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

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

Bright (2017) Review

There are times when you just need to take a step back and acknowledge that a paragon has been reached and there's absolutely nothing you can contribute, no new perspective or trenchant insight you can add to what's already been done that would move it even a nanometer closer to perfection. So it is with … Continue reading Bright (2017) 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

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

Trolls Holiday (2017) Review

Opening with a bright and cheery fuzzy felt scrapbook retelling of the story of the “Trolls” movie, “Trolls Holiday” picks up where that story left off, with the Bergens seeking a replacement for Trollstice. When Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) realises the Bergens now have no holiday, she’s determined to set things straight. With her usual … Continue reading Trolls Holiday (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

Jungle (2017) Review

There’s no doubt that since he graduated from Hogwarts and hung up his wand, Daniel Radcliffe has made a point of searching out challenging and different roles although here, in tackling the remarkable true-life tale of Israeli backpacker Yossi Ghinsberg, he finds himself once again playing a ‘boy who lived’. Available On Demand from Amazon … Continue reading Jungle (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

Descendants 2 (2017) Review

Stretching the definition of ‘Original’ almost to breaking point, Disney Original Movie “Descendants 2” takes us back to the world where all the Disney Classics have been reimagined and remixed into a glossy tween fantasy soap opera. As Mal (Dove Cameron) struggles to acclimatise to a life of being good, back on the Isle of … Continue reading Descendants 2 (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 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

Spoof: Based On A True Movie (2017) Review

Once in a while, down in the depths of Netflix or Amazon Prime, you come across something so odd looking, it would be a dereliction of duty not to watch it. Or maybe that’s just me? In any event, it happened to me today while browsing for something to watch on Amazon Prime, I came … Continue reading Spoof: Based On A True Movie (2017) Review

Gerald’s Game (2017) Review

I vividly remember reading “Gerald’s Game” the first time, because it’s maybe the only book that’s ever made me physically jump while reading it. On first consideration, Stephen King's story of psychological survival horror, notably lacking in overtly supernatural elements, would seem unfilmable yet writer/ director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus”) has nevertheless fashioned the twisted tale … Continue reading Gerald’s Game (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

Mindhorn (2017) Review

While Hollywood occupies itself with pillaging and rebooting the classic TV of the seventies, eighties and nineties, Julian Barrett (“The Mighty Boosh”) and Simon Farnaby (“Horrible Histories”, “Rogue One”) satirise both both originals and retreads by faithfully homaging a completely fictitious TV show: “Mindhorn”. Richard Thorncroft (Barrett) is a washed-up, has-been British TV actor. At … Continue reading Mindhorn (2017) Review

The Jungle Bunch (2017) Review

Based on a French cartoon series, “The Jungle Bunch” movie is a soft reboot of possibly the one kids’ property I’ve never encountered before. But if you’re bracing yourself for another artless animated cash grab like “Norm of The North” or “Robinson Crusoe”, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. When the evil koala … Continue reading The Jungle Bunch (2017) Review

mother! (2017) Review

I have a near-pathological dislike of people coming into my home uninvited or unannounced. I remember when we first moved into the house we live in, it had a front door which, if it was unlocked, you could just open and walk in, as friends, relatives and in-laws were wont to do. Now, don’t get … Continue reading mother! (2017) Review

American Assassin (2017) Review

A victim of a terrorist attack after proposing to his girlfriend, Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) vows to avenge her death and sets out to track down the terrorists himself. His vendetta brings him to the attention of the CIA who induct him into the secret Orion black ops programme run by Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) … Continue reading American Assassin (2017) Review

It (2017) Review

I remember when I first saw “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone” in the cinema, it was one of the strangest cinema experiences of my life. I didn’t feel like I’d just watched a film of the boy wizard’s adventures, I just felt like I’d re-read the first book in two and half hours, so … Continue reading It (2017) Review

American Made (2017) Review

If you thought off-the-books, quasi-legal internecine government shenanigans were a practice brought to the White House by a tangerine reality TV buffoon, wait until you get a load of what was going on the last time a former celebrity became commander in chief. Telling the mostly true story of Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot … Continue reading American Made (2017) Review

The Limehouse Golem (2017) Review

On the surface, “The Limehouse Golem” seems like just another Victorian murder mystery, a Sherlockian tribute act riffing off the legend of Jack The Ripper but it’s what beneath the surface, behind the façade that drives the narrative and gives it a thematic power which helps it rise above its clichéd although handsomely executed trappings. … Continue reading The Limehouse Golem (2017) Review

Logan Lucky (2017) Review

Steven Soderbergh may be returning to the Director’s chair for the first time since 2013’s “Behind The Candelabra” but “Logan Lucky” sees him settle comfortably back into his comfort zone, albeit with a sly spin on an old favourite. The Logan brothers, Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver), decide to throw off the local gossip … Continue reading Logan Lucky (2017) Review

The Dark Tower (2017) Review

I’m a pretty big Stephen King fan, although admittedly I’ve been a bit lax in keeping up with the prolific author’s output since around “Cell”. The first time I read “The Stand”, I did it in one sitting, forgoing sleep to finish it sometime in the early hours of Sunday morning (having started it on … Continue reading The Dark Tower (2017) Review

Detroit (2017) Review

With serendipitous timing and real world resonance that borders on opportunistic, “Detroit” arrives in cinemas to emphasise the perilous nature of present day America and it’s far too recent shameful past. Detroit, 1967. The city is in the grip of growing discontent which is spilling over into racially-charged rioting driven by large scale disaffection and … Continue reading Detroit (2017) Review

A Ghost Story (2017) Review

Poignant, reflective and dreamily melancholic, "A Ghost Story" offers, at first glance, a simple story of a soul anchored in space but not time. When a musician (Casey Affleck) is killed in a car accident, he returns to the home he shared with his wife (Rooney Mara) as a ghost and must watch as time … Continue reading A Ghost Story (2017) Review

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) Review

Sometimes, all you need to do is get the right cast in front of the camera and let them do their thing. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is one of those times. With the trial of notorious war criminal Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) desperate for witnesses, the authorities turn to notorious contract killer Darius Kincaid (Samuel L … Continue reading The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) Review

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (2017) Review

Yet another in the bafflingly long list of animated films which didn’t deserve a sequel, the follow-up to 2014’s “The Nut Job” is now in UK cinemas. Here’s the surprising bit: it’s not that bad. When the Nut Shop is suddenly destroyed, Surly the squirrel (Will Arnett) is faced with the prospect of returning to … Continue reading The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (2017) Review

Shin Godzilla (2017) Review

The first ever Japanese production to completely reboot the venerable monster’s movie series, “Shin Godzilla” is so called because it’s deliberately ambiguous (written in katakana instead of kanji) and can be interpreted as ‘new’, ‘god’ or ‘evolved’ and not, disappointingly, because the makers made the gutsy decision to stick with the ordinary Japanese citizen’s perspective … Continue reading Shin Godzilla (2017) Review