Mary And The Witch’s Flower (2018) Review

Recently, the littlest Craggling has been tentatively spreading her cinematic wings beyond the admittedly lush and verdant shores of Disney, Pixar, Illumination and exploring other options. We’ve watched Wes Anderson’s “The Fantastic Mr Fox” and, recently, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” so when we saw a trailer for “Mary And The Witch's Flower”, she was smitten. One … Continue reading Mary And The Witch’s Flower (2018) Review

Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review

Following in the footsteps of the Man Of Steel and Captain America, Gnomeo and Juliet become the latest characters to have their sequel hijacked by a bunch of different characters as the franchise tries to position itself as a vehicle to reimagine classic British literature, a sort of anthology of garden toy stories. When garden … Continue reading Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review

Blockers (2018) Review

Staggering its way into cinemas, “Blockers” strikes a clumsy blow for equality by showing that dumb, crass, tasteless teenage sex comedies aren’t just for boys anymore. Yay, equality? Three friends make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night but when one of their parents accidentally intercepts a text conversation, their parents band together … Continue reading Blockers (2018) Review

Truth Or Dare (2018) Review

There’s an almost gleeful stupidity at the heart of “Truth Or Dare” that you almost don’t want to look away just to see what audaciously moronic twist its going to try next. Almost. Persuaded to go on one last Spring Break vacation, Olivia (Lucy Hale) meets a guy on the last night of the trip … Continue reading Truth Or Dare (2018) Review

Every Day (2018) Review

Adapted from the novel by David Levithan, “Any Day” may, at first glance, look like your run of the mill young adult schmaltzy romance but lurking behind that façade is a sweet and surprisingly affecting sci-fi romance built around the charismatic performance of lead Angourie Rice. It also marks the resurrection of Orion Pictures, the … Continue reading Every Day (2018) Review

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) Review

If you’re not one for the intergalactic cataclysms of “Avengers: Infinity War”, then you might find your local multiplex a fairly unwelcoming place this coming week. But, amidst the plethora of showings of, admittedly, one of the best films of the year so far, if you look carefully you might just uncover this cunningly counter-programmed … Continue reading The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) Review

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Review

There was an idea: to bring together a group of remarkable franchises, to see if they could become something bigger. So when we wanted more, they could bring us the battles we never could’ve believed we’d ever see on the big screen. The Mad Titan is finally making his move and first to feel the … Continue reading Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Review

Grease (1978) 40th Anniversary Review

Rereleased to celebrate its 40th anniversary, “Grease” takes us to a nostalgia-fuelled retro-dystopia where middle-aged adults are forced to attend high school and endure the trials and tribulations of adolescent life, no doubt the forfeit of some Faustian pact or “Lost”-style purgatorial atonement. After being drowned by a freak wave during a weekend getaway to … Continue reading Grease (1978) 40th Anniversary Review

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Black Panther (2018)

As he prepares to ascend to the throne of Wakanda, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) wrestles with his nation’s history of isolation and what that means in the modern world. But T’Challa’s troubles are compounded by the sins of his father whose actions decades previously have set in motion events which will culminate in a battle for … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Black Panther (2018)

Rampage (2018) Review

Opening with a better version of the movie “Life” than “Life” itself managed to provide, “Rampage” sees perennial box-office bester Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson take on his most difficult opponent yet: a video game adaptation. When illegal space-based genetic experimentation crashes back down to Earth, it has an immediate and unfortunate effect on the wildlife. … Continue reading Rampage (2018) Review

The Hurricane Heist (2018) Review

Sky Movies make their second foray into the burgeoning original movie market with “The Hurricane Heist”, an action thriller that has more producers and executive producers than it does cast members, always a sure sign of quality. Following the death of their father during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Will (Toby Kebbell) and Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) … Continue reading The Hurricane Heist (2018) Review

Love, Simon (2018) Review

A John Hughes movie for the 21st Century, Greg Berlanti’s adaptation of the novel “Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda” emerges as a romantic comedy-drama so utterly charming, it’s nigh-on impossible not to “Love, Simon”. High School senior Simon Spiers seems to have it all, but he’s hiding a big secret: he’s gay. When another student … Continue reading Love, Simon (2018) Review

Ghost Stories (2018) Review

So cupcakes, I’ve finally returned, summoned back to the land of the living by Odeon’s Scream Unseen, thinking a fiver’s got to be worth the gamble. If you haven’t heard of the scheme, basically you don’t know what you’re watching until it starts, although at least with Scream Unseen you know it’s going to be … Continue reading Ghost Stories (2018) Review

