The Big Sick: a relationship comedy where one party is out for the count

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
It’s been said that comedy is a natural response to tragedy; indeed, humour is proven to speed recovery.[none]Patch Adams can still fuck off, though.[/note]

Even so, taking perhaps the worst period of your life and turning it into a romcom, that most disposable of genres, is certainly a bold move.…

Dunkirk: Time & tide in Nolan’s masterpiece of immediacy and magnitude

5 Stars (5 / 5)
Christopher Nolan is arguably the foremost British director of his generation, certainly when it comes to visionary blockbusters.

As such, it seems strange that he should follow the – literal – universality of 2014’s Interstellar with a film that seems, on the face of it, so self-contained; parochial even.…

PODCAST: Spider-Man: Homecoming [Electric Shadows]

Episode 26 of The Electric Shadows Podcast is a chat of two halves.

First up, Rob Daniel & myself discuss Spider-Man: Homecoming, everyone’s favourite webslinger’s first full feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Overall, we’re impressed, though there are a couple of sticky moments with the film, and we’re not just talking about Spidey’s web…

Next up, our intrepid ramblers in movies discuss the best films of 2017… so far.…

War for The Planet of the Apes is a hugely ambitious genre-jumping blockbuster

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Is there anything more perfectly, absurdly cinematic than an ape riding on horseback through the snow?

“If man evolved from a monkey then why are there still monkey?” Reportedly a favoured argument of creationists, the answer to this question is relatively simple in layman’s terms: we went one way; they went another.…

The Battle of Algiers, or The Revolution Will Not Be Simplified (Christopher Nolan Presents @ BFI)

The Battle of Algiers is perhaps the timeliest film about terrorism ever produced – from half a century ago.

When it was first released back in 1966, Gillo Pontecorvo’s depiction of the eponymous conflict was both praised and condemned for its scrupulously balanced presentation of terrorist and government atrocities during the French occupation of Algiers.…

Scribe is a well-made but slightly rote conspiracy thriller

Scribe (French: The Eavesdropper) is a classic conspiracy thriller in ambition if not in atmosphere.

François Cluzet plays Duval, a conscientious, middle-aged office worker who suffers a drink-exacerbated breakdown.

Out of work for two years and abandoned by his wife, he seeks not only an income but a framework to his life.…

The Beguiled (2017) replaces melodrama with subtle power play

4 Stars (4 / 5)
We open on black, as we know all important films must.1

When we fade in, it’s on a little girl in a checked skirt, wandering beneath the hanging moss of a long dark tunnel of oak trees.…

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a triumphant return for the now-adolescent wall-crawler

I saw this more than a week ago, but decided my opinion would be better expressed in the podcast I host with Rob Daniel than in a review. However, having already let several big blockbusters from the last eighteen months or so slip by without writing a word, the completist in me demands I pen something, however brief.

PODCAST: Oliver Stone’s JFK – 25th Anniversary [Electric Shadows]

Six months in the making, Episode 25 of The Electric Shadows Podcast is a special looking at Oliver Stone’s 1991 classic, JFK.

Over an epic running time almost matching the duration of the film itself, myself, Rob Daniel, and special guest Ian Bird dissect the merits and legacy of Stone’s controversial movie.…

It Comes At Night goes nowhere in particular

3 Stars (3 / 5)
Why lay the table for a feast if you’re not going to serve a meal that can complete with the place setting?

It’s this shortcoming that ultimately prevents It Comes At Night from becoming more than just another addition to the, in recent years, surprisingly well-worn genre of post-apocalyptic drama-horror.…