Film reviews and more


#Christopher Machell #Reviews

Film Review: Shiva Baby

★★★★☆ Adapted from her 2018 short, Emma Seligman’s debut feature is a taut, stressful and brilliantly constructed chamber piece. Set during the first day of a shiva for a recently deceased family friend, Shiva Baby is ostensibly a comedy yet has all the tension of a thriller. At […]

#Christopher Machell #Reviews

Film Review: The Father

★★★★★ Are any of old age’s trials as terrifying to contemplate or heart-breaking to witness as the gradual erosion of self that dementia wreaks? In his astonishingly assured debut feature, French playwright-turned-director Florian Zeller handles the mental decline of an elderly man with sensitivity and insight. Last year, […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Land

★★☆☆☆ Mid-way through Land, Robin Wright’s Edee is being taught to hunt by kindly woodsman Miguel (Demián Bichir). Spying a deer, a good distance away on the other side of a broad river, she shuts her eyes, pauses for breath, and fires. Lo and behold, she kills it. […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Gunda

★★★★★ There’s a joyous moment just after the hour mark of Gunda where two piglets experience rain for the first time. Sneaking to the threshold of their warm abode, full of curiosity, they look to the sky, and instinctively, playfully try to catch the falling droplets in their […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: After Love

★★★★★ Secrets, lies, love and sacrifices spanning a lifetime resonate across the English Channel and far beyond in writer-director Aleem Khan’s staggering debut, After Love. Blending the traditions of a British-Pakistani household with the complications, and deceptions, of modern life, this simmering, low-key feature is at once as […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: A Quiet Place Part II

★★★☆☆ Bolder, more bombastic and action-driven, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II pushes the boundaries laid down by its nail-biting, claustrophobic forebear, building upon the solid – though deeply shaken – foundations of the 2018 surprise smash hit. All that was out of sight was very much front of mind […]

#Christopher Machell #Reviews

Film Review: First Cow

★★★★★ Premiering at Telluride back in 2019 and now finally receiving a theatrical release courtesy of MUBI, First Cow has the honour of being among the year’s finest films three years running. No surprise, coming from Kelly Reichardt, one of the United States’ most brilliant and exciting directors. […]

#John Bleasdale #Reviews

Film Review: Frankie

★★☆☆☆ A family assemble for a vacation in Portugal and to confront a looming loss in Ira Sachs’ gentle talkathon, Frankie. The film takes place in the Portuguese city of Sinta, a beautiful location, and a family of disparate elements have gathered here to swim, eat and walk, but […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Surge

★★★☆☆ Finding Ben Whishaw at his most electric and engrossing best, Surge sees an airport security official a long way past the end of his rope and on a collision course with disaster. Aneil Karia’s debut feature is (intentionally) uncomfortable viewing from first to last, reminiscent in its […]

#John Bleasdale #Reviews

Film Review: Army of the Dead

★★★☆☆ Is there currently a more divisive director than Zack Snyder? On one side there are the legions of fans and hashtag warriors for who he is a messianic figure of unsurpassed vision. Facing them, the hordes who find his overwrought, bombastic fantasies puerile and utterly vacuous, slowed […]

#Christopher Machell #Reviews

Film Review: Sound of Metal

★★★★☆ Darius Marder’s first directing credit since 2008’s documentary, Loot, Sound of Metal is an astonishing accomplishment for both its long-nascent director and its British star, Riz Ahmed, for whom his turn as heavy metal drummer Ruben represents a career-best performance. Seemingly as at home with American-led blockbusters […]

#Reviews #Zoe Margolis

Film Review: Nomadland

★★★★★ Adapted from Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, the Oscar and Bafta-winning Nomadland is writer and director Chloé Zhao’s third feature-length film and is a beautiful and compassionate portrait of people living on the outskirts of American society. In 2011, after the […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Minari

★★★★☆ Having charmed audiences at Sundance over a year ago, Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari finally makes its way to UK screens. Drawing on his own South Korean heritage, and experience of growing up in rural Arkansas, the director’s poignant, very personal fifth feature was selected as the Opening […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Apples

★★★★☆ “It’s the end of the line,” says a bus driver as he wakes a man who has fallen asleep on his route. Where was his stop? Does he not remember his name? Opening with an end, a journey unfinished, is the departure point for Christos Nikou’s cyclical […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Black Bear

★★★★☆ Led by a tour de force performance as savage, unpredictable and frightening as the film’s titular ursine, Black Bear stars Aubrey Plaza in stellar form as a writer-director seeking inspiration, in this bamboozling psychological character study. Art appears to imitate and draw upon life in Lawrence Michael […]