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Review: Journeyman

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:30 on 28 Mar 2018
Journeyman
Paddy Considine delivered a heart-stopping directorial debut with Tyrannosaur in 2011, the kind of grim, unforgettable movie that left dirt under your nails and needles under your skin. His long-awaited follow-up, boxing movie Journeyman, initially feels like it pulls its punches in comparison to its predecessor's savagery, but don't be fooled; the fancy shorts and bright lights of the ring dress up an equally complex story of recovery and redemption.

Review: Mom & Dad

Posted by Ali Gray at 16:30 on 26 Feb 2018
Mom & Dad
"They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad. They may not mean to, but they do." Philip Larkin couldn’t possibly have known his ode to parenthood would inspire a Nicolas Cage movie that scores full marks on the gurn-o-meter, but then Philip Larkin didn’t see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance coming, either. Brought to you by Brian Taylor, one half of the ADD-addled braintrust behind Crank and its sequel, horror thriller Mom & Dad is another high voltage romp that burns energy like it’s jacked into the mains with no intention of paying the bill.

Review: I, Tonya

Posted by Ali Gray at 16:00 on 25 Feb 2018
I, Tonya
I, Tonya is a great nostalgia trip, not just because of the cringeworthy nineties fashions, throwback tracks and hair disasters, but because it's a reminder of an analogue age when one simple celebrity scandal could dominate the entire news cycle for weeks and months on end. What a luxury that would be today: in the current climate, where world-shattering scandals materialise and evaporate in the blink of an eye, staying abreast of current affairs basically consists of putting a shotgun marked 'NEWS' in your mouth and pulling the trigger. The 90s white trash of I, Tonya does have something in common with the white trash of Trump's America: both are incredulous stories of idiots committing their crimes out in the open.

Review: Black Panther

Posted by Ali Gray at 00:15 on 09 Feb 2018
Black Panther
One thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe does not need more of is white privilege. Tony Stark with his billion dollar problems. Captain America with his government sanctioned patriotism. Thor, the blonde-haired blue-eyed Norse God with claims to the throne. Peter Quill, the self-appointment Star-Lord, the so-called guardian of the galaxy. We're good for white dudes. Arriving far too late to the party is King T'Challa, a storied hero from Africa with a rich heritage who is finally breaking the unremitting streak of white heroes on the Marvel payroll. Without wanting to disservice the people of colour who have served the MCU well to date - Anthony Mackie, Zoe Saldana and let's not forget Samuel L motherfucking Jackson - Black Panther is the character that the Marvel universe, the movie industry and the entire world needs right now. It's hard to imagine a more righteous movie arriving at a more necessary time.

Review: The Commuter

Posted by Ali Gray at 13:45 on 18 Jan 2018
The Commuter
Every January, Liam Neeson is parachuted into the mid-awards season slump, his brand of no-nonsense, cut-and-dried-in-90-minutes action thrills the perfect antidote to sludgy Oscar bait and the subsequent melange of self-consuming hot takes. His enemies are not the vaguely Eastern European drug dealers and criminals he fights on screen; his real opponents are Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Greta Gerwig. We cannot overlook the importance of having trashy movies exist alongside important movies: films like The Commuter are crucial to balance out the cinematic chi. Though Neeson's latest run-and-gunner will come and go in a single weekend, leaving nary a trace until he releases the exact same movie next January, it is an essential addition to your awards season watchlist. The Commuter should not be Taken 4: Granted.

Review: Pottersville

Posted by Luke Whiston at 21:35 on 28 Dec 2017
Pottersville
You think a Christmas movie where Michael Shannon is mistaken for Bigfoot sounds weird? You don’t know the half of it. And trust me, you don’t want to know the rest. Unless you do, in which case that’s cool, we’re all friends here. I’m being purposefully vague because, well you’ll see... Let’s just say the internet has a lot to answer for.

Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Posted by Matt Looker at 22:12 on 12 Dec 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
If I could have had a small, green, wise mentor teach me the ways of online film criticism, he probably would have instilled in me a respect for the balance between objectivity and subjectivity. He would have told me that uninformed criticism is what binds the entire internet and that I should always try to be mindful of hype. But, halfway through my training, I would have still no doubt run off unprepared to face what is easily my greatest weakness: Star Wars.

Review: Justice League

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:30 on 19 Nov 2017
Justice League
It wasn’t evil aliens that defeated the Justice League: it was facial hair.

Review: Molly’s Game

Posted by Ali Gray at 13:30 on 04 Nov 2017
Molly’s Game
If it wasn’t immediately obvious from the impenetrable wall of dialogue that looms over the opening scene, Molly’s Game was written by famed fast-talker Aaron Sorkin. If it wasn’t immediately obvious he directed it too, the clues are there to be found: scenes that smash cut through shot lists like a machine gun play home to worldly and wise characters who spew dictionaries of insightful dialogue. Molly’s Game is adapted from the biography of a poker hostess who ran high stakes games for big game players, but the movie has more of Sorkin’s fingerprints on it than his own typewriter. Often if a writer-director can’t remove their own ego from the equation it can be problematic, but thankfully the story of Molly’s Game feels tailor-made for Sorkin’s style: though occasionally weighed down by sheer volume of dialogue, it’s nonetheless smart, slick and - thanks to a towering Jessica Chastain performance - more than a bit sexy.

Review: LFF 2017: Call Me By Your Name

Posted by Becky Suter at 16:00 on 26 Oct 2017
LFF 2017: Call Me By Your Name
Following on from 2015's A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino continues his fascination with swimming pools, sultry Italian summers and dancing men with a heartbreaking coming-of-age tale set in 1983. It's a film so alluring and luminous it almost makes up for the fact I never experienced a holiday romance of my own. Who knows what could have happened had Armie Hammer's family ever decided to holiday during the late 90s at Rockley Park, Bournemouth's premier caravan park? While I lament the life that could've been, I'll have to content myself with this transcendental account of first love that is the very definition of bittersweet. It's seductive, sensual, and at one point someone ejaculates into a peach. It's got everything.
Out this week
+The Commuter (15)
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