If the Predator franchise must run ad infinitum – three dire sequels failed to kill it – subverting the tone to retro romping territory seems as good a way as any to proceed. That’s Shane Black’s approach in this instance. Black’s Predator is gory pulp but suffers from ropey editing and sadistic intent; even humour can’t save that.
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Screens dominate Searching, the feature debut of ex-Google videographer Aneesh Chaganty, just as they do modern life. Whether this is for the best or worst, the film is not entirely certain, being both technophilic and phobic. The result is a sturdy thriller that’s smart visual execution is as enlightening as it is limiting.
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This is a film in which exquisite performers deliver tremendous speeches and yet oddly manage to say very little. It all looks gorgeous but that’s really part of the problem.
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On face value, Lucky is a parabolic indie drama about isolation and inclusion, age and mortality. But one should never take a film on face value. This is, in fact, a final act, almost documentarian, ode to and showcase for its star: the late, great Harry Dean Stanton.
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Clichés prove to be a bad habit in The Nun, a monastic fifth entry in The Conjuring franchise. As a serviceable horror, the film works competently but does so by following a well-furrowed route that can led only to genre dissatisfaction.
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The Children Act is the latest in a long line of Ian McEwan books to be translated into high-minded features and the second to have been adapted by the writer himself. Intensely thought-provoking, if rather arch, it tells the story of a judge who must rule on whether an underage man has the religiously-induced right to reject life-saving treatment.
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Jo Brand has made a career from pairing downbeat comedic barbs with her earlier experiences in psychiatric nursing. The More You Ignore Me sees Brand adapt her own eponymous novel of 2009 to screen, with the aid debutant feature director Keith English. Though well intentioned and touching in its honesty, the film’s perturbed structure exposes inexperience behind the lens, which is compounded by its unduly upbeat soundtrack.
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