A Quiet Place (2018) Review

Silence has never been so loud as it is in John Krasinski’s nerve-shredding horror debut, “A Quiet Place”. In a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monstrous predators who hunt by sound, Lee and Evelyn Abbott (real life husband and wife John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) eke out a silent existence with their three children, every moment … Continue reading A Quiet Place (2018) Review

Journeyman (2017) Review

Hamish Calvert of HC Movie Reviews goes the distance with Paddy Considine Boxing Drama “Journeyman”:

HCMovieReviews

journey man(spoiler free)

Following up from his 2011 debut ‘Tyrannosaur’, ‘Journeyman’ is the second directorial effort from British talent Paddy Considine. The film follows a middleweight boxing champion as he attempts to defend his title and the subsequent struggles he encounters after sustaining a serious injury in the ring. Considine acts, writes and directs here starring alongside new ‘Doctor Who’ Jodie Whittaker, who plays his on screen wife.

Whilst ‘Journeyman’ follows the same standard boxing movie formula it’s specific content is unlike the majority of what has come before it. Focusing less on the sport itself and more on the impact it has on the athlete and their family. Furthermore the focus on life threatening injury is a refreshing change of pace and it’s good to see an entire film devoted to this aspect which is often neglected in other similar stories. The narrative is streamlined and almost entirely contained…

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Duck Duck Goose (2018) Review

A good voice cast and beautifully animated backdrops of the stunning geography of China are enough to lift this undemanding animated animal fable above the flock. When reckless goose Peng (Jim Gaffigan) passes up the chance to migrate with the rest of the flock, he’s left to fend for himself when an injured wing means … Continue reading Duck Duck Goose (2018) Review

Isle Of Dogs (2018) Review

A literal shaggy dog story told in a quintessentially Wes Anderson way, “Isle Of Dogs” is just as whimsical but maybe a little darker than you might be expecting. Younger children might find some of it frightening and upsetting but older kids are likely to lap up its stunning visuals and exquisite animation. In a … Continue reading Isle Of Dogs (2018) Review

Ready Player One (2018) Review

As Easter eggs go, “Ready Player One” is akin to one of those ones that come in a super-fancy package, with an intricate box and plenty of gold foil. Unfortunately, for large parts of the movie, it’s just as hollow and disappointing as one of those fancy eggs that promise all manner of delights and … Continue reading Ready Player One (2018) Review

A Wrinkle In Time (2018) Review

Buckling under the weight of its own aspirations, Ava DuVernay’s ambitious but flawed adaptation of adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle’s perennially popular sci-fi fantasy occasionally dazzles but all too often trips over its own feet. Four years after their scientist father disappeared, Meg (Storm Reid) and her adopted brother Charles Wallis (Deric McCabe) are told he … Continue reading A Wrinkle In Time (2018) Review

Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) Review

The original “Pacific Rim” was a deceptively simple rock-‘em, sock-‘em giant robots versus giant monsters movie, blessed with a sumptuous visual elegance, an ocular feast of inky darkness and shadows and iridescent neons and a sly, witty self-awareness that knew just how to push its outlandish premise. It’s sequel, on the other hand, drags the … Continue reading Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) Review

Tomb Raider (2018) Review

There is a criminal offence on the UK statute books, specifically section 35 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (subsequently amended by section 1(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1948) which reads: ‘Whosoever, having the charge of any carriage or vehicle, shall by wanton or furious driving or racing, or other wilful misconduct, or … Continue reading Tomb Raider (2018) Review

Peter Rabbit (2018) Review

Sony have been responsible for many of the most egregious reboots and reimaginings of recent years and while “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” spectacularly bucked the studio’s trend, this loose and cynical adaptation of Beatrix Potter sees them back to their tawdry, inept usual. It’s hard to think of any other film that’s so woefully … Continue reading Peter Rabbit (2018) Review

You Were Never Really Here (2018) Review

Provocative, dark, disturbing and brutally violent, “You Were Never Really Here” envelops you in the dissociated world of Joe, a traumatized veteran who tracks down missing children for a living. When a routine job spirals out of control, Joe finds himself caught up in a conspiracy of violence and murder, spinning out of control and … Continue reading You Were Never Really Here (2018) Review

Red Sparrow (2018) Review

Disney and Marvel can at least rest easy: “Red Sparrow” certainly isn’t the “Black Widow” solo movie by another name its marketing might have initially suggested. Instead, it’s something of a convoluted pseudo- John le Carré caper which leans heavily on sex, nudity and violence to disguise its flimsy characters and overcomplicated espionage shell game. … Continue reading Red Sparrow (2018) Review

