Jessica Chastain

News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: X-Men: Dark Phoenix is an unevolved end to a once super franchise

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 10th June 2019

    So now the X-Men franchise comes to an end. Since that first ensemble movie was released 19 years ago, the property has launched 12 films (13, if you count the still-to-be-unshelved The New Mutants) and has not only become a staple of the superhero genre in the process, but helped set the template for how to do this kind of movie well. And here we have the last instalment; the final chapter that, surely, the entire saga has been working towards for nearly two decades: a fourth-film reboot set in an alternate timeline remaking the same story from the third film of the original movies. It’s the only conclusion we’ve ever really wanted!

  • Molly’s Game

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 4th November 2017

    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.

  • Miss Sloane

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 13th May 2017

    You have to feel for anyone brave enough to release a political movie in this day and age, where even the 24-hour news cycle feels insufficient enough to get a handle on current events. Miss Sloane, from Brit director John Madden, is not explicitly about U.S. government per se - there are two ideologically opposing political parties though neither are named - but it is impossible to watch without viewing it through the lens of post-truth politics. Slick as it is, Miss Sloane is about a huckster lobbyist who can lie, cheat and talk her way out of anything - and she's the hero! However, if you can tune out the Kellyanne Conway-isms and mentally frame it as a romanticised throwback to political potboilers of old, when corruption was something that happened in underground car parks and not in broad daylight, then there's lots to enjoy.

  • A Most Violent Year

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 23rd January 2015

    How to make it in America: fairly well-worn ground for films, and yet still they keep coming. This immigrant's tale from JC Chandor is more than that, though. A largely non-violent study of how the (mostly) law-abiding react when faced with violence, and of whether turning the other cheek is a workable - or even desirable - strategy.

  • Interstellar

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 5th November 2014

    As long as Christopher Nolan continues to exist, do we really need Steven Spielberg any more? Ol' King Noles is doing a darn fine job of delivering mega-bucks events movies with small and personal stories at the core; gigantic, universe-expanding motion pictures anchored by daddy issues, the kind which Beardo used to smash out on a regular basis. Interstellar is the latest Chris Nolan project to take a leaf out of Spielberg's playbook - once upon a time it was a Steven Spielberg project after all - and it bears the hallmarks of both directors: it's an ambitious, challenging sci-fi that takes one small step for blockbuster cinema but ultimately remains accessible to all. All the talk of Kubrick and 2001 is light years off the mark: Interstellar is the kind of space odyssey that has only shameless, monolothic entertainment on the agenda.

  • Mama

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 20th February 2013

    Just as Rob is now The Shiznit's go-to guy for dance movies, it seems I've somehow become the de facto horror critic around here. An unwise editorial decision at best: I'd only seen about six horror films before, and two of them were Ghostbusters in different aspect ratios. Here's a thing I've learned, though: there is a Spanish man called Guillermo del Toro who sneaks into edit bays and shoves his name in at the start of other people's films. But he seems to know his Spanish onions: Mama, the latest film he has credits-bombed, is pretty much triumphant from start to finish.

  • Zero Dark Thirty

    Movie Review | Neil | 21st January 2013

    If you think your job's difficult, try being a CIA officer on the hunt for the world's least favourite terrorist. If it's not bad enough that your quarry is probably holed up in an anonymous cave in the middle of nowhere, you can barely enjoy your lunch break without something exploding all over you and you have to be across some of the world's most baffling jargon. So next time your PC point blank refuses to communicate with the office printer, think yourself lucky you're not involved in a black bag operation at angels two zero AGL with only three mikes left before you're completely winchester.

  • Pedantics' Corner: Correcting the Zero Dark Thirty poster tagline

    Movie Feature | Matt | 20th November 2012

    Yes, I know it should be 'Pedants' Corner'.

  • Lawless

    Movie Review | Matt | 9th September 2012

    A period drama set during the Depression? Based on a popular, critically-acclaimed novel? Starring an ensemble cast of superb acting talent? Well surely nothing can stop this awards-garnering juggernaut from winning... wait, is that Shia LaBeouf? (*sharp intake of breath*)

  • The Tree Of Life

    Movie Review | Ali | 5th July 2011

    So here's me, reviewing The Tree Of Life. Me, who sort of liked Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Me, who has probably never seen an arthouse film without sneaking a snooze and has an extremely low tolerance for pretentious bullshit. Me, who has already put off writing this review for a week and procrastinated to the tune of 50 made-up Terrence Malick trivia tidbits. This should be fun.