CineVue

Film reviews and more

Christopher Machell

Film Review: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

★★★★☆ The tragicomic absurdity of cultural morality is the target of prolific Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude’s latest feature, the bawdy social satire – and 2021 Golden Bear winner – Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn.

Film Review: Drive My Car

★★★★★ Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi spins out Haruki Murakami’s fable of a theatre director and his chauffeur into an intimately detailed, three-hour study of grief, loss and acceptance.

Film Review: Natural Light

★★★★☆ Taking its cues from Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood, and comparable in both tone and content to Václav Marhoul’s 2019 The Painted Bird in its study of war’s corrosive effects on the human soul, Natural Light illuminates the fading glow of humanity amidst horror.

Film Review: Eternals

★★☆☆☆ Hot off her extraordinary success with the Oscar-winning Nomadland, director Chloé Zhao orchestrates the latest entry in Marvel’s supersized superhero series.

Film Review: Azor

★★★☆☆ Tracking the dealings of a Swiss banker growing increasingly frantic to hang on to lucrative clients spooked by the turmoil, Azor eschews outward thrills or genre intrigue in favour of unspoken dread.

Film Review: Dune

★★★★☆ Denis Villeneuve returns to the big screen with his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic. Grander in scope than any of Villeneuve’s work yet, Dune is proper, ambitious blockbuster filmmaking for grown-ups.

Film Review: Cryptozoo

★★☆☆☆ Following up his 2016 feature debut My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, comic book writer and filmmaker Dash Shaw continues with his quirky style of animation with Cryptozoo, a countercultural-tinted riff on environmentalism.

Film Review: The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão

★★★★☆ Set mainly in 1950s Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian-born filmmaker Karim Aïnouz’s The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão examines the all-encompassing injustices of patriarchy through the story of two sisters’ lifelong dedication to one another.

Film Review: Pier Kids

★★★★☆ Elegance Bratton’s feature debut Pier Kids is a poignant and chaotic study of a community of young black gay men and trans women who congregate at the piers of Hudson River Park, New York City.

Film Review: Next Door

★★★★☆ Spanish-German actor Daniel Brühl makes his directorial debut with this delightfully taut, blackly comic satire. Brühl is perhaps best-known to a global audience as the all-seeing, all-scheming Marvel villain Helmut Zemo, but Next Door upends […]

Film Review: Balloon

★★★★★ Pre-eminent Tibetan director Pema Tseden returns to screens with his latest, finally released in the UK after premiering at the Venice Film Festival two years ago. Balloon is a poetic, bleak, funny, and deeply humane […]

Film Review: The Alpinist

★★★★☆ Filmmaking partners Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen, known for their extensive documentary work on climbing and for their Reel Rock Film Tour films, set their sights on Marc-André Leclerc, a legend in the climbing world […]

Film Review: The Story of Looking

★★★★☆ In the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, prolific director and cinephile Mark Cousins adapts his book of the same name into a visual study of the art of looking at the world. Cousins’ films are […]

Film Review: The Lost Leonardo

★★★★☆ Ten years ago, London’s National Gallery exhibited a heavily restored Salvator Mundi, allegedly painted by Leonardo da Vinci, the attribution of which is fiercely contested. Tracing the painting from discovery to its eventual record-breaking private […]

Film Review: Wildfire

★★★★☆ In the months leading up to the UK’s departure from the European Union, troubled Kelly (the late Nika McGuigan) returns to her and her sister Lauren’s (Nora-Jane Noone) Northern Irish hometown after disappearing a year […]