Hot Air (2016) Review

Winner of the Comedy Vanguard Jury Award at the Austin Film Festival 2016, “Hot Air” is a quirky and gentle romantic comedy which starts with…ahem…a bang. ‘Major’ (Jere Burns) is an incorrigible conman who fakes his own death under his real name to get the authorities off his tracks only to discover he has a … Continue reading Hot Air (2016) Review

Iron Fist – Season 1 Review

Why can’t we have nice things? There was something almost inevitable about the pre-release critical and cultural bashing “Iron Fist” received. After a run of small screen Netflix success, I guess Marvel was due a backlash, and after constantly outgunning their rivals cinematically, the great and the good of Twitter and beyond, as well as … Continue reading Iron Fist – Season 1 Review

Luke Cage – Season 1 Review

After his star turn in “Jessica Jones”, I was looking forward to seeing Luke Cage’s solo adventures and Netflix’ latest MCU adventure doesn’t disappoint. Luke Cage (Mike Colter), an escaped convict who was left with superhuman strength and impenetrable skin after being experimented on in prison, is keeping a low profile in Harlem. But when … Continue reading Luke Cage – Season 1 Review

Daredevil – Season 2 Review

When I reviewed Season 1 of Daredevil, I dared to hope that the characters from Marvel’s Netflix MCU offshoot would make the leap to the big screen to join in the “Infinity Wars”. While it seems that’s increasingly unlikely, the disappointment is somewhat mitigated by the depth and breadth being brought to life in Marvel’s … Continue reading Daredevil – Season 2 Review

Planet Of The Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak Review

“Planet Of The Sharks” is the selachian sequel to “Waterworld” that nobody needed or even asked for. This is as high concept as SyFy movies come and, surprisingly, it’s actually pretty good fun. In the future, climate change has completely melted the polar ice caps and the entire world is under water. Humanity survives in … Continue reading Planet Of The Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak Review

Deepwater Horizon (2016) Review

If there were such a thing as a ‘True Story’ shared cinematic universe (okay, I guess technically there is), the authorities of that universe would no doubt be monitoring Mark Wahlberg very closely indeed. His presence at the sites of natural disasters or terrorist attacks is becoming so common, he’s almost the Stan Lee of … Continue reading Deepwater Horizon (2016) Review

My Life In Movies (#ThisIsYourFilm)

So…with it being my birthday, I figured why not do a post around the Twitter hashtag #ThisIsYourFilm where you choose your favourite movie from every year you’ve been alive. Piece of piss, right? Won’t take that long. Oh boy, was I wrong. Even now, as I’m writing this opening preamble, I’m still second-guessing some of … Continue reading My Life In Movies (#ThisIsYourFilm)

Mother’s Day (2016) Review

A limp and saccharine end to a great career, “Mother’s Day” forms the third and final part of Gary Marshall’s ensemble holiday-themed dramedy trilogy and, despite how bad “Valentine’s Day” was, “Mother’s Day” still finds enough depths to plumb to ensure it adheres to the law of trilogies. In the build-up to Mother’s Day – … Continue reading Mother’s Day (2016) Review

The 4th Annual Craggus Movie Awards

For a year which will surely go down in history for its polarisation, as far as movies went there was a concerted effort to stay centred in an unremarkable consensus of mediocrity, with the average score of the 95 films I watched in the cinema a paltry 6.5/10. 2016 saw 409 movies watched (and rewatched) … Continue reading The 4th Annual Craggus Movie Awards

Bad Moms (2016) Review

Finally, a bawdy comedy for women, breaking that final glass ceiling and proving that arrested development and irresponsible self-indulgence isn’t just for men anymore, “Bad Moms” is slow to find its footing but eventually settles into a surprisingly familiar comic groove. Harassed mum Amy (Mila Kunis) is at her wits’ end, trying to have it … Continue reading Bad Moms (2016) Review

Kill Command (2016) Review

If you’re expecting another “Robot Overlords” then you’re in for a bit of a treat. “Kill Command”, the debut feature from writer/ director Steven Gomez avoids starry names in favour of impressive special effects and a tight, muscular narrative that keeps things lean and mean. In the not too distant future, a group of Marines … Continue reading Kill Command (2016) Review

Why Him? (2016) Review

An under-the-radar Christmas movie, what “Why Him?” lacks in plot and substance it more than makes up for in a handful of great performances. When Ned Fleming’s (Bryan Cranston) beloved daughter invites her family out to California for the holidays to meet her new boyfriend, the last thing they expect is for him to be … Continue reading Why Him? (2016) Review

