Most Recent. In Christopher Machell.

Christopher Machell

Film Review: Scream VI

★★★★☆ One year on from the events of the previous franchise entry, Ghostface is up to their old tricks again, slicing and dicing their way through a new batch of shrieking victims, the action now shifted to New York. With the new generation of Screamers now firmly installed, headed by the Carpenter sisters Sam and Tara (Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega), can the ghost(face)s of the past be laid to rest?

Film Review: Creed III

★★★☆☆ His heavyweight champion status secured, the now-retired Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) spends his days lounging around his Hollywood mansion, having tea parties with daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent) and running his gym with coach Little Duke (Wood Harris). But when a long-forgotten figure from Adonis’ past returns, his future is thrown into question.

Film Review: Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania

★★★☆☆ Ant-Man’s (Paul Rudd) third standalone outing confirms his status as among the Marvel machine’s most reliably entertaining, if middling, product lines. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania may be lacking in any discernible drama or emotional stakes but it is easily one of the most solidly entertaining and spectacular of Marvel’s ‘Phase 4’ run of film and television.

Film Review: Esme, My Love

★★★☆☆ As she drives down a narrow, poorly lit road through a forest, a woman is momentarily distracted and veers into the path of an oncoming lorry. Swerving, she avoids catastrophe and stops the car to check on the child on the back seat, still blissfully sleeping. Death is always close in producer-turned-director Cory Choy’s debut feature Esme, My Love, a magical-realist drama that is consistently intriguing but never quite fulsome enough to become compelling.

Film Review: Women Talking

★★★★☆ Based on Miriam Toews 2018 novel of the same name, itself inspired by a series of crimes committed against the women of a Mennonite community between 2005 and 2009, Canadian actor-turned-director Sarah Polley’s latest is described as a ‘work of female imagination’ but is about very real experience.

Film Review: Blue Jean

★★★★★ It is 1988 and Section 28 – the notorious legislative clause that banned teachers from discussing homosexual relationships with students – has just come into effect. Lesbian Tyneside PE teacher Jean (Rosy McEwen) lives in fear of being discovered by her colleagues in Georgia Oakley’s astonishing feature debut.

Film Review: EO

★★★★☆ Inspired by Robert Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar, veteran Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski’s latest is a darkly comic and moving fable about a wayward donkey living through fate’s tender mercies. EO is at once a cinematic curiosity, a compelling drama and a harrowing portrait of cruel whimsy.

Film Review: Shadowplay

★★☆☆☆ After his girlfriend is killed in a brutal attack, former boxer and paramedic Jan (Milan Ondrík) falls into profound despair. Exploring themes of guilt, masculinity and justice, boxing-inflect crime film from Slovakian director Peter Bebjak shows much promise, but fails to coalesce into a coherent vision.

Film Review: January

★★★☆☆ Bulgarian documentarian Andrey Paounov turns his hand to fiction in this adaptation of Yordan Radichkov’s 1974 play. January is an intriguing, eerie, ponderous narrative set entirely within the confines of a forest cabin. Religious allegories, monochrome photography and folk horror trappings ensue.

Film Review: Holy Spider

★★★☆☆ Five years on from his neo-Scandi fairytale Border, Ali Abbasi returns with a noirish serial killer thriller. As we have come to expect from the Iranian-born director, Holy Spider combines genre thrills with social commentary, though its balance isn’t quite as finely tuned as much of his previous work.