• To Have and Have Not

    To Have and Have Not

    ★★★

    Bogart and Bacall's inimitable screen presence, particularly Bacall's, elevate this film from being a rather sleepy and forgettable picture into something fine. The story is rather dull and the pacing odd, but every time those icons are on screen is a delight. It is a well made picture, but I can't help thinking that were the stars replaced with other actors it would be a slog.

  • Spencer

    Spencer

    ★★★★

    Now that is what you call acting. Kristen Stewart is phenomenal, she IS Diana here. A committed actor embodies their role, lives and breathes it and that is clearly what she did with her eerily convincing performance loaded with gravitas and pained, sympathetic humanity. A stunning and poignant character study bolstered by Larraín's fittingly haunting yet opulently gorgeous style. Not one for die hard royalists however, but fuck those idiots anyway.

  • Boiling Point

    Boiling Point

    ★★★½

    There is more than a hint of authenticity in this tense drama about the everyday manic chaos and crisis behind the scenes in a busy restaurant during an ordinary night of service and it is suitably claustrophobic and disquieting. The performances all round are stellar.

  • Passing

    Passing

    ★★★

    A pretty picture, but a rather unfortunately hollow one that doesn't really have a lot to say about its subject matter. Dramatically however, it is quite satisfying at times thanks to a pair of decent central performances.

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman

    ★★★★★

    Magical realism is one of cinema's greatest treasures and Petite Maman is a triumphant addition to the canon. Tender, humane, enchanting work of art that uses its simplicity to great effect, mining excellent child performances from the talented young stars and further affirming Céline Sciamma's exponential growth as a filmmaker who is no longer merely very good but perhaps one of the few essential film makers of our time.

    I usually write my thoughts on a film immediately after watching…

  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    ★★★½

    The jarring tonal shift comes courtesy of Edgar Wright's apparent inability to convey raw emotion and rage leading to the thematic revelation having a strangely dull and soft impact, however his stylistic flair for genre cinema is as assuredly skillful as ever and translates well in his first foray into paranormal horror cinema. It really is a sumptuous feast for the eyes and ears. Thomasin Mackenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy dazzle in roles that work harmoniously and cleverly in unison with one another. They hold the film together at the seams.

  • The Lavender Hill Mob

    The Lavender Hill Mob

    ★★★★★

    As both a thrilling crime caper and a humorous comedy, this film works wonderfully thanks to being so cleverly plotted and terrifically well performed. The way in which the story unfolds with grace and inventiveness is a joy to behold, not a wasted moment in during the film's run time. A defining British classic. Masterful genre cinema.

  • The Hound of the Baskervilles

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    ★★★★½

    Richly atmospheric, creepy and suitably full of signature Hammer Horror sleaze, this is a formidable and superbly entertaining adaptation of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel with an outstanding turn from the inimitable Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes. It is known that Cushing was a passionate fan of the iconic literary sleuth and it is telling in his committed and pitch perfect performance.

  • Up in the Air

    Up in the Air

    ★★★★½

    The lead role is utterly perfect for George Clooney and he clearly knew it, delivering such an assured and lived in performance. The film is loaded with charm, pathos and laughs, all earned thanks to an incredibly slick script.

  • The Damned United

    The Damned United

    ★★★½

    A pretty straight forward sports drama held up by some fine acting by a solid cast of impeccable British talent headed by Michael Sheen playing Brian Clough brilliantly. The decision to focus on character drama rather than football itself was a good one.

  • The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★★★

    Women making films about fragile masculinity and self destructive macho hubris is something I enjoy and here the assuredly skilled Jane Campion paints a picture of those things masterfully, assisted by Benedict Cumberbatch in one of his best performances as a right mean bastard. Potent and memorable drama with a well rounded cast of formidable talent.

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★

    Imagine Julia Ducournau and Takashi Miike in the same room. Frightening thought that I had while watching this. Julia would definitely be the friend in school that showed everybody videos like 2 girls 1 cup and grinned as they all recoiled from what they saw.

    Unsettling, confrontational, enthralling and twisted film. One that dares you to look yet makes it impossible to look away at once. Self aware enough that despite its gruesome nature, it never feels mean spirited and…