• Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★½

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

    An almost too-good-looking-to-be-true youth named Elio, played with uncanny perfection by the previously unheralded Timothée Chalamet, is spending the summer with his parents in Northern Italy, when his father (a university professor played brilliantly by the wonderful Michael Stuhlbarg in a rare, non-comedic role) offers a home to one of his most-gifted mature students, the impossibly-handsome Oliver, played by Arnie Hammer.

    Elio and Oliver bond, and it soon becomes clear that there is a level to their relationship that goes…

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★★

    Humans in space track weird audiovisual signal to creepy planet. They land. Nasty stuff happens. There's a dubiously-intentioned android. They return to their mothership. More nasty stuff. Alien is nudged into space. The end ... or is it?

    That is, basically, the plot of Alien. It's also, basically, the plot of Alien: Covenant. I blame The Forces Awakens, which was a virtual re-hash of A New Hope. Why be inventive when you can do what has been done before, only…

  • Lion

    Lion

    ★★★★

    Saroo is a five-year-old Indian boy for whom the unthinkable happens ... he becomes a lost child, a thousand miles plus away from home. He can only understand Hindi so cannot communicate, and cannot remember the correct name of his village or his mother.

    Years later, after a set of circumstances leads to his adoption by a loving Australian couple, he decides to embark on the impossible and trace his family, with only Google Maps as a resource.

    Based on…

  • A Silent Voice

    A Silent Voice

    ★★★★

    I've kind of gone off movies ... there, I've said it. I'm tired of sequels, prequels and reboots. I'm tired of 'super massive franchises' and I'm even tired of Oscar-baiting fodder. What's a movie boy supposed to do?

    Thank god then for anime. I've now seen the blissful 'Kimi no Na wa' five times (three at the cinema) and grab every unfortunately rare chance to see anime at the cinema I can. Even if it involves an evening away, as…

  • Little Men

    Little Men

    ★★★★

    Little Men tells the story of two families, and in particular the story of the friendship of two boys - quiet and thoughtful Jake, and confident wannabe-actor Tony.

    The two strike up an unlikely bond when Jake's family moves into the apartment above a dress-shop which is run by Tony's mother. Jake's parents have been left the entire building by Jake's grandfather, whom has passed away. Issues begin when Jake's parents discover that his grandfather was allowing Tony's mother to…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★½

    Twelve odd objects arrive and hover over unconnected spots all around the globe. Bizarre communications are received from them, so (for the object hovering over Montana) linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is called in to decipher the messages. It is soon discovered that the objects are alien ships ... but what do the aliens want? Do they come in peace? Are they hostile? And how should mankind react to them? With open arms, or guarded hostility?

    Sometimes you encounter…

  • The Girl on the Train

    The Girl on the Train

    ★★

    Emily Blunt is a woman (note: not a girl) on a train. She sees her ex-husband and his new wife every day, as the train goes right past their house. She also sees her ex-husband's new wife's nanny. Then the nanny goes missing. Then is found, dead. Did Emily do it? Or did she not?

    Urgh. This is the best 'bad film' I've seen for a long, long time. Cardboard cut-out characters are pulled up on screen and do cardboard…

  • My Scientology Movie

    My Scientology Movie

    ★★★

    In this documentary Louis Theroux tries to enter the deep, dark world of Scientology ... and gets as far as the front door. Instead, he seeks the advice of those who have managed to leave the church (which is a near-impossible thing to achieve, apparently) on how Scientology works, and what could be the possible motives of multi-millionaire, David Miscavige.

    I like Louis Theroux a lot. However, sometimes his mild-mannered, child-eyed persona (which should fool no one as he's obviously…

  • Your Name.

    Your Name.

    ★★★★½

    Oh lord. Don't you just love it when you see a film that knocks you out of the ball park?

    "Your Name" (or Kimi no Na wa) begins as a basic body-swap light-hearted drama. Two older high-schoolers - one male, one female - wake up one morning to discover they've swapped bodies. Both are convinced they're dreaming, and sure enough, they've swapped back the following day. But it happens again, and again, and - as they have no idea whom…

  • Ice Age: Collision Course

    Ice Age: Collision Course

    ★★

    I enjoyed the original Ice Age immensely. It was basically an odd-couple road trip with Sid, Manny and Diego returning a human baby to its parents. Oh and the hilarious Scrat having adventures with his acorn. Best thing Blue Sky ever did.

    Five films in and the law of diminishing returns applies. Since that first film they've added several more superfluous characters and both Manny and Diego now have completely different personalties.

    As for the plot - nonsensical is not…

  • Sausage Party

    Sausage Party

    ★★½

    Food is alive. They think we are gods. They find out we eat food. They rebel, party and have dirty sex.

    Well, that's the plot out of the way. The rest is up to you. The mirth in this filthy flick depends purely on your own sense of humour. If I had watched this thirty years ago I would have been changing my underwear every twenty minutes, but the gross-out, purposefully offensive comedy just didn't sit well with me.

    The…

  • Kubo and the Two Strings

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    ★★★★

    In this age of endless reboots, sequels and superhero movies, how satisfying it is to watch something original?

    Kubo is a one-eyed 11-year-old boy who cares for his ill mother, his father thought dead. He earns their keep by performing puppet shows in the local village, his shamisen (a traditional Japanese instrument) bringing origami creations to life.

    Circumstances send him on quest to recover his father's magical armour, aided by a talking monkey and (eventually) a samurai beetle. Kubo learns…