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  • Molly's Game

    Molly's Game

    ★★

    As fond as I am of Sorkin’s TV work, this directorial debut is an overwritten, overlong mess, saved from foundering completely principally by Chastain’s admirably cool and level performance and a few sharply edited poker games.

    Almost the entire film is clunkily narrated as we unpack the true(ish) story of Molly Bloom, injured pro-skier turned underground gambling queen. Uneven use of flashback toggles between Bloom’s tangle with the FBI supported by her lawyer (a gruff Idris Elba), her game-running with…

  • The Hate U Give

    The Hate U Give

    ★★★★

    A smoothly assured adaptation of the beautifully crafted YA publishing sensation, with an incredible central performance from Amandla Stenberg. Starr Carter lives a double life between her home in deprived Garden Heights and her school in the overprivileged, white end of town. Her worlds collide when her oldest friend is shot dead by police while unarmed. As the only witness to the brutality, Starr is forced to confront painful memories, threats from the local drug kingpin (Anthony Mackie), her oblivious,…

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  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ★★★★½

    In Civil War, the Russos have built on a strong foundation to produce what is unquestionably one of the finer examples of a superhero ensemble movie that we’ve seen yet. Their power lies in something deceptively simple yet often missed in blockbuster franchises which is telling a story: thoroughly, engagingly – above all, emotionally. 

    The First Avenger stretched the origin story out in a way that no other MCU film has – think of Tony’s suit building that’s practically a…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    This dreamy take on André Aciman’s book from Luca Guadagnino is suffused with Italian summer sunlight and is every inch a James Ivory adaptation. If it has a flaw it is this tendency to cast everything in soft focus – a queer love story for straight people like me – but it stays so resolutely on-the-nose about first love and burgeoning sexuality that it’s hard to hold that against it for too long (that’s what he said, etc). Timothée Chalamet…