Ready or Not

Those walking into Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Ready or Not hoping for a cinematic adaptation of The Delfonics’ 1968 classic ‘Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from…

Rambo: Last Blood

It might seem strange that a franchise whose middle section associated it entirely with amped-up, musclebound masculinity should have been bookended by titles (1982’s First Blood, and now Last Blood)…

Ad Astra

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when a director whose work you have been typically apathetic towards in the past produces something that comes dangerously close to a masterpiece? The speculative…

Her Smell

In the past year alone the likes of A Star Is Born, Vox Lux and Wild Rose have all grappled with the subject of young female musicians who struggle with…

The Farewell

At 90 years old, my Filipino grandmother’s eyesight has gone bad. Her hearing is even worse. Though she may see her 25-year-old granddaughter in front of her, she hears my…

Lucy in the Sky – first look review

On the evening of February 4 2007, Lisa Nowak, a former naval flight officer turned NASA Astronaut, got in her car and drove from Houston to Orlando Airport. Upon arrival,…

Honeyland

Besides the swarm of memes riffing on the 2007 DreamWorks animation Bee Movie, starring Jerry Seinfeld as a bee, our relationship with the humble insect has seldom been explored on…

Greed – first look review

Low prices exact a high cost in Greed, Michael Winterbottom’s new satire training its crosshairs on the fast-fashion industry. Everything noxious about capitalistic practice today finds a human vessel in…

Phoenix

This is a film which blends kitchen sink drama with magical realism to explore the responsibilities a child must assume when neglected by emotionally volatile parents. It follows Jill, played…

Harriet – first look review

It’s close to astonishing that no feature film had ever been made about Harriet Tubman until now. Not just because Tubman is one of the most important historical figures in…

Le Mans ’66 – first look review

Sometimes you don’t know you needed to see something until it’s placed right in front of your eyes. Case in point: Matt Damon and Christian Bale tussling like small children…

La Flor

Any conversational mention of Argentinian filmmaker Mariano Llinás’ second narrative feature on the festival circuit over the last 12 months will have inevitably made swift reference to its length. So…

For Sama

There are some filmmakers who believe that the camera does not possess the capacity to amply capture the true horrors of war. The sights, sounds and smells exist beyond the…

Uncut Gems – first look review

For some ten years now, Josh and Benny Safdie have been making movies about shitty people. Not just shitty – that’s not specific enough. Their central characters exude a frantic,…

Jojo Rabbit – first look review

The words ‘An Anti-Hate Satire’ are emblazoned across the poster for Jojo Rabbit, the new film by Taika Waititi. It seems like a weird thing to specify when the target…

Color Out of Space – first look review

There’s an inherent problem of trying to adapt the writing of HP Lovecraft. The very notion of something being ‘Lovecraftian’ connotes something that cannot be envisioned, that cannot be understood…

The Goldfinch

By all accounts, Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ‘The Goldfinch’ is a compelling, delicately-layered study of grief, dislocation and memory. I’ve not read it yet, but it has been recommended…

State Funeral – first look review

Feature-length documentaries have become such a sophisticated art form, filmmakers increasingly have to have something truly extraordinary up their sleeve to win over an audience. If unseen archive proves the…

Venice Film Festival 2019: the awards

In the world of cinema, there are but three major festivals which, for reasons known only to the film industry, lord above all others. That’s Berlin, which happens in February….

Proxima – first look review

When Sally Ride was going to become the first American woman to go to space in 1983, NASA engineers hit a wall with a question that baffled them as much…

The Truth – first look review

hen a bad mother approaches old age and enters the phase of life when one spends more time cataloguing past memories than creating new ones, she’s faced with a choice….

Waves – first look review

Watching a Trey Edward Shults film is akin to willingly giving yourself a panic attack. He makes claustrophobic family dramas (Krisha, It Comes At Night) of Shakespearian proportions, films that…

Rocks – first look review

Filmmaker Sarah Gavron continues to make impassioned work about and alongside women in London with her new film Rocks, a sorrowful yet full-hearted depiction of a young girl at breaking…

Rialto – first look review

When you’ve lived your whole life being told it’s wrong to feel a certain way, to love a certain type of person, how can you stop those feelings from destroying…

Babyteeth – first look review

Yes, there are references to baby teeth in Shannon Murphy’s debut feature Babyteeth, but don’t ask about their wider relevance. Schoolgirl Milla (Eliza Scanlen) claims to be a living medical…

IT Chapter Two

In Derry, Maine, time works in mysterious ways. It seems like only a couple of years ago that it was 1989, and Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Ben (Jeremy Ray…

The Painted Bird – first look review

This punishing but undoubtedly brilliant monochrome epic opens on a travelling shot of a small boy, running as fast as his legs will carry him, while clutching his fluffy, white…

The King – first look review

In The King, writers Joel Edgerton and David Michôd (also on directing duties) have squeezed not one, not two, but three Shakespeare plays into one film: Henry IV Parts 1…

Citizen K – first look review

Given his uneven output of recent years – the Rolling Stone, Fela Kuti and Lance Armstrong films being cases in point – it is something of a joy (and relief)…

The Laundromat – first look review

If there’s one thing that director Stephen Soderbergh loves, it’s using cinema as a way to chart global economic frameworks. The flow of capital is really something he digs hard,…

Wasp Network – first look review

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from reading John Le Carré novels over the years, it’s that spying is a really confusing business. And the ones left standing are usually…

Joker – first look review

A notice hangs on the headboard of a public staircase that reads, “Don’t forget to smile”. As he saunters underneath it, Joaquin Phoenix’s violently depressive deadbeat rent-a-clown, Arthur Fleck, pulls…

Ema – first look review

Chilean director Pablo Larraín made a name for himself with his dark allegorical dramas on the devastating history of his homeland and the legacy of political dictatorship. He was rewarded…

Seberg – first look review

It brings us no pleasure whatsoever to deliver the news that Seberg, a stilted and slight biopic of the Iowa-born screen icon Jean Seberg, is something of a trainwreck. Part…

Seahorse

The trials and tribulations of childbirth are well-documented in cinema, but in Jeanie Finlay’s tender documentary a unique story of new life comes into rich focus. Freddy McConnell, a 30-year-old…

Mrs Lowry & Son

An emotionally abusive relationship lies at the heart of Adrian Noble’s biopic of one of Britain’s most-loved painters, LS Lowry. In the vein of a psychological drama, the narrative centres…

Ad Astra – first look review

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when a director whose work you have been typically apathetic towards in the past produces something that comes dangerously close to a masterpiece? The speculative…