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Recent reviews

  • Malice



    Of all the bizarre genre fusions that emerged in the early 90s, Harold Becker’s Malice is perhaps the most contorted, convoluted and improbable in its sheer proliferation of plot points. While the erotic thriller was a distinct genre, it also produced a broader appetite for perverse and preposterous stories, tastefully done – films that specialised in tasteful perversion, or perverted tastefulness, until signalling taste itself turned into a perverse exercise. These films were typically mid-budget productions of a kind that…

  • Julie & Julia

    Julie & Julia

    Julie & Julia was the third part of Nora Ephron’s remote romance trilogy. In Sleepless in Seattle, the two leads connected across the country through talkback radio. In You’ve Got Mail, they connected within the same city by email. Finally, in Julie & Julia we have a pair of leads who “communicate” across time through blogging, which was reaching a peak in 2009, when the film was released. Yet Julie & Julia is also different in key ways from those earlier two films…

Popular reviews

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the bestselling memoir by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), which describes how he became one of the richest people in America through sustained security fraud. One of Belfort’s most prominent strategies was to sell worthless stocks to inexperienced customers – in effect, to sell nothing to nobodies – meaning that it was a career that subsisted less on providing goods than in raising the process of circulation itself to a fever pitch. As…

  • Nightcrawler


    A kind of spiritual sequel to End of Watch, Dan Gilroy’s debut feature stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, a petty criminal who turns his hand to freelance accident and crime scene photography to satisfy his yearnings to become a member of the professional class. Despite being set in Los Angeles, it’s clearly modelled on Michael Mann’s Thief – there’s the same procedural coldness, the same aversion to natural light, the same gravitation towards lurid, tungsten hues and, above all,…