REVIEW: Hypnotic

Some movies seem purposefully designed for critics to have fun with, if not necessarily cinema audiences. Robert Rodriguez’s Hypnotic is just such a movie.

From its hopelessly dated, sub 00s-Nolan sci-fi thriller premise to its almost comically one-note lead performance – Affleck’s expressions range from a frown to a grimace to a scowl – to the oh-so generic title, it’s an inducement to snarky headlines, like “Hypnotic put me to sleep.”…

REVIEW: Next Exit

If given incontrovertible proof of the afterlife, how would mankind respond? As speculations go, it’s a biggie – one worthy of any number of dramatic explorations.

The first I’ve seen to tackle it is Next Exit, the feature debut of writer-director Mali Elfman, who uses the premise less for its paradigm-shifting potential than to ask a much simpler, more human-level question: what is it that makes life living?…


Gerard Butler stars in a lightly-engineered action-thriller whose pleasures are as simple as its title.

Easily formulated as Die Hard meets Lost, Plane serves up gritty run n’ gun in the sun fun.

When a freak lightening strike forces him to crash-land on a remote island of the Philippines, budget airline pilot Brodie Torrance (Butler) has to figure out how to get his meagre bunch of passengers back to civilisation – that’s if the pissed-off insurgents don’t get them first.…

REVIEW: Skinamarink

We’re immersed in wormy, swimmy static; an impenetrable, buzzy, blue-brown alphabet soup of meaningless hieroglyphics. It obscures the depths of already-darkened rooms, masking spaces where monsters might hide.

An experimental horror rom first-time director Kyle Edward Ball, Skinamarink is a film of perception, or imperception.…

REVIEW: The Old Way

They just don’t make ’em like they used to, though they try.

The Old Way is a by-the-books Western, distinguished only by being Nicolas Cage’s “first” out-and-out foray into the genre.

When we first encounter outlaw Colton Briggs (Cage, complete with droopy mustache), he’s watching a public hanging preceded over by his employer, a self-righteous local bigwig.…

REVIEW: A Man Called Otto

Tom Hanks’ is a curmudgeon with a heart of gold in this English-language adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s Swedish bestseller A Man Called Ove.

Rechristened Otto for an American audience, we first encounter Hanks’ titular grouch at the hardware store. He wants a length of rope for a home DIY project and he’s brought his own knife to cut it to order; behaviour that the store staff understandably struggles with.…

REVIEW: Black Adam

This latest offering from DC Films has many of of the right elements, but struggles to ground itself in humanity.

Re-envisioning its title character as an antihero, Black Adam is a star vehicle for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, for whom it was reportedly a passion project.…

REVIEW: London Film Festival 2022 Roundup

White Noise

With White Noise, Noah Baumbach has managed to make a compelling and remarkably coherent dramedy from Don DeLillo’s postmodern epic of optimism and catastrophe.

Jack Gladney (Adam Driver; winningly ungainly with long limbs and beer belly) is a renowned professor of “Hitler studies”, who works at a fictional American college sometime in the 1980s.…

REVIEW: Three Thousand Years of Longing

In his first film since 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller reminds us why he truly deserves the accolade of “visionary”.

By any standard, Three Thousand Years of Longing is an audacious change of pace from the filmmaker who filmography is largely defined by scorched wastelands populated by monstrous motorheads.…