Mother Review

Darren Aronofsky’s phantasmagoric fantasia on art, fame, success, religion, politics and the cult of celebrity erupts relentlessly and furiously. It is the angriest, most dynamic film I’ve seen this year, and probably the best film hailing from the US (although it seems to have been shot in Quebec). A fable or parable rather than a…

It Review

Contrary to the brilliant trailer-cutting department at Warner Bros., It is not a scary movie. What It is, is a young-teens-on-bikes small-town-USA ‘80s-set adventure yarn, like Netflix’s Stranger Things, with which It shares much in common. Stranger Things, as an intellectual exercise, imagines a Stephen King-like story as directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on a Stephen King novel and is directed in the style of…

American Made Review

The more you know about the connections between cocaine, the CIA and Central America in the early 1980s, the less fascinating American Made, Doug Liman’s contribution to the Coke-Dealer-In-Peril sub-genre, will be to you. If you know very little, the true subject matter alone will blow your mind. But even if you’ve hoovered up Cocaine…

Atomic Blonde Review

There are some movies you just can’t imagine with a different actor in the leading part. Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry, On The Waterfront, Raging Bull. The central performance carries these films, bears all their weight. So it is with Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde, and she is magnificent. She lifts a…

The Big Sick Review

I’d given up on RomComs because it felt like RomComs had given up. Formulaic, uninspired, derivative, implausible and lacking in able and likeable talent (with the possible exception of Mila Kunis), RomComs for at least a decade (since Knocked Up) have been almost entirely crappy. But The Big Sick wins on every level. It has…

Dunkirk Review

Back in April, Their Finest depicted the British Ministry of Information backing a feature film about the civilian nautical craft evacuation of Dunkirk during World War Two. Now, Warner Brothers has spent a hundred and fifty million bucks on the same subject, and Britain gets a very expensive bonus slice of inspirational propaganda. Reserved, dignified,…

Wonder Woman Review

Petty Jenkins used Richard Donner’s Superman (1978) as her model for Wonder Woman, her first feature film since Monster (2003), and the influence is clear and astute. Like Donner’s film, Jenkins’ take on the Amazonian warrior is fuelled by goodness, romance, gentle humour and, well, wonder – specifically the wonder a 5,000 year old Amazonian finds when experiencing the “world of…

Alien: Covenant Review

Ridley Scott doubles down on the mythology of the Alien cinematic universe in the latest instalment (and the third directed by him), Covenant, and in doing so somewhat rescues the bewildering Prometheus (2012) after the fact. Scott spends the extended second act of the new film expanding, explaining and ultimately answering the many questions that film raised; basically, if you want to…