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  • Hannibal Brooks

    Hannibal Brooks

    ★★★

    Oddball war comedy from Michael Winner and it might just be his best film, being sweet and offbeat rather than especially funny with a great performance from Oliver Reed, staggeringly miscast and somehow hauling the whole film along on his sinewy, surly back.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    ★★

    This is what happens when you listen to people. The surprise runaway success of the first Pirates film led to this sequel; while the gist might have been in the works it was plainly distorted by the audience response and so this is basically the first film but bigger and sillier because that's always better, right? So you've got Johnny Depp being more Keith Richards than ever, Keira spinning more displaced 21st century Whedon action femme lines and Orlando getting…

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  • Leon: The Professional

    Leon: The Professional

    ★★★★★

    A very-well made action thriller with a heart as Luc Besson for once gets it all just about right. It helps that Jean Reno and Natalie Portman have genuine chemistry in their double mentor/pupil relationship, and that Leon himself is a fascinating character (even if he's about as Italian as Joe Dolce). As for Gary Oldman as Stansfield he's so completely over-the-top insane that he somehow works perfectly, the old Andy Robinson gambit coming off perfectly.

    That Besson later screwed the film over with a flabby 'long version' summed his career up nicely.

  • Gravity

    Gravity

    ★★★★★

    A remarkable film - Children of Men was always going to be a tough act to follow but Gravity manages to be even better. Beautiful and terrifying at exactly the same time (the debris strike on Explorer is balletic and chaotic, more shocking for not having inaccurate tearing metal noises), made with incredible technical skill and held together by two astounding performances from Clooney and Bullock.

    Cuaron also knows that scientific accuracy is only worth a damn when it's needed by drama and that accuate-ish is accurate enough, and also that you can make a space epic without needing to make the thing three hours long.