• The Hole in the Ground

    The Hole in the Ground

    ★★★★ = Very Good

    I love sitting terrified in the dark in front of a good horror film. The older I become, the more susceptible I am to their trepidations; not the other way round, as I expected.

    I watch a lot of horror but most of it disappoints. I have a low threshold for being intimidated into covering my face with a cushion, but that’s due to the hackneyed, manipulative crap emitting from my tv.

    Thrilled I am, you…

  • The Childhood of a Leader

    The Childhood of a Leader

    ★★★★ = Very Good

    This stunning debut in auteurist filmmaking by actor-turned-director Brady Corbet is a snapshot in the life of a 10-year-old boy whose father is an American diplomat in France involved in the formation of the Treaty of Versailles, a peace treaty signed in 1919 which ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. Newcomer Tom Sweet plays the astute little boy whose antisocial and manipulative behaviour within his household, if left unchecked by his…

  • The Selfish Giant

    The Selfish Giant

    ★★★★½ = Superb

    Beauty can be painfully raw and hopeless … in the hands of the right writer/director. Clio Barnard has put together a very strong piece of cinema whose images keep popping back into your head weeks after watching it.

    The Selfish Giant is a story of life in Northern England for young impoverished children eager to make something of themselves but lacking the correct environmental influences in which to do so. The narrative follows two young boys, uninterested…

  • Locke

    Locke

    ★★★★½

    ★★★★½ = Superb

    Depending on the culture of your country and the management of your local cinema, intermissions are either the accepted norm or an atypical occurrence reserved for very long films. Depending on the subject matter, the viewer’s connection with a film may be negatively impacted by a break. For comedies, this is probably not an issue; but for films where the drama builds slowly, a sudden pause can change the viewer’s experience considerably.

    Steven Knight’s Locke is a…

  • Zodiac

    Zodiac

    ★★★★½

    ★★★★½ = Superb

    There are very few films I can watch again and again. Se7en is one of them. Zodiac is another. I love these two films because they are very well written and produced, and marry my favourite film genre – thrillers – with my fascination for serial killers. Both films are directed by the brilliant David Fincher.

    Fincher has had great success in Hollywood. Se7en (1995) is an established genre classic and Zodiac (2007) is a cult classic,…

  • The Silence

    The Silence

    ★★★★

    ★★★★ = Very good

    This excellent police procedural thriller from Germany assembles a group of fully fleshed-out and highly interesting characters, and drops them into a fine criminal drama.

    The Silence feels original mostly because, as a foreign piece of work, it avoids the clichés we are used to from American and British crime thrillers. The screenplay is based on German novelist Jan Costin Wagner’s clever 2007 novel.

    Screenwriter/director Baran bo Odar has united a team of fine actors, a…

  • Jacob's Ladder

    Jacob's Ladder

    ★★★★½

    ★★★★½ = Superb

    Somehow, for me, Jacob’s Ladder has always gone hand-in-hand with Angel Heart (1987). Maybe director Adrian Lyne and writer Bruce Joel Rubin were heavily influenced by Alan Parker’s masterpiece? It would not surprise me at all.

    No matter, Jacob’s Ladder can stand tall all by itself as an exceptional cinematic experience. This nerve-wracking psychological mystery thriller will bewilder and horrify you in a most gratifying manner. The only alleviation you will get during all the madness and…

  • 12 Years a Slave

    12 Years a Slave

    ★★★★½

    ★★★★½ = Superb

    Just finished watching it. It is indeed very very good. Believe the hype!

    I'll write a review as soon as I can.

    Greetings to all of you
    Shimky


    WonderfulCinema.com
    Short reviews on high quality films. No spoilers.

  • A Field in England

    A Field in England

    ★★★½

    ★★★½ = Good

    Preliminary Thoughts on 'A Field in England'

    A Field in England is a bizarre tale set in 17th Century England which had me scratching my head for the first half of the film and then simply relaxing and enjoying the second half.

    I can't really tell how good this film is yet! Director Ben Wheatley's Kill List (2011) and Sightseers (2012) are firm favourites of mine. So I will have to let things settle and then watch…

  • Do You Like My Basement?

    Do You Like My Basement?

    ★½

    ★½ = Bad

    Full points for effort but this low-budget semi-professional comedy-horror flick is too slow, fails to build up any kind of tension - let alone horror - and the black comedy has its moments but is generally lame.

    Director Roger Sewhcomar's Kickstarter-financed cinematic debut has some great and novel ideas which could have come to life much better with better editing, better acting and better camera work. Maybe someone from Hollywood will see this, rip off the ideas…

  • The Deathmaker

    The Deathmaker

    ★★★★½

    ★★★★½ = Superb

    A superbly acted chamber piece involving the interviews between a serial killer and the doctor performing psychoanalysis.

    The script is based on the recorded conversations from 1924 of real-life serial killer Fritz Haarmann. The details are extremely gruesome.

    The general feel of the production failed to convey the year 1924 and it could have been set in 1995, for all I knew. But apart from this minor quibble, Der Totmacher a.k.a. The Deathmaker is an excellent German film.

    Full review coming soon.


    WonderfulCinema.com
    Short reviews on high quality films. No spoilers.

  • Django Unchained

    Django Unchained

    ★★★★½

    ★★★★½ = Superb

    Is there any limit to the fun you can have watching a movie!

    Quentin Tarantino keeps banging out hit after hit which keep us rooted to our cinema seats and sofas. We are either grinning or grimacing, howling with laughter or on edge with tension. The only one of our emotions Tarantino does not seem compelled to manipulate is our heart strings; the scenes in his films are never tear-jerkers.

    His filmography spans over two decades already.…