mon 27/01/2020

Film Reviews

Captain Marvel review – Brie Larson is the Avenger we’ve always been waiting for

Demetrios Matheou

There have been two relatively recent, welcome correctives in what is grandiosely referred to as the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” – a move towards diversity (Black Panther) and a sharp injection of comedy (Guardians of the GalaxyThor: Ragnarok).

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Ray & Liz review - beautifully shot portrait of poverty

Sarah Kent

Ray’s world has shrunk to a single room in a council flat. His life consists of drinking home-brew, smoking, gazing out of the window, listening to Radio 4 and sinking into an alcohol-induced stupour. There’s no need ever to leave his bedroom because his neighbour Sid does all the necessaries. 

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The Hole in the Ground review - parental horror stays on the surface

Nick Hasted

Mothers’ fears for and of their children are primal horror material: The Babadook and Under the Shadow set recent standards for exploring its emotional terror.

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Serenity review - a game of two ill-fitting halves

Adam Sweeting

You’d expect the man who created Peaky Blinders and the ingenious one-man-and-his-car drama Locke to have his ducks in a row and his feet planted securely on terra firma, but in Serenity Steven Knight seems to have permitted himself a leisurely mental vacation. It’s a tale of love, loss, multi-dimensional weirdness and a very large fish.

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Hannah review - Rampling's restrained passion burns bright

mark Kidel

Hannah is a vehicle for Charlotte Rampling, and it's no wonder she won the Best Actress Award for her role at Venice in 2018.  The film follows her as she gradually falls to pieces, without a trace of hysteria, slowly and surely, with her husband in prison for reasons that are never clear.

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The Aftermath review - it looks great but it lacks bite

Adam Sweeting

Is it time for the rebirth of the old-fashioned wartime weepie? If so, this time next year The Aftermath will be dragging a clanking heap of statuettes round Hollywood, attached to the rear bumper of its 1940s army staff car. If not…

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Foxtrot review – controversial movie dances to an ugly tune

Graham Fuller

Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot uses irony and visual poetry to condemn his nation’s militarism. Twenty months after the movie won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice, it opens in the UK trailing a divisive history.

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Oscars 2019: Olivia Colman crowned queen of Hollywood

Matt Wolf

The 91st Academy Awards began with a rousing concert appearance from Queen to kick off a show from which Bohemian Rhapsody led the field with four trophies.

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Old Boys review - short but not especially sweet

Matt Wolf

How does the ever cherub-cheeked Alex Lawther keep getting served in pubs? That question crossed my mind during the more leisurely portions of Old Boys, an overextended English schoolboy revamp of Cyrano de Bergerac that flags just when it most needs narrative adrenaline.

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Capernaum review - sorrow, pity and shame in the Beirut slums

Markie Robson-Scott

An angry little boy, in jail after stabbing someone, stands in a Beirut courtroom and tells the judge that he wants to sue his parents. Why? For giving birth to him when they’re too poor and feckless to care for him. And he wants them to stop having children.

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On the Basis of Sex review – real-life legal drama

Demetrios Matheou

When the world is as crazy as it is right now, its political life dominated by dolts and villains, it needs a new kind of hero. That’s why Americans are embracing an octogenarian woman with more guts and integrity than virtually anyone at her level of public life, and why in quick succession we’ve had two films about her.    

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69th Berlin Film Festival round-up - what a banal Berlinale

Joseph Walsh

As journalists and critics were enjoying the unseasonably balmy weather in Berlin at the 69th Film Festival, all were wondering – where are all the good films?

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A Private War review - Rosamund Pike burns with passion in well-meaning biopic

Matt Wolf

The Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin lived such a fearless life that it's a shame this celluloid biopic isn't correspondingly brave.

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Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno review - cold carnal overdose from Kechiche

mark Kidel

Abdellatif Kechiche, the Tunisian-French director, is perhaps best known for the lengthy and explicit sex scenes in La vie d’Adèle (Blue is the Warmest Colour).

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The Kid Who Would Be King review - a timeless charmer

Nick Hasted

The Arthurian legend’s tight fit as a Brexit allegory perhaps proves how timeless it is as, buried and bound in the earth by Merlin, Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) senses the land above is “lost and leaderless”, and ripe for her apocalyptic return.

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Jellyfish review - life on the edge in Margate

Owen Richards

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside – well perhaps not, if Jellyfish is anything to go by. Set in Margate, this independent feature paints a picture of a town and people that have been left behind.

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