I, Tonya (2018) Review

Trashy, foul-mouthed, blessed with talent and a wild, impetuous, unpredictable streak, “I, Tonya” is a mirror image of its troubled subject, notorious American figure skater Tonya Harding. Craig Gillespie’s capricious, powder keg biopic takes us on a whirlwind tour through Harding’s life from her burgeoning talent as a youngster to her rise and fall as … Continue reading I, Tonya (2018) Review

Monster Family (2018) Review

This Anglo-German animation, based on a 4D movie ride at UK tourist attraction Wookey Hole, should definitely give Disney, Pixar and Illumination pause for thought. Specifically, the thought that they can phone it in for their next movie because there’s zero threat to their crown on the horizon. When a lonely Dracula (Jason Isaacs) identifies … Continue reading Monster Family (2018) Review

Game Night (2018) Review

Brought to you with eye-rolling unsubtlety by Tostitos® and Stella Artois™, “Game Night” invites you for a night of chips, dips and competitive quips. Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are a married couple who fell in love at first tie break. Both deeply competitive, there’s nothing they love more than hosting their friends … Continue reading Game Night (2018) Review

Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of King Midas (2018) Review

It may provoke a momentary pause of incredulity to accommodate the fact Paramount have passed on the international distribution of Alex Garland’s “Annihilation” yet they’re happy to push this movie out around the globe, but raiding all the lost snark aside, there’s at least some justification for their involvement given the sheer number of Indiana … Continue reading Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of King Midas (2018) Review

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) Review

Starting with a train heist which plays out like Disney sinking all their money into a live-action remake of “Toy Story 3”, the third and final instalment of “The Maze Runner” trilogy starts with enough energy and inventiveness that it almost makes you forget it’s been three years since “The Scorch Trials”, thanks to an … Continue reading Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) Review

The Shape Of Water (2018) Review

Guillermo Del Toro brings his trademark dark fairytale aesthetic to bear on this dreamy, beautifully realised tale, a tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme: beauty and the moist. Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute cleaning lady, found as an infant with mysterious scars on her neck works as part of the … Continue reading The Shape Of Water (2018) Review

Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Review

You like it rough? Then this is the movie for you. The acting’s pretty rough and the script’s sadistically punishing too. With the everyday, relatable trials and tribulations of courtship such as romantic misunderstandings, contractual disputes over sexual obligations and helicopter crashes behind them, Anna (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) settle contentedly into married … Continue reading Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Review

Black Panther (2018) Review

On the eve of the Infinity War, it’s a demonstration of Marvel’s confidence and courage that they’re prepared to step out of their main narrative to bring us this sumptuous, dazzling and vibrant action adventure movie that has a lot to say not just about the world as the MCU shows it but the real … Continue reading Black Panther (2018) Review

Status Update (2018) Review

There’s not exactly a long and distinguished history of films based on mobile apps, but that didn’t dissuade the makers of “Status Update” from stepping into the cultural crater left by “The Emoji Movie” and having another try. When his parents separate and he has to move three thousand miles away from his Californian roots … Continue reading Status Update (2018) Review

Brakes (2017) Review

Endings are funny things, only coming into real focus in hindsight. Do you ever really know you’re living through the ending of something while it’s happening, or is it only in retrospect that endings reveal themselves? And if you knew how things would end, would you choose to begin them in the first place? Subverting … Continue reading Brakes (2017) Review

The Post (2018) Review

It may be a timely reminder of the vital importance of a free and independent press but despite the zeitgeist-harnessing subject matter, there’s something that never quite stops the presses about Steven Spielberg’s “The Post”. When explosive details of a cover-up spanning three decades and four presidential administrations come to light, the New York Times … Continue reading The Post (2018) Review

The Commuter (2018) Review

Mrs Craggus has a recurring complaint about Liam Neeson, specifically that in many (she says all) of his roles, he just happens to be the exactly skilled person the plot needs. When his daughter is kidnapped, he has that ‘special set of skills’, when his commercial flight is threatened by terrorists, it turns out he’s … Continue reading The Commuter (2018) Review

Come And See Brakes (2017) For Free!

BRAKES is a raw, dark and unconventional comedy from new writer/director Mercedes Grower. Split into two halves it follows the tumultuous stories of nine couples, plunging straight into the brutal and absurd endings of their relationships first, before travelling back to the moments when the spark of love between them first emerged. Using London as … Continue reading Come And See Brakes (2017) For Free!

