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  • The Magnificent Ambersons

    The Magnificent Ambersons

    ★★★★★

    Fragments of genius. Amidst the wreckage are five or six of the most stunning passages in American cinema.

  • I, Tonya

    I, Tonya

    ★★★★½

    A dynamic, polemical retelling of a story that’s always fascinated me. The film’s great gamble is the blackly comic tone, and it works superbly, while never blunting the story’s harrowing edge. It’s only in the caper-ish, somewhat longwinded treatment leading up to the pivotal ‘incident’ that the movie errs, before kicking in hard again at the end. Who knew that Steven Rogers, the writer of weak, mawkish rom-coms, had this in his locker?! As everyone has said, Robbie is terrific, while the sequences on the ice are genuinely dazzling.

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  • Ghost World

    Ghost World

    ★★★★★

    You can take your Juno, your Scott Pilgrim, even your Heathers, and chuck them in a skip, because Ghost World just does it all so much better. Well, all of it that's worth doing. I'm beginning to think this melancholy, bitingly hilarious crystallisation of teen ennui might be the only film I'll ever really need.

  • Sideways

    Sideways

    ★★★★★

    Wine is probably the most boring subject on Earth, so how come Payne’s film about a lonely, bitter best man (Paul Giamatti) taking the soon-to-be-groom (Thomas Haden Church) on a week-long tour of vineyards is so bloody good? Perhaps because of Giamatti’s astonishing characterisation, which imbues an arrogant, self-destructive, self-hating pseud with a completely disarming humanity. Or perhaps because it’s not really about wine at all, but love and friendship and the choices that people make that end up deciding…