CineVue

Film reviews and more

Christopher Machell

Film Review: Nope

★★★★☆ Jordan Peele reunites with Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya for his third film, Nope, a typically tense, frightening and frequently funny reinvention of the flying saucer B-movie. While its social satire is perhaps not as sharp as Get Out, nor its scares as creepy as Us, Nope is nevertheless another triumph from Peele.

Film Review: Prey

★★☆☆☆ Four years on from the last attempt at a reboot courtesy of Shane Black, 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg arrives to do what no other director has managed and rejuvenate the Predator franchise. Sadly, though the attempt is admirable, the direct-to-Disney+ Prey is an oddly blunted affair.

Film Review: Bullet Train

★★★★☆ Based on Isaka Kōtarō’s 2010 novel MariaBeetle, Bullet Train comes thundering out of the station, a runaway delight of forward momentum, style and excess. Directed by the man behind John Wick, Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2, David Leitch once again proves himself one of the most adept action directors in Hollywood.

Film Review: The Falling World

★★☆☆☆ At a retreat in upstate New York, law student Lark (Ayumi Patterson) gradually uncovers a web of mystery and deceit that has ensnared her friends. American director Jaclycn Bethany’s second feature, The Falling World contains moments of intrigue but a limp script and a cast of unengaging characters make this effort fall flat.

Film Review: Fire of Love

★★★★☆ On 3 June 1991, famed French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft made their final, fateful expedition to an erupting volcano. The eruption at Mount Unzen, near Nagasaki, killed the pair in a devastating pyroclastic flow. Documentarian Sara Dosa crafts an impassioned picture of the world’s most celebrated married volcanologists.

Film Review: A Chiara

★★★★☆ Continuing the series that he began with Mediterranea and A Ciambra, Italian-American director Jonas Carpignano’s third feature gives further dimension to the world and lives of the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate of Calabria. A Chiara is arguably Carpignano’s most accomplished work to date.

Film Review: Thor: Love and Thunder

★★☆☆☆ Taika Waititi returns to direct his second instalment of the Thor saga. Leaning even further into the comedy that made Ragnarok such a riot, upping the visual ante and raising the emotional stakes, Waititi’s follow-up has all the makings of the God of Thunder’s best adventure yet. Sadly, Love and Thunder proves that it is possible to have too much of a good Thor.

Film Review: Faya Dayi

★★★★☆ The chewing of khat leaves in Ethiopia is a tradition dating back centuries and is often used by Sufi Muslims as part of their religious experience. In Faya Dayi, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Mexican-Ethiopian director, producer and cinematographer Jessica Beshir finds vivid inspiration in the practice.

Film Review: Pleasure

★★★★☆ Adapted from her 2013 short of the same name, Swedish director Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature is an unflinching look at the 21st century porn industry. Featuring a knockout star performance from newcomer Sofia Kappel, Pleasure’s depiction of the reality of working in porn is lucid, often harrowing and occasionally tender.

Film Review: Il buco

★★★★★ In 1961, while wealthy Milanese businessmen scaled the Pirelli Tower, Giulio Gècchele led the first expedition into its deepest abyss, Calabria’s 700-metre deep Abisso del Bifurto. For his third feature, Milan-born director Michelangelo Frammartino dramatises the expedition in a study of humanity’s hubris against nature’s immovable permanency.