Rogue One: helpfully titled man on mission movie; also Star Wars

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Ever so slightly longer ago in a galaxy pretty well-known to us at this point…

After forty years of galactic-scale family squabbles among the Skywalker clan, Disney’s latest addition to the franchise seeks to remind us that there are other families in the Star Wars universe… to a point.…

Slow West, my son: Go see

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

The genre in which John Wayne once set out to kill his niece because she’d had hands laid on her by an “Injun” has become more reflective in recent years; elegiac even.

The Western is now less concerned with drawling former Confederates and more about allegory, about the decline of myth and the uncertain rise of civilization al a Unforgiven or The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.…

Black Sea wrings some suspense out of a tired tub of a genre

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Take a dangerous group of men and trap them in a lethal environment with the promise of seemingly infinite riches at their fingertips.

It’s a tried and tested premise that’s been been striking sparks since The Treasure of the Sierra Madre almost seventy years ago.…

Lost River winnows away into nothingness

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a lost river as “a surface stream that flows into an underground passageway.”

Appropriately, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut of the same name is all about the lurid surfaces and obscure depths, and cuts a wide and muddy channel across the cinematic landscape.…

Exodus: Gods and Kings is a Biblical epic with a humanist slant

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Of all the obscure film genres to make a comeback in recent years, who among us expected the resurgence of the Biblical epic?

Thanks to Aronofosky’s triumphantly bats**t crazy Noah, it seems we can now expect a slew of Old Testament supermen to be battling it out with the comic book contingent for control of our screens.…

The Place Beyond the Pines is a mythic triptych about family that loses itself in the woods

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

A crime drama directed by an obscure American arthouse director, Derek Cianfrance, and starring two hip young Oscar-nominated actors? Sounds like my cup of tea.

On one hand, you’ve got Ryan Gosling as tatted-up carnival motorcyclist Luke Glanton; a bleach-blonde, barely repressed psychopath who develops a penchant for bank robbery in order to provide for his baby mama, an underused Eva Mendes.…