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  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain

    ★★★★

    Move over, Christopher Nolan. This is a war film.

    Produced in part by Bond mogul Harry Saltzman, Battle of Britain is one of the most spectacular and notable war epics of the '60s. The many aircraft sequences and huge roster of British stars made the film tremendously expensive but the technical achievement of the project is remarkable. In contrast to this year's Dunkirk - in which due to Nolan's refusal to use CGI, a few boats and planes had to…

  • Moonraker

    Moonraker

    ★★½

    (I'll get round to The Spy Who Loved Me.)

    Moonraker is often seen as the moment the Bond films truly lurched into self-parody, and it has earned the film a poor reputation even among some of those who prefer 007 to be tongue-in-cheek.

    Personally, the comedic style is not to my taste - but for me the reason Moonraker disappoints is because it's so lazily constructed. Like many of today's blockbusters, the film feels like a series of setpieces designed…

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  • The Living Daylights

    The Living Daylights

    ★★★★½

    Timothy Dalton's superb first 007 entry reinvigorated the series, which had been in a dreadful state creatively for over a decade.

    Dalton's harder-edged approach, and that of The Living Daylights itself, was ideally suited to 1987 and provides a perfect antidote to the buffoonish Moore outings which preceded it. The new star's performance is perfect - still the best in the series - and is matched by the supporting cast, top-notch action, fantastic visual effects, and John Barry's last wonderful…

  • Hard Target

    Hard Target

    ★★★★½

    The conventional wisdom is that 'Face/Off' is by far the best film John Woo made during his stint working on US films between 1993 and 2003. It's only that film, the theory goes, which captures something of the "heroic bloodshed" style he had crafted in Hong Kong between 1986 and 1992. By contrast, Woo's US debut 'Hard Target' is often thought of as a compromised film, the work of a Chinese director at pains to prove he could make an…