thu 18/07/2019

Film Reviews

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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Godzilla: King of the Monsters review – spectacular stupidity

Nick Hasted

Just how many cinematic universes can one planet stand? Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island’s Apocalypse Now/ape mash-up suggested there might be useful room for old-school creature features amidst the superhero surfeit.

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Freedom Fields review - Libya’s next freedom fighters

Owen Richards

Set in the months and years after the Libyan revolution, Freedom Fields follows several women aiming to compete in international football. The documentary finds the players excitedly preparing for their first overseas tournament.

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Thunder Road review - potent and poignant debut feature

Adam Sweeting

This is a painful and poignant study of character-disintegration, and a triumph for its writer, director and star Jim Cummings. He plays small-town police officer Jim Arnaud, a man trying to do his best while a rising sea of troubles threatens to drown him.

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Booksmart review - teen sex comedy with shallow feminist credentials

Saskia Baron

The release of Booksmart is perfectly scheduled for half term, this high school buddy comedy is guaranteed to tempt youngsters away from their exam revision. It’s fast and funny and packed with squirm-inducing sex gags and a peppy soundtrack. Its heroes are Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Deaver), the class swots who forswore all extra-curricular fun in order to study hard and get into top universities.

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Haley Fohr: Salomé, Brighton Festival 2019 review – potently camp debauch

Nick Hasted

Haley Fohr’s disquiet at the “wildly outmoded” sexual politics of this notorious 1923 Wilde adaptation led her to cut its intertitles, relying only on sometimes delirious imagery and her throbbing live score.

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Cannes 2019: Matthias & Maxime review - a gently charming new drama

Joseph Walsh

It has been ten years since Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan first debuted I Killed My Mother at the Cannes Film Festival.

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