Film reviews and more

Year: 2017

Our 20 most anticipated films of 2018

With our best of 2017 rundown now in the bag, here’s a look at a selection of films we’re most looking forward to in the next twelve months – should they emerge from the edit in time – including the return of esteemed independent directors Leos Carax, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Debra Granik and many, many more. Annette (dir. Leos […]

Film Review: Ava

★★★★☆ During the French summer holidays, 13-year-old Ava (Noée Abita) has just been diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition that is slowly blinding her. While her supportive mother, Maud (Laure Calamy) juggles attempting a sense of normalcy with her own personal life, Ava embarks on a journey of self discovery. Set in the same region of director Léa Mysius […]

“Let the past die”: the politics of legacy in The Last Jedi

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi ahead Star Wars has always been about cycles – fathers and sons, apprentices and masters, redemption and renewal. When Obi-Wan Kenobi confronts Darth Vader in A New Hope, Vader tells him that “the circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner, now I am the master”. With […]

Film Review: Pitch Perfect 3

★★☆☆☆ The Barden Bellas return to the spotlight in their third outing, an uneven European tour that wraps a nice bow around the group’s acca-xploits, but lacks what made the original special. They never expected to get this far. They were only in it for their love of singing. They weren’t even supposed to have a shot in the […]

Film Review: The Greatest Showman

★★★☆☆ Hugh Jackman returns to the musical after Australia and Les Miserables with The Greatest Showman, an uplifting if contrived film loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum. It marks the directorial debut of Michael Gracey from a script written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon. Jackman slots into the role of Barnum perfectly, aided by a terrific […]

Film Review: Molly’s Game

★★★★☆ Starring Jessica Chastain as poker princess Molly Bloom, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut Molly’s Game provides all the quick witted verve and punch you’d expect from the acclaimed screenwriter. The greatest successes of Aaron Sorkin’s screenwriting career – The Social Network and Moneyball – have something of a common thread: true tales of seemingly unremarkable people doing overtly remarkable […]

Film Review: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

★★★☆☆ The original Jumanji was released at the height of Robin Williams’ career in the 1990s and offered adventure and escapism for the whole family. The same can mostly be said for its sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan. The stakes may be low and the plot flimsy, but the […]

Film Review: The Disaster Artist

★★★★☆ Greg (Dave Franco) is struggling his way through acting school. He’s impressed by his fellow student Tommy’s (James Franco) fearless, unorthodox approach to performing, and after a series of knockbacks, the pair decide to collaborate on a project that will go down in infamy as one of the greatest bad films ever made. Based on Greg Sestero’s 2013 […]

Molly’s Game and the evolution of poker on screen

While poker may have started out as a rough and ready card game played on the frontier of the American West – or on Mississippi paddle steamers out of New Orleans depending on which historical account you read – the game has now transformed into a glamorous, high stakes global force. And from James Bond in Casino Royale to […]

Joe Pesci’s greatest roles

Home Alone star Joe Pesci is one of the most distinctive screen presences in the industry. Over the course of a long career he has become the go-to guy when a hyperactive Italian-American character is required. In an acting career stretching all the way back to the 1960s, Pesci has made some memorable appearances in some of superb movies. He certainly […]

The 20 best films of 2017

After sampling this year’s cinematic delights, eight of our writers have pooled together their top picks to create our list of the 20 best films of 2017. There was no space in even the top 40 for Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square, while Golden Lion winner The Shape of Water  was voted in at number eight and Golden Bear winner On […]

Film Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

★★★★★ “This is not going to go the way you think.” Crabbily spat at his new apprentice, Mark Hamill’s line is a pithy summation of The Last Jedi, arguably the most original and surprising entry in the series to date. Rian Johnson’s film is the real deal: a bold, risky venture unafraid to tell its own story, freed from […]