• Where the Crawdads Sing

    Where the Crawdads Sing

    I was hoping I'd agree more with audiences than critics on this film but unfortunately critics are right about this one. It's very basic and while that's not always a problem in this case the clichés undermine any interest in the central mystery. The main problem is the romance plots aren't fleshed out and both of them suffer from the men involved in them being written as if this were a wattpad romance fan-fiction. There's some stuff that works like…

  • A Chiara

    A Chiara

    ★★★

    A Chiara is a very unique coming of age film with an angle on growing up that the more I think about the more I like it but the pacing just didn't work too well for me. The slow scene setting portions didn't do much for me but once the plot properly starts and the themes come through I appreciated it a lot more. There's plenty of quality acting throughout although some characters could have done with more development so…

  • Brian and Charles

    Brian and Charles

    ★★★½

    Brian and Charles isn't that different to many films that have come before it in tone but still manages to be a really fun watch that has a good deal of heart. It's mostly low stakes but also reflects on the feelings of Brian and Charles, their conflicts, desires and restrictions of the world this more character driven aspect is the highlight of the film. Overall a film that has broad appeal but still has an identity and subtext beyond its first impressions.

  • The Gray Man

    The Gray Man

    ★★★

    The Gray Man is what you'd expect, a rather standard action film following the known tropes and banking it's success on starring 3 of the most marketable actors of today, but all in all to my surprise it was enjoyable. This feels like a throwback to those Arnold Schwarzenegger starring man on the run thrillers and doesn't take itself to seriously. Another thing that maybe saves this from mediocrity is that the Russo brothers are good spectacle directors that can…

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four

    Nineteen Eighty-Four

    ★★★½

    1984 is a classic told very well in this film with all the bleakness you'd hope for and the social commentary intact. It's the archetype of a dystopian story so having seen so many now it doesn't feel as unique or stand out as much as it should but I can still recognise the impact of it. There's an inevitably to a lot that happens which absolutely makes sense and drives home the futility of certain things within the film…

  • Wind River

    Wind River

    ★★★★

    Wind River builds it's mystery well but what really makes it great is the constant tension during action scenes and the slower paced moments that add to the stakes. A lot of the plotting, character types and twists have been done before but here they're executed really well because of the pacing and build up instead of rushing into things. A unique aspect this has is the messaging around violence against native Americans, it's not conveyed perfectly but still raises the issue and highlights injustices that come with it. Still overall this is a well constructed thriller that's impressively paced.

  • Sweet Sixteen

    Sweet Sixteen

    ★★★★

    Sweet Sixteen is another brilliant slice of British working class reality from Ken Loach, pretty much what you'd expect from him but no less impactful. I appreciate much like Trainspotting the approach to unapologetic Scottishness which is something that also increases the realism something that was already great about the film. It seems weird to see the guy from Line of Duty as a 15 year old using his actual accent too but he's great in this a much more compelling character too.

  • Flee

    Flee

    ★★★★

    Flee is without a doubt powerful storytelling with an already powerful verbal account enhanced by the animated visuals. The experiences of refugees on a surface level is horrifying but this very personal detail given of this individual's story further humanizes those who have gone through this. There's also a good deal of historical context given which not only sets the scenes or establish context but also leaves you thinking about the cause of these wars and conflicts that drive people away from their homes. Overall Flee is an essential watch, not an easy one but worth it for its emotion and insight.

  • Thor: Love and Thunder

    Thor: Love and Thunder

    ★★★★

    I've not got anything more to say about Thor: Love and Thunder than I did on my first viewing so here's my general thoughts on the critical reception of this film and other recent MCU films. The MCU is known for its formula and depending on a lot of other factors and elements with each film sometimes it works really well other times not so much. Formulaic elements without much else to make a story interesting can be quite dull,…

  • Thor: Love and Thunder

    Thor: Love and Thunder

    ★★★★

    Thor Ragnarok was the film that made Thor an entertaining and engaging character because it gave him personality and an actual character arc; Love and Thunder is the continuation of this brilliant characterisation of Thor. Taika Waititi has always been great at comedic timing and that continues with this film. The best Marvel films are the ones like this that don't take themselves too seriously using plenty of genuinely hilarious scenes and manage to not only do that but provide…

  • Minions: The Rise of Gru

    Minions: The Rise of Gru

    I got some enjoyment out of this because of the craziness of my cinema audience with ironic clapping at the end of the film and people shouting "It's Morbin' time" but other than the so bad it's good meme elements I was just left profoundly bored by Minions Rise of Gru. It's all things we've seen before in other Despicable Me films let alone other animated kids films so just didn't have something to interest me with. It's forgettable and only stays with me for the massive standing ovation from the gentleminions when the credits began.

  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★★½

    I went into this one expecting a rather standard Hollywood horror film but The Black Phone is more creative than I expected and uses its concept to enhance its simple narrative. There's a very Stephen King sort of feel to this with a lot of influences from It but with a good mix of original ideas too that come together well to create tension. There's a few quite standard jump scares but some that work too and combined with more…