Pressure never quite plumbs the depths

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

You can tell from its opening moments that Pressure is a film that means business.

Opening with text that warns us about the dangers of deep sea diving – as anyone knows who’s ever seen The Abyss – it manages to strand its crew (read: cast) on the bed of the Somali Basin, almost 700 feet below the surface, within twenty minutes.…

The Nightmare, or if It Follows was a documentary

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

What’s the worst night’s sleep you’ve ever had?

However bad it may have been The Nightmare delves into something worse: the nighttime torment of eight sufferers of sleep paralysis — a condition equally notable for bizarre and terrifying visions.…

I loved The Falling

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

How do we categorize ambition in a film?

It has to mean more than scope or scale — Avengers: Age of Ultron is big and bold but what new does it attempt in terms of storytelling, apart from maybe giving Hawkeye something to do?…

Escobar: Paradise Lost thrives in the shadow of The Godfather

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

A feared and beloved crime family patriarch relaxes on a compound surrounded by loved ones, there to celebrate a special occasion. There’s music, and one of the clan has brought along their significant other.

So far so The Godfather, though the setting of Esobar: Paradise Lost is more akin to the film’s 1974 sequel, the isolated townships, dirt roads, and tropical forests of Colombia.…

Blackhat might bowl you over with disappointment

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

If you’re a fan of Heat, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a Michael Mann techno thriller sounds like just the ticket.

Mann’s first foray into film since 2009’s Public Enemies, Blackhat promised the glossy neon visuals of Miami Vice, the race-against-the-clock forensics of Manhunter – in short, a combination of all the traits (with the exception, perhaps, of Last of the Mohicans) that had made his earlier work so stimulating.…

Les combattants (Love at First Fight) is a romcom at war with itself

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

All’s fair in love and war, as the saying goes, and in Les combattants (AKA Love at First Fight) those two things aren’t so far apart.

The directorial debut of Thomas Cailley — he also shares writing duties with Claude Le Pape — this French-language film is a romcom but only in the most superficial of terms.…

Timbuktu is a journey into the heart of everyday extremism

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

As issues go there are few more topical or red-button than Islamic fundamentalism.

Therefore it makes it all the more impressive that Abderrahmane Sissako’s new film, Timbuktu, manages to tackle it with such integrity and even humour.…

Usually a one-star rating feels punitive, but in the case of Fantastic 4 its cautionary, even a little sad.

1 Stars (1 / 5)

 

If Bryan Singer’s X-Men uses being a mutant as a metaphor for being gay then Josh Trank’s gritty Fantastic Four reboot would seem analogous to being a moody teen.

Its central quarter is certainly a moody bunch: dweeby genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller), whose parents don’t understand him; Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), a would-be hard-case from a bad home; Johnny Storm (Michael B.…

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation doesn’t miss a beat

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Another Mission: Impossible film, another meaningless subtitle.

As the season of the super-spy commences – Man from UNCLE promises slick self-referential silliness, SPECTRE seems likely to continue the trend of Bond as dark, ambitious psychological thriller – Tom Cruise returns to the role of IMF agent Ethan Hunt, by now probably the most disavowed person in cinema history.…