Dunkirk Review


Very few other filmmakers working today are as intrigued by time and its workings as Christopher Nolan, and none are as good at integrating this fascination with the sort of bombastic excitement that he so consistently delivers. With his war epic, Dunkirk, Nolan strikes the perfect balance between his typically clever treatment of time’s relationship with stories and a heart on sleeve disaster film, paying tribute to the heroes and survivors of the Miracle of Dunkirk. It’s his shortest film since his 1998 debut, Following, and his first non-sci-fi film in over a decade but no less ambitious for it, entering the canon as possibly Nolan’s best film and one of the greatest examples of the World War 2 genre.  Continue reading


The Revenant Review



Like Fitzcarraldo and Apocalypse Now before it, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant is a film that may well be defined in future years by the story behind it rather than the finished product itself. A truly mad endeavour that involved mutinous crew members, punishing near-Arctic conditions, and going wildly over-budget, it raises the question of ‘was it all worth it’? For the cast and crew who had to survive a shoot labelled a ‘living hell’, possibly not, but for audiences who can watch it in cushy cinemas, The Revenant is an essential experience that easily ranks amongst the year’s very best films.  Continue reading

Legend Review


For all its flaws, Legend is not a film that’s lacking in ambition. Not only having his two lead characters played by the same actor, writer and director Brian Helgeland has tried to make a gangster movie that is both Goodfellas and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Unfortunately, whilst it possesses the omniscient voiceover of the former and the smirking London swagger of the latter, it lacks Scorsese’s masterful moral uncertainty and Ritchie’s sly self-awareness that made their films such leaders in the genre. As a showcase for the talents of Tom Hardy, appearing as both Ronnie and Reggie Kray, Legend does its job well, and it is a perfectly competent gangster movie, but it fails to make a truly convincing case for why the story of London’s most notorious thugs needs to be told again.  Continue reading

Mad Max Fury Road Review


30 years after Beyond Thunderdome, writer and director of the three original Mad Max films George Miller has returned to the wasteland with Fury Road and, in the process, crafted a genuine milestone of an action movie. Fundamentally rejecting everything that modern blockbusters are criticised for (too much CG, clunky exposition, weak female characters), Mad Max: Fury Road is the first proper masterpiece of 2015. Tackling big themes and important questions as well as featuring some of the most involving and exhausting (in a good way) action scenes ever put on film, it’s a truly unique cinematic experience that no one should miss.  Continue reading

Lawless – Review

Lawless’ opening gambit is that it is ‘based on a true story’, five words that should always trigger a slight suspicion in the minds of cinema-goers, especially when the true story has been adapted into a book by the descendant of a family of violent, bootlegging gangsters. And throughout the runtime of John  Hillcoat’s period, prohibition-era set crime drama (which serves as a nice Western counterpoint, to his previous criminal brothers movie, the Australia based Proposition), the events certainly take more than a few turns for the unbelievable, stretching credulity to breaking point, from the near invincible Bondurant brothers to the pantomime villains and morality. Continue reading