20th Century Women: sun-dappled reflections on ’70s history; both personal and cultural

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The surrogate bunch in Mike Mills’ latest, 20th Century Women, is certainly unique; if not quite unhappy.

It’s tough being a kid: discovering your sense of self, your place in the world.…

CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: A Cure For Wellness & Patriots Day

A Cure For Wellness
1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

A Cure For Wellness is a film I wish was better.

A psychological horror with grandiose ambitions, it stars Dane DeHaan as Lockhart, a callow young stockbroker with ice-chip eyes dispatched to retrieve his company’s CEO from a remote “wellness center” in the Swiss Alps.…

CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: The Lego Batman Movie, Toni Erdmann, & Gold

The Lego Batman Movie

3 Stars (3 / 5)
“All important movies start with a black screen…”

If there’s one thing you can say about The Lego Batman Movie, it’s that it’s very self-aware. Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very self-aware.

Their Finest (LFF Day 9)

4 Stars (4 / 5)

If the BFI were determined to kick off LFF 2016 with a best-of-British film, they should have picked Their Finest.

True, director Lone Scherfig is a Dane and A United Kingdom has more of a social message; not to mention an irresistible title.…

LFF Day 3: La La Land & Manchester By The Sea

Rhapsodic Hollywood dreaming and glacial Massachusetts misery on London Film Festival Day 3.

 

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone soar in Damien Chazelle’s radiant love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals and those who dare to follow their dreams in the City of Angels.

Swiss Army Man: not so much Weekend At Bernie’s as Settling Down And Making A Life With Bernie

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Say what you want about Daniel Radcliffe’s acting abilities, but the man who was The Boy Who Lived has certainly branched out.

From his first big post-Potter role in The Woman In Black back in 2012 to his recent turn as an ingenue FBI agent infiltrating white supremacists in Imperium, his is a career defined by interesting choices.…

My 2016 LFF gets off to a five-star start with the utterly captivating Moonlight

5 Stars (5 / 5)

A silent boy with accusatory eyes. A shy long-limbed teen picked on at school. A musclebound man looking for a connection. All the same person, all lost; all trying to make sense of the world and their place in it.

Captain Fantastic: a very good (Buddhist) drama

SPOILERS

 

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Ben Cash is not your average dad.

A grizzled hippy living off the grid in the forests of Washington State, his daily routine includes stalking deer, rock climbing, and self-defense; all accompanied by his six extraordinary children.…

Free State of Jones: a restrained but impassioned anti-slavery drama overtaken by history

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Almost twenty years on from Spielberg’s Amistad, who would have thought that we’d be talking about any film that doesn’t see Matthew McConaughey as a serious Oscar contender as something of a disappointment?

Opening in the midst of the American Civil War with a battalion of grey-suited Confederate soldiers marching calmly to their deaths – their ranks thinning as the least fortunate among them fall underfoot – Gary Ross’ Free State of Jones initially feels more like reenactment than dramatization.…

Café Society: a cinematic pousse-café – guaranteed no hangover

4 Stars (4 / 5)

The latest cinematic frivolity from Woody Allen, Café Society is like a well-layered champagne cocktail; smooth and light, but with a deceptively subtle finish.

Set at the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the film follows the bright-eyed, slightly smarmy Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg), the latest in a long succession of Allen surrogates, who arrives in L.A.…