The novelty’s vanished, but Now You See Me 2 doesn’t cheat

2 Stars (2 / 5)

How many stage magic heist films do we need?

When Now You See Me was released back in 2013, the conceit at least seemed original: a quartet of Robin Hood magicians, known as the Four Horsemen, stage (literally) a series of audacious robberies targeted at the rich and unethical.…

Youth captures some of the mixed magnificence of life

4 Stars (4 / 5)


One of the few statements you can make about life as a whole is that it’s much of a muchness— and that it ends.

The counter-intuitively titled Youth sees two older gentlemen, a retired composer and Stravinsky pupil, Frank (Michael Caine), and still-working director (Harvey Keitel), Mick, both coming to terms with this while on holiday at a Swiss spa; a spa inhabited by red-robed Buddhist monks, a Middle Eastern woman in a hijab, a morbidly obese celebrity with a Karl Marx back tattoo and Maradona hair.…

Kingsman: The Secret Service goes to top of the (working) class

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)


Remember when spy movies were silly and fun?

Long before Daniel Craig’s brooding, psychologically complex 007, Sean Connery “yellowed up” to take on a scar-faced megalomaniacal villain in his hidden volcano base, George Lazenby went undercover at an alpine base filled with a bevy of (non-allergenic) beauties, Roger Moore headed into space to battle a metal-mouthed giant (alongside the unlikely named Holly Goodhead), and Timothy Dalton, well, he mostly brooded too.…

There’s no real trick to Now You See Me

2 Stars (2 / 5)


I’ve always been slightly puzzled when people talk about the magic of cinema.

Sure, cinema can amaze and enthrall – Orson Welles called it a ribbon of dreams – but, unlike magic, it needs to be explicable.…