Monster Trucks (2016) Review

A premise so dumb it’s scarcely believable it made it out of a pitch meeting outside of the SyFy Original Movie writer’s room, “Monster Trucks” has been languishing, complete, in Paramount’s vaults for the past two years while the studio figured out what to make of it. Having seen it, I’m afraid I can’t help … Continue reading Monster Trucks (2016) Review

Doctor Who: The Return Of Doctor Mysterio (S10E00) Review

Much like children (and *ahem* some adults) across the country, “Doctor Who” reached into its festive stocking and pulled out a whole bunch of superhero toys. Although it’s a little bit shoehorned in during a leadenly expository cold open, once the superhero McGuffin is installed, showrunner Steven Moffat gleefully, almost giddily, goes to town smashing … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Return Of Doctor Mysterio (S10E00) Review

Passengers (2016) Review

A surprise contender for ‘Most Divisive Film of 2016’, “Passengers” may not be the sci-fi action thriller the trailers might have led us to expect but there’s still a lot to enjoy in this literal and figurative star vehicle which teams current hot ticket stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Aboard the starship Avalon, a sleeper … Continue reading Passengers (2016) Review

Moana (2016) Review

Disney’s new golden age shows no signs of slowing down as they cap an amazing animated year with the breezy, tropical feel good musical “Moana”. Drawing on Polynesian mythology, “Moana” tells the story of a young girl who longs to leave her island and explore the oceans. Encouraged by her maternal grandmother, Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) … Continue reading Moana (2016) Review

Rogue One (2016) Review

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away a young moisture farmer was planning on wasting time with his friends, picking up some power converters from Tosche Station on Tatooine. But this isn’t his story…at least not yet. “Rogue One” brings us a Star Wars story that’s more prologue than prequel as it … Continue reading Rogue One (2016) Review

My Feral Heart (2016) Review

Flying under the multiplex radar, “My Feral Heart” is an independent British film exploring the story of Luke, an independent young man with Down's syndrome who is forced to move into care home after his elderly mother dies. Director Jane Gull is a self-confessed fan of Ken Loach and his influence is strongly felt in … Continue reading My Feral Heart (2016) Review

Sully: Miracle On The Hudson (2016) Review

There’s an inherent challenge in creating films of real life events, especially when said real life events lasted for a total of just under four minutes. The trick becomes one of spinning out the story enough for a film without over padding it with filler. Thankfully, Eastwood’s economical 96 minute retelling of ‘The Miracle On … Continue reading Sully: Miracle On The Hudson (2016) Review

A United Kingdom (2016) Review

Handsomely staged and impeccably acted, “A United Kingdom” revisits and reveals a particularly shameful chapter of Britain’s post-war history and lays bare the callous brutality of 20th Century realpolitik. The film tells the true story of Prince Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) of Botswana (then Bechuanaland) who met and married Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike) an English … Continue reading A United Kingdom (2016) Review

Allied (2016) Review

Despite its intriguing premise and impressive pedigree, “Allied” resembles nothing as much as a lavish big screen reimagining of “’Allo ‘Allo”. In 1942, a Canadian RAF spy encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission Vichy occupied Morocco. Later reunited in London, their relationship blossoms into love but as the war grinds on, … Continue reading Allied (2016) Review

Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders (2016) Review

As 2016 becomes ever more horrifying, the demand for the safe, cosiness of nostalgia grows ever more insatiable. Taking a break from propping up the faltering DCEU, Batman joins in the trip down memory lane by making a colourful and light-hearted return to the DCAU, this time reliving his 1960’s heyday. When Bruce Wayne and … Continue reading Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders (2016) Review

Arrival (2016) Review

If alien invasion movies exist on a spectrum where, say, “Independence Day” is the median point and down one end of the spectrum you have the likes of “Battleship” and “Independence Day: Resurgence”, “Arrival” finds its place at the opposite end of the scale. When twelve alien objects appear on Earth simultaneously, the various governments … Continue reading Arrival (2016) Review

Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie (2016) Review

From “Funny Or Die”, the entertainment production company founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy comes a film for the ages, the long lost motion picture based on Donald Trump's best-selling book “The Art of the Deal”. The Donald recounts his life and triumphs to a young boy who stumbles into his office … Continue reading Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie (2016) Review

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Timewarp Again (2016) #MonthOfSpooks Review

