Review: First Man

Director: Damien Chazelle Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler If your preconception of First Man is something akin to the puffed-chest pride of Apollo 13 or the adventurous stupidity of Armageddon then you are setting yourself up to be confounded. Damien Chazelle returns from the glitz and gloss of La La Land with a sharp tonal about-turn, retelling … Continue reading Review: First Man

Review: Blade Runner 2049

Director: Denis Villeneuve Stars: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Harrison Ford While it took some tweaking in the editing room to secure its legacy, Ridley Scott's 1982 film Blade Runner was about as influential a piece of science fiction cinema as the decade would ultimately see. With his team of designers, Scott - ever the … Continue reading Review: Blade Runner 2049

Review: Song To Song

Director: Terrence Malick Stars: Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender Former cinematic recluse Terrence Malick has had a surge in creativity over the course of this decade unlike anything in his career previously, though the fruits of this late bloom have divided his audience; those that are charmed by his lighter-than-air touch and fondness for … Continue reading Review: Song To Song

Review: La La Land

Director: Damien Chazelle Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend Damien Whiplash Chazelle loves jazz and you should too. That's the long and the short of it, and if pushing us through his aforementioned white-knuckle hyper-drama hadn't changed our minds then this time he's turning on the charm. Switching up (considerably), he now presents us... an old-fashioned … Continue reading Review: La La Land

Review: The Nice Guys

Having penned the Lethal Weapon films, Last Action Hero and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (also his directorial debut), Shane Black has already proved himself wise to the tropes and the traps of the Hollywood action movie. He's got a proven track record of jimmying open a tired cliché and emptying its contents out onto the table, in the process … Continue reading Review: The Nice Guys

Review: The Big Short

"Where the fuck did that come from?" Yeah. There's a statement. One many of us thought or maybe even vocalised in 2007 when the world economy folded up like a deckchair as it became apparent that the banks had acted with such self-interest and short-sightedness that it seriously beggared belief. In hindsight why were we so … Continue reading Review: The Big Short

Review: Lost River

Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River was conceived while the actor was visiting abandoned and derelict areas of Detroit, the story built around his burgeoning desire to express the tumbledown romance of those abandoned neighbourhoods. As such there's a shabby-chic post-apocalyptic twang to the movie, albeit the same kind felt in Beasts Of The Southern Wild; a sense … Continue reading Review: Lost River

Review: Only God Forgives

First thing's first, and a crucial caveat for Only God Forgives; this is not Drive 2. Whatever you may think based on the advertising campaign, or whatever you may be wishing for, this is not that movie. Give up on that one for the time being. The second collaboration between auteur director Nicolas Winding Refn and … Continue reading Review: Only God Forgives

Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

"If you ride like lightning, you're gonna crash like thunder". So says gangly mechanic Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) to his small-time crime protege Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling). Glanton is a drifter and sometime-carnie who has previously eked out a living as a motorcycle stunt driver. Arriving back in the green suburbs of Schenectady, New York, Glanton … Continue reading Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

Review: The Ides Of March

***originally written 4 November 2011*** Poor George Clooney. Having been gift-wrapped A-list status in the mid-to-late nineties, The Most Charming Man In Hollywood has made concerted efforts not to waste the opportunity. Constantly favouring smaller, quirkier projects rather than the typical superstar vehicles, he has become a respected presence for his dogged pursuit of the … Continue reading Review: The Ides Of March

Review: Drive

***originally written 9 October 2011*** I know nothing about cars. Really, despite God knows how many cumulative hours of Top Gear, nothing has stuck. Even my housemate Tom knows how to approach me on the subject of cars. This brief conversation happened just yesterday: Tom: I got a new car. Me: Oh yeah? What kind? … Continue reading Review: Drive

Review: Blue Valentine

***originally written 19 January 2011*** There are some movies that are not 'date' movies. Irreversible, for instance, would've been a pretty shocking choice, and I've heard a funny story about a friend who chose Shortbus. Blue Valentine doesn't go anywhere near the unflinching territory of those movies, but, in it's own way, pulls as few … Continue reading Review: Blue Valentine