Review: Zero Fucks Given

Directors: Emmanuel Marre, Julie Lecoustre Stars: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Mara Taquin, Alexandre Perrier With something approaching nostalgia I was moved to remember a time when reality TV wasn't sensationalised, overtly staged or aggressively oversexed. Yes, that's right, the 1990s. Here in the UK, at least, reality TV started out exceedingly humdrum. Shows about decorating each others' …

Review: Ambulance

Director: Michael Bay Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jake Gyllenhaal, Eiza González There's a moment before the carnage begins here in which two characters talk, briefly, about the movie The Rock. One quotes Sean Connery directly; the other is oblivious. It's a tongue-in-cheek little Easter egg, but it gets right to the heart of what's been missing …

Review: The Worst Person in the World

Director: Joachim Trier Stars: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum Julie (Renae Reinsve) is a flake. Careering toward thirty, she's flitted from medical school to studying psychology, with an aside taking courses in photography. Nothing has stuck. This sense of flight exists, similarly, in her romantic aspirations. She's prone to breaking things off before …

Review: Fresh

Director: Mimi Cave Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Andrea Bang Steve (Sebastian Stan) is a prosperous doctor with a nice house. Chic wall art. Stylish design flourishes (he has doors that make rooms look like paddocks). He can cook. He's handsome and charming (in an American way, at least). But he has little in the …

Review: Master

Director: Mariama Diallo Stars: Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Amber Gray Institutional racism comes under sharp and shrewd scrutiny in Mariama Diallo's feature debut Master, a fresh addition to the growing subgenre of wintry campus horrors that forefront the experiences of women (snappy title pending). Here Diallo takes on the collegial experience from the vantage of …

Review: X

Director: Ti West Stars: Mia Goth, Brittany Snow, Jenny Ortega Does life imitate art or art imitate life? It's a cyclical conversation, particularly here in Ti West's sickly curdled Texan horror yarn. Following a brief detour into the realm of the western (In A Valley of Violence), West is firmly back in his wheelhouse, but …

Review: Deep Water

Director: Adrian Lyne Stars: Ana de Armas, Ben Affleck, Jacob Elordi Throw a rock these days and you'll strike a thinkpiece eulogising sexiness in mainstream cinema. These takes have a point. The Disneyfication of the marketplace and the eagerness to secure as wide an audience as possible have edged out more adult-oriented content. But to …

Review: A Banquet

Director: Ruth Paxton Stars: Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Lindsay Duncan There is, both ironically and fittingly, a lot to digest when it comes to Ruth Paxton's spiky debut feature A Banquet. In it's strenuous cold open, we're presented a brief portrait of long-term care. Holly (Sienna Guillory) has been looking after her terminally sick husband …

Review: Red Rocket

Director: Sean Baker Stars: Simon Rex, Suzanna Son, Ethan Darbone Houston. Dallas. Austin. These are the world-famous cities of Texas. Whatever happened, then, to Texas City? The titular metropolis of one of the most iconic states in America (for better or worse) has been subsumed by it's more prosperous brethren. Presented here in Sean Baker's …

Review: Feast (2021)

Director: Tim Leyendekker Stars: Eelco Smits, Trudi Klever, Koen Van Kaam In the Dutch city of Groningen in 2007, three men knowingly drugged a number of male sexual partners and injected them with their own HIV-infected blood. The case became a national scandal and now, some years later, Tim Leyendekker presents a singular re-framing of …

Review: The Batman

Director: Matt Reeves Stars: Colin Farrell, Zoë Kravitz, Robert Pattinson Somewhere in Los Angeles, in between all the traffic, smog and pitch meetings, there's a courier driving to David Fincher's house. Their cargo? Two hundred bouquets of red roses. Dozens of dozens. Enough to fill a van. Has someone made a mistake? Valentine's Day was …

Review: Ali & Ava

Director: Clio Barnard Stars: Adeel Akhtar, Claire Rushbrook, Ellora Torchia With Andrea Arnold experimenting with documentary and overseas work, and Shane Meadows missing in action or just missing in television, it falls to Clio Barnard to carry the torch for grim social realism in the north of England. From her sensational docudrama The Arbor through poverty-line …