sun 17/12/2017

violence

Bad Roads, Royal Court, review – memorably unsettling

War is morally acidic: it dissolves social rules, loosens inhibitions and gives permission to men to behave like animals. And the people who have to put up with this deluge of amorality and abuse are, of course, women. It is one of the strengths of...

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Good Time review - heist movie with stand-out performance by Robert Pattinson

This is not a movie to see in the front row – intrusive close-ups, hand-held camerawork, colour saturated night shots and a relentless synthesiser score all conspire to make Good Time a wild ride. An unrecognisable Robert Pattinson plays Connie...

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Call of Duty: WWII review - war is an unpleasant business

Like an incoming artillery shell, nothing screams “Christmas is coming!” like another Call of Duty game crash landing on the shelves. The mega-budget war franchise makes more money than Santa at this time of year and just to add to the annual...

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The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb? Hardly uncontroversial, let alone inoffensive (he...

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Thebes Land, Arcola Theatre - meta-theatre at its most thrilling

Thebes Land returns to the Arcola Theatre as part of the wider CASA Latin American Theatre Festival, following a short 2016 run that resulted in an Off West End Award, or Offie, for Best Production. Director Daniel Goldman's pinpoint translation of...

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Tin Star, Sky Atlantic - broken characters stalked by remorseless fate

Sometimes you can find yourself hankering after those old-fashioned TV dramas where you got a self-contained story every week, so you can drop in on it at any time and still keep up with what’s going on. With Tin Star, on the other hand, you need to...

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Christopher Shinn: 'I did not know if I would be alive and someone wanted me to write a play'

Plays do not usually come into being in isolation. When I search my gmail archive I see that my first communication with Robert Icke about a commission came in April 2012. Rupert Goold and Rob were still at Headlong then. I was busy so asked that we...

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Gloria, Hampstead Theatre review – pretty glorious

As with life, so it is in art: in the same way that one can't predict the curve balls that get thrown our way, the American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins defies categorisation. On the basis of barely a handful of plays, two of which happen now...

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Muhsin Al-Ramli: 'During Saddam’s regime at least we knew who the enemy was' - interview

Saddam Hussein’s name is never mentioned in The President’s Gardens, even though he haunts every page. The one time that the reader encounters him directly, he is referred to simply by his title. In a novel of vivid pictures, the almost...

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword review - Guy Ritchie's deadly weapon

Guy Ritchie is back birthing turkeys. Who can remember/forget that triptych of stiffs Swept Away, Revolver and RocknRolla? Now, having redemptively bashed his CV back into shape with the assistance of Sherlock Holmes, the mockney rebel turns to...

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Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre review - vivid outline in search of a fuller play

"This is the most fun province in Iraq" isn't the sort of sentence you hear every day on a London stage. On the basis of geographical breadth alone, one applauds Occupational Hazards, in which playwright Stephen Brown adapts global adventurer-turned...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Black Society Trilogy

Mixing up your yakuzas and your triads can be a bloody business, as Takashi Miike’s films show in the goriest detail. The title of the earliest work in his “Black Society” trilogy, Shinjuku Triad Society from 1995, says it all – a Chinese...

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