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 (2017) 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 (2017) 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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Dark Side Review

*SPOILERS*There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? There is a stirring of fears, long thought extinct. Fears that “Star Wars” could once again fall to the dark side. Fears that may lead to anger. After you saw it, how did you feel? Darkness? Light? A balance? It’s so much bigger and so much … Continue reading Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Dark Side Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Light Side Review

It was a curious feeling, as I sat in my seat willing the adverts and trailers to hurry up and finish, to realise that – despite the huge presence “Star Wars” has had in my life – this would only be the eighth time in my entire life that I would be reading a brand … Continue reading Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Light Side Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Review

There are two perennial tales we turn to at this time of year. One, The Nativity, may carry the self-righteous gravitas of religious dogma but it doesn’t really speak to the modern reality of Christmastime. For that, we turn to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which, by its collection and curation of traditions, conventions and practical … Continue reading The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Review

Battle Of The Sexes (2017) Review

One of the main, dispiriting takeaways from this biographical sports dramedy, which is as muddled as its genre classification, is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the present climate where sexism, discrimination and equality are at the very bleeding edge of public consciousness, “Battle Of The Sexes” fails to … Continue reading Battle Of The Sexes (2017) Review

The Disaster Artist (2017) Review

From the last days of Pompeii, through Titanic to The Hindenburg, Hollywood has a long history of adapting disasters into motion pictures, so it was only a matter of time before Tommy Wiseau’s magnificent octopus was itself finally turned into an unironically watchable movie. When aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) encounters the bizarre and … Continue reading The Disaster Artist (2017) Review

Ingrid Goes West (2017) Review

Fake news didn’t start with government-sponsored twitter-trolls and Facebook misinformation scams by hostile interests. It began with each and every one of us editing, polishing and curating our lives for families, friends and strangers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest. “Ingrid Goes West” provides a cautionary tale of the perils of trying to fill … Continue reading Ingrid Goes West (2017) Review

Professor Martson And The Wonder Women (2017) Review

It may be that you’d need the Lasso of Hestia itself to separate truth from speculative fiction when it comes to “Professor Marston And The Wonder Women”. Presented as a true story, although much of it is disputed by the Marston family, the origin of Wonder Woman turns out to be as captivating and enchanting … Continue reading Professor Martson And The Wonder Women (2017) Review

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) Review

In the United States, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” has been released along with “Coco” but, as we have to wait an extra couple of months here in the UK, we at least get the opportunity to watch this latest Disney short for the Kids’ Club ticket price of £3 (or thereabouts) plus the opportunity (should you … Continue reading Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) Review

The Florida Project (2017) Review

The magic kingdom casts a long shadow and there are those who live in the shade, cruelly out of reach of the fairy tale endings tantalisingly promised therein. But, even in the darkest depths of that shade, happiness can be found, if even only for a short while. Over the course of a Florida summer, … Continue reading The Florida Project (2017) Review

Lazer Team 2 (2017) Review

Watching “Lazer Team 2”, I was very strongly reminded of seeing Quentin Tarantino’s seminal crime drama “Pulp Fiction” in the cinema for the first time. I was bursting for a pee during the last half hour of that, too. A few years on from the events of “Lazer Team” and the team has gone their … Continue reading Lazer Team 2 (2017) Review

Justice League (2017) Review

Wherever they may be, I like to think James Whale and Mary Shelley are having a chuckle and enjoying the brouhaha surrounding “Justice League”, the latest entry in the self-beleaguered DCEU. It’s a Frankenstein’s monster of a movie; assembled from an assortment of different parts and bolted together in the hope that it will come … Continue reading Justice League (2017) Review

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017) Review

Colin Farrell faces Rosemary’s Sophie’s Choice in “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer”, the latest movie from cinematic provoc-auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. Blending classic Greek tragedy, existential horror, psychological drama and medical thriller, it’s a challengingly twisted mystery, an Art-“House, M.D.” Dr Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a renowned cardiovascular surgeon lives a seemingly perfect life with … Continue reading The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017) Review

Paddington 2 (2017) Review

With the original having been an unexpected delight, anticipation for “Paddington 2” was sky high. Could the little bear from Peru pull off the ‘difficult’ second movie? The answer is an unqualified ‘yes’. Determined to get his Aunt Lucy a special present for her 100th birthday, Paddington (Ben Wishaw) sets his heart on a unique … Continue reading Paddington 2 (2017) Review

Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Review

Offering first class accommodation, stunning views and a fine selection of a la carte thespian talent, Kenneth Branagh’s elegant and stylish remake of Christie’s famous novel is far more than a mere replacement cast service for the lauded 1974 ‘original’. Exhausted from work and ever so slightly jaded, celebrated Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is looking … Continue reading Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Review

Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You! (2017) Review

In cinemas for an extremely limited theatrical run, the 20th Pokémon movie takes us all the way back to the beginning, retelling the origin of how Ash Ketchum, Pokémon Master bottler, and Pikachu, the world’s most powerful unevolved electric mouse came together. Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town wakes late on the morning he is due to … Continue reading Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You! (2017) Review

Jigsaw (2017) Review

I have some friends who are super into ‘Escape Room’ puzzles. I kind of wished they were with me when I saw “Jigsaw”, so they could offer me some tips on the fastest escape route from the cinema. It’s not quite cut-your-own-foot-off-to-avoid-watching bad, but it’s pretty close. Ten years after the notorious serial killer Jigsaw’s … Continue reading Jigsaw (2017) Review

Happy Death Day (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

For my final #MonthOfSpooks review of the year, I went to see one of the few horror movies which have been released in cinemas for Halloween this year, meaning I started with 1931’s “Dracula” and finished with 2017’s “Happy Death Day”. I ended up watching this film an hour or so after watching the latest episode … Continue reading Happy Death Day (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Review

Seventeen films in, you’d forgive Marvel for resting on their laurels but there’s no sign of fatigue as Marvel closes out its Thor trilogy with “Thor: Ragnarok”. Driven by recurring dreams of the destruction of Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) allows himself to be captured by fire demon Surtur in order to pre-empt and prevent Ragnarok. … Continue reading Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Review

My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Review

My Little Pony trots back to the big screen with a cinematic outing based on the wildly successful (and surprisingly cross-generational) ‘Friendship Is Magic’ incarnation of the toy franchise. As she is busy preparing for the Friendship festival, Princess Twilight Sparkle’s efforts are interrupted by the arrival of Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt), a broken-horned unicorn … Continue reading My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Review

Geostorm (2017) Review

Imagine if you took the MacGuffin from “Highlander 2: The Quickening” and gave it to the Kansas State Board of Education to reframe it using their expertise in science before summarising it in crayon on a children’s menu placemat and you’ll be pretty close to how I imagine the pitch meeting for “Geostorm” went. That … Continue reading Geostorm (2017) Review

The Death Of Stalin (2017) Review

There’s something deeply disturbing about the fact it’s so easy to laugh at “The Death Of Stalin”. Were it not for the fact these events all actually took place, this absurdist comedy from Armando Iannucci could be dismissed for simply being too far-fetched for its own good. When Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) suffers a devastating … Continue reading The Death Of Stalin (2017) Review

The Snowman (2017) Review

With apologies to Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and Kristen Bell... Do you want to see “The Snowman”? It’s not really all that good, It’s got Fassbender And Ferguson But neither’s in the nude... They adapted Nesbø’s novel And now we've got This dreary murder myst’ry Do you want to see “The Snowman”? You might not … Continue reading The Snowman (2017) Review

The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) Review

The latest entry in the Lego feature film franchise is also its most blatantly cynical toy commercial, offering little in return for your forked over ticket money other than a needlessly starry cast, a weak storyline and a massive middle finger to fans of the original cartoon series. When evil Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux) launches … Continue reading The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) Review

The Ritual (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

A quick, contemporary #MonthOfSpooks detour, looking at “The Ritual”, released in UK cinemas on Friday 13th. Based on the novel by Adam Nevill, the movie takes us into the woods for a chilling supernatural survival horror that would put even Bear Grylls off his grubs. When a group of friends’ lad’s night out ends in tragedy … Continue reading The Ritual (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) #Review

With the exception of perhaps “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, has there ever been a (belated) sequel which arrived under so much pressure of expectation as “Blade Runner 2049”? Picking up the baton from Ridley Scott’s lionised 1982 sci-fi noir, visionary director Denis Villeneuve leaps us further into the chillingly realistic dystopian future. Following the … Continue reading Blade Runner 2049 (2017) #Review

Flatliners (2017) Review

I’m pretty sure that, in a limbo competition, no matter how low the bar is set, it’s still considered cheating to dig your way under, but that doesn’t stop 2017’s “Flatliners” from boring straight down, aiming for rock bottom. Driven by a family tragedy, ambitious medical student Courtney (Ellen Page) seeks to find out what … Continue reading Flatliners (2017) Review

Borg vs McEnroe (2017) Review

Gripping, insightful and quietly powerful, “Borg vs McEnroe” brings us a thoughtful examination of sporting drive and athletic rivalry at a watershed moment for international tennis. In the run-up to the 1980 Wimbledon Championship, Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) contemplates the possibility that he could become the first person ever to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles … Continue reading Borg vs McEnroe (2017) Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Review

“Kingsman: The Secret Service”, a gleefully disrespectful, violent and funny action reworking of “My Fair Lady” was an unexpected delight, right up until it ended on a decidedly bum note. Regrettably, in tuning up for the sequel, write Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughan have taken that same note as the opening for their latest … Continue reading Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Review