Review: Education

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Kenyah Sandy, Sharlene Whyte, Naomi Ackie Steve McQueen's Small Axe series of films comes to a bittersweet close with what appears to be his most personal tale - and possibly the most personally motivated piece of work in his career thus far. Throughout the strand, McQueen has spotlighted institutions that have failed … Continue reading Review: Education

Review: Alex Wheatle

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Sheyi Cole, Jonathan Jules, Robbie Gee One of the points I wanted to cover (but skipped for the sake of relative brevity) in my review of Red, White and Blue was how important music remained to the storytelling; as vital an element as any in Steve McQueen's milestone Small Axe series. In last … Continue reading Review: Alex Wheatle

Review: Red, White and Blue

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: John Boyega, Steve Toussaint, Antonia Thomas "Is that it?" It's the first thought that clapped into my mind as Steve McQueen cut to black and the credits began, joined by a wave of disappointment and a flutter of longing for greater resolution. It may be your reaction, too. But this sense … Continue reading Review: Red, White and Blue

Review: Lovers Rock

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Ellis George, Micheal Ward The second installment in Steve McQueen's Small Axe strand shows a further loosening of the acclaimed director's composure; it's very flex marking it out as one of the most interesting pivots in his career thus far. It may be half the length of Mangrove, but it … Continue reading Review: Lovers Rock

Review: Mangrove

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes, Malachi Kirby My grandfather was a policeman and lifelong Tory. By the time I knew him as an old man he was defined in my eyes, sadly, as an alcoholic and a racist. So racist that he was even racist in his sleep. I was a child and … Continue reading Review: Mangrove

Review: Widows

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez There's more than one locked room to crack in Steve McQueen's blistering new heist movie Widows. Viola Davis' Veronica Rawlings is as tough a nut as we've yet encountered from this director, whose work has a thematic through-run of protagonists restricted by bonds, literal or psychological. … Continue reading Review: Widows

Review: 12 Years A Slave

Steve McQueen, former Turner Prize-winning artist turned white-hot front-runner for British cinema, makes films about men in prisons. With his searing debut Hunger, detailing the last days of Bobby Sands in Maze Prison, this was approached literally. With his superb second film Shame, he turned inward, portraying a sex addict walled-up inside his own psychological labyrinth. For … Continue reading Review: 12 Years A Slave

Review: Shame

***originally written 11 January 2012*** Some films are driven by narrative, others by the notion of forwarding an idea or opinion. Then there are films that don’t attempt to explain or persuade, but simply to illuminate. Shame is such a film. A character study that points it’s focus at a subject matter still incredibly taboo … Continue reading Review: Shame