Film Review: Strangled

★★★☆☆ There’s a killer on the loose in smalltown Hungary. The sicko is abducting young women, strangling them and having it off with their corpses. Árpád Sopsits’ psycho-thriller Strangled is flawed, but still a gripping film with handsome production values. The theme of monstrous deviancy in a time of socialist conformity is a fascinating one….

Film Review: Mudbound

 ★★★★☆ Based on a novel by Hilary Jordan, Dee Rees’ Mudbound is a moving Second World War fable set in the Mississippi Delta that does not shy away from the ugliness of racism. Netflix’s cinematic outing is more than deserving of theatrical exhibition, however limited. Mudbound opens with white farmer Henry McAllan (Jason Clarke) and…

Film Review: Good Time

★★★☆☆ Robert Pattinson has done his damnedest to lose the fangs from his Twilight fame. Indie credentials have been the crux of the process with the likes of Cosmopolis, Maps of the Stars and The Rover. Now he’s back with Benny and Josh Safdie’s street-level crime thriller Good Time. Pattinson plays Connie Nikas, a small-time criminal…

Film Review: Justice League

★★☆☆☆ Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is stopping bank robberies and Batman (Ben Affleck) is chasing down weird bugmen from space. But with a new threat on the horizon, the dark knight and the Amazon princess must unite along with Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash (Ezra Miller)…

#MadeInPrague: Our 2017 festival highlights

The Made in Prague Film Festival (10-19 November) is back in London over the next two weekends. Programmed by the Czech Cultural Centre, new films will be accompanied by the first ever UK retrospective of seminal Czech New Wave filmmaker Jan Němec. Němec was an exciting name in an exciting scene in the 1960s, graduating…

Film Review: Paddington 2

★★★★☆ The bear from deepest, darkest Peru is back, now firmly established in his north London home of 32 Windsor Gardens with the Browns and ready for another adventure with Paddington 2. Paul King is once again at the helm, as well as a few cast additions. The first Paddington was a joyful and somewhat…

Film Review: No Stone Unturned

★★★☆☆ Alex Gibney’s latest project, No Stone Unturned, is a mysterious, gripping re-opening of the unsolved 1994 Loughinisland massacre investigation. It is told with characteristic precision, compassion and determination by its prolific director. Searching for needles in haystacks has long been Gibney’s metier but here the smoke and mirrors of governmental complicity and the thick…

Film Review: Murder on the Orient Express

★★★☆☆ The world’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh), is about to embark on a long overdue holiday in this lavish re-telling of Murder on the Orient Express. His friend, Bouc (Tom Bateman), secures him a place on the eponymous train. Poirot’s holiday is cut short when one of the passengers turns up dead,…

Film Review: The Florida Project

★★★★★ “That’s my favourite tree,” Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) tells her friend “because it’s fallen but it still grows.” It’s a moment of lyrical beauty, underlined by a long shot of the two kids sitting in the tree itself, and sums up the theme of The Florida Project, Sean Baker’s Tangerine follow-up. Six-year-old Moonee lives with…

Film Review: Félicité

★★★☆☆ Félicité marks a return to screens for Senegalese director Alain Gomis. A graceful and deeply sympathetic piece of work about a Congolese bar singer and her attempts to raise enough money for an operation for her teenage son, Félicité is an emotionally effective heart-tugger, thanks largely to Véro Tshanda Beya’s dignified lead performance. When…

DVD Review: The Tiger

★★★☆☆ Following historical drama The Showdown and gangster picture New World, Hoon-jung Park’s third feature is a suitably epic drama set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1925. The Tiger is an often moving fable about fatherhood, nature and respect, yet in never fully committing to its ambitions, doesn’t quite the impact that it might have. Chun Man-duk (Min-Sik…

DVD Review: Buster Keaton: 3 Films

★★★★★ Unfairly overshadowed by the works of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton was arguably the greatest of the silent clowns. Now, Eureka Video’s Masters of Cinema series brings together three of his best pictures – Sherlock Jr., The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr. – all lovingly remastered with 4K restorations. At only 45 minutes, the collection’s first…

Film Review: The Silence of the Lambs

★★★★★ With an opening jogging sequence only rivalled by Jonathan Glazer’s Birth, Jonathan Demme’s chilling masterpiece The Silence of the Lambs still manages to send tingles down the spine 26 years on from its original theatrical release. It’s intriguing to revisit the film in light of the recent release of Mindhunter, which premiered on Netflix…

Film Review: Thelma

★★★★☆ Joachim Trier’s unexpected foray into genre territory recalls the films of M. Night Shyamalan and Brian De Palma’s Carrie, giving the tale of a girl with weird powers an icy Scandinavian mood and a slow-going pace which feels like a walk in deep snow. Thelma is a genre-bending mystery drama running the gamut between…

Film Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

★★★★☆ Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos follows up 2015’s The Lobster with his second English-language feature. Starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is another dark comedy about the awful things we do to ourselves and others.Lanthimos’ career has been built on placing people in unusual scenarios – from the strange…