There’s a terrific scene early on in The Nile Hilton Incident in which Fares Fares’ Commander Noredin Mostafa attends a crime scene and proceeds to rob the victim whilst in the midst of his investigation. It is an instance that perfectly captures the complexity of the world in which the film unfolds and establishes its lead as a fascinating protagonist.
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It wasn’t so long ago that lame, computer-animated family films had the decency to announce themselves by looking every bit as cheap as their committee-written scripts. This is no longer so. Not content with squandering its A-list cast, Monster Family manages to waste too the talents of a superb animation team, asking them to bring life to a graveyard mash-up of other (better) films.
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Love, Simon is a thoroughly likeable, if enormously twee, coming out and of age film that will resonate deeply with outsiders of all walks, genders, races and faiths of life.
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In a third floor office somewhere in L.A. there’s a stack of formula comedy scripts, each one bearing a half-baked title and a handwritten note asking: is Jason Bateman free? From the top of the pile, Game Night is a surprisingly stylish addition to the star’s very marketable oeuvre. If it isn’t the full ticket, the film deserves credit for its experimental bon vive.
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It took Justin Malin just thirty-six hours to sell the script for Father Figures, once titled Bastards. The fact that Paramount went on to drop it – spurring the first of many delays – suggests that they hadn’t read the script; the fact that Warner Bros. didn’t suggests that they still haven’t. Dull as dishwater.
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The year is 2002 and the titular character of Lady Bird is a senior year student at a Catholic high school in the suburbs of Sacramento. Thus far, the character is a mirror of Greta Gerwig, for whom the film marks a directorial debut. Though not autobiographical – the director/persona relationship is more spiritual here – it is the personal touch of a life lived that allows Gerwig’s film to shine. Lady Bird is tender, stark and unfailingly honest.
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If ever a film could be said to woo it’s The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s enchanting, daring, beautiful and breathtaking tale of aquatic love. Delightfully scored and gorgeously designed, this is a package of perfect cinematic harmony and a masterpiece in which no emotion is left unscathed.
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