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  • Serena

    Serena

    ★★★½

    I still really like this nutso adapatation of a - and let's be frank - pretty nutso book. Lacks the novel's seductive historical detail and finer literary flourishes, but works well as an unpredictable and unsettling melodrama. The score and cinematography are sublime even if the screeplay occasionally struggles for total clarity and structural rigour. The character work is spot on, though.

    Whilst she's totally fine, I do think this is the only of Lawrence's aged-up roles (Silver Linings, American Hustle, Joy) where she feels a little too young for the part (22 at time of shooting). Just an observation.

  • Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

    Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

    ★½

    This film's legend precedes it.

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  • Pan's Labyrinth

    Pan's Labyrinth

    ★★★★★

    Guillermo Del Toro's stance as a film-maker of immense storytelling prowess and visual creativity went mainstream with the release of this foreign gem in 2006. Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, "Pan's Labyrinth" subscribes to fairy-tale archetypes cleverly, and delicately presents a little princess in need of escape from the evils of the world around her. Phenomenal creature design, cinematography and a screenplay that works as beguiling ethereal fantasy entertainment and an incisive commentary on the horrors of war. Sensational. If you haven't yet seen it, I urge you to rectify this gaping chasm in your viewing history.

  • Tigerland

    Tigerland

    ★★★★½

    That the same bloke who made "Batman & Robin" also made "Tigerland" is pretty staggering. Gritty and restrained, "Tigerland" is a powerful look at the training process Vietnam grunts had to go through on American soil, depicting a military regime turned savage by a war that demanded it. Colin Farrell broke out on the back of his work here, and he's pretty fantastic, exuding charm and conflict as a cadet desperately trying to evade service. Schumacher's visuals almost pitched at the…