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  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    Rarely has the pain of adolescence been captured on screen as well as in this, the debut film from comedian Bo Burnham. Elsie Fisher gives an extraordinarily naturalistic performance as Kayla, a middle schooler who spends her life online, either poring over the profiles of fellow classmates, or uploading video logs which few but herself seem to watch. It is an almost perfect time capsule of the era in which it was made, heartbreaking but never manipulative, optimistic but never saccharine.

  • The Final Year

    The Final Year

    A watchable, if never particularly insightful, documentary made during on the final year of Barack Obama's presidency, focusing on three key figures in his administration; John Kerry, Samantha Power and Ben Rhodes. The Syrian conflict looms large, and there are brief excerpts from Obama himself interspersed throughout. A conscious decision seems to have been made on behalf of director Greg Barker to keep the elephant in the room – Donald Trump's candidacy and electoral victory – to a minimum.

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  • Son of Saul

    Son of Saul

    Shot in tight close-ups using shallow focus, with traditional widescreen aspect ratio sliced down to a much more compact 4:3, Son of Saul is unsparing of the horrors of Auschwitz without indulging in salacious detail. Glimpses of the recently murdered are always at the corners of frames, the minutiae of concentration camp life – the disposal of ashes, the scrubbing of floors – rendered unremarkable. Among the few Holocaust films to deal not only with the ordeal of the Jews, but with their faith.

  • O.J.: Made in America

    O.J.: Made in America

    Had O.J.: Made in America been a two-hour documentary, it might well have stood as one of the best films of 2016. At almost four times that length, director Ezra Edelman has created an exhaustive – and exhausting – work that is, frankly, indispensable. Edelman delves into Simpson's unprecedented story – a black athlete distancing himself from the rhetoric of solidarity espoused by the likes of Muhammad Ali, only to exploit the very real grievances of poor black America in order to evade justice.