• tick, tick...BOOM!

    tick, tick...BOOM!

    ★★★

    “First rate lyric and tune.”

    tick, tick… BOOM! is charming, carried by an infectious energy and a charismatic ensemble led by a wonderful Andrew Garfield. There’s a lot of genuine affection here, with Lin Manuel Miranda effectively paying his own debts as he attempts to complete the transition from Broadway to Hollywood hinted at by Hamilton and In the Heights. It’s hard to resist, and Manuel is clearly enjoying himself.

    At the same time, there is something just a little…

  • Belfast

    Belfast

    ★★★

    “It’s educational for the boys.”
    “Aye. Raquel Welch is a hell of an education.”

    So… Roma was pretty good, eh?

  • The Matrix Reloaded

    The Matrix Reloaded

    ★★★

    “All must be done as one. If one fails, all fail.”

    Even aside from all the legitimate complaints about the lumpy pacing and questionable computer-generated imagery, The Matrix Reloaded almost seems like a deliberate repudiation of what everybody seemed to love about The Matrix. It’s impossible to imagine a world where, even if this were a much better movie, mass audiences would be happy to sit down for a lecture about how so much of what they enjoyed about the original…

  • Resident Evil

    Resident Evil

    ★★

    "Sir, we've breached the H.I.V.E."

    It has been well over a decade since I last watched Resident Evil, and I had forgotten how much the movie owes to Aliens, with its Sleeping Beauty concept and its military squad of "ultimate badasses" sent in to raid a monstrous matriarchy led by an inhuman ("Red") Queen and resolve a crisis driven by the excesses of capitalism. (To be fair, the casting of Rodriguez as the most badass member of the military squad…

  • The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

    The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

    ★★

    “Can I ask you a personal question? Why cats, Mister Wain?”

    Sadly, it’s not because cats frighten him and it’s time his enemies shared his dread.

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★

    “Do you want to fight or do you want to dance?”

    The biggest problem with Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is that it’s not one of the best American movies ever made. That’s forgivable, as flaws go. 

    In some ways, trying to remake one of the most beloved big screen musicals ever made feels like a poisoned chalice. Spielberg doesn’t manage to surpass the original, but he is competing with one of the most perfect representations of the classic Hollywood…

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★★★

    “Why are you holding me to this light?”
    “Is it wrong to want greatness for you?”
    “I fear I am not meant for greatness.”

    The Green Knight is many things, but it is also effectively a Medieval version of Failure to Launch, about trying to get your grown-ass son to move the hell out of our your house.

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★★★

    “Red is the color of lust, but green is what lust leaves behind, in heart, in womb. Green is what is left when ardor fades, when passion dies, when we die, too. When you go, your footprints will fill with grass. Moss shall cover your tombstone, and as the sun rises, green shall spread over all, in all its shades and hues. This verdigris will overtake your swords and your coins and your battlements and, try as you might, all you hold dear will…

  • King Richard

    King Richard

    ★★★★

    “You need to be talking to Venus.”

    One of the weirder criticisms of King Richard is the idea that it’s a story that marginalises Venus and Serena Williams to foreground their father.

    It’s worth noting that this is the movie that Venus and Serena Williams chose to make. More to the point, one of the big tensions of the third act is Richard Williams (and the rest of the cast) allowing Venus and Serena to exert their own agency. Characters repeatedly…

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★★

    “Beat it.”

    In some ways, West Side Story feels like the absolute zenith of the classic Hollywood studio system, heralding the arrival of the sixties with a defiant “screw you!” to the very idea of naturalism. West Side Story recreates the gritty streets on expansive backlot sets that are lit and designed to saturate the screen with colours, with teenager street kids played by trained dancers in their twenties and thirties.

    West Side Story is not a movie that simply…

  • Boxing Day

    Boxing Day

    ★★½

    “Perfect f&!ks itself.”

    Boxing Day has very few surprising, hitting all of its marks with considerable skill. It’s a very calculated holiday romcom, one that doesn’t see tropes as obstacles to be avoided or clichés as hurdles to be subverted. From its opening moments, Boxing Day knows exactly what it is offering, and communicates that very clearly.

    Boxing Day suffers somewhat in its opening and closing acts, as the film’s budgetary constraints and casting limitations strain against the script’s efforts…

  • House of Gucci

    House of Gucci

    ★★★

    “What happened to the man I married?”
    “He’s still here.”
    “I had no idea I married a monster.”
    “No, you married a Gucci.”

    Between Girls, Star Wars, Marriage StoryThe Last Duel and House of Gucci, Adam Driver has really cornered the market on a very specific sort of masculine “f&!kboy” energy that is absolutely fascinating and feels unique as far as star personas go. Driver is great at playing that guy who is maybe five degrees off an archetypal seventies…