thu 20/09/2018

sci-fi

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention. Apostasy ★★★★ Unquestioning faith fractures in a quietly...

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Little Shop of Horrors, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - monstrously entertaining

The resplendent partnership of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman – which produced Disney hits Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid – first took root with this 1982 Off-Broadway musical, based on a low-budget Sixties film, about a...

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom review - dinosaurs in peril

I see critics elsewhere have been churlishly sticking the boot into this latest episode of the now quite venerable dinosaurs-reborn franchise (Steven Spielberg’s original arrived in 1993). While this one isn’t a revolutionary transformation of the...

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Solo: A Star Wars Story review - timid and torpid

This is franchise film-making at its worst. A Han Solo: Year Zero origin yarn makes some sense, after Harrison Ford’s piratical hero finished on the wrong end of a lightsaber in The Force Awakens. But the apparently freewheeling approach of Solo’s...

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Detroit: Become Human review – a robot story with real heart

Interactive stories are a tricky proposition. Make the on-screen action too passive and your audience feels like they’re watching a succession of cut-scenes. Tip the balance the other way and it’s just a game with pretensions of cinematic story...

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Anon review - adventures in cyber-noir

Though set in a futuristic (although not by much) world in which information technology has almost taken over the human psyche, Anon still relies on a crumpled whisky-drinking gumshoe for its protagonist. In this case, the relict of Sam Spade and...

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Westworld, Series 2, Sky Atlantic review - big trouble in synthetic paradise

Some critics complain that Westworld is too complicated for its own good, and you can see their point. Even on a basic level, it’s an exploration of the nature and potential of artificial intelligence, as it depicts the consequences of super-...

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The City and the City, BBC Two review - detection in four dimensions

It’s difficult to grasp in your imagination, never mind filming it and putting it on TV. In China Miéville’s source novel, dramatised here by Tony Grisoni, the twin cities of Besźel and Ul Quoma exist side by side, and in some areas even overlap....

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Ready Player One review - Spielberg goes back to the future

Suddenly Steven Spielberg movies are plopping off the production line like Ford Fiestas or Cadburys Creme Eggs. It seems like only seconds ago that we were greeting The BFG and the breast-beating earnestness of The Post, and now the director comes...

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Annihilation, Netflix review - not quite a sci-fi masterpiece

Mild controversy hovers over the new film by Alex Garland, the novelist-turned-screenwriter-turned-director. Garland’s 2015 directing debut, Ex Machina, was a slow-burning hit which found favour with critics and film festival juries. This follow-up...

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DVD: Jupiter's Moons

There’s a terrific drive to Kornél Mundruczó’s Jupiter’s Moon, a cinematic powerhouse of both technique and ideas. The maverick Hungarian director’s film, which premiered in last year’s Cannes competition, may occasionally bewilder – such is the...

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Ursula K Le Guin - Dreams Must Explain Themselves review - enraging and enlightening

Essay collections are happily mainstream now, from Zadie Smith to Oliver Sacks, with more and more bits and bobs coming from unexpected quarters. These patchwork quilts from remarkable writers can be significant, nowhere more so than with those from...

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