sat 23/01/2021

crime

Piranhas review - riding with the teenage gangs of Naples

Roberto Saviano’s book Gomorrah shone a blinding light on the Camorra crime clans of Naples, and spun off an acclaimed film and equally admired TV series. This film version of his 2016 novel La paranza dei bambini (“The Children’s Gang”) isn’t in...

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Clemency review - devastating death row drama

“All we want is to be seen and heard,” explains a lawyer to a death row inmate, paraphrasing a line from Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, from which Chinonye Chukwu’s new film Clemency takes inspiration.Chukwu’s film, like Ellison’s...

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The Old Guard review - serious silliness

It’s hard to take The Old Guard seriously — it’s an action film about thousand-year-old immortal warriors. Pulpy flashbacks and fake blood abounds. But The Old Guard doesn’t need to be serious or even memorable: it’s a fun, feel-good film, a rare...

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Artemis Fowl review - flash bang nothing

It’s taken over 18 years for Artemis Fowl to reach the big screen, with Miramax originally buying the rights in 2001. Finally, Disney have brought the world’s youngest criminal mastermind to life, but was it worth the wait? Well, the fact it’s...

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Blu-ray: The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse

The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse (1960) was Fritz Lang’s final film, resurrecting his Weimar villain in Cold War Berlin and forming a satisfying circle with his career’s German first half, which included Metropolis and M. This ended when Goebbels...

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John Grisham: Camino Winds review - morality tale with a light touch

John Grisham is a brand, in the sense that the reader relies on some sense of what the product is going to be. He is well up in the millions of sales, along with other writers under the “thriller/mystery” umbrella – Michael Connelly, David Baldacci...

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Defending Jacob, Apple TV+ review - does murder run in the family?

Since it debuted in November last year, Apple TV+ has barely made a dent in a market largely shaped by Netflix, but this eight-part adaptation of William Landay’s bestselling novel is a decisive step in the right direction. It’s a mixture of...

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

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...

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Van der Valk, ITV review - can the Dutch detective make a successful comeback?

Between 1972-1992 five series of Van der Valk were made for ITV, starring Barry Foster as the eponymous Amsterdam detective. Nearly 30 years later comes this reincarnation with Marc Warren in the title role, no doubt hoping to find a regular home in...

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Gangs of London, Sky Atlantic review - bloody terrifying

You might consider equipping yourself with a shotgun and kevlar body armour before you start watching Gangs of London (Sky Atlantic), because this is a bruising, hair-raising ride. Created by Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery, it began with the...

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The Host review - implausible suspense thriller

A camel is a horse designed by committee, they say; perhaps that explains why The Host, with several writing credits – adapted by Zachary Weckstein from a story by Laurence Lamers, screenplay by Finola Geraghty, Brendan Bishop and Lamers – doesn't...

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The Beast review - bad cop blues

“They say we all have a beast locked up inside of us,” a character observes early in this Korean crime movie. Monsters are certainly chewing at the moral fibre of police captains Jung (Lee Sung-min) and Han (Yoo Jae-myung) as they corruptly pursue...

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