Riz Ahmed

News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: Venom is a toothless throwback to the worst era of superhero movies

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 3rd October 2018

    Let’s get something clear: it’s not grey-faced film snobbery, it’s not misunderstanding why a villainous antihero deserves his own movie, it’s not bad memories of Topher Grace, and it has nothing to do with Lady Gaga fans trying to help A Star Is Born top the box office chart. The reason why critics have felt their shitey sense tingling in advance of Venom’s release is because it has always looked terrible. The trailers showcased a comic-book movie from a bygone decade in which superpowers were fuelled by cheesey dialogue, bad CGI and maddening plot holes. We’ve all been standing downwind of this turd for quite some time, so low expectations are entirely justified. Ok, maybe it’s a little bit because of Topher Grace.

  • Nightcrawler

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 2nd November 2014

    There's an uncomfortable undercurrent to Dan Gilroy's seedy thriller Nightcrawler that I didn't quite identify until after the credits had rolled and the stank had worn off. The tale of a grim opportunist named Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who weasels a career out of being the first lens on the crime scene, Nightcrawler is equal parts slick and sick, portraying the denizens of the neon-soaked Los Angeles nightlife as creepy-crawlies squirming under a rock. It's Gyllenhaal's unforgettable creation, however, that sticks in the memory: with bug eyes, sunken cheeks and a moral barometer on the fritz, I eventually realised that Lou Bloom is to paparazzi what Tony Montana is to gangsters - a totemic figurehead that suggests all you need to succeed is an excess of motivation and an absence of conscience. Filtered through this lens, Nightcrawler becomes the scariest movie you'll see all year.

  • iLL Manors

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 1st June 2012

    Being middle class, I am of course far too terrified to set foot on a council estate. No doubt I'd be set upon by a gang of toughs who would make off with my pocketbook and timepiece. And the trouble with British council estate dramas made by people like me is that they always focus on one character's dream of escape, in the belief that he deserves to transcend his environment because he is good, while everyone around him is bad. (Eddie Marsan, who is far more qualified than I am to do so, said something similar in the Metro the other week.) I've seen a million of these films. But until Plan B's iLL Manors, I hadn't seen one that had no interest in pandering to my middle-class sensibilities, and focused on documentary, not deliverance.

  • Films on TV round-up: holy wars and HOLY SHIT, WHAT'S THAT?

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 14th November 2011

    And it's another clean sweep for Film4 this week, bagging both spots on our much-coveted but oddly-little-read list of featured films on TV for the second week running. ITV4 is going to have to rethink its 'Jaws and Dirty Harry sequels-only' policy if it wants to get out of this rut.

  • Four Lions

    Movie Review | Anna | 5th May 2010

    "Terrorist cells have the same group dynamics as stag parties and five a side football teams," states director Chris Morris. It is this dynamic that he brings to Four Lions, his debut feature film about a group of young men from a city in the North of England planning to blow themselves up. In many respects Morris' protagonists could be planning the ultimate stag night or trying to win their five a side league; they just happen to be talking about suicide and murder.