It’s astounding. Time really is fleeting. It’s been over forty years since Richard O’Brien’s anarchic, subversive and brazenly salacious musical horror comedy exploded onto the big screen. Buoyed by their recent successes with “Grease Live”, Fox raided their back catalogue to bring Frank-N-Furter and co romping into the twenty-first century. When straight-laced couple Brad and … Continue reading The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Timewarp Again (2016) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) Review

2012’s “Jack Reacher” was something of a pleasant surprise. Although on paper a mismatch for Lee Child’s burly protagonist, Cruise’s screen presence was enough to pull off the role of the muscular and relentless investigator. Unfortunately, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” is just a ruthlessly efficient in justifying its own title. Framed for a crime … Continue reading Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) Review

Doctor Strange (2016) Review

By the fourteenth movie, what is there left to say about the Marvel Cinematic Universe? “Doctor Strange” is the latest success for the studio, a solidly entertaining superhero blockbuster which introduces not only an important new hero to the MCU but also opens up the fictional universe to a world of astral projection and interdimensional, … Continue reading Doctor Strange (2016) Review

Trolls (2016) Review

With its DayGlo aesthetic and unashamedly sunny disposition, “Trolls” may prove to be too sugary a confection for some viewers. If, however, you’re a fan of silliness, cuteness and jukebox musicals, “Trolls” is an unabashed delight. Having escaped from the dreaded Bergens long ago, the Trolls are living happily in their hidden forest home. But … Continue reading Trolls (2016) Review

Inferno (2016) Review

Even a symbologist as obtuse and oblivious as Robert Langdon can’t miss the obvious signs that this franchise is dead. Bloated, boring and often incoherent, “Inferno” looks to Dante for inspiration but it’s the audience who are made to sit through nine levels of Hell. When a dazed and amnesiac Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) awakens … Continue reading Inferno (2016) Review

The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) Review

Breathing new life into the rotting husk of the zombie genre, “The Girl With All The Gifts” bites off far more than the usual undead apocalypse. It’s a horror movie with more than just a culinary focus on braaaaains. In the near future, British society has collapsed following an outbreak of a fungal infection which … Continue reading The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) Review

Storks (2016) Review

‘Where do babies come from?’ isn’t a question I intend to answer in this review but as to where babies may get their attention spans from, this hit and miss scattergun animated comedy may provide some clues. Junior (Andy Samberg) is the lead delivery Stork for Cornerstore.com, in line to become the boss when his … Continue reading Storks (2016) Review

My Scientology Movie (2016) Review

There's no denying a Louis Theroux documentary draws a quite different crowd to the cinema. Those docuphiles who wouldn't deign to visit the unwashed multiplexes during blockbuster season, some who came specifically to sneer at the bizarre tenets of Scientology itself and, I suspect, many like me who were drawn to the screening seduced by … Continue reading My Scientology Movie (2016) Review

War On Everyone (2016) Review

“War On Everyone” sees acclaimed director John Michael McDonagh taking a leaf out of Tarantino’s book and nearly everything but the front and back covers from the Shane Black playbook to bring us a profane and anarchically violent comedy so dark is rivals Vantablack for pitch blackness. Bob Bolaño (Michael Peña) and Terry Monroe (Alexander … Continue reading War On Everyone (2016) Review

Swiss Army Man (2016) Review

There’s more than a faint echo of “South Park” in “Swiss Army Man”, the feature debut from writer/director duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. And like “South Park”, its sharp insightfulness has been unfairly obscured by a focus on its deceptively juvenile sense of humour. Hank (Paul Dano) finds himself marooned on a tiny pacific … Continue reading Swiss Army Man (2016) Review

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) Review

Fresh off the triumph of “What We Do In The Shadows”, New Zealand director Taika Waititi’s follow up is a witty and heart-warming adaptation of Barry Crump’s novel “Wild Pork and Watercress”. Troubled, hip-hop-loving orphan Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is given one last chance to settle in a foster home or else he's bound for juvey. Child … Continue reading Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) Review

The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review

Arriving 56 years after the original movie, 2016’s “The Magnificent Seven” is, of course, a grandchild remake, the second generation descended from the iconic “Seven Samurai”. An earnest and lavish reimagining, it hues closer to its forefather than its genre spanning cousins such as “Battle Beyond The Stars” or “A Bugs Life”. When ruthless and … Continue reading The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review

Anthropoid (2016) Review

One of two films this year to cover the real life events of Operation Anthropoid, Sean Ellis’ film is a tough, bleak and uncompromising retelling of the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler. Pulling no punches … Continue reading Anthropoid (2016) Review

