Roman J Israel Esq Review

Roman J Israel Esq

Our principles and core beliefs are never something that we should take lightly, especially not if we’re given any position of legal power. This thought guides the eponymous star of Roman J Israel Esq, but this is far from a conventional story of a heroic, downtrodden defense lawyer. Instead, Dan Gilroy, of Nightcrawler fame, deconstructs the notion of unbreakable virtue and delivers a compelling story of a man unravelled by his stubborn will to take life as a theoretical construct, instead of the vibrant, messy, and uncomfortable collection of practical demands that it truly is.  Continue reading


The Killing of a Sacred Deer Review

Killing Sacred Deer

With The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos moved his capacity for originality from the bizarre social commentary of Dogtooth into the realm of high-concept sci-fi, with mixed results. Now, with a no less unique and surprising film, Lanthimos turns his eye to something much more traditional, with the superb The Killing of a Sacred Deer turning to Medieval morality plays, Greek tragedies, and the Old Testament for its inspirations. Turning a family inside out to pay for the sins of the father, this taboo shattering and enthralling film unravels its mysteries slowly but ruthlessly, creating a marrow-deep feeling of unease, punctuated by genuine hilarity.  Continue reading

The Beguiled Review

The Beguiled

Of all the films for Sofia Coppola to follow up The Bling Ring with, a remake of a Civil War-set Clint Eastwood vehicle from the ‘70s might not seem the most obvious choice. Yet, by paring back the misogyny and explicitness of Don Siegel’s 1971 adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s The Beguiled, Coppola becomes a perfect match for this story of isolated women on the edge, in a grand house driven mad with suspicion and sexual hysteria. She became only the second-ever woman to win Best Director at Cannes with this film, and it’s easy to see why the jury chose it; it’s sumptuous, tense, and completely entertaining.  Continue reading

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them



Harry Potter was a cultural phenomenon the likes of which the entertainment world almost never sees. As a franchise of both books and films, it captured the imagination of the generations that grew up with it, so any return to Rowling’s wizarding world was going to come with high expectations, as well as a lot of worries. Thankfully, there’s nothing in Fantastic Beasts to sully the HP legacy (and hearing the first few strains of Hedwig’s Theme remains a balm for the soul), though this ‘20s New York-set entry doesn’t match up to the very best entries in its parent series.  Continue reading

The Lobster Review


The Lobster makes no attempt to ease you in to its surreal world. Opening on a woman shooting a donkey with a handgun whilst disconcerting string music screeches around her, we then move to a scene of a wife leaving her husband (Colin Farrell) for another man, leaving the husband to be carted off almost immediately to a strange hotel. Yorgos Lanthimos gives a statement of intent in his first few minutes – if you don’t want to be slightly confused and alienated, then The Lobster isn’t for you. As it turns out, the hotel is a place for singles, a punitive resort where you either find a match in 45 days or end up being turned into an animal.  Continue reading