Review: Stowaway

Director: Joe Penna Stars: Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim I recently watched Al Reinert's extraordinary 1989 documentary For All Mankind, which makes exceptional use of actual video diaries from NASA's astronauts as they make a pioneering journey out of our gravity on a mission to the moon. Landmark moments are captured with the …

Review: Black Bear

Director: Lawrence Michael Lavine Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott, Sarah Gadon If Aubrey Plaza's against-type performance in festive charmer Happiest Season hinted at her abilities in a more serious role, Black Bear brings that promise to fruition. That she appears here in a three-hander with Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon only adds to the film's cache. …

Review: I Blame Society

Director: Gillian Wallace Horvat Stars: Gillian Wallace Horvat, Alexia Rasmussen, Keith Poulson To what extent is human collateral damage acceptable in the movie business and how seriously is Hollywood really taking the call for reform? Gillian Wallace Horvat's spiky showcase takes aim at both of these meaty questions, suggesting plenty of room for improvement. Casting …

Review: Malmkrog

Director: Cristi Puiu Stars: Frédéric Schulz-Richard, Agathe Bosch, Marina Palii We've seen the abject cruelty of man rendered on our cinema screens in any number of severe, extreme, button-pushing films. Films like Salò. Films like The Painted Bird. With stifling austerity we've witnessed reflections of our worst instincts and actions, and the films themselves have been …

Review: Palm Springs

Director: Max Barbakow Stars: Cristin Milioti, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons The time-loop conceit commonly referred to as the 'Groundhog Day' device endures, enough to be credited as a subgenre in its own right. For a time, any TV show with a remotely fantastical element had a go at it (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Buffy …

Review: Sound of Metal

Director: Darius Marder Stars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci Isolation is a persistent concern in Darious Marder's seismic awards hopeful, Sound of Metal - one of the more interesting contenders in this year's crop, as its word-of-mouth groundswell trumps the more calculated prestige trappings of most common contenders. It's the underdog in the mix. The …

Review: Antebellum

Directors: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz Stars: Janelle Monáe, Gabourey Sidibe, Kiersey Clemons At the beginning of 2020, Antebellum was poised for a spring release, but then the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, shuttering theatres here, there and everywhere. The business went into hibernation, in a sense, but VOD releases - particularly of indies and foreign …

Review: Minari

Director: Lee Isaac Chung Stars: Steven Yeun, Alan S Kim, Han Ye-ri Conflicts of the head and the heart perpetuate throughout Lee Isaac Chung's rural American drama Minari. Korean immigrant Jacob (Steven Yeun) has moved his family from urban California out to the verdant fields of Arkansas to start-up a farm. On arriving he dismisses the …