Reviews

  • slide

      Pawn Sacrifice (6/10)


        The life of chess prodigy Bobby Fischer has rich potential for drama. He was a poor kid from Brooklyn who taught himself chess and became the youngest ever US chess champion. In the Cold War era when the Soviets dominated the game, Fischer was the solitary western player who could compete with the Soviet grandmasters. But the line between genius and madness is a thin one, and it was rarely thinner than in the case of Fischer.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Creed (5/10)


        Full disclosure: I have never been a fan of any of the Rocky movies. So now we have installment 7 of the Greatest Boxing Legend of American Cinema. It does however have several things going for it before even seeing it: it is the first movie in the franchise not written by Stallone, and Rocky is now only a supporting character rather than the lead.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Spotlight (7/10)


        ‘Spotlight’ is the section of the Boston Globe’s paper that looks beyond and delves deeper – work done by the paper’s investigative journalism team led by Robby Robertson (Michael Keaton). In 2001, the newspaper gets a new Chief Editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber). Marty suggests the Spotlight team take a closer look at priest Geoghan, as there have been various stories about accusations against him.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      A Bigger Splash (7/10)


        In this film Tilda Swinton plays Marianne, a major rock star who has had to have a throat operation and is convalescing in a villa on an isolated Mediterranean island. All seems idyllic and Eden-esque (complete with a presumably symbolic local snake) when temptation arrives in the form of her former record producer and ex-lover Harry (Ralph Fiennes) who has recently discovered that he has a grown-up daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson), who is travelling with him during a break from her studies.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Last Cab to Darwin (7/10)


        This movie tells the story of Rex (Michael Caton), a taxi driver who has never even left his hometown of Broken Hill, NSW. Just as Rex learns his stomach cancer has spread and the doctors give him maximum three months to live, he hears the news that voluntary euthanasia has been legalised in the Nothern Territory. Within a couple of days he is on his way in his cab to Darwin to find Dr. Farmer (Jacki Weaver), who is in the limelight for championing a new euthanasia programme.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Goosebumps (6/10)


        This movie takes one of R.L.Stine’s book series (there are currently 182 Goosebump books) and makes a merry mash-up of it all. Jack Black plays RL Stine as a recluse, living in a small town in Delaware. When new neighbours move in, teenage Zach (Dylan Minette) can’t help himself and finds himself sneaking into Stine’s house one night. When he accidentally drops one of Stine’s Goosebump manuscripts on the floor, it unleashes the monster inside…


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Room (9/10)


        The premise of Room does not sound promising. A young woman is bringing up her young child, both confined to a small shed that she has been held captive in for seven years by an abductor. The child, who has just turned five years of age, has no idea what the outside world looks like other than through TV images, which his mother has described to him as from outer space.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Trumbo (7/10)


        Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was the highest paid screen writer in Hollywood in the late 1940s before he fell foul of the House UnAmerican Activities Commission. In an atmosphere of cold war paranoia senate hearings were held in which suspected communist sympathisers were grilled and asked to betray others, on pain of prison.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Hunger (5/10)


        Hunger chronicles the last months of Bobby Sands. Sands (Michael Fassbender) was an IRA member, imprisoned in the Maze prison in the early 1980s. The IRA prisoners, amonst others, refused to wear the standard issue prison clothes as they insisted their terrorist acts weren’t criminal but politically driven, and hence they demanded ‘political status’ in prison. Thatcher refused.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Jagten (aka The Hunt) (8/10)


        Little kids don’t lie. Or do they? Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is trying to rebuild purpose to his life; he lives in a small community somewhere in Denmark, has had a bad divorce, his teenage son lives with his mother, has lost his job but has found a new one as teacher in the local kindergarten.


        Continue reading