For about seven minutes – certainly no more than ten – The Foreigner has something going for it. There’s the promise of a seriously stirring turn from Jackie Chan and the reunion of Pierce Brosnan with his GoldenEye director Martin Campbell. Perhaps that’s why the misjudged so-called thriller which follows proves quite so insulting?
Continue reading The Foreigner | Review
We always knew it wasn’t over. Back in 1995, Joe Johnston’s Jumanji, starring the late-great Robin Williams, concluded on a beach in France with the deadly, titular board game washed up and still beating its drums. Twenty-two years later and they’re still banging away, in Jake Kasdan’s flawed but fun sequel.
Continue reading Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle | Review
When it comes to festive films, the term ‘Christmas classic’ gets bandied around a lot at this time of year – very occasionally, it’s even warranted. Better Watch Out is not one of those films. It’s a great one, and certainly seems destined for annual repeat viewings, but whereas those films are cuddly and snow-dusted, this one’s a gleefully masochistic romp, dripping with merry brutality. Think Home Alone meets The Gift, directed by Tarantino.
Continue reading Better Watch Out | Review
Three died in the Boston Marathon Bombings of 15 April 2013 but Stronger is a story of survival. Whereas Patriots Day, earlier this year, dramatised the manhunt that immediately followed the two explosions, David Gordon Green’s tremendously understated film is concerned with the longer term aftermath and the process of picking up the pieces.
Continue reading Stronger | Review
What a hodgepodge of a film this is. Fifteen years after he first dipped his toe into directing waters, George Clooney has well and truly derailed with film number six.
Continue reading Suburbicon | Review
Many dreadful films have managed to wind up in the public domain over the course of the past century but few have managed to penetrate the public psyche in quite the same way as Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 disasterpiece The Room. Once proclaimed ‘the Citizen Kane of bad movies’ the longevity of the film is by virtue of it having joined that league of greats to be proclaimed ‘so bad, it’s good’. Now, James Franco directs, writes and stars in The Disaster Artist, an ode to awfulness and tribute to misguided dreams.
Continue reading The Disaster Artist | Review
A grim resolve opens Dee Rees’ Mudbound. Gloomy skies pry above and a grave is dug below. ‘We’re not going to make it’ says a man to his brother, ‘We will. We have to’ comes the reply. By the time the pair discover a long-buried slave’s skeleton, a tone has been set and a direction established. What follows is something of a spiritual sequel to Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, bolstered by terrific performance and a solemn morale which hits hard.
Continue reading Mudbound | Review