• Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    ★★★★½

    (Paul Thomas Anderson ranking)
    (2021 ranking)

    Give Alana Haim and Bradley Cooper Oscar noms please.

  • Parallel Mothers

    Parallel Mothers

    ★★★

    (2021 ranking)

    My first Almodovar movie is a mixed bag. Electric performances, beautiful sets, bold colours and a few genuinely thrilling moments are diluted by an incredibly messy screenplay.  

    If you want to tell a story about motherhood then great, that’s why I watched this movie. If you want to tell a story about the victims of the Spanish Civil War, I’m all for that as well. But don’t have them competing with one another within the same 123…

  • Cyrano

    Cyrano

    ★★★

    (2021 ranking)

    Not bad but certainly nothing special, Cyrano boasts great performances, solid original songs, outstanding costumes, sets, hair and makeup but it is often guilty of tripping over its own shortcomings. 

    The main reason why I watched this is for Peter Dinklage and he is terrific. I would love to see him nominated for an Oscar (but I do feel Nicholas Cage in Pig deserves that 5th slot instead). His singing voice isn’t great but there is undoubted emotion…

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    ★★★

    As iconic as it is chaotic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show brought with it a lot of fun, but a lot of head-scratching. 

    There was just so much going on, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around most of it. The songs, the set design, the characters, the costumes and the humour were all absolutely brilliant and I have to commend this film on those merits. 

    Tim Curry is phenomenal in the central role too and he completely outshines everybody…

  • The Gold Rush

    The Gold Rush

    ★★★★

    (Charlie Chaplin ranking)

    Criterion Challenge 2/52 - 1920s

    Now I haven’t seen many Chaplin films, but this felt so much more ambitious and exciting than what I have seen from him before. 

    The Gold Rush has several perfectly choreographed set pieces, and they are a huge reason as to why this film still has an impact on audiences today. The roll dance, the gun chasing him around the room, the bear, the house on the cliff - all of them…

  • Young and Innocent

    Young and Innocent

    ★★★

    (Alfred Hitchcock ranking)

    This is one of the earliest Hitchcock films I have seen where his trademark style is starting to come to the fore. Young and Innocent has great moments but the weak middle section means it doesn’t hold a candle to his better works. 

    The beginning and end of this movie really are fantastic. Hitchcock lives up to his title of the master of suspense as you really feel the high stakes, and it is so easy to…

  • Bad Times at the El Royale

    Bad Times at the El Royale

    ★★★½

    (2018 ranking)

    An incredible first half which dwindles in the second, Bad Times at El Royale is a solid thriller, but I just wish it had kept up the pace in the latter stages. 

    This had me hooked to start with, I was invested in every character, their back stories, their motives, and I really liked working out who was who and deciphering everything as it went along. 

    The script is so tight and intricate in that first half. Every…

  • The Battle of the River Plate

    The Battle of the River Plate

    ★★

    (Powell and Pressburger ranking)

    Ah shit, I take it back what I said in my Black Narcissus review, Powell and Pressburger are capable of missing. 

    This is a film from the duo I had not heard of before and surprisingly it was on BBC Two. It doesn’t have a header on Letterboxd and is their second lowest rated film but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway, especially given how impressed I’ve been with them so far. 

    But this…

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★½

    (Steven Spielberg ranking)
    (2021 ranking)

    This film is made for the cinema experience. The costumes, the sets, the theatricality, the grandiosity. I really couldn’t imagine watching this at home. 

    I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. But I am torn on a lot of it. There are so many scenes which were actually incredible, most notably those with gargantuan choreographed dance sequences. But a few aspects I didn’t really care for. 

    To start with the good, Rachel Zegler,…

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★

    (Steve McQueen ranking)
    (2018 ranking)

    I am wanting to complete a few filmographies this year and so with Widows being the only Steve McQueen film I hadn’t seen and it being on TV, I decided to check it out. 

    I respect McQueen for challenging himself as this sort of thing isn’t something he has attempted in his filmography before. I was expecting this to be a unique take on a heist-thriller, but it just ends up being very run of…

  • The Apartment

    The Apartment

    ★★★★★

    (Billy Wilder ranking)

    Best of all time, screenplay-wise. One of the best of all time, movie-wise. Just flawless, everything-wise.

  • Black Narcissus

    Black Narcissus

    ★★★★½

    (Powell and Pressburger ranking)

    Powell and Pressburger just do not miss. Black Narcissus is another hit from the brilliant director duo. 

    It is staggering to think this film is 75 years old but it looks just as good, if not better, than a lot of films today. The cinematography, set design, costume design and direction all make for a wondrous spectacle. 

    I didn’t know what sort of genre this was going into it, and I felt that made the last…