The Best of 2021

The top ten The Matrix ResurrectionsTitaneZolaPurple SeaMalmkrogCensorPetite MamanMalignantNotturnoShiva Baby Film of the YearThe Matrix Resurrections Lana Wachowski's belated capper to the hugely influential trilogy made stylish again a form of cinematic spectacle deadened over the last decade of Marvel reign. This phenomenally beautiful sci-fi fantasy piece gleefully leaps down the rabbit-hole with abandon, pushing the …

Review: The Lost Daughter

Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal Stars: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson We're all flawed people, and often it's those malformed, knotty or unkempt portions of ourselves that define our individuality, for better and for worse. Maggie Gyllenhaal has made a 20 year career out of portraying a variety of knotty, unkempt, fallible women, with career highlights …

Review: Lamb

Director: Valdimar Jóhannsson Stars: Noomi Rapace, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Hilmir Snær Guðnason There's precious little chitchat between isolated Icelandic sheep-farming couple María (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), which makes one particular breakfast conversation stand out. While reading the paper, Ingvar observes that time travel may now be theoretically possible, and ponders visiting the …

Review: The Hand of God

Director: Paolo Sorrentino Stars: Filippo Scotti, Toni Servillo, Luisa Ranieri The Hand of God can plainly be cited as Paolo Sorrentino's "autobiographical one", but when you're an auteur on the world cinema stage with the kind of craft that marks each effort with your distinct signature, aren't they all "autobiographical ones"? Perhaps the answer is …

Review: Silent Night

Director: Camille Griffin Stars: Keira Knightly, Annabelle Wallis, Lily-Rose Depp For those hankering a modern take on some yuletide spirit, the prospect of a festive knees-up in the company of Brit cinema stalwart Keira Knightly might well seem like an attractive proposition. But one would do well to calibrate expectations before embarking on this particular …

Review: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Director: Johannes Roberts Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Avan Jogia Play pretty much any video game nowadays and there'll be a selection of optional 'trophies'; pre-set goals to complete to improve your overall ranking and measure how thoroughly you've bested it. A fairly commonplace one - and one present on the recent Resident Evil II …

Review: House of Gucci

Director: Ridley Scott Stars: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Salma Hayek Ladies and gentlemen, the charcuterie is open. Though octogenarian Ridders has vocally blamed millennial apathy on the poor performance of The Last Duel just last month (shit, this year feels long), I'd wager the real culprit was the blink-and-you'll-miss-it promotional campaign and non-existent theatrical run …

Review: Drive My Car

Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi Stars: Hideotoshi Nishijima, Tôko Miura, Reika Kirishima Yûsuke (Hideotoshi Nishijima) and Oto (Reika Kirishima) are a married couple in contemporary Japan who both work in the arts. He as an actor, she as a writer of alluring fiction, both short stories and screenplays for television. They are a couple connected by - …

Review: Azor

Director: Andreas Fontana Stars: Fabrizio Rongione, Stéphanie Cléau, Carmen Iriondo There are few films in recent years that have felt as slippery and evasive as Azor. Considering I have a somewhat high tolerance threshold for obtuse and mysterious cinema, you can take that as your first warning. However, if these are qualities that tend to …

Review: Procession

Director: Robert Greene An anonymous double-garage with its wide door closed. Slowly it opens, sliding up to reveal... boxes. Boxes atop boxes. As high as the ceiling, as deep as the garage goes, so it seems. These are case files. Sexual abuse case files. The Catholic church's unending connection to pedophiliac horror stories isn't funny …