Patrick (2018) Review

“Patrick”, a featherweight new British comedy from the director of “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” is so smug that it might as well be subtitled ‘First World Problems: The Movie’.  It’s a mercy, then, that it’s so utterly oblivious to its own sense of self-satisfied privilege and so very, very bland that it’s hard to summon … Continue reading Patrick (2018) Review

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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

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

Harlequin (2016) Short Film Review

Following up his first production, “Layla”, director Jakob Lewis Barnes encounters the renowned ‘difficult’ second movie with the forthcoming “Harlequin”. Short films can be tricky things to review. The brief running time gives the artists involved an acutely finite amount of time to convey their vision. Another exercise in abstract, experimental filmmaking, “Harlequin” brings a melancholic, … Continue reading Harlequin (2016) Short Film 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

Grimsby (2016) Review

If you want some kind of context to understand the tone of Sasha Baron Cohen’s seminal (at least as far as elephants are concerned) new movie “Grimsby”, then know this: Rebel Wilson is an island of subdued subtlety amid the crass, lowbrow and profoundly tasteless shenanigans. When Norman ‘Nobby’ Butcher, proud resident of Grimsby finally … Continue reading Grimsby (2016) Review

24/007: The Complete Craggus’ Bond Voyage

Every Bond movie retrospective, in release order, for your reading convenience. Click on Craggus' Bond Voyage at the end of each review to return here. *SPOILERS*                                                                        … Continue reading 24/007: The Complete Craggus’ Bond Voyage

Craggus’ Bond Voyage SPECTRE (2015) Review

*SPOILERS* If you’re after a spoiler free review of “SPECTRE”, you can find it here, but this is the final chapter of a journey which began back on 22nd May with “Dr. No”. Welcome to the final stop on “Craggus’ Bond Voyage”; we have reached our destination. Following the unprecedented success of “Skyfall”, the producers … Continue reading Craggus’ Bond Voyage SPECTRE (2015) Review

SPECTRE (2015) Review

This review is spoiler-free but I’ll go into much more detail later in the week when “SPECTRE” gets the full “Craggus’ Bond Voyage” treatment. There’s a reassuringly familiar feel to “SPECTRE”; it hews much closer to the classic Bond films of the past than any of Daniel Craig’s previous outings, continuing the trajectory set in … Continue reading SPECTRE (2015) Review

Suffragette (2015) Review

Powerful, gripping, infuriating and heart-breaking in equal measure, Director Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette” brings a pivotal chapter of British history to vivid life without ever falling prey to feminist diatribe. It charts the story of Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), a fictional wife and mother who finds herself caught up in the events and activities of the … Continue reading Suffragette (2015) Review

Bill (2015) Review

Written by and starring the cast of “Yonderland”, “Bill” sees them returning to their “Horrible Histories” roots and exploring a ‘lost’ era of Shakespeare’s life, finally revealing the true story behind his rise to fame and fortune as England’s most celebrated playwright. When the Earl of Croydon unwittingly overcommits himself in the presence of Queen … Continue reading Bill (2015) Review

Robot Overlords (2015) Review

Although it borrows much of its imagery from “Oblivion” – itself a portmanteau of various other Sci-Fi classics – “Robot Overlords” plays out like a long-lost John Wyndham novel, combining the alien and unfamiliar with the mundane settings of town and country. Earth is under occupation by a robot empire who conquered the planet three … Continue reading Robot Overlords (2015) Review

The Adventurer: The Curse Of The Midas Box (2014) Review

If you're anything like me, you probably glanced at the impressive cast list of "The Adventurer: The Curse Of The Midas Box" and figured that the 'name' stars such as Michael Sheen, Sam Neill, and Lena Headey just pop in for glorified cameos, pick up their cheques and head off home but guess what? You're in … Continue reading The Adventurer: The Curse Of The Midas Box (2014) Review

The Scopia Effect (2015) Review

The current renaissance in independent British genre films shows no signs of abating with psychological sci-fi horror “The Scopia Effect”, available now exclusively on iTunes. Marking the feature debut of writer/ director Christopher Butler, the film takes us on a transcendental journey into the mind of Basia (Joanna Ignaczewska) , a young Polish office worker … Continue reading The Scopia Effect (2015) Review

Spooks: The Greater Good (2015) Review

Swapping Black Crows for Black Ops, Kit Harrington finds he still knows nothing as he runs around London trying to unravel Harry Pearce's latest Gordian knot of conspiracy and double crosses in this competent but unremarkable coda to the successful television series "Spooks". When MI-5 lose Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel), a high value CIA prisoner … Continue reading Spooks: The Greater Good (2015) Review

Third Contact (2013) Review

One of the things I love about movies is the breadth of the art form; encompassing everything from mega-budget summer blockbusters to tiny independent productions and how across that range you can find extraordinary works at every level. “Third Contact” is extraordinary. Made for a microscopic budget of only £4,000, writer/ producer/ director Simon Horrocks’ … Continue reading Third Contact (2013) Review

