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  • 24 Hour Party People

    24 Hour Party People

    ★★

    Starts well and then degenerates into tedium. Few things in life are more boring than Michael Winterbottom directing Steve Coogan to do exactly the same thing that he always does.

  • Control

    Control

    ★★★

    The film looks amazing; it captures the look of the 1970s north perfectly with bleak black-and-white. The performances are superb and the young actors cast as the Joy Division members do a magnificent job of recreating their songs. Sam Riley's impersonation of Ian Curtis is incredible.

    But. The screenplay and direction don't make the story interesting. Curtis's story is told as an entirely formulaic rock-star-who-couldn't-handle-fame tale. Pressure, drugs, coming home late to lonely wife, infidelity, bla bla. We've seen this…

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  • Bridge of Spies

    Bridge of Spies

    ★★

    Oh god, that bloody horn music. Any time anyone starts talking about American values in this film, a pompous, wistful and yet stolid horn starts playing and then the warm, serious, slightly dark and yet deeply heartfelt orchestral music begins, and as we all contemplate the American values it all surges in a solemn but fundamentally warm and concerned way.

    Every. God. Damned. Time.

  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    ★★

    It should have been one of the great tragic tales of cinema. The tale of an idealistic young man slowly transforming into the towering epic villain that we remembered from Star Wars. But Lucas didn't know how to write that transformation, and Christensen didn't know how to act it, so the character changes in awkward jump cuts instead of in a slow arc. This is true of Ian McDiarmid too, who is brilliantly convincing as the Chancellor but hammy as…