Tag Archives: Film Reviews

December 26

Nitram (2021)

A true story of evil, mental illness, and gun control.

June 09

Death of a Ladies Man

A Leonard Cohen-inspired essay on mortality and redemption

May 05

The Father (2020)

an interior portrait of dementia

February 15

News of the World (2020)

an old-fashioned western story with emotional impact

January 28

Nomadland (2020)

a story about life in a metal box on wheels

January 20

Promising Young Woman (2020)

a powerful portrait of a deadly serious subject

December 05

On The Rocks (2020)

a pointless tale of a rocky marriage and a meddling father

September 04

Made in Italy (2020)

a portrait of suppressed grief

August 17

Babyteeth (2020)

A quirky sad addition to the ‘terminally ill love-struck teen’ genre

August 11

The King of Staten Island (2020)

a tepid tale of a man-child’s struggle for adulthood

July 17

Shirley (2020)

A horrid portait of a horror writer.

June 14

Sorry We Missed You (2019)

A bleak message about the gig economy

March 18

Downhill (2020)

A poor American copy of the European film Force Majeure (2016)

February 25

Military Wives (2019)

a story about an overlooked group of heroines

February 19

Richard Jewell (2019)

a politically loaded David and Goliath narrative

February 08

Bombshell (2019)

There is more to this film than Me Too themes.

January 29

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2020)

A tale about human kindness.

January 17

1917 (2019)

a masterpiece of spectacle but an historical lightweight

January 09

Little Women (2019)

An adaptation that presumes more than it offers.

December 29

2019 Film Favourites

Personal film favourites of 2019

December 23

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

the nearest thing to cinematic art in years

December 18

Marriage Story (2019)

an insightful, witty, and sad portrait of modern marriage

December 13

The Good Liar (2019)

a well-acted thriller, multi-layered and implausible

December 06

The Report (2019)

an ugly episode of recent US history

November 30

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

a contrived story without a narrative core

November 06

Joker (2019)

a powerfully introspective portrait of mental illness

October 28

Judy (2019)

a dramatic tour-de-force portrait of a fallen star

October 15

Late Night (2019)

a comic drama about modern media

October 03

The Keeper (2018)

tale of a soccer hero with a dark past

September 23

Ad Astra (2019)

a feast of special effects and Freudian themes

September 17

Parasite (2019)

a black comedy about social inequality

September 02

The White Crow (2018)

One of the most famous political defections of all time.

August 21

Palm Beach (2019)

a slow-moving predictable portrayal of middle-class privilege.

August 10

Sonja: The White Swan (2018)

a mediocre bio-pic of a 1930s skating movie star

July 06

Never Look Away (2018)

an epic tale about art and truth

June 25

Official Secrets (2019)

a whistle-blower morality play

June 16

Tolkien (2019)

a story of seamless connection between life and art

June 11

Rocketman (2019)

a swirling kaleidoscope of emotion and music

June 01

Top End Wedding (2019)

tepid Aussie rom-com becomes poetic essay on belonging

May 14

Long Shot (2018)

some cheap laughs for gross-out fans

May 05

The Chaperone (2018)

a visually delightful but flawed period drama

April 29

Sometimes Always Never (2018)

portrait of a family desperately unable to communicate

April 24

The Aftermath (2019)

a portrait of unresolvable grief

April 14

Woman at War (2018)

a quirky tale of an eco-terrorist heroine

March 20

The Guilty (2018)

a tension tightrope from beginning to end

February 25

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

an essay on the Black-American experience

February 18

On The Basis of Sex (2018)

An worthwhile addition to the history of feminism and jurisprudence.

February 13

Free Solo (2018)

a riveting story, brilliantly filmed amongst stunning mountain scenery

February 04

Green Book (2018)

a study of 1960s racism still relevant today

January 30

The Front Runner (2018)

a turning point for media and political morality

January 16

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

a well-acted but uneventful tale of an artful forger

January 09

The Favourite (2018)

a portrait of royal frailty and fickleness

December 29

Vice (2018)

a darkly comic portrait of unfettered power

December 10

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie (2018)

a montage of hurt souls joyfully sharing their story.

