Latest Reviews

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  • Christopher Robin

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 14th August 2018

    If you hadn’t realised it from the twee, plinky-plonky marketing, Christopher Robin is a movie aimed more at large adult sons than it is small children - the kind of film that insists the key to happiness and the secret to being a better man, husband and father, is to be more childlike. That’s kind of Disney’s whole thing right now; the studio seems intent on arresting the development of adults around the world with superhero universes and space sagas and glitter-flecked versions of the movies they loved as children. But hey, if there’s any character that’s going to cut through corporate cynicism, it’s Winnie the Pooh, a bear after my own heart, living my trouserless dream, who is so loveable he could tell me he just disembowelled and stuffed the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood and I’d still let him bumble around my house, stuffing his adorable face with £13-a-jar Manuka.

  • The Meg

    Movie Review | Becky Suter | 11th August 2018

    To borrow a phrase from Love Island, on paper The Meg has it all: Jason Statham is on the hunt for the biggest shark ever known, tracks it down and then probably punches it in the face or something. But as we all know, what's good on paper doesn't necessarily translate to real life (see: Dr Alex). Lacking any sense of plot, direction or tasty big shark action scenes, The Meg is lost at sea and sinks faster that a decomposing cetacean carcass. We're going to need a bigger boat.

  • Ant-Man And The Wasp

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 18th July 2018

    How do you follow an epic tragedy in which the world’s biggest A-list stars traverse the universe facing the most dire of movie stakes? How do you continue after the bummer-cliffhanger of seeing an all-powerful despot succeed in his plan to mercilessly wipe out half of the entire universe? You bring the LOLs! It serves as welcome respite, but essentially Marvel has followed its most consequential movie with its least.

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 17th July 2018

    Forget the rubber masks and the death-defying stunts: the Mission: Impossible movies' true gimmick is its insistence on hiring a different director for each outing, building a franchise that feels fresh and flavourful with every new installment. Fallout, however, is unique in that it marks the return of Rogue Nation director Chris McQuarrie, the first man to have a second go on Ethan Hunt. The results speak for themselves: what the series' first true sequel trades off in originality, it more than makes up for in dramatic tension and sky high stakes. Rooted deep within the franchise and connecting back to every other M:I movie, Fallout still feels uncomplicated and unbothered by baggage collected over 22 years. It's the most effective execution of the Mission: Impossible formula so far - a heady mix of humour, action and adventure, distilled to its purest form.

  • Skyscraper

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 12th July 2018

    Almost all films starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (or ‘Dwock’, as I will now call him, for ease) play on the fact that he is an impossibly-shaped human with overinflated balloon arms that are at constant risk of bursting and jettisoning his screeching cannonball head around the room. Not to mention that he acts like a small child that has somehow Freaky-Fridayed with his favourite He-Man figure and doesn’t know how long he has left to make the most of it. As such, Dwock always plays larger-than-life characters in larger-than-life films. Skyscraper, however, sees a return to relatively more serious action. It’s still an overblown, ludicrous mess, but it’s genuinely refreshing to see a film like this played with such sincerity. Such ridiculous, idiotic sincerity.

  • Incredibles 2

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 9th July 2018

    With more than a decade between Toy Stories or Finding Fish Characters, Pixar’s recent run of belated sequels is clearly part of a canny business plan rather than a sign of creative exhaustion, because these franchise returns do the job of appealing to both the original fans and a whole new generation of toy-demanders. If this has always been the strategy though, Incredibles 2 takes home the trophy for longest audience payoff of all time. Because, with the original film invoking everyone’s childhood fantasies of wanting to be superpowered, this sequel - delivered 14 years later - teaches those of us that have become parents in the meantime that our wish has been fulfilled: we now are heroes.

  • The First Purge

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 6th July 2018

    The Purge is an odd, scrappy sort of franchise that's stumbled clumsily into the zeitgeist without so much as taking its mask off. The first movie, released in 2013 in the middle of the Obama administration, was a high concept home invasion thriller that preyed on the fears of suburban white folk, starring Ethan Hawke, the most Caucasian man in the observable universe. Now, after five years, two sequels and one particularly flatulent Trump, The Purge has flipped its racial politics completely: starring an almost total African-American cast, prequel The First Purge has aligned itself with black fears of a government out to extinguish them. It’s quite the position for a low-budget horror movie to take (studio Blumhouse were also behind Get Out, another racially charged genre picture that blew up), but this prequel never quite fulfills its brief of winding back the clock to ask why America felt the urge to purge in the first place.

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 10th June 2018

    I am a Jurassic Park sequel apologist. I am a Jurassic sequapologist. There’s no shame in loving the original movie, obviously, and I maintain that Jurassic World was an unapologetic, fan-pleasing blockbuster that wanted to reach even farther than Michael Crichton’s visionary thinking. But the sequels? I am at war with myself. The Lost World sort of has some good bits? The birdcage bit in Jurassic Park III was cool, I guess? Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, sadly, is a different beast entirely: it is the first Jurassic movie I haven’t enjoyed unreservedly from the get-go. With the other duffers I’d eventually pick up on the flaws after multiple rewatches - this is the only Jurassic Park movie I’ll have to learn to love.

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 24th May 2018

    Four films in four years of this newly rebooted output from a galaxy far, far away, and it’s safe to say that Star Wars fatigue might be setting in for some. While, in that time, there’s been plenty of new reasons to love and embrace and cheer on the franchise, does anyone still get the same goosebump thrill from yet another momentous money-shot moment for the Millennium Falcon? Does anyone still audibly chuckle as loudly as they used to at the mention of an obscure character thrown in the script just because? It’s ok to admit it. We’re all still fans. No one's turning to the Dark Side and there’s no hate or anger here. But is anyone else getting the sense that their enthusiasm for Star Wars is being a little... diluted?

  • Tully

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 11th May 2018

    There are no ugly people in Hollywood, and as such the idea of ugging-up a bit for a role has become a "brave" one. It puts you in the awards conversation, as though peeling off some make-up or yellowing your teeth a bit reveals depth. This involves an acknowledgement that the profound is an exception, and I suppose that the industry is therefore preoccupied by surface sheen. For actresses this proposition also suggests that to be beautiful is to be shallow, which is a bit rich, since if they aren't beautiful they aren't allowed in the door. I think Charlize Theron largely transcends this, but she remains most critically celebrated when she's made to look her least pretty.