Game Night ⭐⭐½

There is something very familiar about a film where a Game Night session amongst friends goes south over the course of one night due to the arrival of the super-competitive and over-achieving brother of one of the participants. Mashing up The Game with After Hours (or Something Wild or even Date Night) is hardly genius […]

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Loveless (Rus) ⭐⭐⭐

Preoccupied by their respective new partners and the mundanity of modern life, a divorcing couple’s neglect for their 12-year-old son takes a dark turn in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s film, Russia’s nominee for Best Foreign Film in this year’s Oscars. Beginning promisingly with succinct introductions of the characters and their relationships, the film peaks, a tad too […]

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The Square (Swe) ⭐⭐

Oscar nominee for best Foreign Film and the follow-up to 2015’s critically acclaimed Force Majeure, a film I personally find over-indulgent and overlong even though the premise is intriguing; writer-director Ruben Ostlund doubles down on all the things I dislike last time and this 2h 22m long film ends up winning the Palme d’Or. Go […]

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I, Tonya ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story of disgraced Olympic figure skater, Tonya Harding, could easily have been another conventional trashy TV movie but by adopting a faux-documentary style and undercutting more eye-rolling elements of the story with imaginative editing and fourth wall-breaking commentary, the film smartly turns these conflicting accounts to its advantage by highlighting the unreliability and subjectivity […]

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Phantom Thread (70mm) ⭐⭐⭐½

Set in 50s London, Reynolds Woodcock, a dressmaker to the rich and famous, plucks a waitress from obscurity to replace a previous muse he’s got bored with; all the while, a menacing Hitchcockian undertone lurks in the form of foreboding Cyril, Reynolds’ sister/business partner. The one thing you cannot say about Paul Thomas Anderson’s film […]

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Black Panther ⭐⭐⭐½

Critical acclaim and box office success have proved what was once a risky project undertaken by Marvel to take a non-white superhero onto the big screen is well and truly justified. With a briskly paced 134 minutes and timely cultural, racial and gender politics that refreshingly portrays African and female characters properly and positively, this […]

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Loveless ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2

A masterpiece from Andrey Zvyagintsev (he of Leviathan) that explores what happens when loves exits relationships, or was not there to begin with. But it also holds up a mirror to contemporary Russian society, with its materialistic upward-mobility and conflict. Despite its deeply unsympathetic main protagonists, this film had me gripped, sometimes uncomfortably so,  for its […]

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Wonder Wheel ⭐

Whether it is out of boredom or being a Woody Allen die-hard completist, I bite the bullet and stomp up the Euros for his latest film and… wish I hadn’t. Once again, Allen regurgitates and revisits stories and themes he has explored in better films before as Wonder Wheel reminds me of Radio Days, Crimes […]

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Roman J. Israel Esq. ⭐⭐½

Dan Gilroy’s follow-up to Nightcrawler is ambitious and well-intentioned but nevertheless, a mess. Denzel Washington plays the titular character, a savant-like legal genius working behind the scene in a criminal law firm but is suddenly thrust to the front when his partner/mentor has a stroke. Not knowing much about the film and watching it only […]

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The Post ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The tri-factor of Streep, Hanks and Spielberg set up a rather high bar that I am happy to report this film manages to meet with a timely and poignant story that is more straightforward than expected and one that’s unfussily and effectively told here. Set in the 70s, but no less relevant nowadays, the Washington […]

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