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  • Cowboys

    Cowboys

    ★★★

    Heartfelt, but a little flat story of a father who absconds with his trans son following an altercation at home. Anna Kerrigan’s delicate screenplay is very good at unpicking the complex family dynamics at her story’s centre, and she’s gifted with a wonderful performance from Zahn as an understanding but misguided father. Whenever it tries to go bigger, the film fumbles, but it picks its way gradually to a cathartic and emotionally rewarding final few scenes.

  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    ★★½

    The reason the first two Conjuring films worked so well was their focus on both the families at their centre and the trauma each case inflicts on Lorraine Warren, coupled with James Wan’s meticulous direction. Two of those things are missing in this third instalment, which whilst expanding the Conjuring universe beyond possession feels hopelessly muddied and low-stakes. You’d think that replacing possession with a satanic cult wouldn’t make that much difference, but it bogs the film down as the…

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  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    ★★★★½

    The first hour of The Favourite is so stuffed with GIF-able moments and howlingly funny lines, and then the second half makes you sympathise with this trio of women. Unlike The Lobster, where the shift into different terrain wasn’t quite as satisfying (even if it was utterly necessary), I was moved by the corseted fate of Anne and Sarah in particular.

    Creating an alien landscape from the bones of the costume drama, the wickedly vulgar comedy that powers so much…

  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★½

    Who’d have thought given all the publicity and hype that A Star Is Born would end up being a performance vehicle for Bradley Cooper? He’s magnificent as Jack, an alcoholic megastar who’s given a new lease of life after discovering Lady Gaga singing in a gay bar he’s crashed trying to find another drink.

    The first half is the most interesting, as we watch Ally’s rise and the affect it has on Jack, but once she’s become a star the…