• Silk Road: Drugs, Death and the Dark Web

    Silk Road: Drugs, Death and the Dark Web

    ★★½

    Silk Road was the most popular drug-selling website on the dark web, and this documentary charts the investigation that ultimately took it down.

    An interesting story, but I'm not sure this quite captures it from all the necessary angles. I wanted to know more about the logistics of how a random college dude actually managed to pull this enterprise off, but this is more focused on how the net closed in on him. We do get some insight from his…

  • Spider-Man

    Spider-Man

    ★★★

    Used to love this when it came out, but watching today I reckon it's split right down the middle.

    The casting is superb for everyone bar Peter (Tobey Maguire is such a wet blanket here), and it really nails the giddy excitement of being able to swing around New York in a way that the more recent films don't seem to care about. The way Spidey swings here is pleasingly tangible and Raimi clearly relishes the camerawork involved to capture…

  • The Mystery of D.B. Cooper

    The Mystery of D.B. Cooper

    ★★★

    D.B. Cooper is the alias of a man who hijacked a plane in 1971, accrued a $200,000 ransom, and then parachuted away to a fate unknown. Who he was and what happened to him - and his money - have been a mystery for fifty years, and this enjoyable documentary runs through the case and several of the more compelling suspects and theories.

    There are no answers here, and while some of the theories are more compelling than others, all…

  • The Age of Shadows

    The Age of Shadows

    ★★★½

    A handsome 1920s Korean espionage thriller, with the expected good turns from Gong Yoo and Song Kang-ho. Not bursting with action, but when it does break out, it's great. A few unexpectedly nasty moments along the way too (the toe... my god).

    Nothing revolutionary, but I enjoyed it. The train sequence is great, which is fitting given the Snowpiercer/Train to Busan pedigree of its stars.

  • Monsters and Men

    Monsters and Men

    ★★★

    As an exploration of being black in modern America, this was a lot more sedate and contemplative than I was expecting. That's not a complaint.

    A police shooting of an unarmed black man (which occurs off-screen) affects three men differently; one bystander captures the moment on his phone and must wrestle with whether to release the footage or not; a passionate black police officer is forced to consider his position; and a young man with good prospects begins to feel…

  • The Matrix Revolutions

    The Matrix Revolutions

    ★★★

    I'm sorry, I know you all hate it, but the attack on Zion ticks too many of my boxes for me to not love it. A desperate defence against overwhelming odds will always have me, so when this one goes full Warhammer, I'm sat there like Nelson gazing lovingly at the screen for 40 minutes.

    The rest is mixed. Things hinging on the relationship between Trinity and Neo never work for me, as they have zero chemistry across these three…

  • The Matrix Reloaded

    The Matrix Reloaded

    ★★★

    Simultaneously too much plot and none at all. Basically drops most of the more interesting, thought-provoking elements from the first film, opting instead to open up the matrix mythos with an ill-defined bunch of new characters. Feels like it really abandons the science part of "science fiction". The plot bounces us from one figure to another (the Frenchman? Who? The Keymaker? Why?) but never adequately explains why any of it is important.

    At least there are some superb action sequences.…

  • A White, White Day

    A White, White Day

    ★★½

    Thought I was going to love this based on its atmospheric and inventive opening sequences (in particular the fixed shot of a remote house as the weather and seasons change every few seconds, making the stunning range of mountains in the backdrop seemingly pop in and out of existence as fog and snow obscure them, and then suddenly don't).

    Sadly, it's too often too slow, and its artsier leanings begin to feel a bit affected. There's a strong child performance, and some good scenes in the final third, but it's a bit of a struggle to get to them.

  • The Matrix

    The Matrix

    ★★★★★

    Still absolutely bangs. Has barely aged a day. A complete tour-de-force.

    Interesting to appreciate the trans themes, which obviously 14 year old me had no idea about it, but which are quite clear to see now. Only adds another level of brilliance to it all.

  • Brightburn

    Brightburn

    ★★★

    I like the premise, but they dropped the ball on the writing of it.

    "What if the Superman origin story, but he became evil instead?" is a great hook, but surely - SURELY - it's only interesting if he lands with a dickhead family whose treatment of him turns him sour on humanity, or far more interestingly, if he lands with a well-meaning family who nevertheless aren't great parents, and who keep messing things up to the point where it…

  • Papi Chulo

    Papi Chulo

    ★★★★½

    Absolutely adore this one. A real comfort film that I can see myself watching every few years and not tiring of.

    A wonderfully affecting tragicomedy that beautifully blends warmth, humour and sadness, delivering a story of loss and loneliness with a lightness of touch that makes it a delight to watch.

    Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patino are both fantastic, and it's well shot and scored to boot. A proper hidden gem.

  • The Conjuring 2

    The Conjuring 2

    ★★★½

    I don't remember a lot about the first one, but I do know I enjoyed this one a whole lot more, despite all the very dumb things it does.

    For a start I'm not sure the central plot resolution makes any sense whatsoever, and it seems to confuse 1970s London with Dickensian London. It's absolutely hilarious how large a basement they think a normal London semi-detached has. And, like all of its brethren, it is far, far too reliant on…