Review: LEAN ON PETE, Racing to Rock Bottom

If you’re a big fan of dramas like myself, then a review with the words “Andrew Haigh” plus “greatest tragedy” might well make you think that you’re onto a winner. Unfortunately, Lean on Pete isn’t the Andrew Haigh entry into...

Review: ISLE OF DOGS, Absolute Nerdy Fun

Already hotly anticipated by the director's fiercly loyal fans ever since the film's trailer was dropped by Fox Searchlight last year, Wes Anderson's brilliant animated feature Isle of Dogs does not disappoint and proves to be quite another little idiosyncratic gem in...

Review: UNSANE, A Psychological Thriller of the Highest Order

Depending on your thoughts about Logan Lucky, it was possible to worry that Steven Soderbergh had hit a bit of a bump in the road last year, but fortunately the director of prized titles like Ocean's Eleven, Magic Mike and Erin...

Review: FOXTROT, Psychological Thrills in a Small World of Paranoid Boredom

It's no secret that I am a big fan of the Eurimages funding scheme and the projects it backs, and Foxtrot is no exception. This dark, multi-tonal Israeli, French, German and Swiss co-production carries all the hallmarks of a good...

Berlinale 2018 Review: IN THE AISLES, A Cheery German Heart-Breaker

German director Thomas Stuber seems to have dramatically upped his game since his very straight-faced, moody debut Teenage Angst, which featured at the Berlinale back in 2008. Now also acting as a co-writer alongside Clemens Meyer (a collaboration that has...

Berlinale 2018 Review: MUSEO, Another Gem of Charming Fecklessness By Alonso Ruizpalacios

Having won the Best First Feature Award with his exquisite debut Güeros at the Berlinale in 2014, director Alonso Ruizpalacios now excitingly returns to the festival's Main Competition with Museo (Museum). This sophomore effort feels much larger in scale, and it...

Berlinale 2018 Review: UNSANE, A Stellar Piece of Psycho Fiction

Depending on what your thoughts on Logan Lucky were, it was possible to worry that Steven Soderbergh had hit a bit of a bump in the road last year, but fortunately the director of prized titles like Ocean's Eleven, Magic...

Berlinale 2018 Review: FAKE TATTOOS, Bearing the Marks of a Great Teenage Drama

Whilst not Pascal Plante's first feature film, having previously made doc La génération porn in 2014, Fake Tattoos (Les faux tatouages) is the director's first step into feature-length drama. And it's quite the first step - one that definitely carries...

Berlinale 2018 Review: INFINITE FOOTBALL, Corneliu Porumboiu Kicks Up A Smile

Corneliu Porumboiu’s Infinite Football (Fotbal infinit) is definitely a film you could watch in its entirety without thinking it’s a documentary. Staying nicely onside of what feels like a deadpan comedy for a delightfully compact seventy minutes in Berlinale’s Panorama...

Berlinale 2018 Review: THE REAL ESTATE, a Devilishly Good Invasion of Personal Space

It's been hard to find something truly worth writing home about since opening night of this year's 68th Berlinale programme, but thankfully Swedish film The Real Estate (Toppen av ingenting) has finally exploded onto the scene. Like a cinematic pipe...

Berlinale 2018 Review: ISLE OF DOGS, An Obvious Joy By the Masterful Wes Anderson

The 68th Berlinale Film Festival's Main Competition opened in safe hands today, with Wes Anderson's brilliant latest animation Isle of Dogs. Already hotly anticipated by the director's fiercly loyal fans ever since the film's trailer was dropped by Fox Searchlight...

Review: A FANTASTIC WOMAN, Simultaneously Charming, Serious and Magical

In 2016, Álex Anwandter's Chilean LGBT drama You'll Never Be Alone was one of the films that lit up Berlinale's programme from the heart of Panorama (read the review). And since then, Pablo Larraín has cemented his respected standing with...

Review: HAVE A NICE DAY, a Deeply-Layered Crime Thriller

Animated movies for adults are painfully undervalued, both at a festival level and as an art form, but Liu Jian's Have A Nice Day is a title that could smash through those barriers. Certainly one of the more interesting features...

Review: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, Laughing at Darkness and Despair

In Bruges director Martin McDonagh has laid down a winning hand with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The Englishman's latest script is just about everything you could ask for in a screenplay. It's certainly not as out-and-out a comedy as the...

Venice Review 2017: MEKTOUB, MY LOVE: CANTO UNO, We Need To Talk About Kechiche

I think it's about time we all sit down and have a frank chat about Abdellatif Kechiche, because he's made me pretty cranky with his latest feature, Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno. By now it's well documented that his last film,...

Venice 2017 Review: MOTHER!, A Masterpiece Straight From Hell

Director Darren Aronofsky has set the 47th Biennale Main Competition alight with an infernal psychological thriller that definitely burns with the fire of his past films Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. It's perhaps not surprising that mother! is...

Venice 2017 Review: FOXTROT, An Unexpected Israeli Gem

It's no secret that I am a big fan of the Eurimages funding scheme and the projects it backs, and Foxtrot is no exception. This dark, multi-tonal Israeli, French, German and Swiss co-production carries all the hallmarks of a good...

Venice 2017 Review: Martin McDonagh Triumphs Again With THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

In Bruges director Martin McDonagh has laid down what could be the first real winning hand at the 74th Biennale with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and whilst there's definitely still time for someone else to clinch this year's Golden Lion,...

Venice 2017 Review: LEAN ON PETE, The Greatest Tragedy Of The Biennale So Far

If you’re a big fan of dramas like myself, then a review with the words “Andrew Haigh” plus “greatest tragedy” might well make you think that you’re onto a winner. Unfortunately, Lean on Pete isn’t the Andrew Haigh entry into...

Venice 2017 Review: HUMAN FLOW Produces Powerful Ripples For Ai Weiwei

It seems appropriate that this year’s lead artwork for the 74th Venice Biennale should reference Singing in the Rain, given that Italy’s entire expected summer rainfall seems to have descended in the last few days. Nevertheless, whilst the effects of...