December 01

The Children Act (2017)

a story of the perfect mid-life firestorm

November 23

Boy Erased (2018)

shining a light on the dark arts of gay conversion

October 29

A Star is Born (2018)

a standout musical and a modern classic of entertainment.

October 23

First Man (2018)

An engaging, exciting, and visually satisfying film.

October 15

Custody (2017)

a pulse-racing portrait of domestic terrorism

October 09

The Seagull (2018)

If Chekhov were here, it is unlikely he would rush to see it.

October 03

Foxtrot (2017)

An essay on the absurdism of war.

September 25

Ladies in Black (2018)

Entertaining, heart-warming, and a visual feast of nostalgia.

September 19

Beast (2017)

a tense portrait of unpredictable characters in a web of the unexpected.

September 05

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

while we laugh at this film it is laughing at us.

August 27

The Insult (2017)

Being an important film is not the same as being a great one.

August 20

On Chesil Beach (2017)

A slow and awkward film that lacks soul

August 12

Summer 1993 (2018)

A film to be savoured on many levels.

August 07

The Breaker Upperers (2018)

a contender for the Most Unfunny Comedy of 2018

July 30

Lost in Paris (2017)

A vaudeville-circus style romp across Paris

July 16

A Horrible Woman (2017)

a portrait of perfect complementarity

July 10

Leave No Trace (2018)

an engaging tale of emotional survial

July 01

Kodachrome (2017)

A film of unfulfilled potential

June 25

The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)

an essay in psychotic obsession

June 18

The Wife (2017)

an original tale of midlife self-discovery

June 12

Hereditary (2018)

a grief psycho-drama becomes a supernatural fantasy

June 05

The Bookshop (2017)

a slow-moving village drama full of old-world Britishness

May 28

Chappaquiddick (2017)

a portrait of unbounded privilege without moral compass

May 23

On Body and Soul (2017)

an unusual love story that defies conventional tropes of romance.

May 17

Breath (2017)

a beautiful looking coming-of-age full of cliches and banalities

May 13

Tully (2018)

a comic-serious case study in post-natal psychosis

May 07

Loveless (2017)

a bleak essay about a loveless society

May 01

Unsane (2018)

a horror story about the fragility of sanity

April 24

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

a tale of friendship, romance, and love of literature

April 16

The Other Side of Hope (2017)

a film that looks into the face of the dispossessed

April 12

A Quiet Place (2018)

stay quiet or a slimy creature will eat you

April 07

Love, Simon (2018)

a Glee-style sugar-coated rom-com about a teenager’s coming out

March 27

The Death of Stalin (2017)

a deviously clever satire on Russian politics that is relevant elsewhere

March 20

Film Stars Dont Die in Liverpool (2017)

an unconventional love story in the lonely space beyond stardom

March 14

Red Sparrow (2018)

a pre-Weinstein era espionage thriller full of gratuitous violence and degradation of women

February 26

Finding Your Feet (2018)

a gentle British rom-com laced with upper-class ridicule and feminist self-discovery.

February 21

Winchester (2018)

a standard spook with a message on the morality of guns

February 14

Molly’s Game (2017)

a lightweight expose of the seedy world of high-stakes gambling

February 07

Lucky (2017)

a poignantly introspective essay on aging and death

February 01

Phantom Thread (2017)

a psychological thriller-satire on haute couture

January 29

Lady Bird (2017)

brilliant acting stands out in a cliche-filled coming-of-age tale

January 26

The Post (2017)

a true story showing why the media is despised by despots

January 21

The Shape of Water (2017)

a luscious production of an unoriginal fairy tale

January 19

Sweet Country (2017)

a visually stunning outback tale that resonates today

January 15

I, Tonya (2017)

a compelling portrait of an abused skater-made-good

January 11

Darkest Hour (2017)

the finest film ever made about the Churchill legend.

January 08

Breathe (2017)

an inspiring story of unconditional love

January 04

The Florida Project (2017)

a montage of moments in the pitiful ordinariness of living in poverty.

