Kong: Skull Island: monkey see, monkey well done

SPOILERS

 

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
A U.S. flyboy plummets out of the sun; hooked to a parachute.

His fighter plane death-spiraling into a flaming wreck on the white sand of Pacific beach. His panicked grappling with a Japanese pilot, his nemesis; a battle to the death on a clifftop drenched in searing light.…

In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Abrams et al swing by Maple Street

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

One woman, two men, and an underground bunker. 

As its residential title might suggest, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a far more localized affair than its so-called spiritual predecessor, found-footage monster flick Cloverfield.

Both the output of J.J.

Trumbo is a barnstorming triumph of cinematic liberalism

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

From Sunset Boulevard to Argo, Hollywood has always been in the business of self-mythologizing.

It’s not often, though, that the industry takes its licks for the mistakes it’s made along the way.

Writ large among them is, of course, the blacklist, which saw scores of talented, Left-leaning film-makers left out in the cold as the paranoia surrounding Communism reached fever pitch.…

European wartime romp The Monuments Men is nothing to write home about

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

On the face of it, The Monuments Men should make for a great piece of cinema.

A classic “men on a mission” movie set in the dying days of the Second World War, directed by the talented and starring the never-less-than-charming George Clooney, backed by a whole roster of recognizable actors?…

Inside Llewyn Davis: an arsehole’s eclectic journey through the Greenwich Village scene

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

The Coen Brothers might have delved into spiritual music before in O Brother, Where Art Thou, their myth-inspired take on the Depression-era American Deep South, but Inside Llewyn Davis is a far more focused piece of cinema, if never quite as colorful as its predecessor.

The Hangover Part 3: Merry ride or bad trip?

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I’d like to kick this review off with a question: can anyone name a movie trilogy in which the third installment was not the weakest?

The Matrix Revolutions. The Dark Knight Rises. The Godfather Part 3. Even Return of the Jedi has garnered the most criticism of the original Star Wars trilogy (the Ewoks can probably be considered the start of George Lucas’ descent into Jar Jar Binks inanity).…

Flight is a film trip well worth the making

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Robert Zemeckis’ Flight is the most character-driven film of this year’s Academy Award contenders, which is impressive given the broad and eclectic range of performances on display.

Spielberg’s Lincoln is just as much about slavery and the passing of the 13th Amendment as it is the title character, though Daniel Day Lewis brings much-needed subtlety to the role in a film that might otherwise seem overly celebratory given the issues on display.

Argo is Alan J. Pakula without the bite

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

The newest film by Chasing Amy* star Ben Affleck is notable for many reasons, not least in that it has broken the director’s run of continuous 94%s on Rotten Tomatoes.

Whether it is an objectively better film that either Gone Baby Gone or The Town is open to debate.…