Michael Fassbender

News, Reviews & Features
  • The Snowman

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 12th October 2017

    Murder mysteries exist in a weird sort of critical stasis while you're watching them, because any story that hinges on an explosive final act reveal floats in limbo until it has shown its hand. Such a reveal - a surprise identity, a killer motive, a shock twist - may cause you to reassess everything you've already seen. The best films of the genre do just that: they cleverly subvert what you think you saw, fill in plot gaps you didn't know were there and, like a smug serial killer, flaunt the fact that they've been one step ahead of you the whole time. Yeah, The Snowman does not do any of that. You watch attentively and wait patiently and cross your legs and twiddle your thumbs but come the crushingly disappointing final act, the only dawning realisation you have is this: The Snowman is a bad movie and it turns out it had been all along. Twist!

  • Here are some notes on Assassin's Creed from a plane, the only acceptable place to watch it

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 13th July 2017

    Hello there. I am on a plane as you read this. At the time of writing, I am somewhere over Winnipeg. I'm talking to you via the wonder of £25.99 WiFi. I've been very lucky to be invited to cover the Disney D23 Expo in California over the weekend, and although I wouldn't dream of humblebragging my way through this post, it does promise to be very exciting, and I think you'll all agree that, yeah Ali, relax, you deserve this guy, great job. Anyway, before that, I have an 11-hour flight to sit through. Eleven! That's like… four movies! I'm not going to watch four movies. But I did just sit through Assassin's Creed.

  • Alien: Covenant

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 11th May 2017

    By rights, the Alien franchise should be dead by now, all curled up on its back like a big dead spider, flambéed by the flamethrower of critical ire. How many other movie series would be allowed so many misses and still get invited back to the plate for another swing? Throughout its various iterations since the 90s - sequels, prequels, versus match-ups - the Alien franchise has succeeded only in corroding its own legacy. Even 2012's promising Prometheus, directed by franchise progenitor Ridley Scott, fell short of expectations thanks to its entire cast suffering total frontal lobotomies in the third act. Well, the rot stops here. In Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott has directed the best Alien movie of the past 30 years, and although that isn't exactly a glowing compliment, know this: not only does Covenant deliver a payload of short, sharp scares and atmosphere in spades, it course-corrects the franchise as a whole, retroactively making Prometheus feel like a better movie too.

  • X-Men: Apocalypse

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 19th May 2016

    Forgive me for sounding like I'm on the company payroll, but have Marvel movies ruined superhero movies for everyone else? I fear they have. The Marvel Cinematic Universe made its own space in the superhero sphere; it owns the area marked 'fun'. DC, as a countermeasure to all the lousy fun everyone was enjoying, staked their claim on the 'serious' space; heroes with grim faces carved out of rock, pre-tantrum lip-wobble expressions lashed with rain. Where does this leave the X-Men? I'm sure I don't know anymore, because X-Men: Apocalypse attempts to be all things to all people and ends up being neither overtly fun or remotely serious, just entirely ridiculous. It feels like a superhero movie back from when no one really knew what that was supposed to mean, or, as a friend of mine put it so perfectly: "It's like a shit superhero movie from the nineties".

  • Steve Jobs

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 5th November 2015

    Was Steve Jobs a genius? Was he a revolutionary? Did he change the world? Or was he just an egotistical asshole? Danny Boyle's Jobs iOpic, powered by word processor Aaron Sorkin, doesn't so much pick a side as it does tick all the boxes. Michael Fassbender's Apple guru is at once exhilaratingly wise and exhaustingly obstinate; a complex man with fearsome drive but fundamental flaws; a man who doesn't deserve a glowing biopic or a Hollywood hatchet job. Boyle's portrait of the Cupertino legend is a fizzing, lively affair that certainly has you convinced of one man's genius, although we're guessing that man wasn't supposed to be Aaron Sorkin.

  • X-Men: Days Of Future Past

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 13th May 2014

    Have you seen all of the X-Men films? Including the First Class prequel and both Wolverine movies? AND all of the mid-credits and post-credits stings that were tagged on to the end? Good. Then you may proceed. Welcome to X-Men: Retcon. I hope you've been paying attention.

  • Frank

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 9th May 2014

    For all you hear about makers of independent film having now migrated to TV, you still get some belters. In just the last fortnight we've had the masterfully tense revenge thriller Blue Ruin and now Frank, a gleefully nuts music movie based on Jon Ronson's experiences playing keyboards for Frank Sidebottom. When you can convince a star like Michael Fassbender to wear a huge fake plastic head for a role, you can probably say with some certainty that indie film's not dead yet.

  • Eight astonishing things on the new X-Men: Days Of Future Past poster

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 24th March 2014

    The X-Men don't historically have a lot of luck when it comes to cool poster designs - who could forget 9/3/11? - and that trend continues with this mental new one-sheet for X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Featuring: ALL OF THE THINGS.

  • Observations on Cormac McCarthy's screenplay for The Counsellor

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 19th November 2013

    It has been 10 days since I saw The Counsellor, and despite it being an obviously flawed, frustrating film, there's something about it that clings to your subconscious, like recalling the remnants of a nightmare in the cold light of day. Ridley Scott's editor is clearly a goddamn American hero, because he was tasked with cutting down Cormac McCarthy's insanely verbose script for the screen; now, having read McCarthy's original, complete screenplay, I'm happy to share with you a few things I've noticed when comparing page to film.

  • The Counsellor

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 14th November 2013

    'Exciting on paper' is a bit of an oxymoron. Nothing's exciting on paper. Books aren't exciting, unless you throw them at passing cars to make them crash. Cormac McCarthy is a man who writes these so-called 'books', and he's said to be very good at it. And so The Counsellor, his first original screenplay, with a first-rate director and cast, is tremendously exciting on paper. Trouble is, paper and film are very different things.