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  • Lady Macbeth

    Lady Macbeth

    ★★★★★

    One of the year's best movies so far, there is a Kubrickian horror lurking in every perfectly composed but slightly off centre shot composition of Lady Macbeth. A mean, malevolent but very low key thriller that blows the British period drama genre to pieces.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    ★★★★

    As someone who loved Flash Gordon serials as a child, I loved Guardians of the Galaxy 2. It's also a better HEAVY METAL magazine film than HEAVY METAL.

  • Sing Street

    Sing Street

    ★★★★★

    Second viewing, I actually love this film more than LA LA Land.

  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell

    ★★

    A dour, humourless sci-fi movie in which Hollywood reheats cyberpunk and anime aesthetics that feel about 15 years past their sell-by date. 

    The casting of Johansen and the way Japanese and Asian imagery is slathered all over the film's otherwise anonymous  megalopolis (there's about as much sense that this is set in an actual place as you get from an Underworld film) make the 'whitewashing' controversy valid. Something the film is painfully self-conscious about.

    To the film's credit it does…

  • Raw

    Raw

    ★★★★½

    French/Belgian horror film RAW is a brilliant, transgressive, polymorphously perverse, omnisexual, taboo-busting piece of thrilling cinema. 

    It's only a pity that there is all this bullshit being peddled about people fainting and vomiting at festival screenings. This coupled with the film's theme may put off some viewers thinking the film is going to be like Cannibal Ferox. Julia Ducournau's film is certainly confrontational, but it is not a gore fest or particularly focussed on violence. 

    This is a film about…

  • Free Fire

    Free Fire

    ★★★★

    Blood drenched farce in which the dialogue flying around is as deadly as the lead (terrific script by Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump). Great performances (may even turn me into an Armie Hammer fan). Inspired score from Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury which brilliantly deploys free jazz in the unlikeliest situation. And it looks wonderful as lensed by Laurie Rose who is one of the most talented young DPs around.

  • Life

    Life

    ★★★

    Moderately enjoyable Alien knock off with a very overqualified cast.

  • The Assignment

    The Assignment

    So bad that if I didn't know it was a (sob) Walter Hill film, I'd think it was an Uwe Boll movie.

  • Get Out

    Get Out

    ★★★★½

    Jordan Peele's Get Out is a fantastic, deeply unsettling but darkly comic allegory for racial tension that makes you realise just how 'white' the pov in most horror movies actually is.

    Sensational performances, a clever script, and a focus on ideas that makes it closer to TV 'what if' horror (think The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror, or some of the one-off teleplays of Nigel Kneale).

    Peele may lose control of the movie in the final act, but this a minor quibble about a bracingly original film.

    Full review maxrennblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/jordan-peeles-get-out-explores-the-uncanny-landscape-of-racial-tension/

  • Legend

    Legend

    ★½

    Extremely boring gangster film that goes nowhere other better films have not gone before. Looks like TV. Hardy is about all that is interesting in it, but even he cannot make the repellent central characters interesting.

  • Lion

    Lion

    ★★★★

    Very moving film directed with cinematic visual scope. The first section of the film which follows a young boy separated from his family in India and lost in Calcutta is electrifying. The movie loses a bit of focus and energy when it movies to twenty years later and the boy has grown up in Australia after being adopted, but Dev Patel's excellent performance smooths things over. The ending is a real 'no dry eye in the house' triumph.

  • T2 Trainspotting

    T2 Trainspotting

    ★★★★★

    Absolutely superb sequel from one of the best filmmakers the UK has. Fantastic!!!‬