Early Man (2018) Review

If you’re looking forward to a culture-clash comedy which puts the hysterical into pre-historical, then “Early Man” may leave you feeling sick as a parrot. When Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his tribe are kicked out of their idyllic valley by the bronze-clad forces of Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), he decides to challenge the invaders to … Continue reading Early Man (2018) Review

Downsizing (2018) Review

Not the quirky high concept comedy the trailer promises, “Downsizing” instead sets out to suggest that no matter how small you make youself, the big problems – the really big problems – never really go away. Concerned by runaway population growth, Norwegian scientist Dr. Asbjørnsen (Rolf Lassgård) invents an irreversible process which shrinks a person … Continue reading Downsizing (2018) Review

Coco (2018) Review

“Coco”, a vibrant and deceptively poignant exploration of the Mexican holiday the Day Of The Dead, sees Pixar once again doing what they do best: delivering a heartfelt story of family, heritage and passion in a visually stunning wrapping. 12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is determined to be a musician, like his great-great-grandfather. The only problem … Continue reading Coco (2018) Review

Darkest Hour (2018) Review

A British icon. A pivotal moment in history. A desperate race against time. “Darkest Hour” sheds some light on the earliest days of Winston Churchill’s premiership as Europe faced annihilation by the Nazi horde and the British political establishment teetered on the brink of self-destruction. This is no dry history lesson, though, thanks to a … Continue reading Darkest Hour (2018) Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018) Review

Imagine a world where nothing and nobody adheres to a neatly binary system of good and bad and life is messy and compromised. It’s this real world untidiness which lies at the beating heart of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, Martin McDonagh’s brash, darkly funny and often shocking fable of small-town disenfranchised American life. Frustrated … Continue reading Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018) Review

All The Money In The World (2018) Review

It's been almost impossible to avoid the publicity surrounding Ridley Scott's polished-to-a-dull-sheen biographical crime drama "All The Money In The World" thanks to the scandal which engulfed its would-be star after allegations of his sexual predation came to light and Scott's swift decision to excise the actor from the movie and reshoot all of his … Continue reading All The Money In The World (2018) Review

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) Review

In The Craggus household, many films are held sacrosanct but maybe none, save perhaps now “The Greatest Showman”, unite the clan in happy song as much as “Pitch Perfect 2”; fresh, funny and toe-tappingly, finger-snappingly, irresistibly sing-alongable, the soundtrack rivals even that of “Guardians Of The Galaxy” for in-car entertainment supremacy. It’s into this crucible … Continue reading Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) Review

The Greatest Showman (2017) Review

In the run-up to Christmas, I was very taken by the Sky Movies TV ad showing a mum and her daughter watching “The Sound Of Music” over and over again through the years. For me, it perfectly captured the sentimental sweet spot of Christmas, family and the magic of movies. I found myself wondering what … Continue reading The Greatest Showman (2017) Review

Molly’s Game (2018) Review

Coming in to “Molly’s Game”, I had absolutely no awareness of the film or the true life events its based on, a rare enough occurrence these days but my ignorance quickly turned to bliss thanks to this polished production and an enthralling performance from Jessica Chastain. Molly Bloom, driven to succeed from a young age … Continue reading Molly’s Game (2018) Review

Ferdinand (2017) Review

Adapted from Munro Leaf’s beloved 1936 children’s book, Blue Sky Studio’s “Ferdinand” is also a remake of Disney’s 1938 Silly Symphony short of the same story. In light of the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney, this movie offers an interesting example of the differences between the two studios. Ferdinand (John Cena) is different from … Continue reading Ferdinand (2017) Review

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) Review

There was a howl of outrage heard around the world when plans were first announced to make another “Jumanji” film. Up until then, I don’t think anyone had really been aware of in what high esteem the original – albeit fondly thought of – had been held. Turns out the Robin Williams CG-heavy jungle adventure … Continue reading Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) Review

Better Watch Out (2017) Review

Beaten to the Christmas punch by Netflix’ “The Babysitter”, “Better Watch Out” is the latest home inversion thriller to try to shake up the genre, a sort of festive slasher snow globe of adolescent toxic masculinity and entitlement. In the snowy suburbs, a babysitter finds herself having to defend her twelve-year-old charge from a home … Continue reading Better Watch Out (2017) Review

Brigsby Bear (2017) Review

A beautifully understated indie dramedy, “Brigsby Bear”, directed by Dave McCary and produced by The Lonely Island, is a heartfelt and poignant paean to the importance and power of fandom. When James (Kyle Mooney) finds out that his whole life has been a lie concocted by his kidnappers Ted and April Mitchum (Mark Hamill & … Continue reading Brigsby Bear (2017) Review