The First Purge (2018) Review

What better viewing choice on the 4th of July than the latest instalment in the satirical horror series, one that goes back to the beginning and commemorates the very start of the decline of the land of the so-called free? “The First Purge” sets out to explain just how a society could come to adopt … Continue reading The First Purge (2018) Review

Advertisements

Sicario 2: Soldado (2018) Review

It’s impossible to view “Sicario 2: Soldado” in isolation from the current real-world events along America’s southern border. Indeed, the film finds itself cruelly separated from the comfort of director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins' reassuring presence. Also discarded is Emily Blunt’s FBI agent Kate Macer and with her any shred of conscience “Sicario” … Continue reading Sicario 2: Soldado (2018) 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

Moonlight (2017) Review

Beautifully structured and elegantly restrained, Barry Jenkins’ deceptively simple three act coming of age drama packs a powerful emotional punch as we follow Chiron, a disaffected young black man growing up and struggling with his identity and sexuality in suburban Miami. Throughout each of the acts, assaying a different period of Chiron’s life, we’re treated … Continue reading Moonlight (2017) Review

T2 Trainspotting (2017) Review

Choose a sequel. Choose mounting a follow-up to an iconic 1996 film and hope that the audience cares. Choose revisiting old favourite characters to see what new shenanigans they’re up to And choose watching history repeat itself. Choose looking to the past instead of embracing a future. Choose Renton, Sickboy and Begbie unchanged but older … Continue reading T2 Trainspotting (2017) Review

Trainspotting (1996) Review

Shot on an indie budget, “Trainspotting” was a brash, foul-mouthed, grotty little movie with blockbuster sized ambition. Wilfully anarchic and wildly spirited, it proved to be a real shot in the arm for a British film industry pigeonholed by Merchant Ivory dramas and sickly sweet rom-coms. The story of four junkies: Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sickboy … Continue reading Trainspotting (1996) 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

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

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

Bad Neighbours 2 (2016) Review

I love “Bad Neighbours”, even though it represented a watershed moment for me personally: it was the first time I’d found myself siding with the ‘boring’ old folk in a war of the generations comedy. I’m not getting any younger so sure, sign me up for another tour of duty and let the second park … Continue reading Bad Neighbours 2 (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

Love (2015) Review

There’s a point near the half way mark in Gaspar Noé’s provocatively explicit romantic drama “Love” where its raison d'être is revealed and the movie sheds any remaining inhibitions of being anything other than a pseudo-autobiographical sublimation of Noé himself. It happens when our protagonist Murphy (Karl Glusman) tells Electra (Aomi Muyuck) that he has a … Continue reading Love (2015) Review

Dirty Grandpa (2016) Review

Long revered as one of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro’s more recent output is probably best described as a mixed bag. It’s been hard to discount the possibility that he’s adopted the Michael Caine approach of saying ‘yes’ to whatever he’s offered or whatever offers the best pay day. Perhaps Robert De … Continue reading Dirty Grandpa (2016) Review

American Ultra (2015) Review

Written by Max Landis and Directed by Nima Nourizadeh (“Project X”), “American Ultra” is a gleefully gory action comedy about a small town stoner who, unbeknownst to him, is a highly trained CIA operative. Mike (Jesse Eisenberg) spends his time getting high and doodling a comic about a monkey astronaut but when a customer utters … Continue reading American Ultra (2015) Review

The Night Before (2015) Review

If the sentimentality of “Christmas With The Coopers” doesn’t get your fairy lights twinkling and the spooky shenanigans of “Krampus” leave your pudding more duff than plum, perhaps bawdy festive comedy “The Night Before” will put the snap back in your Christmas cracker. From the director and stars of “50/50”, “The Night Before” tells the … Continue reading The Night Before (2015) 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

Sicario (2015) Review

Gritty, grim and deeply nihilistic, “Sicario” is a dark and brooding thriller which examines the murky realpolitik of America’s ‘War On Drugs’ along the US/ Mexican border. Idealistic FBI Agent Kate Mercer (Emily Blunt) is recruited by a government official (Josh Brolin) and his mysterious partner (Benicio del Toro) to join an inter-agency task force … Continue reading Sicario (2015) Review

Ted 2 (2015) Review

If the main duty of a sequel is to provide the audience with more of what they enjoyed the first time round, then “Ted 2” succeeds admirably. Crammed with the sophomoric, scatological and scattergun humour that is Seth MacFarlane’s calling card, if you liked the first one, you’ll probably enjoy this one too…just maybe not … Continue reading Ted 2 (2015) Review

