sat 30/05/2020

Film Reviews

Dolittle review - a star is bored

Nick Hasted

“I knew I shouldn’t have let monkeys read the contract,” Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) mutters. The star should have read the script of his first post-Marvel vehicle more closely, too, before taking on the role which previously sank Rex Harrison’s career.

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Mr Jones review - a timely testament to journalism

Owen Richards

While the horrors of Hitler’s rule are well documented, Joseph Stalin’s crimes are less renowned, so much so that in a recent poll in Russia he was voted their greatest ever leader. This chilling fact made acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland feel compelled to remedy such a legacy.

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Parasite review - a class war with grand designs

Demetrios Matheou

With the Oscars approaching, one film building momentum in the fight for best picture – and whose victory would delight all but the most blinkered – is the Korean Bong Joon Ho’s deliriously dark and entertaining black comedy, Parasite

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Birds of Prey review - the DCU is back on track

Joseph Walsh

Back in 2016, David Ayer’s infantile Suicide Squad burst upon us in a wash of lurid greens and purples. Ayer’s film had a myriad of problems, not least the hyper-sexualisation of Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. While controversy abounded, Robbie’s performance remained a highlight. A manic mix of Betty Boop and Fatal Attraction’s Alex Forrest, she stole the film. 

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Plus One review - charm, yes, but irritation too

Matt Wolf

The fast-rising young actor Jack Quaid comes naturally by the ease with which he takes to Plus One, a modern-day inheritor of the sorts of romcoms his mum, Meg Ryan, used to do alongside Tom Hanks.

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood review - an emotionally honest biopic

Graham Fuller

The role of Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was made for Tom Hanks – and he excels in it.

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Richard Jewell review - a portrait of duty and dignity in this true-life tale

Joseph Walsh

Since Play Misty For Me in 1971, Clint Eastwood has been tearing up the American myth with a body of muscular, often melancholic work.

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Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall review - needles, guns and grass

Markie Robson-Scott

In photographer Jim Marshall’s heyday in the 60s and 70s, before the music business became corporate and restrictive, and before Marshall unravelled – he was partial to cars, cocaine and guns as well as cameras – musicians asked for him, they trusted him, and he never violated their trust because, he...

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The Lighthouse review - shiver me timbers

Demetrios Matheou

A creepy lighthouse on a remote island, a blistering storm, a mermaid languishing on the shore and two fabulously bewhiskered actors chewing up the scenery like there’s no tomorrow. The Lighthouse feels like it’s been washed up in a bottle, a film from another time with a story sprung from ghost stories or nightmares.

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Queen & Slim review - a stylish and raw tale of outlaws on the lam

Joseph Walsh

There’s a palpable rage to Melina Matsoukas’ first feature film Queen & Slim, starring Get Outs Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith. Cast in the mould of Bonnie and Clyde, it’s a film that has you clinging to the arms of your seat from the first fifteen-minutes. 

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Talking About Trees review - friendships formed through film

Owen Richards

What’s the appeal of cinema? It can transport us to fantasy lands, or open our eyes to new perspectives. But one aspect that’s less discussed is how it brings people together. Going to the cinema is a social stimulus, a shared experience that sparks discussions and forges friendships.

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The Personal History of David Copperfield review – top-drawer Dickens

Demetrios Matheou

Armando Iannucci’s move away from the contemporary political satires that made his name, first signalled by his bold, uproariously brilliant Death of Stalin, continues apace with a Dickens adaptation that feels quietly radical.

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The Grudge review - non-stop shocks wear out their welcome

Adam Sweeting

The 18-year-old Japanese horror hit Ju-On (The Grudge) was remade once before, as – yes – The Grudge (2004), with Sarah Michelle Gellar.

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A Hidden Life review - Nazism stoically refused

Nick Hasted

Terrence Malick returns to his former greatness following three features of unscripted, all-star poesy, with this sombre biopic of sainted Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl).

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Waves review - pulsating, rapturous, devastating

Markie Robson-Scott

Trey Edward Shults’s extraordinary, music-driven third feature, set in a sparkling south Florida, stars a wonderful Kelvin Harrison Jr as 17-year-old Tyler, an African American high-school wrestler with bleached blond hair.

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Bombshell review – powerful, to a point

Demetrios Matheou

With Harvey Weinstein about to go on trial, the timing is particularly apt for a film that outlines the fall from grace of another media giant who used his powerful position to sexually victimise women.

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