mon 06/04/2020

violence

The Platform review - timely, violent and effective

Horror has always been a good vehicle for satire, from John Carpenter’s They Live to Jordan Peele’s Get Out. Some metaphors opt for the subtle precision of a surgical knife, and others the hit you over the head. The Platform on Netflix is the latter...

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Bacurau review – way-out western

After his two mysterious, tightly-coiled and idiosyncratic first features, Neighbouring Sounds and Aquarius, the masterful Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho lets his hair down with an exhilarating, all-guns-blazing...

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System Crasher review – a compelling portrait of childhood violence and pain

Benni, the central character in German writer-director Nora Fingscheidt's haunting new film, has a life of tragedy and violence. She’s the product of a dysfunctional family and an abusive childhood that has left her rage-ridden and incapable of...

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Calm with Horses review - a stirring debut

Nick Rowland marks his breakout from TV drama with this very competent feature, an adaptation of Colin Barrett’s short story. Set in a bleak, rural Ireland, Cosmo Jarvis plays Arm, an ex-boxer with an estranged girlfriend, a non-verbal,...

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First Love review - Miike delivers thrills and spills

He's one of Japan's foremost directors, and if you’ve witnessed one of his films before, you know what to expect from a Takashi Miike yakuza film. High-octane, boundary pushing fun from first frame to last. And that’s exactly what First Love is.The...

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Asking For It, Birmingham Repertory Theatre review - victim-blaming and abuse in small town Ireland

In a world where the contentious report of a young English woman gang raped by teenage boys in Cyprus last year continues to make headlines, Asking For It is more than relevant. Such scenarios are by no means new but are once again making news...

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Birds of Prey review - the DCU is back on track

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,...

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The Lighthouse review - shiver me timbers

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...

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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 Cave review - heroic Syrian hospital workers

War crimes are war crimes, irrespective of the victims’ ages, gender, or ethnicities, and no one’s torture or murder is more abhorrent than anyone else’s. Yet because children are essentially innocent and incapable of defending themselves, and...

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The Nightingale review – revenge without redemption

Writer-director Jennifer Kent knows that Australia’s colonial past shouldn’t be beautified, and she drives that fact home in every gloom-drenched shot of The Nightingale (her second feature after The Babadook from 2014). This is an immensely...

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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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