Film reviews and more

Sundance 2021: Hive review

★★★★☆ At key moments in Hive, windows, mason jars and a picture frame are all broken. Marking significant flashpoints in a simmering narrative, these incidents propel the film towards its smashing of an overbearing glass ceiling. […]

Sundance 2021: Mass review

★★★★☆ There are no easy answers in Fran Kranz’s Mass; and perhaps no answers at all. One of the strongest debut features to have premiered at Sundance, it exhibits all of the signs of a very […]

Sundance 2021: In the Same Breath review

★★★★★ In the Same Breath, Nanfu Wang’s searing expose of the origins of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its pursuant handling by the Chinese and U.S. governments, is a film of contradictions, conflict and cover-ups. A […]

Sundance 2021: Flee review

★★★★★ “Who do I save first if the boat goes down?” On a clandestine trawler taking on water as it traverses the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Sweden, a young man asks himself an impossible question […]

Sundance 2021: Captains of Zaatari review

★★★★☆ Tell any football fan that ‘It’s just a game’ and they are likely to give you very short shrift. But for close friends Mahmoud Dagher and Fawzi Qatleesh the stakes are considerably higher. For in […]

Sundance 2021: At the Ready review

★★★★☆ Building bridges between the past, present and future of three Latinx teens in El Paso, Texas, Maisie Crow’s At the Ready investigates one of the US’s most contentious domestic issues – immigration across its southern […]

Sundance 2021: Prime Time review

★★☆☆☆ Jakub Piątek’s Prime Time is a claustrophobic chamber piece set in Warsaw on New Year’s Eve, 1999. Bringing his narrative feature debut to Sundance in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, the Polish writer-director harks back twenty years to an […]

Sundance 2021: President review

★★★★☆ “This is a war room. I am here for a fight.” Under no illusion as to the scale of the task at hand, the deck is stacked against leader of the Movement for Democratic Change […]

Sundance 2021: Luzzu review

★★★★☆ Alex Camilleri’s Luzzu charts a course between the dispassionate neo-realism of the Dardenne brothers and Gianfranco Rosi’s keen but objective documentarian eye. It is a touching parable of fathers and sons, tradition and modernity, principles […]

Sundance 2021: Playing with Sharks review

★★★☆☆ A daredevil activity that for most would be considered the stuff of nightmares has, for diver and marine conservationist Valerie Taylor, been a lifelong passion. Dispelling myths and challenging preconceptions that humankind has of the […]

Sundance 2021: The Pink Cloud review

★★★☆☆ Try as she might to refute any suggestions of prophecy, Iuli Gerbase’s The Pink Cloud will strike very close to the bone for audiences everywhere in early 2021. The young filmmaker’s debut is a dreamy, […]

Sundance 2021: Human Factors review

★★★☆☆ When is a house not a home? And how thinly stretched are the ties that bind together the people within their walls? Ronny Trocker’s Human Factors, a patient, brooding drama, peers through cracks in the […]

Sundance 2021: Programme preview

If the past year has taught cultural institutions the world over anything, it’s that the show can and must go on. The continuing Covid-19 pandemic means that the 2021 Sundance Film Festival will be – predominantly […]

Sundance 2018: The Tale review

★★★★☆ Documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox unravels her own history of sexual abuse in The Tale, a sharp and harrowing account of stories and lies hidden away at the expense of innocence. The truth of the story […]

Sundance 2018: Never Goin’ Back review

★★★☆☆ Fresh faces Maia Mitchell and Cami Morrone star in the debut feature film from Texan director Augustine Frizzell, the chaotic, stoner-girl trip Never Goin’ Back – playing this weekend at Sundance London. High-school dropouts Jessie […]