Star Wars: The Force Awakens recaptures much of the old magic, but leaves it to future installments to take the risks.


 A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

After the prequels more or less managed to strip the gloss off the franchise1, it seems apt that the opening lines of Star Wars: The Force Awakens refer to a sort of redemption.2

This long-awaited, almost mythical follow-up to the Holy Trilogy3 has the added advantage/burden of returning to the three characters we actually care about; namely Luke4, Han, and Leia.

Mia Madre is an insubstantial meditation on grief


For a film about the process of losing a loved one, Mia Madre (My Mother), the latest from writer-director Nanni Moretti, has a deceptively light touch.

Margherita (Margherita Buy) is a supposedly well-respected director of sensitive social realist dramas — her latest project is a polemic examination of factory workers fighting for their jobs in the face of layoffs.…

Future Shock! provides a necessary jolt to comic book lore


What comes to mind when you think of influential comics?

Maybe you think of the big publishers, DC or Marvel, or maybe your mind leaps straight to iconic graphic novels, like Watchmen or The Sandman. What, though, about sci-fi anthology 2000AD. 

Grandma is an endearing tale of OAP rebellion


“Where can you get a reasonably priced abortion in this town?”

Elle Reid is not your run-of-the-mill septugenarian. With her mane of dark hair and her acerbic wit, she’d look more at home at a ‘60s campus demonstration than a retirement community.…

Get your skates on for Cold War sporting doc Red Army


The Russians have always made for great villains.

Ever since the Berlin Wall went up, we’ve been menaced by burly, no-nonsense blokes with names like Ivan Drago. It’s a different sporting arena that provides the subject for Gabe Polsky’s Red State.…