Kubo And The Two Strings (2016) Review

Breathtakingly beautiful, Laika’s latest stop motion animation is a dazzling, inspired medley of Japanese and Chinese folklore and a joyous celebration of the power and importance of storytelling. A young boy named Kubo must find and reclaim his father’s lost armour in order to battle and defeat a vengeful enemy who will stop at nothing … Continue reading Kubo And The Two Strings (2016) Review

Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

An often tense and claustrophobically clever thriller, a little more humility would have done “Don’t Breathe” the world of good. When a gang of three opportunistic burglars get a tip off about an easy mark, it seems like their ship has come in. One easy job and they can escape their dead end Detroit lives … Continue reading Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

The Border Season 1 Review

With bleeding edge topicality, Polish thriller “The Border” arrives on DVD this week. Previously shown on Channel 4 this year, the 2014 human trafficking drama is as relevant as it’s ever been. At the farthest frontier of Europe, on the Polish-Ukrainian border, a unit of Border Patrol guards is targeted by a bomb attack, leaving … Continue reading The Border Season 1 Review

Swallows And Amazons (2016) Review

There’s something cosy and comforting about “Swallows And Amazons”, the latest adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s celebrated novel of swashbuckling childhood adventure. An impeccable production combined with a wonderful cast give this film a timeless quality and watching it for the first time feels brand new and like revisiting an old favourite simultaneously. When the Walker … Continue reading Swallows And Amazons (2016) Review

Sausage Party (2016) Review

You know those hilarious conversations when you’re shooting the shit with your friends, high or drunk or whatever? Now, imagine someone made an animated movie based on them. Welcome to “Sausage Party”. In a world where food has consciousness, all they ever want is to be chosen and taken to ‘the great beyond’. But when … Continue reading Sausage Party (2016) Review

Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) Review

Rivalling “Suicide Squad” for worst editing of 2016, “Mechanic: Resurrection” is a confused and underwhelming mix of lush location footage and studio bound cut scenes which feel more “That Riviera Touch” than a modern action thriller. The pseudo-Bond exotic location hopping feels arbitrary and slapped together in service of a plot which promises much more … Continue reading Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) Review

Nine Lives (2016) Review

I think we can safely say that whatever deal with the Devil Kevin Spacey made to have such a glittering career, his tab has been called in. “Nine Lives” is a film which feels about thirty years out of time, inspired by a much more recent phenomenon. When driven billionaire Tom ‘Fire’ Brand prioritises his … Continue reading Nine Lives (2016) Review

The Shallows (2016) Review

A minimalist horror thriller which squanders its potential by opting for cliché over creativity, “The Shallows” has some genuine thrills to offer before things go off the deep end. Mourning the recent loss of her mother and seeking some direction, Nancy (Blake Lively) searches out a secret, hidden beach once visited by her mother before … Continue reading The Shallows (2016) Review

Pete’s Dragon (2016) Review

Disney’s hot streak of adapting their animated back catalogue into live action movies shows no signs of abating with this deeply poignant reimagining of the 1977 musical comedy. As the local logging company moves ever more aggressively into the forests of the Pacific North West, they disturb the home of Pete, a ten year old … Continue reading Pete’s Dragon (2016) Review

Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016) Review

They say the dose makes the poison and your enjoyment of boisterous comedy “Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates” will depend very much on your individual tolerance of Adam Devine. Mike and Dave Stangle (Adam Devine and Zac Efron), the poster boys for arrested development, are given an ultimatum leading up to their beloved sister’s … Continue reading Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016) Review

Suicide Squad (2016) Review

It wasn't supposed to be like this. By the time “Suicide Squad” rolled around, we were meant to be primed for a little down 'n' dirty fun to counterpoint the portentous deus ex machinations of the Titans of the DC universe duking it out in “Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice”. Instead, things have turned … Continue reading Suicide Squad (2016) Review

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016) Review

Okay. Enough already. This one-joke franchise has more than outstayed its welcome and this flabby, facile and unfocussed fourth outing should (but won’t) mark the end of it. From the tediously laboured “Star Wars”-themed opening, the whole thing feels tired and dated. The pre-credits sequence set in Vegas immediately underlines the cheapness of the whole … Continue reading Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016) Review

Jason Bourne (2016) Review

“Jason Bourne” sees the reluctant super-spy facing his deadliest foe yet: the irrefutable sense of unnecessariness. When Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) reaches out to an isolated and off-grid David Webb Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), it kicks off a chain of events that leads the CIA to try once again to capture or kill the errant … Continue reading Jason Bourne (2016) Review