• Zero Dark Thirty

    Zero Dark Thirty

    ★★★½

    Filmmaking-wise this is all solid if fairly unremarkable stuff - perhaps an unfair comparison because I saw it recently so it's fresh in my mind, but it definitely felt like 'Sicario lite' at times - and the shot selection is honestly pretty bland. Chastain is terrific however, completely selling this role and believably conveying the changes this character goes through over the course of a decade.

    The first two acts were slightly slow moving and perplexing (the latter of which…

  • Fargo

    Fargo

    ★★★½

    In Marge Gunderson, the Coens identified one of the all-time great movie cops. This brilliance stems not only from their sharply written, offbeat dialogue or McDormand's unconventional charm and natural movie-star presence (although this all certainly helps), but in her response to wrongdoing. When coming face to face with lazy, dishonest, greedy, self-serving, spineless, sadistic, murderous criminals, Marge expresses not simply distaste, but an active inability to comprehend the existence of such evil in the world.

    “And for what? For…

  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    ★★★★

    This has been in my watchlist for around three years now, and I've even owned it for a considerable stretch of that time. Part of me feels as though I should have watched it a long time ago, the other part is very glad I waited until now. I wouldn't have understood, related to or been able to empathise with Llewyn's self-destructive tendencies then half as much as I do now.

    The Coens somehow manage to make cynical, embittered and…

  • The Odd Couple

    The Odd Couple

    ★★★½

    “Everything you do irritates me.... you leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can't stand little notes on my pillow. "We're all out of cornflakes, F U." Took me three hours to realise 'F U' was 'Felix Ungar'.”

    Came for the chuckle-a-minute gags and Lemmon/Matthau chemistry, stayed for the existential ponderings on sinful nature and human relationships.

    “You're not gonna make any effort to change? This is the person you're gonna be until the day you die?”
    “We are what we are.”

  • BlacKkKlansman

    BlacKkKlansman

    ★★★½

    After the slight letdown of my first forays into Lee's filmography, I'm happy to report that this was quite another story. BlacKkKlansman grabbed my attention from the start and for the most part held it there throughout. It tells a gripping story while boasting strong writing, powerful direction, tight editing and compelling performances. Driver is (expectedly) great and completely believable in this role, but I can see why Washington in particular has since gone on to become a rising star.…

  • The Descendants

    The Descendants

    ★★★½

    “We all did, all our lives. Lots of memories... everything has its time.“

  • Magnolia

    Magnolia

    ★★★★

    What's that you say? A sprawling collection of broken, lost and lonely characters, disparate in all things aside from their shared desire for true connection, compassion and to see amends made for wrongdoing, tightly edited and expertly directed with a distinctly intimate focus by one Paul Thomas Anderson?

    Well I like the sound of that.

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    ★★★

    Pretentious as it may sound, but this is more an ethereal state of mind than it is a film. Understated to a fault. The passage of time is more terrifying than any ghost story. This Lowery guy seems cool.

  • Sicario

    Sicario

    ★★★★

    Up-front credit to Luke for his insights when writing this review.


    In one of Sicario's earliest moments, Emily Blunt's principled FBI agent Kate Macer is asked by a subordinate what he should report on their latest find, a house belonging to a drug baron assumed to have contained hostages, but which they instead discovered was full of already decaying corpses. Kate's response is almost one of surprise, as though there were no other possible option: "the truth."

    At this stage…

  • Sing Street

    Sing Street

    ★★★★★

    “Look at her. She races home every evening just to catch that last little bit of sun, have a cigarette and read her papers. She's always talking about going on a holiday to Spain, but he never takes her. That's all she gets. Then that tall tree blocks it, and she comes in. I often wonder what she's thinking about.”

    This will never get old.

  • The Dig

    The Dig

    ★★★½

    I love seeing two greats of their field just get to do the thing they’re best at, and unsurprisingly, to watch a compelling central relationship, “a story of kindred spirits… not clouded by love and romance, [but deeper] than that” (Mr Fiennes' words, not mine) unfold amidst a showcase of stunning Suffolk locations proved to be just my cup of tea. The lead performers are absolutely what shines brightest here, with both a wonderfully imperturbable Ralph Fiennes and a stoically…

  • In Bruges

    In Bruges

    ★★★★

    “Maybe that's what hell is. The entire rest of eternity spent in fuckin' Bruges.”

    The road to redemption is long and rocky. This is a sad movie.