Review: Bird Box

Director: Susanne Bier Stars: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson In 1988 John Carpenter made They Live, an apocalyptic sci-fi yarn that spoke of the blindness in society to rampant, soulless consumerism and also complacent, illadvised trust in authority. It received lukewarm responses and achieved a middling box office performance. It has become a cult classic, as …

Review: Bumblebee

The Transformers franchise, formerly wretched, gets an unexpected shot of heart. Director: Travis Knight Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendebord Jr.  There are things that you don't expect. Interesting music from Ed Sheeran. Reasonable answers about Brexit. Stagecoach buses. You don't expect them because of experience. Because for some things the well ran dry a long time ago and waiting on anything …

The Best of 2018

The top ten Phantom ThreadShoplifters120BPM (Beats Per Minute)SuspiriaAnnihilationThe Miseducation of Cameron PostWidowsBlack PantherFirst ManLady Bird Film Of The YearPhantom Thread "Despite their varying ways of hiding and protecting themselves, Reynolds and Alma are two of the most intimate and open characters that Anderson has yet presented us with, when wounded and when wicked." A beguiling, …

Review: Free Solo

Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi Renowned climber Alex Honnold is, at first glance, your typical extreme-sports type; gangly, obsessive, prodigiously selfish and prone to describing himself as "stoked". This film, made by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi in partnership with expert aerial cinematographer Jimmy Chin, documents Honnold. It acts as a character portrait, framed around his …

Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman Stars: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Nicolas Cage It's too much, man! If it's not the brain-battering collision of every character imaginable in the MCU smashing their gloved fists into one another, it's the dreary drudgery of DC's Justice whathaveyous, the utter awfulness of Venom, the run-of-the-mill shenanigans of Ant-Man And …

Review: Shoplifters

Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda Stars: Lily Franky, Kirin Kiki, Sakura Andô More commonly than not, Hirokazu Kore-Eda's cinema is about family. His recent police procedural The Third Murder merely interrupted an ongoing streak. Shoplifters - which scooped the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes earlier this year - revives the director's ongoing inquiries. Here, however, family is a broad term, open …

Review: Disobedience

Director: Sebastián Lelio Stars: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola Hot off of an Oscar win for Best Foreign Language Film (A Fantastic Woman released in the UK earlier this year), Sebastián Lelio cools off considerably with this 2017 holdover; a fatally overwrought tale of forbidden love in the orthodox Jewish community of North London. Community …

Review: Cam

Director: Daniel Goldhaber Stars: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters Of all professions, the oldest is among the most stigmatised by cinema. Sex workers do not carry much credo on the silver screen, especially in horror where they are almost always unsympathetic victims to whatever raving lunatic is wielding a knife this month. Don't get …