Live And Let Die (1973) Review

With Americana firmly in the ascendance and coming off the back of the box office revival of “Diamonds Are Forever”, Tom Mankiewicz was given the task of penning the follow-up which would usher in yet another actor as James Bond, 007. The stage was set for a funky, voodoo-infused tale of heroin smuggling and who … Continue reading Live And Let Die (1973) Review

The Hungover Games (2014) Review

You know what's funny? Mashing together a whole bunch of pop culture movie references and characters, jam them into an untidy and illogical chimera of two film franchises, one of which self-destructed thanks to its own sequels and then throw it at the screen to see what sticks. Oh wait, not funny – what’s the … Continue reading The Hungover Games (2014) Review

Unfinished Business (2015) Review

It’s a rare thing for me to hate a movie so intensely while watching it, but within half an hour Vince Vaughan’s latest ‘comedy vehicle’ had me surreptitiously checking IMDB on my phone to see what the running time was. If it had been anything more than the 91 [excruciating] minutes listed, I may have … Continue reading Unfinished Business (2015) Review

Inherent Vice (2015) Review

It’s little wonder the most common witticism being thrown around in respect of Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest is 'Incoherent Vice'. It’s almost irresistible - and already has a dedicated Twitter feed to curate its usage. Despite its instant cliché status, it makes a good point though because this adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel, is … Continue reading Inherent Vice (2015) Review

Horns (2014) Review

Although it borrows heavily from classic horror imagery, “Horns” isn’t really a horror movie and despite some clever subversion of religious faith and nifty Easter Eggs where the licence plates of the principle players’ cars point to character-relevant bible chapters it’s not really a religious satire in the vein of “Dogma” either. It works well … Continue reading Horns (2014) Review

Space Station 76 (2014) Review

Welcome to the world of tomorrow…yesterday! If you’re hoping for a laugh-a-minute retro sci-fi comedy romp then “Space Station 76” is likely to disappoint. While it is an affectionate pastiche of 1970’s vision of the future, the retro sci-fi trappings and space station setting are largely ancillary to the film’s real focus: the universal trials … Continue reading Space Station 76 (2014) Review

Dredd (2012) Review + #DayOfDredd Competition: Win 1 of 3 Copies of the film on 3d BluRay

Starring Karl Urban, "Dredd" is a lean, muscular, unapologetically violent thriller based on the popular '2000AD' comic character. Stripping away the excess of the previous Sylvester Stallone film, "Dredd" takes us to a grittier Mega City One, as Dredd is evaluating rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). When they are called to the picturesque in name … Continue reading Dredd (2012) Review + #DayOfDredd Competition: Win 1 of 3 Copies of the film on 3d BluRay

Puncture (2011) Review

I suspect the worldwide success of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has something to do with this film finally getting a UK DVD/ BluRay release on 21st July, albeit under the alternative title of “Injustice” and with almost zero publicity. Released Stateside in 2011, “Puncture” tells the true story of Mike Weiss (Chris Evans), a … Continue reading Puncture (2011) Review

Sabotage (2014) Review

I’ve consulted the Oxford English Dictionary, Webster’s and even urbandictionary.com and none of them provide a definition of “Sabotage” which relates to any of the events in this flaccid, misogynistic, excessively violent and profanity-laden film. Saved from the straight-to-DVD bargain bin by the presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Sabotage” is more of a mystery thriller than the … Continue reading Sabotage (2014) Review

Bad Neighbours (2014) Review

I had a sudden epiphany while watching “Bad Neighbours” – I’m old. There's no getting away from it, I have no grounds to empathise or side with the cool young party people. Instead, I'm further along the grown up married/ kids/ mortgage path even than Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) Radner. Luckily, this … Continue reading Bad Neighbours (2014) Review

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) Review

"The Wolf Of Wall Street" is a big, ballsy movie. It's loud, brash and gets right in your face. It's obscene, profane and gratuitous in every possible way and might just be the best film I've seen in the past twelve months. Incredibly, it's based on a true story: the memoirs of the real Jordan … Continue reading The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) Review

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

This Is The End (2013) Review

The stoner movie to end all stoner movies – literally. Seth Rogen’s latest is a drug, alcohol, sex and Milky Way-fuelled comedy blowout with apocalyptic bite as he sends up himself, his friends and the celebrity LA lifestyle. Revolving around a housewarming party thrown by James Franco, played with a indulgent, knowing egotistism by, erm, James … Continue reading This Is The End (2013) Review