“Generally, people either love Tonya or..not big fans.’ So says Julianne Nicholson’s Diane Rawlinson early in I, Tonya: ‘Just like people love America or are not big fans.’ A brilliantly pitched understatement, the line offers bitingly funny insight of the sort the film lacks as a whole.
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There are moments throughout Coco, Pixar’s latest so-called return to form, in which the quality of animation is so extraordinarily well crafted that one would be forgiven for mistaking the format for stop-motion puppetry, not merely CGI. They’ve done it again. Somehow, Pixar have raised the bar.
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Expect the unexpected as Irish filmmaker Martin McDonagh takes his pitch black brand of dramedy to the west side of the Atlantic. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is funny and affirming, traumatic, shocking and unfailingly absorbing. At its heart is a phenomenal turn by Francis McDormand.
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There have been so many cinematic depictions of war-weary London, May 1940, that one might be forgiven for momentarily believing that they were actually there in the flesh rather than the stalls. Few of these, however, have come as close to conveying the contemporary emotional turmoil as Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour. At the beating heart is Gary Oldman and an all-time great performance.
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Three films in and nostalgia just won’t cut it anymore for third wave StarWars. If The Force Awakens marked a celebration of the past, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi harks a new era of unpredictability and exploration in a galaxy far far away. Not all is successful here but for the most part the film is one of derring do and increasingly spectacular set pieces.
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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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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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