• Gasoline Alley

    Gasoline Alley

    ★½

    Gasoline Alley is Edward Drake’s most plot driven Bruce Willis vehicle yet and in turn is the most cohesive. However that’s not a high standard to surpass, the film is still derivative and nonsensical. 

    There’s a new light that’s been put on these Willis films after he announced his retirement from acting, and his diagnosis provides answers for a lot of the questions his fans have had over the years. Watching him in Gasoline Alley is difficult, he’s clearly struggling…

  • Windfall

    Windfall

    ★★

    Windfall is another Netflix product of the pandemic that fails to make use of its circumstantial tight location. 

    Windfall is tonally all over the place, I somehow thought this was satirical comedy, but shortly after the opening credits a serious tone is established and the film becomes a strange social commentary of sorts. The final act is dark and futile, and breaks the somewhat consistent atmosphere previously established. Plemons and Segal are reasonable but not once does their dispute feel…

  • Hustle

    Hustle

    ★★★

    Hustle is probably the first Happy Maddison production that feels cared for in every aspect of production, and ironically it’s also one of the funniest Happy Maddison films despite having much broader intentions than just making the audience laugh. Sandler’s recent revival continues here, he offers a lot of accessibility to a story that feels built around his strengths as an actor, and his patience, delivery and chemistry with the rest of the cast carry the film through its weaker,…

  • Limbo

    Limbo

    ★★★★

    Ben Sharrock’s Limbo is a patient, humane and often funny observation of the refugee experience. 

    Limbo feels appropriately contemporary and relevant and yet captured a sense of nostalgia which fantastically embodies the journey of these characters. Sharrock provides a lot of space for interpretation and thought, the thoughtful timing of the shots simultaneously challenge and enrapture the audience. The films pacing and dialogue provide a lot of substance to the characters but the inventive cinematography and sound go one step…

  • The Little Things

    The Little Things

    ★½

    The Little Things is an airy atmospheric Fincher inspired bundle of cliches with a dense plot and uninspiring performances. 

    Crime thrillers are at their worst when they religiously rely on genre tropes and yet don’t take any advantage of the very cliches they’re running into the ground. The Little Things is customary and yet fails to offer the fun or the mystery that has preserved a lot of deeply cliched crime dramas in the past. The writing is lazy, the…

  • Cyrano

    Cyrano

    ★★★½

    Joe Wright’s reprisal after the critical panning of The Woman in the Window is a well acted period piece with a contemporary edge. 

    This adaptation of the age old Cyrano tale may be best suited to the ignorant, I had no past experience with this source material and for the most part I found it to be an entirely serviceable, calculable tale encouraged by fantastic performances from the entire cast. Peter Dinklage gives one of the best performances of his…

  • Photocopier

    Photocopier

    ★★★½

    Photocopier has a refreshingly adept use of technological storytelling and winds up as a thrilling, determined film. 

    Turning a cold shoulder on the backdrop of controversy surrounding this film, I found Photocopier to be one of the more engaging and unique Netflix thrillers as of late. Somewhat owing to the solid on screen work of Shenina Cinnamon, who is fully believable and refined as the complicated Sur. The film develops an interesting mystery through the intriguing nature of Sur as…

  • Werewolves Within

    Werewolves Within

    ★★★

    Werewolves Within is a horror-comedy hybrid based on the mafia style video game of the same name. 

    When whodunnit films are at there best they’re simple, quick and self-aware. This may seem like a simple obsequious checklist but these qualities can also cause trouble for whodunnits when they’re at there worst. Werewolves within is fast moving and self-aware but often in excess and to its own detriment. 

    The film follows Finn played by Sam Richardson who moves to a small…

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★★

    The Tragedy of Macbeth is a visually enthralling film with excellent performances from the likes of Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand and Kathryn Hunter.

    I hope this has been a fulfilling box ticking exercise for Joel Coen, his visual work here is impeccable and his team do an excellent job setting up and utilizing the minimalist sets. Coen's work is deeply mature, but with that maturity he's missing his unique sensibility and the ingenious ambience that make his and Ethan's films…

  • Wander Darkly

    Wander Darkly

    ★★

    There’s been a lot of films lately in which romance and memory are explored in interesting and ambitious ways. Wander Darkly certainly doesn’t hold back ambitiously, director Tara Miele pulls out all the stops but unfortunately the film is cluttered and hard to gather. 

    Wander Darkly doesn’t have the romantic chemistry or sensibility of that of Little Fish, a recent film with similar thematic ideas. The film doesn’t have the undeniably admirable sense of ambition that last years Flashback had…

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★½

    The French Dispatch isn’t as emotionally affective or as narratively strong as The Grand Budapest Hotel and Anderson’s best work, and it isn’t as whimsical or funny as Life Aquatic and Bottle Rocket, but I found it considerably less annoying than some of Anderson’s weaker work and it may be his most visually impressive film to date. 

    This material and style is generally very foreseeable for Anderson and yet I was surprised by how much I wasn’t bothered by his…

  • C'mon C'mon

    C'mon C'mon

    ★★★★

    C’mon C’mon is another deeply humane and empathetic film from Mike Mills, reliant on the fantastic chemistry between Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman. 

    Mike Mills is relentlessly adept at exploring the relatable quirks of human interaction, C’mon C’mon is a wonderful example of his ability to explore themes of human connection in a non superficial and deeply real way. Once again Mills explores a relationship with a young child and an older relative, and his patience and compassionate storytelling allow…