Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) Dractober Review

A blackly comic metafictional account of the making of “Nosferatu”, positing the idea that F W Murnau was prepared to go to any lengths in order to capture his masterwork, even turning a blind eye to the real-life vampire he has found to ‘play’ Count Orlok. Supported by a great performance from John Malkovich as … Continue reading Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) Dractober Review

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Review

You may be expecting a story of the notorious Singer whose controversial behaviour and alleged sexual predilections and hedonistic bacchanalia have become the stuff of rumour and innuendo legend, but we’re not here to talk about the Director, we’re here to find out what the movie is like. A rambunctious, mischievous and unexpectedly moving celebration … Continue reading Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Review

First Man (2018) Review

Opening with Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) test piloting an X-15 rocket ship so high you fear he may crash in to the orbiting Universal Logo which went past mere seconds before, Damien Chazelle’s quietly absorbing biopic is something of an antithesis to the usual stars ‘n’ stripes bombastic heroic portrayal the US space program usually … Continue reading First Man (2018) Review

Beware The Slenderman (2017) Review

“Beware the Slenderman” is a 2017 documentary which examines the real-life incident in which two girls attempted to murder one of their friends, to appease the Slender Man, a fictional creepy past monster who was created in 2009 as part of a photoshop contest on somethingawful.com. Using real-life footage of court proceedings, various YouTube videos, … Continue reading Beware The Slenderman (2017) Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) Review

With something as pure and innocent as the adventures of Winnie The Pooh, you’d be forgiven for thinking the story of their creation would be equally as heart-warming and uplifting. But, as Simon Curtis’ absorbing biopic reveals, the truth is anything but. “Goodbye Christopher Robin” tells the true-life story of how one of the world’s … Continue reading Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) 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

Citizen X (1995) Review

An HBO made for TV movie from 1995, “Citizen X” offers a fascinating glimpse behind the crumbling Iron Curtain of the 1980s, into a society where political corruption and ideological hubris led to the deaths of dozens of young men and women at the hands of the Soviet Union’s first identified serial killer. When a … Continue reading Citizen X (1995) 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hidden Figures (2017) Review

Set at a time when humanity looked to the stars with hope rather than around the world with fear, “Hidden Figures” is an uplifting true-life drama set during the space race at the height of the cold war. It’s 1961 and NASA is lagging behind the Russians in the race to get a man into … Continue reading Hidden Figures (2017) 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

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

Eddie The Eagle (2016) Review

Billed as a heart-warming underdog feel-good picture, “Eddie The Eagle” is so trite and twee that it ends up falling well short of even its modest ambitions. The film tells the sort of true life story of Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, from a young boy inspired by Olympic dreams to a young man determined, against … Continue reading Eddie The Eagle (2016) Review

The Big Short (2016) Review

It’s a very good thing that “The Big Short” tells its story in such a humorous way because if you weren’t so busy chuckling, you’d be crying. Or possibly howling with rage. The story of the downfall of the American housing market and its knock-on effects which are still reverberating around the global economy may … Continue reading The Big Short (2016) Review

The Danish Girl (2016) Review

Adapted from David Ebershoff’s 2000 novel, “The Danish Girl” brings us a fictionalised account of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first people in the world to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The film, like its source novel, is much less an exploration of the prejudices and societal attitude towards sexuality and transgender issues … Continue reading The Danish Girl (2016) Review

Bridge Of Spies (2015) Review

In these troubled times, America and the world could do worse than to look to the pages of history for some salutary lessons on how to deal with the current volatility we live with. It is serendipitous, then, that Steven Spielberg’s magnificent true life drama “Bridge Of Spies” arrives in cinemas this week to provide … Continue reading Bridge Of Spies (2015) Review

Legend (2015) Review

Based on the book ‘The Profession Of Violence: The Rise And Fall Of The Kray Twins’ by John Pearson, Writer/ Director Brian Helgeland’s “Legend” takes a look at the notorious East End gangsters from their ascent to the top of the underworld hierarchy to the events which would prove to be their downfall. Glossy, stylish … Continue reading Legend (2015) Review

Straight Outta Compton (2015) Review

Charting the meteoric rise, bitter disintegration and tentative reconciliation of pioneering West Coast hip hop group N.W.A., “Straight Outta Compton” is a curious beast, slightly uneven in texture but bolstered by some mesmerising performances, none more so than O’Shea Jackson, Jr’s portrayal of his real life father Ice Cube. It’s perhaps not a surprise given their … Continue reading Straight Outta Compton (2015) Review

Finding Vivian Maier (2014) Review

Part biography, part mystery, John Maloof’s compelling documentary on hitherto unknown photographer Vivian Maier is as magical as it is enthralling. It tells the story of Maloof’s discovery of a treasure trove of photographs, negatives and undeveloped rolls of film which leads him to uncover the remarkable life and work of Vivian Maier, who in … Continue reading Finding Vivian Maier (2014) Review

Selma (2015) Review

Ava DuVernay’s absorbing account of the real life events in Selma, Alabama may lack the relentlessly vicious sadism of “12 Years A Slave” but it still doesn’t shy away from showing the plain and ugly truth about what went on during those tumultuous weeks in 1965. The cruelty, injustice and violence may not be as … Continue reading Selma (2015) Review

Foxcatcher (2015) Review

Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” is a film utterly convinced of its own greatness. So convinced, in fact, that it does not feel the need to provide a coherent narrative of the profoundly unsettling story of how two talented wrestling brothers came to be caught up in the twisted machinations of an eccentric and unstable multi-millionaire. The … Continue reading Foxcatcher (2015) Review

Castles In The Sky (2014) Review

Lacking the star laden cast, salacious subtext and tragic coda of its theatrically released cousin, BBC TV movie “Castles In The Air” was always destined to be overshadowed by “The Imitation Game”. That’s a real shame because the BBC production is just as handsomely staged, just as fascinating and tells the story of a scientific … Continue reading Castles In The Sky (2014) Review

The Imitation Game (2014) Review

Typical. You wait years for stirring tales of British ingenuity and wartime innovation and then two come along at the same time. There's a great deal of overlap between the story of Robert Watson Watt's pioneering work to create radar in "Castles In The Sky" and Alan Turing's quest to crack Nazi Germany's impenetrable Enigma … Continue reading The Imitation Game (2014) Review

Mr Turner (2014) Review

Beyond being vaguely aware he was a painter, I knew nothing of the work or life of J M W Turner. I came out of Mike Leigh’s “Mr Turner” determined to learn more about this exceptional man and keen to find out which galleries display his work so I can go and see them for … Continue reading Mr Turner (2014) Review