Category: Film Reviews

American Factory

In many ways American Factory – directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, distributed via Netflix by Michelle and Barack Obama’s Higher Ground Productions – is an illuminating film about globalisation, and a timely one: it can be read as an examination of the changing relationship between the two pre-eminent world ‘superpowers’, focusing as it […]

The Sisters Brothers

Stories that are based around a character or characters undertaking a long journey – often two people who are bound together by circumstance, or a sense of duty, or family ties, etc – are ten-a-penny in cinema, and especially so within the western genre. Such a time-worn set-up applies to Jacques Audiard’s latest, a revisionist […]

Triple Frontier

While watching the first half of this latest film by director J.C. Chandor – who had previously made the kinda-sorta Hollywood outliers Margin Call, All Is Lost and A Most Violent Year – I wondered whether he had taken Richard Ayoade’s recent book The Grip of Film as straight-faced gospel, given that book’s amusing obsession […]

The Price Of Everything

Before I begin, I probably ought to admit that this kind of documentary is like catnip for me. Although some of the things seen or said within it are objectionable, I’m afraid that I do get a little tingle of pleasure whenever I watch anything featuring rich people attending exclusive events or buying expensive things […]

2018 Round-up Part 1

Like many other film fans I like to take stock at the end of the year, and in this post I’m going to discuss the previous twelve months in a general, rambling fashion, with reference to my ‘blind spots’ (yup, still doing that) and other notable works that I saw for the first time during […]

Arcadia

I very much like the series of films that have been put together using the BFI’s vast archive, of which this 2018 release – by Paul Wright – is the latest. There’s something about the historical aspect, and the general strangeness of some of the footage (particularly from the earlier half of the last century) […]

River Of Grass

While watching Kelly Reichardt’s 1994 road movie – her debut – you can sense the influence of other independent filmmakers who were firmly ‘established’ by the mid-1990s. There are echoes in this film, which tells the story of two untypical criminals on the run, of landmark pictures such as Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train, Gus Van Sant’s […]

They Shall Not Grow Old

Peter Jackson has been busy of late. The New Zealand director’s steampunk-inflected adaptation of the fantasy novel Mortal Engines will land this Christmas, while cinemagoers lucky enough to live close to a screening have recently been treated to his moving, fascinating documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, for which he has assembled and retouched archive […]

Faces, Places

There’s a scene in Faces, Places, the new documentary film Agnès Varda has made in collaboration with photographer and mural artist JR, in which this ostensibly odd couple – a 65-year age gap exists between them – chat with a group of male French dock workers. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with […]

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Clearly the best action film that has been released so far during 2018, this latest franchise entry delivers plenty of the high-octane thrills that have become synonymous with the series, particularly during recent years. There’s a quite thrilling, brutally bone-crunching fist fight that takes place in a bathroom, for example, involving Tom Cruise’s familiar IMF […]