sat 13/07/2024

Film Reviews

Longlegs review - like its titular killer, this summer's most hyped horror film leaves no traces

Harry Thorfinn-

Apparently when Maika Monroe first saw Nicolas Cage in his full Longlegs get-up, her heart-rate skyrocketed to 170 bpm (her resting heart rate is 76). Or at least so a promotional video tells us.

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Sleep review - things that go bump in the night

Adam Sweeting

The question Korean director Jason Yu is asking in this eerie little spine-tingler (his debut feature) is “how well do you know your partner?” He may also be inquiring whether or not you believe in life after death, while planting nagging seeds of doubt about the competence of the medical profession.

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Fly Me To The Moon review - NASA gets a Madison Avenue makeover

Adam Sweeting

It’s over 50 years since men last landed on our orbiting space-neighbour, but director Greg Berlanti's Fly Me To The Moon transports us back to the feverish days in 1969 when Apollo 11 was about to tackle the feat for the first time. The film’s promo material rather misleadingly bills it as “a sparkling rom-com”, but it has a few other strings to its bow.

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MaXXXine review - a bloody star is born

Nick Hasted

Mia Goth’s mighty Maxine finally makes it to Hollywood in Ti West’s brash conclusion to the trilogy he began with X (2022), which has become a visceral treatise on film’s 20th century allure, and the bloody downside of dreaming to escape.

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Heart of an Oak review - an adventure film starring a tree and its inhabitants

Sarah Kent

On one level, Heart of an Oak is the most spectacular nature film you are ever likely to see. The camera glides over a forest before honing in on a magnificent, 210 year old oak tree. It travels up the gnarled surface of the ancient trunk, which resembles elephant hide, into the canopy.

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The Nature of Love review - disappointing French-Canadian romance

Saskia Baron

The Nature of Love joins a recent spate of films where older women enjoy what a mealy-mouthed columnist would describe as an inappropriate relationship.

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Kinds of Kindness review - too cruel to be kind

Demetrios Matheou

Yorgos Lanthimos continues to navigate a highly distinctive, daring, one might even say sly path for himself. After attracting more mainstream audiences with his crowd-pleasing period romp The Favourite, and the gothic feminist fable Poor Things, he now returns to the bleak, discomforting and strange worldview of his earlier films. 

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Francis Alÿs: Ricochets, Barbican review - fun for the kids, yet I was moved to tears

Sarah Kent

Belgian artist, Francis Alÿs has filled the Barbican Art Gallery with films of children playing games the world over.

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Rose review - a long way from home

Saskia Baron

Rose has taken a while to get a release in the UK; this Danish comedy-drama opened in Scandinavia back in the autumn of 2022 and won positive reviews in the US last Christmas. Releasing a movie just as the sun finally appears to make spending an evening in a cinema unappealing, seems like a risky choice.  

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The Exorcism review - salvaged horror movie is a diabolical mess

Adam Sweeting

Helpfully, this is a film that reviews itself. Like it says on the posters, “They were making a cursed movie. They were warned not to. They should have listened.”

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Green Border review - Europe's baleful boundary

James Saynor

We’re used to dabs of colour splashing briefly across black-and-white movies – Spielberg’s Schindler’s List or Coppola’s Rumble Fish spring to mind – but director Agnieszka Holland has a new and uncompromising variant on the ruse.

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The Bikeriders review - beer, brawls and Harley-Davidsons

Adam Sweeting

The best-known book about motorcycle gangs is Hunter S Thompson’s Hell’s Angels, a classic foundational text of the so-called “New Journalism”. It was published in 1966, two years before Danny Lyon’s The Bikeriders, the source material for Jeff Nichols’ new movie. Lyon (now 82) was primarily a photographer, but in this case accompanied his pictures with interviews with his subjects.

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Freud's Last Session review - Freud and CS Lewis search for meaning in 1939

Markie Robson-Scott

How can it be part of God’s plan to allow so much pain and suffering in the world, asks Sigmund Freud (Anthony Hopkins) of a young Oxford don, CS Lewis (Matthew Goode). His daughter Sophie died of the Spanish flu, his grandson, aged only five, of TB, he tells Lewis furiously. To those who believe in religion, his advice is: “Grow up.”

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Arcadian review - Nic Cage underacts at the end of the world

Nick Hasted

Benjamin Brewer’s post-apocalyptic, Nic Cage-starring creature feature finds a sombre interest in fatherhood and growing up in screenwriter Michael Nilon’s bleak scenario, after Paul (Cage) gathers up two abandoned babies with black smoke blooming, and a city falling into catastrophe.

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Sorcery review - a tale of shapeshifting revenge

Justine Elias

Islands off the coast of southern Chile, to the Spanish and German settlers of the 19th century, represented the edge of the world. To the Huilliche, the people who’ve lived there for centuries, the land and its isolation are only the beginning.

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The Moor review - Yorkshire chiller is ambitious but muddled

Harry Thorfinn-

A number of films in recent years have added a distinctly local flavour to the folk-horror genre. Mark Jenkin was inspired by Cornish superstitions in the ghostly Enys Men and Kate Dolan’s underrated You Are Not My Mother was ripe with Irish pagan practices and folk tales. 

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