Pride (2014) Review

Despite its contentious and still controversial (sigh) subject matter, there’s a winning cosiness to “Pride” that makes sure the themes of human kindness and solidarity don’t get swamped by the angry and inflammatory historical backdrop. That’s not to say this comedy drama doesn’t have teeth, just that care is taken to ensure the film’s bark … Continue reading Pride (2014) Review

Thunderbirds Are Go! (2015) S1E01 Review

You know what? That was pretty good. Not great, but it’s definitely got potential to grow into a good series. The CGI Tracy brothers are much less creepy and dead-eyed than they appeared in the publicity images and even the updated and bulkier Thunderbird 2 (all right thinking people’s favourite ship) looks good. Thunderbird 3 … Continue reading Thunderbirds Are Go! (2015) S1E01 Review

Shaun The Sheep Movie (2015) Review

It’s unlikely the target audience of the latest family friendly stop motion feature from Aardman will be as bothered by the grammar of the title as I am (not the “Shaun The Sheep Movie” or “Shaun The Sheep: The Movie”, just “Shaun The Sheep Movie”. Huh?) but if you’re looking for something to keep your little … Continue reading Shaun The Sheep Movie (2015) Review

Ex Machina (2015) Review

Cinema‘s fascination with the concept of the technological singularity shows no sign of abating, with recent entries ranging from the sublime (“Her”) to the ridiculous (“Transcendence”). But despite the crowded field, Alex Garland’s directorial debut manages to find something new and disquieting to say about it in this stylish and well-crafted thriller. When young coder … Continue reading Ex Machina (2015) Review

Get Santa (2014) Review

It’s not all that often you get a new Christmas movie – in the cinema at least. Direct to DVD and cookie-cutter TV movies abound but a theatrically released Christmas movie is something a bit special. When Tom discovers Santa Claus hiding in his garden shed, he eagerly agrees to help him recover his sleigh … Continue reading Get Santa (2014) Review

The Anomaly (2014) Review

British sci-fi flick “The Anomaly” certainly lacks nothing when it comes to ambition. It even manages to find room for some intriguingly original ideas in amongst the mishmash of borrowings from “Source Code”, “The Matrix” and “Total Recall”. When former soldier Ryan (Noel Clarke) regains consciousness in the back of a van with no recollection … Continue reading The Anomaly (2014) Review

What We Did On Our Holiday (2014) Review

Although it starts off disappointingly similar to its TV stablemate “Outnumbered”, this quintessentially British comedy quickly and deftly becomes its own creation, weaving dark and light themes into this small scale film about life, death and everything in between. Underneath the gruff and curmudgeonly Craggus exterior, I'm a sentimental soul and so this tale of … Continue reading What We Did On Our Holiday (2014) Review

Before I Go To Sleep (2014) Review

Superficially, it’s easy to look at “Before I Go To Sleep” as a gritty and dark reimagining of “50 First Dates” with Nicole Kidman taking over from Drew Barrymore and Colin Firth in the Adam Sandler role. Which would make Mark Strong, um, Rob Schneider I guess? But where the 2004 Rom Com went for … Continue reading Before I Go To Sleep (2014) Review

Not Another Happy Ending (2013) Review

After “Doctor Who”, but before “Oculus”, Karen Gillan appeared in this modest, modern yet old fashioned romantic comedy about a novelist, her publisher and her screenwriter boyfriend. Although it didn’t really get a wide cinema release it’s available to rent or buy on DVD now. When a small publishing house run by French editor Tom … Continue reading Not Another Happy Ending (2013) Review

Walking On Sunshine (2014) Review

You only need to look at the poster to know that the makers of “Walking On Sunshine” (released in cinemas Friday 27th June) saw “Mamma Mia!” and thought ‘that looks really easy – I bet we could do that’. But where “Mamma Mia!” is a carefully crafted jukebox musical based on Abba’s phenomenal back catalogue … Continue reading Walking On Sunshine (2014) Review

Frank (2014) Review

Whimsical, quirky and sometimes just downright weird, “Frank” is a delightfully offbeat comedy drama from Irish director Lenny Abrahamson. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy, it tells the story of fictional band ‘Soronprfbs’ and their enigmatic lead singer Frank. When Jon, an earnest young call centre worker with a passion for … Continue reading Frank (2014) Review

Dom Hemingway (2013) Review

"Dom Hemingway" is a film which struggles to live up to the promise of its blisteringly funny, aggressive and chaotic trailer. It suggests a cracking, foul-mouthed crime caper with Jude Law having an absolute blast as crazy, charismatic hot shot safecracker Dom Hemingway while Richard E Grant oozes haughty insouciance as his loyal sidekick Dickie Black. Looking stylistically … Continue reading Dom Hemingway (2013) Review

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009) Review

It may just be coincidence but it feels like I’m witnessing the creation of a new cinema movement: the British toilet-based sci-fi/ horror genre. After yesterday’s “Stalled”, “Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel”, is a compact, lightweight and deceptively clever comedy which deals with the problems caused by time leaks in a pub’s toilets. It … Continue reading Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009) Review

