Review: Dune (2021)

Director: Denis Villeneuve Stars: Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa Frank Herbet's politically charged sci-fi tome Dune has brought a couple of auteurs low already. Alejandro Jodorowsky's attempt at filming it infamously never even made it to fruition, while David Lynch's admirable swing led to the director vowing never to work within the studio system again. …

Review: Come True

Director: Anthony Scott Burns Stars: Julia Sarah Stone, Landon Liboiron, Carlee Ryski There must be something in the water up in Canada. Certainly it seems to be the place to go for indie treats that blur the boundaries between science fiction and horror, and a new generation is gamely taking up the baton. We have …

Review: Stowaway

Director: Joe Penna Stars: Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim I recently watched Al Reinert's extraordinary 1989 documentary For All Mankind, which makes exceptional use of actual video diaries from NASA's astronauts as they make a pioneering journey out of our gravity on a mission to the moon. Landmark moments are captured with the …

Review: Synchronic

Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead Stars: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Ally Ioannides No one could accuse Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead of lacking ambition. Over the course of their low-budget features Resolution, Spring and The Endless, the idiosyncratic creative duo have navigated time loops, metaphysical horror monsters, cultists, the mandates of storytelling itself and inter-species romance (of a …

Review: Archive

Director: Gavin Rothery Stars: Stacy Martin, Theo James, Rhona Mitra For Gavin Rothery, the future is monochrome. His debut feature - a reasonably scaled sci-fi piece reminiscent of opening salvos from the likes of Duncan Jones and Alex Garland - takes place seventeen years from now. At a remote Japanese facility owned by a corporation …

Review: Possessor

Director: Brandon Cronenberg Stars: Angela Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Tuppence Middleton Living and working in the shadow of David Cronenberg might well be a particularly daunting thing, but son Brandon is gamely stepping up to the task and if the world wasn't won over by his suitably vile debut Antiviral back in 2012, it certainly seems more …

Review: Vivarium

Director: Lorcan Finnegan Stars: Imogen Poots, Jessie Eisenberg, Eanna Hardwicke Vivarium might appear shrewdly, even cruelly timed; arriving on streaming platforms in the midst of a pandemic that has restricted whole nations to their homes. For here we have an elusive and intriguing domestic nightmare about a young couple trapped at home... seemingly forever. However, …

Review: Little Joe

Director: Jessica Hausner Stars: Emily Beecham, Ben Wishaw, Kit Connor In both Don Siegel and Philip Kaufman's famous iterations of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the titular floral menace crashes to Earth from outer space. It is an interloper from elsewhere and so, in a real sense, an agent of chaos out of our control. …

Review: High Life

Director: Claire Denis Stars: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Jessie Ross Robert Pattinson is the new Batman (*cough* best choice since Michael Keaton *cough*) and here he is in a new sci-fi film. Are his days in the wilds doing small pictures for indie darlings a thing of the past? Fuck no, they're not. High Life is …

Review: The Endless

Directors: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson Stars: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez Sometimes an idea just won't let you alone. For filmmaking duo Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, new doors were opened following the critical acclaim for their second feature Spring, and while the future will likely see them step through those doors, a notion from …

Review: Solo – A Star Wars Story

Director: Ron Howard Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke "Everybody stick to the plan. Do not improvise." So says Woody Harrelson's smuggler Tobias Beckett (the least Star Wars-y named character to appear in Star Wars yet), and its a line that rings with considerable pathos for what might've been. It's no secret that Solo originally fell into …

Review: The Cloverfield Paradox

Director: Julius Onah Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl If there's one thing guaranteed to piss off the critics, it's getting excluded from the established pattern of pre-release screeners. Take a peek at 'Film Twitter' immediately after the surprise Super Bowl announcement that The Cloverfield Paradox would be available to stream on Netflix after the …