sun 26/01/2020

Film Reviews

Siberia review - Keanu Reeves's duff Russian mission

Tom Baily

It is appropriate that Keanu Reeves sounds especially croaky and muffled throughout Siberia. Business meetings for his character Lucas Hill (a diamond trader) don’t normally involve much talk, just a swift briefcase handover and a confidential handshake.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald review - mischief not quite managed

Joseph Walsh

Two years after the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we return to the Wizarding World once again for the next, somewhat convoluted, chapter in the five planned prequel instalments, with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

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Suspiria review - kindly, slow-motion grand guignol

Nick Hasted

The first Suspiria was a sensation, and spectacularly, monomaniacally new.

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Widows review - feminist crime pays

Nick Hasted

Steve McQueen’s progress from video artist to Oscar-winning director has been deceptively smooth.

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Overlord review - nightmares in Normandy

Adam Sweeting

The trailer for Overlord promises havoc, horror, evil, madness, terror and rage, and to be fair it delivers on most of those.

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Wildlife review - Paul Dano's tense directorial debut

Graham Fuller

A revelatory moment comes hallway through Wildlife when frustrated American housewife Jeanette Brinson (Carey Mulligan) is observed standing alone in her family’s backyard by her 14-year-old son Joe (Ed Oxenbould), the film’s anxious, steadfast protagonist.

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Peterloo review - Mike Leigh's angry historical drama

Veronica Lee

Considering how the UK prides itself on having created the "Mother of Parliaments" and its citizens having once chopped off a king's head for thwarting its will, remarkably little is taught in our schools about one of the seminal events on the way to fully democratising this country: the Peterloo Massacre.

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The Yukon Assignment review - two men in a boat test father-son bond

Tom Baily

The Yukon Assignment tracks a 500-mile canoe journey along a remote river in Canada taken by a British adventurer and his father.

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Michael Caine: Blowing the Bloody Doors Off review - an actor's handbook, annotated by experience

Marina Vaizey

What a charmer! An irresistible combination of diffidence and confidence, Michael Caine is so much more than Alfie, and this surprising book, his second after a delightful autobiography, is multi-layered, filled with tips for acting, on stage and screen.

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Bohemian Rhapsody review – all surface, no soul

Owen Richards

If a Queen biopic called for drama, scandal and outrage, then Bohemian Rhapsody spent its fill in production.

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Possum review - mind-infecting homage to 1970s horror

David Kettle

Matthew Holness clearly knows a thing or two about low-budget British horror from the early 1970s. In TV comedy Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace he was as merciless as he was affectionate in ripping the genre apart. His debut feature as writer-director is an odd, woozy...

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The Hate U Give review - American teen drama takes on Black Lives Matter

Saskia Baron

Starr Carter is 16 years old and her life straddles two very different worlds, the posh prep school she goes to with its privileged white students and the troubled black neighbourhood she lives in with her family.

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Donkeyote review - a quiet revelation

David Kettle

It’s an undeniably quirky set-up: an elderly Spanish farmer who takes it upon himself to travel to America and walk – alone – the epic, 2,200-mile Trail of Tears, following the westward route taken by the Cherokee fleeing white settlers. Alone, that is, apart from his trusty sheepdog Zafrana and Andalusian donkey Gorrión.

It’s such a bizarre idea, in fact, that a travel agent whose help...

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LFF 2018: Roma review – Alfonso Cuarón’s triumphant return to Mexico

Demetrios Matheou

It’s not for nothing that Alfonso Cuarón’s mercurial CV includes Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because this director really knows something about alchemy.

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LFF 2018: The Favourite review - Queen Anne's bizarre love triangle

Adam Sweeting

Olivia Colman will in due course be appearing as Elizabeth II in The Crown, surely a role of a very different hue to her portrayal of Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite (shown at LFF)....

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Dogman review - Matteo Garrone takes on the mafia again

Saskia Baron

There aren’t many movies that cater to audiences with a passion for canine grooming, the mafia and dismal seaside resorts but Dogman more than satisfies all those cravings. Ten years after Matteo Garrone won Cannes with the searingly brutal Gomorrah, the director returns with another drawn-from-life tale of everyday Italian mobsters. 

The titular hero is Marcello (Marcello Fonte), a...

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