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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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What a joy it is to be alive and live to see another exceptional cinematic outing for Paddington Bear. Painted in pastel bright colouring, and overflowing with the heartfelt charm of its predecessor, Paddington 2 is a pure delight. Here are boundless layers of family fun, each one lavishly spread with the finest homemade marmalade.
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The journey to Justice League has been a gruelling one. Those who complained that Batman v Superman required bums of steal to experience from start to finish, know nothing of endurance the film has had to muster, having first entered production back in 2007. A decade of ‘development Gotham City’ plus one mixed bag of preluding offerings later, and the final product…isn’t bad. No, it’s not great – far too messy, a tad soulless – but it has got plenty of promise. There’s a start.
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Marking the third time Sean Anders has produced an inferior sequel to a dreadful first outing, Daddy’s Home 2 (styled: Two) takes the petty comedy of its predecessor and ramps up the mean spirit. By the time the schmalzy Christmas singalong had plonked itself ungraciously on the end, I was thoroughly under the impression that I’d been too harsh on A Bad Moms Christmas.
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