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  • Free Fire

    Free Fire

    ★★★★

    The London Film Festival has saved one of its best cards until the very end, screening the hugely anticipated Free Fire on its closing night. Officially not released until next spring, exactly one year after the vivid, thought-provoking mess that was High Rise, Ben Wheatley’s latest film is an extravagant but piercing cinematic feast of crass humour, bullets and blood. We’re far from the metaphorical concepts, the moral complexity and the relevance to today’s society that marked some of Wheatley’s…

  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★★★★

    I couldn’t help rolling my eyes when I found out that Kong: Skull Island, the umpteenth film about the monstrous king ape, is part of a Legendary franchise that includes Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla (2014), created with the idea of making the two creatures clash in an upcoming feature. With sequels and reboots spreading worse than a dropped bag of popcorn - cue Harry Potter and Star Wars spinoffs, DC, and obviously the Marvel superhero bonanza - franchises are becoming increasingly…

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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★½

    When we talk about Denis Villeneuve, let’s not forget that the man who will direct the Blade Runner (1982) sequel was completely unknown until a handful of years ago. His first big film, Incendies (2010), received a nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. He then surged to international fame in 2013 with Prisoners, the deeply absorbing thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal (as well as Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis). Enemy, again starring Gyllenhaal, opened…

  • Personal Shopper

    Personal Shopper

    ★★½

    The last time actress Kristen Stewart and director Olivier Assayas teamed up, it was for the much acclaimed Cloud of Sils Maria (2014), which earned the César Award for Best Supporting Actress. It was the first time an American actress won France’s most prominent film award, and it meant a great deal for Stewart, whose acting skills had never been taken seriously since her infamous performances in the Twilight (2008-2012) saga films. The two are working together again on Assayas’s…