par Natural Born Killers for Gen Z, director-screenwriter Joshua Caldwell’s latest film, featuring Disney-child-star-turned-porn-director Bella Thorne, tackles the perils of social media like a parent trying to navigate TikTok. 

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