Category Archives: Reviews

White Boy Rick | Review

★★★

The final line of White Boy Rick comes from an on-form Matthew McConaughey, here playing the father of juvenile cocaine kingpin Richard ‘Rick’ Wershe Jr. Through a sheet of thick glass, he sobs: ‘we’re lions’ and stabs at the soul. Unfortunately, it’s a last minute roar in a film that is rarely more than competent.

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Tulip Fever | Review

★★★

What a peculiar curate’s egg this is and such a long time in the making. Based on the eponymous book by Deborah Moggach, who also penned The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’s source, Tulip Fever is a period pudding of the sort that proves to be watchable in the viewing but entirely forgettable by the credits. There are handsome performances all round, each gloriously dressed, and some lovely aesthetic details but it all hinges on a dull and silly central story, which is dramatically overshadowed by more engaging sub-plots.

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Sorry to Bother You| Review

★★★★

The title of Sorry to Bother You is a misnomer, slyly pitched by first-time director Boots Riley. Best known for his music, Riley makes no apology for bothering audiences in his absurdist inaugural effort but instead has a riot in doing just so. Whilst the more cinema conventional viewer might find this increasingly unconventional brand of satire hard to take, fans of Michel Gondry, Terry Gilliam and even Yorgos Lanthimos are in for a surreal treat.

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Ralph Breaks the Internet | Review

★★★

As sequels go, this follow-up to Rich Moore’s Wreck-It-Ralph isn’t bad but never feels necessary. The colours are bright and the jokes ample but, in plumbing a story in the vein of – whisper it – The Emoji Movie, co-writers Phil Johnson and Pamela Ribon have created a genial experience of the sort you’ll quickly forget.

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs | Review

★★★★

Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest film is a brilliantly conceived, smartly written and gorgeously shot – on digital, for their first time – anthology Western. Six vignettes, tied by the framing of an unseen reader flicking through a book of ‘tales of the American frontier’, unfold across the two hour runtime, each showcasing the brothers’ innovative flair and talent for vivid characterisation. With its dark humour and light heart, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a symphonic delight.

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The Christmas Chronicles | Review

★★

There’s no denying Kurt Russell’s credentials as cinema’s coolest Santa. Whereas Richard Attenborough gave the legend a twinkle and Tim Allen made him an everyman, Russell offers a wry, Elvis impersonating twist. It’s a bummer, then, that the film around him is so bloomin’ lame.

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