January 01

The Greatest Showman (2017)

an original, vibrant, fast paced fantasy musical

December 28

Favourites 2017

My twelve favourite 2017 films

December 20

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

a visually rich and emotionally engaging universal love story

December 17

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

a mother’s enraged quest for justice at any cost

December 14

The Secret Scripture (2017)

a fractured melodrama about a woman wrongly held in a Catholic hospital for 40 years

December 11

Wonder Wheel (2017)

an over-cooked melodrama behind the facade of a fun park

December 08

The Teacher (2017)

a chilling allegory for moral corruption under communism

December 03

Wonder (2017)

an irresistible emotional ambush

November 29

Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

a beautifully told story of sadness behind Winnie the Pooh

November 26

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

a true story about the creation of a feminist icon

November 23

Brad’s Status (2017)

a whimsical interior monologue about mid-life inadequacy

November 20

Mary Shelley (2017)

deliciously Gothic tale of the tempestuous life behind Frankenstein

November 15

Detroit (2017)

gripping drama but poor history of the Detroit riots

November 13

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

an absurdist tale of atonment

November 08

Tulip Fever (2017)

gorgeous production cannot disquise contrived melodrama

November 05

Suburbicon (2017)

an audacious film about conservative white America

November 02

Three Summers (2017)

an irreverent comic snapshot of the Aussie national culture

October 30

Tom of Finland (2017)

a well-made bio pic of an artist who redefined gay culture

October 25

The Midwife (2017)

an emotionally rich tale about two very different women

October 23

The Emoji Movie (2017)

a whimsical satire on the return of hieroglyphics

October 18

The Only Living Boy in New York (2017)

a coming of age tale full of angst-laden whimsy and musical nostalgia

October 15

The Mountain Between Us (2017)

an Alpine soap opera ruined by a dog

October 12

Flatliners (2017)

a gods-in-training story that flatlines to a corny finalé

October 10

Final Portrait (2017)

If you enjoy watching paint dry this is your film

October 06

The Dancer (2016)

an engaging bio pic of an avant-garde Parisian dancer

October 02

Tommy’s Honour (2016)

a well-made but dull historical drama about golf

September 27

Mountain (2017)

a beautiful meditation on mountains but easy to forget

September 25

Battle of the Sexes (2017)

the story of the most watched game in the history of women’s sport

September 21

Victoria and Abdul (2017)

An impeccable British historical drama

September 17

Mother! (2017)

an audacious masterpeice of political and religious satire

September 15

Gifted (2017)

a charming tale of a child prodigy who just wants to be a child

September 11

The Dinner (2017)

an angry dinner serves up a morality battle laced with race and class divsion

September 07

God’s Own Country (2017)

a brave honest essay on sexual self-discovery

September 04

Ali’s Wedding (2017)

a well intentioned light-hearted inter-racial rom com

September 01

Madame (2017)

a slow-burning comedy of inflated egos and a Cinderella dream

August 28

The Lost City of Z (2016)

a solid tale made lacklustre in the telling

August 24

The King’s Choice (2016)

a gripping study of moral responsibility in leadership

August 21

Hampstead (2017)

a lukewarm uneven British rom-com

August 17

Wind River (2017)

a vengeance thriller with solid storytelling, exciting visuals, and well-crafted acting

August 14

Atomic Blonde (2017)

more heroine-inflicted casualties per minute than some war movies

August 11

The Circle (2017)

a techno-dystopian warning about digital dependence

August 08

A Monster Calls (2016)

a gut-wrenching tale about death and grieving

August 04

The Big Sick (2017)

a clever rom-com that laughs where few dare to tread

July 31

A Ghost Story (2017)

a haunting reflection on grief and what lies beyond the last heartbeat

July 28

The Man (2017)

a tense Nordic essay on ageing, art, and father-son rivalry

July 25

Paris Can Wait (2016)

a delicious film title promising much but delivering little

July 21

Dunkirk (2017)

a combat spectacular loosely based on Dunkirk history

July 17

The Beguiled (2017)

a beguiling exercise in form over substance