wed 02/12/2020

Film Reviews

The Last Full Measure review - exceptional performances elevate middling Vietnam war drama

Joseph Walsh

It’s impossible to deny the sincerity with which Todd Robinson has approached the true story of William H.

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The Vast of Night review - perfectly paranoid

Graham Fuller

The Vast of Night’s premise scarcely guarantees originality.

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Krabi, 2562 review - a trance-like visitation

Owen Richards

Have you ever visited a destination you saw on film, only to realise it’s not quite how you imagined? Filled with tourists, the scars of mass visitation, and caught between its own culture and staying commercially attractive. The Thai city of Krabi is one such location, made famous by such films as The Beach and The Man with a Golden Gun.

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The Uncertain Kingdom review - Britannia agonistes

Graham Fuller

The Uncertain Kingdom is a VOD anthology of 20 short films, 10 directed by women, comprising a tapestry of life in – and, in one case, outside – Brexit-era Britain. Though hope, humour, and whimsy were threaded into the project, its dominant fabric is grey.

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The High Note review - Tracee Ellis Ross shines in so-so music dramedy

Joseph Walsh

Nisha Ganatra’s musical dramedy, penned by first time screenwriter Flora Greeson, isn’t going to win any prizes for originality and is almost unforgivably corny. But the feel-good vibes and winning combination of Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson are still likely to win audiences over.

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Have a Good Trip, Netflix review - a breezy journey into the mind

Owen Richards

Don’t do drugs, kids. For the past 50 years, that’s been the consistent message. But how much of what we know about psychedelics is just fearmongering? Do you really want to jump out of a window? Will you permanently lose your mind?

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Women Make Film: Part Two review - two steps forward, one step back

Jill Chuah Masters

The second half of Mark Cousins’ documentary on films by women filmmakers starts with religion; it ends with song and dance. This is a second seven-hour journey through cinema.

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Women Make Film: Part One review - a mesmerising journey of neglected film

Joseph Walsh

Equally ambitious in scope as his 900min ode to cinema The Story of Film: An Odyssey, Mark Cousins’ latest work, Women Make Film, is a fourteen-hour exploration of the work of female...

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The County review - Icelandic drama from the director of 'Rams'

Joseph Walsh

Like Rams before it, the ice-glazed hillsides and stark ochre grasslands of northern Iceland are the backdrop for Grímur Hákonarson’s third feature The County, a rural drama that explores the murkier side of local politics.

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Reborn review - horror on the Hollywood skids

Nick Hasted

The Frankenstein-style, electrical storm-sparked resurrection of a dead baby in a hospital morgue, and her theft by its creepy attendant, is followed by a homage to Stephen King’s supernaturally potent teenagers, from Carrie to Firestarter, in a threadbare horror with consistent, curious ideas about its own B-movie realm.

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In Search of Greatness review - Gabe Polsky's absorbing sports documentary

Veronica Lee

Ask any great sportsman or woman about greatness and they'll tell you it's as much achieved as made; natal talent isn't worth much if you don't practise, or are unfit, or don't have a hunger to win.

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The Atom: A Love Affair review - hot fusion and cold hearts

Joseph Walsh

It’s fair to say that humanity’s relationship with nuclear energy over the last 50 years has had more highs and lows than a Spanish soap opera. From the Manhattan Project to Hinkley Point, it’s been a controversial technology that has promised both humanity’s salvation and damnation.

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Romantic Comedy review - a not-so-guilty pleasure

Owen Richards

Only those who really love you can deliver the hard truths, and for filmmaker Elizabeth Sankey, that one love is romantic comedies. Better known as one half of band Summer Camp, Sankey is a self-confessed romcom expert, having watched nearly every film from the 80s onwards.

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Dangerous Lies, Netflix review - slick silliness

Nick Hasted

When not dipping into its bottomless debts to write Scorsese blank cheques, Netflix tends to favour old-school TV movie potboilers such as this slick, silly thriller, in which young couple Katie (Camila Mendes) and Adam (...

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The Whistlers review – a smart, self-aware noir concerning a crooked cop

Joseph Walsh

Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu has made a career crafting perceptive and cerebral examinations of his native country. From his 2006 debut 12:08 to Bucharest to The Treasure, they were cerebral films that powerfully embodied the Romanian New Wave. 

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Camino Skies review - NZ documentary brings no surprises

Markie Robson-Scott

A documentary about six middle-aged Antipodeans, four women and two men, walking the 500 mile pilgrims’ path through France and Spain to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela sounds uplifting, inspiring, even fun. Just the ticket, perhaps, when one's travel horizons are limited. But this soft-focus film fails to dig deeply enough into the lives and motivations of strangers thrown together with nothing much in common apart from grief, and sometimes not even that.

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