sun 08/12/2019

violence

The Nightingale review – revenge without redemption

Writer-director Jennifer Kent knows that Australia’s colonial past shouldn’t be beautified, and she drives that fact home in every gloom-drenched shot of The Nightingale (her second feature after The Babadook from 2014). This is an immensely...

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Knives Out review - marvellous murder mystery

The world’s most successful mystery writer is found dead on the morning after his 85th birthday. In attendance in his Gothic pile are his bickering family, each of whom might wish him dead, and a colourful detective ready to determine whodunnit...

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Ophelia review - tragic no more

Ophelia is one of Shakespeare’s most iconic yet underdeveloped dramatic roles. A sweet and naïve girl, she’s driven mad by Hamlet’s wavering affections and her father’s death. She was often the subject of paintings, yet rarely of novels until the...

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The Irishman review - mobster masterclass

Much has been made of Martin Scorsese’s recent dismissal of Marvel films. Putting that debate aside, there’s no escaping the fact that in an era of rapid-fire sequels, with the same ensembles trotted out year after year, there’s far more ...

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Monos review - teenage guerrillas raising havoc

In the opening scene of Alejandro Landes’s strange, beautiful but finally unsatisfying Monos, eight teenage guerrillas are playing football blindfold on a high mountain plateau. Why the blindfolds? Perhaps to warn us not to expect any light to be...

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Terminator: Dark Fate review – look who's back

Sentient machines have taken over the Earth. The leader of the human rebellion is so effective that a robotic ‘terminator’ is sent back in time to ensure he’s never born. A guardian follows, to ensure he is. We’ve been here before. Even in the...

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Assassins, Watermill Theatre, Newbury, review - Sondheim musical in scalding form

“Every now and then the country goes a little wrong”: so goes one of the many lyrics from the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical Assassins that makes this 1990 Off Broadway musical (subsequently chosen to open Sam Mendes’ Donmar Warehouse in 1992...

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Hotel Mumbai review – Dev Patel shines in harrowing real-life drama

Like recent films about the Anders Breivik terror attacks in Norway, Hotel Mumbai unavoidably raises questions of taste. Do audiences really need to be subjected to harrowing recreations of real-life suffering, when the events themselves...

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The Informer review - tough but tin-eared B-movie

If it wasn’t for bad luck, Pete Koslow (Joel Kinnaman) wouldn’t have any luck at all. Being an Iraq special forces veteran jailed for protecting his wife in a bar fight seems wretched karma enough. Released as an undercover informant on the Polish...

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Inside the Secret World of Incels, BBC One review - involuntary celibacy, violence and despair

A sad story of lonely men, Simon Rawles's atmospheric and beautifully shot documentary has no narration, apart from the occasional faint, off-camera question from the interviewer. This makes everything more depressing. We’re alone on a nightmare...

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Blu-ray: Lords of Chaos

“All this evil and dark crap was supposed to be fun,” complains exasperated Norwegian black metal overlord Euronymous, played by Rory Culkin, as his world spirals out of control in a cataclysm of murder, suicide and church burnings. The true events...

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Dirty God review - an important piece of filmmaking

With the continued prevalence of acid attacks in the UK, it was only a matter of time before they became the subject of a film. Thank goodness, then, it's handled with such unflinching care as it is in Dirty God. Director and writer Sacha Polak...

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