• Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★★

    aka THE LAST MOVIE (STAR)

    As religious an experience as I'll probably ever have in a cinema. I mean I literally wrote my dissertation on Cruise and this is his ultimate monument; a confident, loud declaration that he's the best movie star to ever do it and then an exhilarating, otherworldly demonstration of why. Kosinski is one of our finest directors of all-caps MOVIES; he understands the power of images, the importance of spectacle and the weight of heroism. His…

  • Conversations with Friends

    Conversations with Friends

    The source material is my favorite of Rooney's and one of my favorite books full-stop, so naturally I had some wariness going into this but I think it really pulls the adaptation off. It doesn't feel as probing or complex as the novel does, but a lot of that is just down to the richness of Frances' inner monologue which naturally can't translate fully to the screen. It's probably not as good as Normal People but that's just down to…

  • The Dropout

    The Dropout

    Truly few things are better than getting to see a movie star really commit to playing a weirdo with a funny voice.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Colour me genuinely shocked at how much of a Sam Raimi movie this is. I've already seen some critics trying to suggest people are projecting too much Raimi onto it but I can't buy that - this is a Raimi movie through-and-through. I feel like some people have this perception of Raimi as being in Evil Dead II maximalist mode all of the time, which isn't the case - he's actually far more of a journeyman who manages to bring…

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Easy to see why this has become such a darling on websites like this - it's very charming and inventive and nakedly emotional and didactic. But that didacticism is where some of my reservations come in - the emotionality here is incredibly basic and straightforward (and maybe even ineffective in some instances) which I feel underserves some of the higher concepts of the story. I disagree with the notion suggested by some critics that the crux of the film's message…

  • Moon Knight

    Moon Knight

    Beyond awful. Five hours of incoherently plotted nonsense, and while Isaac is really going for it he alone cannot make up for how interminable the rest of the affair is. The MCU sense of humour is the worst its ever been; endless dogshit quips because god forbid you let a moment have any weight without immediately undercutting it. And then you pull a Wandavision and have your penultimate episode be an info-dump of trauma/abuse-laden backstory so you can pretend your…

  • Hawkeye

    Hawkeye

    ★★★

    Fun enough. Naturally doesn't hold a candle to the Fraction/Aja run it frequently cribs from but I've always had a soft spot for Renner's Hawkeye and I found his emotional journey here very satisfying. Steinfeld is the easy MVP though, just one of the most insanely charismatic performers alive and this show basically just gives her an excuse to be very endearing for 5 hours. I appreciate that it maintains a low-stakes street-level vibe for the whole thing, even if…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    It's so lame but the ending of this genuinely makes me tear up every time. Holkenborg's score is one of the modern greats, and those swelling horns and strings leading into that thundering conclusive drumbeat create such a sense of triumph and optimism, and of the finality of a very real, arduous, once-in-a-lifetime journey. This rewatch was prompted by my completion of Kyle Buchanan's excellent Blood, Sweat & Chrome, and I really do feel like those final moments contain all the…

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★★½

    There's probably never gonna be a major studio blockbuster as weird as Batman Returns ever again, but if this is as close as it gets then I'm happy with that. This is a sturdy, portentous crime epic; long and ambitious and never once boring. Reeves is clearly cine-literate and wears his references on his sleeve, but doesn't let the movie be defined by them in the way that say a Joker does. For as much as this is a 'new…

  • Uncharted

    Uncharted

    ★½

    Passionless, corporate slop. There's no artistry here, no-one involved was interested in making an actual Uncharted adaption, it's just two hours of brand management for the interminable movie star at its centre. He's not playing Nathan Drake, he's just doing the same insufferable shtick he always does. On top of that it looks like shit, the action is bad, everyone is fatally miscast, characterisation is next-to-non-existent, and nothing happens.

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★★

    What a picture. Might be a little too high on this given that my expectations were very low, but my initial inclination is that not only is this easily the best Scream sequel but one of the best horror sequels ever. I was prepared to find whatever meta angle this ended up taking annoying/undercooked given that everything has become meta now, but the twist is instead unexpected and surprisingly incisive (or at least as incisive as a movie like this…

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    ROAD BEYOND ENDGAME: Part 30

    I can't believe it, but against all odds this movie somewhat works. It's still an MCU movie with its clunky multiversal storytelling and subpar visuals, but at its best moments Spider-Man: No Way Home flirts with that magical Endgame feeling where it almost makes you want to forgive the missteps of previous instalments because the conclusion that they lead to is so overwhelmingly exciting. I do have some element of wariness discussing this movie -…