tue 07/07/2020

violence

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

It’s impossible to deny the sincerity with which Todd Robinson has approached the true story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a US Air Force Pararescueman who was killed in action while rescuing over 60 injured soldiers during one of the bloodiest...

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Marieke Lucas Rijneveld: The Discomfort of Evening review - lovelessness, loneliness, bodies and their limits

“I was ten and stopped taking off my coat.” This bare beginning marks the opening of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s startling and lyrical novel, translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison: an introduction to ten-year-old Jas and the dislocated world...

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Cuck review - tediously nihilistic

Deep from the heart of Trumpland comes Cuck, a deeply unpleasant film about a totally repellent character. Directed and co-written by Rob Lambert, the film opened simultaneously last autumn in the States with Joker, with which it shares an...

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Run, Sky Comedy review - vicarious thrills for the self-isolation era

Watching Run, HBO’s newest seven-part series, feels like off-the-rails escapism: it’s a fast-paced thriller about dropping everything, chasing intimacy and courting danger. It’s a vicarious adventure centred on a woman who has spent too long stuck...

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Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre online review - a mind in mesmerising meltdown

One of the most blistering stage performances in recent memory gets a renewed lease on life with the streaming of the 2019 screen version, aired last autumn on BBC Four, of Cyprus Avenue, the David Ireland play in which Stephen Rea unravels to...

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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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