sat 25/01/2020

Film Reviews

The Ciambra review - supremely effective storytelling

Owen Richards

The Ciambra is a wonderful and subtle piece of filmmaking. Director/writer Jonas Carpignano captures the genuine heart and fire of family relationships with an amateur cast of relatives, led by the magnetic young Pio Amato.

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City of Ghosts review - chilling but inspiring report on Syria's citizen journalists

David Kettle

Raqqa was once a prosperous if little-known town in northern Syria. Since 2014, however, it has served as the de facto capital of ISIS’s self-styled caliphate, and as such has been physically decimated, its population subjected to increasingly horrific subjugation.

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Studio 54 review - boogie wonderland

Jasper Rees

You need to be of a certain age to recall the sheer ubiquity of Studio 54. For a few years in the late 1970s, even the sterner British newspapers were routinely stuffed with stories of who was there and what went on within the hallowed citadel (if not who went down, and on whom).

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom review - dinosaurs in peril

Adam Sweeting

I see critics elsewhere have been churlishly sticking the boot into this latest episode of the now quite venerable dinosaurs-reborn franchise (Steven Spielberg’s original arrived in 1993).

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McQueen review - the dark brilliance of Alexander McQueen

Markie Robson-Scott

Lee Alexander McQueen said that he pulled the horrors out of his soul and put them on the catwalk. Eight years after his death, and three years after the record-breaking Savage Beauty retrospectives at the Metropolitan Museum and the V&A, his extraordinary story remains as powerful as ever.

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My Friend Dahmer review - sympathy for the devil

Tom Birchenough

“He’s not a sideshow attraction,” we hear towards the end of Marc Meyers’s queasily compelling My Friend Dahmer, when one of the “Dahmer Fan Club”, a group of high school sham-friends-cum-taunters who have been treating the film’s teen protagonist as if he was just that, has...

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Ismael's Ghosts review - call me novelistic

Nick Hasted

The literary allusions and aspirations come thick and fast in this roomy, novelistic, most French of films from Arnaud Desplechin.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story review - timid and torpid

Nick Hasted

This is franchise film-making at its worst. A Han Solo: Year Zero origin yarn makes some sense, after Harrison Ford’s piratical hero finished on the wrong end of a lightsaber in The Force Awakens.

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Edie review - Sheila Hancock gets summit fever

Jasper Rees

There have been plenty of films about mountains, and they are mainly about men. The plot tends not to vary: man clambers up peak because, as Mallory famously reasoned, it is there. Whether factual or scripted, often they are disaster movies too: Everest, Touching the Void, the astonishing German film about the race to conquer the vertical wall of the Eiger, North Face.

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On Chesil Beach review - perfect playing in a poignant Ian McEwan adaptation

Tom Birchenough

Ian McEwan has said that he decided to adapt his 2007 novel On Chesil Beach for the screen himself at least partly because he did not want anyone else to do so (with earlier works, including Atonement, he was glad not to have taken on the adaptation). The sensitivity of the...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

David Nice

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating.

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Filmworker review - a life dedicated to Stanley Kubrick

Saskia Baron

What would have happened to Leon Vitali if as a schoolboy he had gone to see that other 1968 hit sci-fi movie, Barbarella rather than Kubrick’s 2001? It’s impossible to imagine that a life devoted to the oeuvre of Roger Vadim would have merited a documentary.

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Cuckmere: A Portrait/Environment 2.0, Brighton Festival review - landscape, politics and art collide

Nick Hasted

Sitting between the South Downs and the sea, Brighton’s borders are defined by nature. The Downs’ 2010 designation as a National Park also legislatively limits urban encroachment.

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Anon review - adventures in cyber-noir

Adam Sweeting

Though set in a futuristic (although not by much) world in which information technology has almost taken over the human psyche, Anon still relies on a crumpled whisky-drinking gumshoe for its protagonist.

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Revenge - a blood-soaked joy

Owen Richards

Deep in an unnamed desert, a violent and psychedelic retribution is sought. The aptly named Revenge is a brutally rewarding experience, bringing classic horror and exploitation tropes kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

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Entebbe review – Seventies hijack drama remains grounded

Adam Sweeting

The freeing of a plane-load of hostages by Israeli forces at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976 produced an instant spate of movie versions.

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The Welkin, National Theatre review - women's labour is...

History plays should perform a delicate balancing act: they have to...