Review: Belfast

Director: Kenneth Branagh Stars: Ciarán Hinds, Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan Branagh's directorial career has some chaotic energy but, if it is defined by anything, it's an abundantly populist intent. His 1994 take on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein dipped madly toward the inklings of Grand-Guignol, but still cosied things up in the glossy aura of a Royal …

Review: Scream (2022)

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillet Stars: Jenna Ortega, David Arquette, Melissa Barrera Like a snake eating its own tail, the only reason that the fifth Scream movie isn't called Scream 5 is so that it can make a self-referential joke about this decision. Yes, the oh-so-meta comedy slasher franchise is back from the dead once again, unfeasibly …

Review: Memoria

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul Stars: Tilda Swinton, Elkin Diaz, Juan Pablo Urrago In the second half of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's remarkable and beguiling Memoria, a man named Hernán Bedoya (Elkin Diaz) lies down in the Colombian grass to sleep at the behest of nomadic quester Jessica (Tilda Swinton). In a shot mildly reminiscent of Dea Kulumbegashvili's Beginning, we rest …

Review: Cow

Director: Andrea Arnold Ever since her Oscar-winning debut short Wasp back in 2003, Andrea Arnold has been using the immediacy of hand-held to carve out her stories, charting a career of generally acclaimed social realism in the UK before the last decade saw her restlessly applying her methods to other forms. A dourly gripping literary adaptation …

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 …