mon 22/07/2019

Film Reviews

Yardie review - Idris Elba shoots straight in his directorial debut

Jasper Rees

The first significant British film to explore the influence of Jamaican sound systems in London was Babylon. Shot in 1980, its street patois was deemed impenetrable enough to merit subtitles. Times change.

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Cold War review - a gorgeous and mesmerising romance

Saskia Baron

Can we ever really know the passion that brought our parents together? By the time we are old enough to hear the story of how they first met, that lovers’ narrative has frayed in the telling and faded in the daily light of domestic familiarity.

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BlacKkKlansman review - absurd and angry satire

Nick Hasted

What happens when you let racism sit and fester in the middle of your culture?

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The King review - the myth behind the man

Owen Richards

The most famous face in musical history, and perhaps the instigator of modern culture as we know it; he truly was the King. But for a documentary focused on such an icon, The King touches very little on Elvis Presley the man.

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The Guardians review - beautifully crafted drama

Saskia Baron

A slow tracking shot over the gassed corpses of soldiers, their masks having failed the ecstasy of fumbling, opens The Guardians. This French art house film would perhaps have been better served by the English title The Caretakers; it's closer to the original French meaning and would have made it less likely to be confused with a superhero movie.

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The Negotiator review - Jon Hamm shines in Beirut-based thriller

Adam Sweeting

So far Jon Hamm has had trouble finding himself movie roles which fit him quite as impeccably as Mad Men’s Don Draper – though he could do worse than throw his hat in the ring for James Bond – but his role here as an American diplomat in Beirut plays obligingly to his strengths.

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A Sicilian Ghost Story review - a beautiful, confusing journey

Owen Richards

Childhood is an inimitable experience – the laws of the world are less certain, imagination and reality meld together, and no event feels fixed. A Sicilian Ghost Story recreates this sensation in the context of real world trauma, producing a unique and sometimes unsettling cinematic...

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Apostasy review - trouble in the Jehovah's Witnesses' Kingdom

Nick Hasted

Religion’s desire to fulfil humanity too often denies it instead. The cruelty of inflexible faith which breaks fallible adherents on its iron rules is at the core of this family drama, written and directed by former Jehovah’s Witness Daniel Kokotajlo.

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Mission: Impossible - Fallout review - brilliant summer blockbuster

Adam Sweeting

This is the second Mission: Impossible movie written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the first time any director has been called back for an encore on the series.

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again review - sweet, silly, and, best of all, Cher

Matt Wolf

Mamma Mia! has a habit of bursting upon us at crucially restorative moments. The Broadway production opened just after 9/11 and provided necessary balm to a city in shock.

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The Receptionist – London’s underground sex industry laid bare

Owen Richards

When director Jenny Lu graduated from university, the promise of a big city career quickly turned into a series of rejections. Around this time, a close friend of hers committed suicide by jumping off a bridge – unbeknownst to their circle of friends, this girl was working in the sex industry.

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First Reformed - faith fights the eco-apocalypse

Nick Hasted

Father Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) calls himself one of God’s lonely men. The term given to Paul Schrader’s anti-heroes since Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle is usefully explained by the priest: his loneliness is a divine attribute letting him sympathise with fellow sufferers. Take one look at Hawke’s face, though, which seems sucked into hollow-cheeked, unnatural nobility, and it’s clear few need help more than him.

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Summer 1993 review - the tenderest fabric of childhood

Tom Birchenough

Carla Simón’s debut feature Summer 1993 is a gem of a film by any standards, but when you learn that its story is based closely on the thirtysomething Catalan director’s own early life, its intimacy becomes almost overwhelming.

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Incredibles 2 review - worship these superheroes

Saskia Baron

Age cannot wither her nor custom stale her infinite stretchiness… Time has been kind to Elastigirl, the superhero mom voiced by Holly Hunter and dreamed up by Brad Bird. Fourteen years have passed since The Incredibles seduced adult critics and children alike, but it might as well be yesterday for Elastigirl.

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Pin Cushion review - a twisted fable of daydreams and bullies

Owen Richards

On the surface, Pin Cushion is a whimsical British indie, packed with imagination and charm.

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Postcards from the 48% review - wistful memorial to forgotten values

David Kettle

Writer and director David Nicholas Wilkinson felt moved to make his reflective, rather melancholy documentary on the 48% who voted to remain in the EU, he says, because nobody else was making one. When it came to funding the project, not a single Brit would invest (though he...

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