devilgate has written 4 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2021.

  • This Is England

    This Is England

    ★★★★

    A gritty, realist tale of British skinheads in Thatcher times. We get the good skins — into ska, soul, and having Black friends. And then the bad ones — into ska, soul, racism, and joining the National Front. 

    But it’s mainly about a young boy whose dad died in the Falklands.

    It’s good. Kate from Line of Duty (Vicky McLure) is in it, too. Disappointing that the Clash song of the same name is not used, but since that was released in 1985 and the film is set in 1983, it wouldn’t have made sense.

  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

    Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

    ★★★★

    A great story about a competition we all grew up with, and then stopped caring about because it was endlessly uncool, and then started taking an interest in again because it was so daft and fun.

    Maybe that's just me.

    Anyway, this film (made with the cooperation of the European Broadcasting Union, which is the body behind Eurovision) pokes fun at the competition in all the right ways, and does it with love and a big heart.

  • Good Vibrations

    Good Vibrations

    ★★★★

    Great fun story of Terri Hooley, who ran the eponymous record shop and label in Belfast. 

    Great music, and an appearance by John Peel; or at least an actor doing his voice very badly.

  • Rocks

    Rocks

    ★★★★

    Great, moving film about a teenaged girl whose mother leaves — it’s never stated why, but most likely because of mental health problems — who tries to keep life going normally for herself and her little brother. Inevitably there are problems, with school, with social workers. 

    It’s set and filmed in and around d Hackney, so I feel like these could be people I see on the streets, people my kids went to school with. 

    Refreshingly, many clichés are avoided: the problems are not about drugs or gangs, or even race. 

    A top piece of work.