Chris has written 5 reviews for films rated ★★★ during 2020.

  • Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins

    ★★★

    Although it has its fair share of charm and magical moments, I'm quite surprised by just how much dead air there is here. This is a great example of a film where the parts are better than the whole; it is way too long and only seems to come alive when we are following the titular nanny on another eccentric adventure (and even some of those drag on forever). The Banks family have the barest of personalities which makes it…

  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★

    Quite possibly Pixar's most purely existential work thus far, building upon a lot of the ideas present in Docter's previous efforts with the studio. I think this is a slight improvement on a lot of similar themes explored with Inside Out (a film I was lukewarm on) because that was almost nothing but concept, whereas Soul at least uses its premise to try to flesh out its thematic elements. It's nothing we haven't seen from Pixar before, but it is…

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★

    Very impressed by the sound design here, the striking use of noise and different tones really helps to create an immersive atmosphere that effectively communicates the feelings of the main character. I also think Riz Ahmed stands out with a restrained performance that never falls into histrionics as it so easily could have. He brings a believability to proceedings that helps ground the entire film.

    However, this is held back by how formulaic it is. The story goes exactly where…

  • Scream 3

    Scream 3

    ★★★

    Not as good as the first two films in the series, but definitely not bad like the general reception would have you believe. Scream 3 retains it's slasher satire yet puts much more emphasis on lampooning Hollywood. It misses Kevin Williamson's astute writing style, but has enough clever jokes and imaginative set-pieces to get by. The returning cast are all good but the new characters don't leave much of an impression, except for Parker Posey who is the film's highlight.…

  • An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    ★★★

    What a bizarre mixed bag of a film An American Werewolf in London is. Merging comedy and horror is usually a precarious balancing act, and when you have a director primarily known for comedy you worry the humour will outshine everything else. Strangely enough, the opposite is true here. The horror aspects are genuinely chilling and well crafted, whereas the comedic elements feel out of place and just aren't that amusing. It starts strong as a quirky tale of lycanthropy…