wed 22/01/2020

crime

Deadwater Fell, Channel 4 review - dark murder mystery in a Scottish village

An idyllic Scottish classroom full of happy children making sponge paintings of flowers with two enthusiastic young teachers – clearly, doom is in the air. Here comes that sense of dread again a little later at a ceilidh in a village hall, with...

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White House Farm, ITV review - gripping opener of true crime drama

It's the smallest lies that can bring you down. When he is asked by a detective how he got on with his family, who have just been murdered in a mass shooting at their Essex farm, Jeremy Bamber (Freddie Fox) says: “Really well. We were friends.” A...

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The Gentlemen review - it ain't woke but don't fix it

Guy Ritchie enjoyed his greatest commercial success with 2019’s live-action fantasy Aladdin, the most atypical project of his career, but The Gentlemen finds him back on his best-known turf as a purveyor of mouthy, ultra-violent geezerism. It’s 21...

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The Courier review – lacklustre hit job goes bad in every way

The Courier is a split entity that comprises two interlinked parts. One half involves a silent Gary Oldman who occasionally becomes hysterically enraged, the other a furious Olga Kurylenko who is never allowed a moment of silence. Director Zackary...

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Motherless Brooklyn review – tic tec

Edward Norton has wanted to adapt Motherless Brooklyn since Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed novel was first published 20 years ago. His film (as producer, writer, director and star) is an obvious labour of love, an evocative, entertaining, old-fashioned...

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Charlie's Angels review - feminism-lite action comedy

“Badass” – as applied to dynamic women – and “girl power” may be the kinds of exhausted clichés that are reductive in the #MeToo and Time’s Up era, but the new Charlie’s Angels movie revitalises the attitude they describe in a way that’s neither...

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Knives Out review - marvellous murder mystery

The world’s most successful mystery writer is found dead on the morning after his 85th birthday. In attendance in his Gothic pile are his bickering family, each of whom might wish him dead, and a colourful detective ready to determine whodunnit...

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John Grisham: The Guardians review - nail-bitingly good

Some two million Americans are currently in prison in America. A disproportionate number are black and nearly 200,000 are estimated to be innocent. John Grisham’s quietly horrifying new novel is a damning indictment of the inequities and corruption...

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Vienna Blood, BBC Two review - psychoanalysis and murder in turn-of-the-century Vienna

“Talking cures and exploring the darkness of men’s souls – are you sure this is a career for a gentleman?” This is Vienna, 1906. Freud is exerting an influence, to the disapproval of many, including the father of cool-as-a-cucumber Max Liebermann (...

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'I’m having too much fun writing novels': author Nicolas Searle on The Good Liar

"Surreal" is how the man calling himself Nicholas Searle describes the last five years of his life. He began working on his debut novel The Good Liar in 2014 at the age of 57, having recently retired from the Civil Service. The nature of his former...

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The Irishman review - mobster masterclass

Much has been made of Martin Scorsese’s recent dismissal of Marvel films. Putting that debate aside, there’s no escaping the fact that in an era of rapid-fire sequels, with the same ensembles trotted out year after year, there’s far more ...

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Dublin Murders, Series Finale, BBC One review - eerie detective drama grips tightly

You wouldn’t expect a drama called Dublin Murders (BBC One) to be a laugh a minute, but the cumulative anguish, menace and torment of this eight-parter made it almost unbearable, even if viewers were thrown a tiny scrap of hope in the final frames....

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