Stalled (2014) Review

A minimalist horror comedy, “Stalled” could be viewed as a horror version of “Waiting For Godot”. With zombies. In a toilet.  If you squint a bit, maybe. A blackly comic take on the zombie trope, it tells the story of a hapless maintenance worker who gets trapped in the ladies’ toilets of an office building … Continue reading Stalled (2014) Review

One Chance (2013) Review

"Once Chance" is a Simon Cowell production. Like all Simon Cowell productions, it’s superficial, sentimental and predictable. Not content with ramming contestants’ sob stories down his dwindling viewership's throat, he's branched out into the ‘sob story: the movie' business. Now, not only will he manipulate the public into supporting and voting for his pre-selected winner, … Continue reading One Chance (2013) Review

Under The Skin (2014) Review

From the moment the film begins with a discordant flurry of violins accompanying disturbingly abstract imagery, it's clear that Director Jonathan Glazer doesn't want "Under The Skin" to be a comfortable viewing experience. It tells the story of an alien (Scarlett Johansson) who arrives on Earth and assumes the identity of a young woman  in order to … Continue reading Under The Skin (2014) Review

The Machine (2014) Review

In the early 1980’s, there was a popular conspiracy theory that the CIA was covertly funding specific Hollywood productions (“Star Wars”, “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”, “E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial”) with a view to softening the public up for imminent contact (or the announcement of previous contact) with aliens. I wonder if those … Continue reading The Machine (2014) Review

About Time (2013) Review

"About Time" isn't quite your typical Richard Curtis fare - it feels a little different from "Notting Hill", "Love, Actually" and "Four Weddings And A Funeral". It's more a romantic fantasy than a comedy and although some of the Curtis archetypes are present - kooky vulnerable sibling, curmudgeonly morose cynic, quirky bumbling relative - they're … Continue reading About Time (2013) Review

The Regeneration Game (1966-2010)

I’ve been a fan of “Doctor Who” since I can remember, and certainly way, way back before it was cool to like Doctor Who. I followed it from its Saturday teatime slot, through experimental Monday Tuesday scheduling and suicidal Wednesday showdowns with soap operas to cancellation. Through the wilderness years I waited, had my hopes … Continue reading The Regeneration Game (1966-2010)

Filth (2013) Review

Typical: you wait ages for a film about Scotland and then two come along at once. But where “Sunshine On Leith” was the happy, charming, airy Dr Jekyll, “Filth” is a dark, twisted, wanton Mr Hyde. “Filth” doesn’t just lift the rock to peer at Scotland’s sordid underbelly, it kicks the rock over, drops its … Continue reading Filth (2013) Review

Sunshine On Leith (2013) Review

To call it ‘This year’s “Mamma Mia!”’ is a bit lazy, as “Sunshine On Leith” has enough going on to step out of the shadow of it's glittery sequined predecessor. Smaller and more parochial in scale and story, it does bear some similarity to the Abba musical but free of “Mamma Mia!”’s exotic fantasy of … Continue reading Sunshine On Leith (2013) Review

Brazil (1985) Review

How on Earth has it taken me so long to get round to watching Terry Gilliam’s classic dystopian Sci-Fi comedy? To paraphrase Admiral Kirk from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn” (stay with me): I’ve managed to see just about every film it’s influenced but like a poor marksman, I’ve kept missing the target. … Continue reading Brazil (1985) Review

Byzantium (2013) Review

If Graham Greene started to sketch out the idea for a vampire story on the back of a napkin but got bored with it and handed it off to a staff writer from “Eastenders” to finish, you’d probably end up with something a lot like “Byzantium”, Neil Jordan’s return to the Vampire genre. Clara and Eleanor, a … Continue reading Byzantium (2013) Review

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) Review

The history of British sitcoms making the leap to the big screen is a chequered one at best. At its height in the 1970’s, the general approach was to rehash and re-film the early episodes of the TV series to create a cheap and cheerful feature length movie. Occasionally this approach polished up the rough … Continue reading Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) Review

Song For Marion (2013) Review

"Song For Marion" is a modest little movie which tells its simple story with such grace and class that it's impossible to resist it's reassuringly redemptive message. Much of the story's set-up is done in the scenes chosen for the trailer and the film unfolds as you would expect, with no surprising twists or turns. … Continue reading Song For Marion (2013) Review

Les Misérables (2013) Review

"Les Misérables" is, without a doubt, the most musical musical I've ever seen - all singing, no talking! It was...astonishing. Grand in scale, but powerfully, emotionally intimate. The cast is as near perfect as possible but everyone is eclipsed by Anne Hathaway, whose heartbreaking rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" literally moved me to tears. … Continue reading Les Misérables (2013) Review

I Give It A Year (2013) Review

Richard Curtis deserves a lot of credit for “I Give It A Year”. Not because he wrote it, but because it shows just how difficult it actually is to write a charming British Romantic Comedy and how good he actually is at it. The film tries too hard to be whimsical and relies too heavily … Continue reading I Give It A Year (2013) Review