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  • The Polka King

    The Polka King

    ★★

    I can see the appeal of this being developed and shaped for Jack Black, but the fun doesn't translate on screen, nor do the darker, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction undertones. The film lurches forward awkwardly without ever fully cohering.

  • Paddington

    Paddington

    ★★★★

    Simply delightful. Full of charm, visual wit and fun setpieces, but also a lot of heart. Also, am I crazy or is this a parable about immigrants assimilating and how we all need to show a basic modicum of human decency?

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  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ½

    For the life of me I can't understand how fans find anything to give a shit about in these films.

    There's no personality, no stakes, no energy on display from either the cast or the directors. In the Russo brothers, I think Marvel have found their ideal directors: artless, visionless servants of an episodic TV structure. The action isn't exactly unintelligible (Marvel films are too insidious to be completely unsound), but it's passionless: hyperkinetic yet perfunctory. The Russo brothers' "style"…

  • Silence

    Silence

    ★★★★★

    Both experiential and texturally rich as well as intellectually alive. Silence is built around a series of religious tests, moral riddles whose consequences grow more and more thorny. Or rather, the film burrows deeper and deeper into manifestations of the same dilemma: the stubborn pride of conviction and the distance between heart and action.

    It's an extremely complex exploration of these ideas, but the film is tactile as well as brainy. Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography beautifully captures the indifference of the…