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  • To Live and Die in L.A.

    To Live and Die in L.A.

    ★★★★

    William Friedkin is far from my favourite director - he'd be lucky to make the top 20! - but I do very much appreciate the projects he picks up and the subject matter and tone that attracts him. The Exorcist is an overrated classic, but a classic nonetheless; Sorcerer I would argue is even better; and now I come to this cop movie, which feels a little all over the place but weirdly kind of benefits from it.
    Photography is…

  • How It Ends

    How It Ends

    ★★★

    What now seems a trademark of Netflix acquisitions (and most likely the reason most aren't picked up elsewhere) is that, although based around a particularly interesting idea, there seems a lack of original characterisation. Dull characters written without conviction, offering nothing to the actors tasked with bringing them to life. All feels a bit by the numbers. By the time the inciting incident hits, the damage is already done and, in this case, the credits are inexplicably rolling!
    This is…

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  • Apt Pupil

    Apt Pupil

    ★★★½

    Remember Brad Renfro? Teen sensation of the nineties, looked like a young Ethan Hawke? Hasn’t done anything since 2008? Whatever happened to that dude?

    Here we find Renfro at his peak, fresh off the success of the Client and Sleepers, as a dark-minded school kid with morbid fascination for the Nazi war criminal living across town, played immensely by Ian McKellen. The tension that builds between the pair is expertly crafted by Bryan Singer at the helm, injecting a look…

  • The Breadwinner

    The Breadwinner

    ★★★½

    In what world does this go up against Coco at the Oscars and lose?! Bearing similar themes but much more relevant is this tale of a young Afghan girl who poses as a boy in order to feed her family after her father is imprisoned. This beautiful animation does a fantastic job of painting life in an extremist-laden culture without taking sides but simply showing us the civilian side of a culture so far detached from ours in the West.…