• Reality



    There is something strangely discomforting about watching actors perform a direct transcript, and Tina Satter’s directorial choices work to heighten that discomfort. Despite this painful unease, the story feels overstretched even at 83 minutes, with any tension eventually dissipating. Reality is successful as a showcase for Sydney Sweeney, who effectively embodies a woman desperately trying not to suffocate under the pressure of immense authority. I found it interesting as an intellectual exercise but not one I’ll be returning to.

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


    I would love to go against the grain and say Across the Spider-Verse is an overly hyped symbol of mediocrity. However, I was completely hypnotised by the incredible amount of detail in each painstakingly designed frame. The varying worlds are visually distinct, and this isn’t a case of beautiful but stilted imagery; this is a wildly kinetic and propulsive cinematic experience. It is certainly a more unwieldy beast than its predecessor, a common feature for a sequel, and its lack of finality may prove grating to some. Still, this feels like a significant landmark in animation and in the wider superhero genre as a whole.

  • Zodiac



    Rewatching Zodiac on a whim was probably an odd choice but one I don't regret. I truly adore David Fincher's moody, meticulous serial killer thriller - it no doubt tops my ranking of the director's incredible filmography. The word riveting is probably overused but it certainly applies here. Fincher takes the All the President's Men approach and injects an even greater sense of forward momentum, delivering a piece that is engrossing in its well-paced mystery and terrifying in its stark depiction of horrendous violence. A film about obsession crafted by the most obsessive of filmmakers.

  • Hypnotic



    I suppose there is some ironic fun to be had in Hypnotic’s commitment to escalating stupidity, that’s if you can tolerate the laughable dialogue, endless contrivances and a Ben Affleck in autopilot. It's a piece that mimics other sci-fi thrillers of much greater quality and innovation, and is mostly hollow despite its lame efforts to surprise. Frankly, Hypnotic is just properly rubbish, but is schlocky in a way that some may find slightly entertaining.

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


    Original and invigorating are not words I would usually reserve for a modern superhero release, yet, very few films are more worthy of those words than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. An incredibly talented team of animators created a moving comic book of bewildering kineticism and vibrancy. The piece, through its introduction of Miles Morales to the world of cinema and its unique take on Peter Parker, reinvents familiar figures with great confidence and wit. Aside from its distinctive style, influencing many who would follow, the film is simply a well-drawn Spider-Man story, understanding what makes that character – or those characters – endlessly relatable and beloved.

  • How to Blow Up a Pipeline

    How to Blow Up a Pipeline


    How to Blow Up a Pipeline is a sporadically nerve-shredding thriller effectively exploiting the anxieties surrounding the impending catastrophe of climate change. So many pieces of cinema look to the past to illuminate the problems of today, so it's nice to receive something of quality that is innately grounded in our contemporary society. It's not a flawless exercise in tightly wound tension; the film is hamstrung by a flashback structure which saps a lot of its forward momentum, an inelegant…

  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

    Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.


    Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret typifies what is infinitely appealing about this genre. It’s not the first coming-of-age tale to be imbued with warmth, empathy and humour, but few are delivered with this level of competency. Like with The Edge of Seventeen, Kelly Fremon Craig has delivered a piece that is genuinely funny without undercutting its earned sincerity.

  • Polite Society

    Polite Society


    Polite Society is unabashed in its embrace of fight movie tropes, utilising them in knowing and refreshing ways. Nida Manzoor has directed a joyous genre mashup that, while light in tone, carries a surprising amount of depth. It of course helps that Priya Kansara is an endearing screen presence, keeping things on track even when the film threatens to derail itself. It’s a little rough around the edges but charming nonetheless.

  • Sisu



    It's impossibly difficult not to find some enjoyment in watching Nazis be pulverised in creatively violent ways. Sisu is an efficiently packaged exercise in cathartic brutality that doesn’t offer much beyond that initial idea. There is promise in the film’s bountiful bloodshed, yet it fizzles out in a disappointing third act that should have really stayed on the ground.

  • STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie

    STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie


    Michael J. Fox is such a likeable and invigorating presence, it was a complete delight to spend 90 minutes in his company. Still is a highly energetic documentary that is emotionally resonant, yes, but brilliantly entertaining and funny above all else. Davis Guggenheim’s piece, though not particularly innovative, admirably reflects the personality of the star at its centre.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3


    Though not as innately crowd-pleasing as its predecessors, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a satisfying conclusion to James Gunn's idiosyncratic corner of the MCU. 

    The choice of intro song is an indicator of the trilogy’s shifting tone, with the picture carrying the weight of melancholy in a much more evident way than the mostly upbeat instalments that came before. I really appreciate the emotional, strange, dark and grotesque places this film is allowed to venture to, while still remembering…

  • Evil Dead Rise

    Evil Dead Rise


    I don't think Evil Dead Rise is going to win any points for subtlety or grace, but that's not really what I was looking for. Lee Cronin has fashioned a nasty, 90-minute gore-fest as entertaining as it is stomach-churningly unpleasant. I garner so much joy from the committed and impressive use of practical effects which, to an extent, make up for some of the film's weaker elements. As blood baths go, Evil Dead Rise is a generally self-serious one, though Cronin injects enough Raimi-esque camp to prevent any level of tedium. It's not a landmark piece of horror but it is a viscerally enjoyable one.