REVIEW: Halloween (2018)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the suburbs…

In 1978, the world was affected by a trauma so great that it still continues to resonate today.  I’m talking, of course, about John Carpenter’s original Halloween – a sui generis slasher movie  that has inspired eight sequels and a reboot (plus sequel), and now a reboot-sequel that ignores the sequels and the reboot (plus sequel).…

REVIEW: The Front Runner (LFF 2018 – Day 4)

Ivan Reitman’s latest, The Front Runner, is an unexpectedly topical account about what we have the right to expect from our politicians – and perhaps what we don’t.

It’s 1988, and Colorado Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) seems like the ideal candidate for the Democratic nomination.…

REVIEW: Out Of Blue (LFF 2018 – Day 3)

Her follow-up to 2015’s The Falling, one of my film’s of that year, Carol Morley’s latest is a detective mystery that, for all its metaphysics, insists on covering the same old ground.

Out Of Blue opens on a dying star in the depths of space as, down in New Orleans, astrophysicist Jennifer Rockwell (Mamie Gummer) delivers a lecture on black holes, dark matter – the great impenetrable mysteries of the universe.…

REVIEW: Sorry To Bother You (LFF 2018 – Day 2)

The directorial debut of Boots Riley, Sorry To Bother You is a delirious satire about, among other things, the sacrifice and self-compromise required to make a success of yourself in present-day America.

Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), ironically known as Cash, is broke and living in his uncle’s garage with his girlfriend, free spirit Detroit (Tessa Thompson).…

REVIEWS: Widows (London Film Festival 2018 – Day 1)

A bedroom embrace is wrenched away and instantly replaced with the rear compartment of a getaway van, one door wrenched off its hinge and sparking on the asphalt, as a lover’s playful snarl becomes the shriek of a bullet, ricocheting around the exposed interior.…

REVIEW: Mad To Be Normal

Mad To Be Normal is a biopic that is nowhere near as radical as its subject: ’60s anti-psychiatry shrink R. D. Laing, “the acid Marxist” who advocated treating patients holistically, without medication or surgery.

David Tennant is mesmerizing as the soft-spoken guru, wandering the corridors as the schizophrenic whisperer, intermittently capable of the miraculous: like bringing a non-communicative patient out of her shell through a hippy laying on of hands and the prospect of pizza.…

REVIEW: The Meg

From the distinctly sub-Crichtonesque book it’s based on to its original director (Jan De Bont), The Meg, as directed by Jon Turtletaub, is a creature feature that’s been kept on ice since the latest ’90s.

Finally chomping its way into cinemas after a sizeable Chinese investment, Jason Statham, he of shiny bonce and glint-y eye, stars as Jonas Taylor, a  legendary rescue diver brought out of retirement to save a scientific team trapped on the ocean bed below the level of the Mariana Trench. …

REVIEW: The Equalizer 2

The Equalizer 2 marks the first ever sequel for director Antoine Fuqua and star Denzel Washington; reuniting here for their fourth film together.

As in its 2014 predecessor and the series that inspired it, the film blends together brutal fight scenes with care-in-the-community drama.…

REVIEW: Bad Samaritan

Dean Devlin’s latest is proof that it’s sometimes easier to deliver thrills on a micro-budget.

Geostorm may have $120 million to play with, but the result was a CGI storm in a teacup – and pretty weak tea at that. With Bad Samaritan, however,  Devlin provides us with a neat, kitschy little B-movie steeped in entertaining tropes.…

REVIEW: First Reformed

I spend a lot of my time in the cinema and consider myself pretty hardened when it comes to long dark nights of the soul, but First Reformed may be the darkest I’ve seen, and one of the most compelling.

Reverend Toller is pastor of the First Reformed Church in Snowbridge, New York – an austere Dutch Colonial-style ghost of a building that in many way resembles the man who has become its steward.…