Review: Their Finest

Director: Lone Scherfig Stars: Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin What is the purpose of populist cinema? It's a question that Scherfig's latest film pries into with industriousness as she brings Lissa Evans' 2009 novel to cinemas via a screenplay from Gaby Chiappe. That all three creative driving forces behind this film are women is entirely …

Review: Neruda

Director: Pablo Larraín Stars: Luis Gnecco, Gael García Bernal, Mercedes Morán Hot on the heels of his exemplary English language debut Jackie, Chilean maestro Pablo Larraín returns to home soil for another biopic and again he manages to buck many of the trends that dog the genre and leave it languishing in cinematic irrelevancy. The year …

A Song Of Vengeance: Female Prisoner Scorpion

Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion (1972), Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (1972), Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (1973), Female Prisoner Scorpion #701's Grudge Song (1973) What follows are four shortish reviews written separately for the above Japanese exploitation films, each a summation of my feelings written immediately after seeing the applicable film for the very first …

Review: Free Fire

Director: Ben Wheatley Stars: Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer Made in quick succession with last year's anarchic J.G. Ballard adaptation High-Rise, Free Fire finds Ben Wheatley in looser form. Where High-Rise evoked the rise of Thatcherite Britain and the societal divisions that blossomed from that rotten seed, Free Fire is less consciously political, despite the central conceit …