• Hot Tub Time Machine

    Hot Tub Time Machine

    ★★★

    Fine. I'll probably completely forget I've seen it in a year's time.

  • Long Shot

    Long Shot

    ★★

    Some funny moments here and there but ultimately not great. Tries to have a very progressive message while also straying comfortably into the chauvinist trap of saying that the attractive, successful female lead should settle for Seth Rogen. The supposed working of the American political system fits squarely in the unbelievable trappings of rom-com clichés, not least the idea of that the U.S. President dating the Prime Minister of a foreign country (who is basically just the Count Paris slimy…

  • Flightplan

    Flightplan

    ★★

    Essentially The Lady Vanishes on a plane, and it's a rock-solid plot idea that in its final sequence becomes a compelling enough action thriller that just about does the job, anchored by the always formidable Jodie Foster, but otherwise the film is killed by an appalling screenplay full of people explaining plot points for no reason and generally acting, speaking and reacting to situations in completely unbelievable ways.

  • Wildlife

    Wildlife

    ★★★

    A fairly generic story but nicely made, acted and shot, with a calm, steady hand by Paul Dano that suggests he may well have great things in store for the future.

  • A Christmas Story

    A Christmas Story

    A Christmas Story has to be the most American film ever made. It's about a little white boy who wants a gun for Christmas (yes, that's right, a gun) and begins with him fantasising about shooting unarmed black men as they're running away. You can't make this stuff up. The rest of the film is essentially 90 minutes of annoying children screaming and terrible, violent bullying at his school going blissfully unchecked by his school, and, indeed the film itself.…

  • Sleepless in Seattle

    Sleepless in Seattle

    ★★★

    The 1990s essentially saw the origins of what we now think of as the classic-meet cute rom-com formula, which saw a notable resurgence in the popularity of the romantic comedy drama after a long period of decline following the collapse of the studio system, and with it the screwball comedy. Nora Ephron was, in many ways, responsible for that rebirth with the enormous success of the wonderful When Harry Met Sally, and she would make reference to those direct influences…

  • The Exodus Decoded

    The Exodus Decoded

    It has a real air of dodginess to it that makes it all seem more in the realm of conspiracy theory than theology or history, with its weird, unnecessary CGI and scrappy, unprofessional-looking production and host, but conspiracies can still be interesting, whether true or not, and I thought it was pretty watchable.

  • Destroyer

    Destroyer

    ★★½

    Pretty run of the mill.

  • Mary Magdalene

    Mary Magdalene

    ★★★★

    I thought Mary Magdalene was really beautifully made, with such careful characterisation throughout. Joaquim Phoenix really channels that fascinating situation of God inhabiting the human brain that he had created, for the first time, experiencing human emotions, seeing the world through human eyes, and the way it portrays the confusion between the aims of the people on the ground to escape from Roman oppression, and the greater spiritual forces at work, and the way the differ, is brilliantly executed, with…

  • The Old Dark House

    The Old Dark House

    ★★★★

    The thing I like most about The Old Dark House is the fact that it has the aesthetic of a classic haunted house film, but in a way that feels fresh, original and distinctly atmospheric in its own way, rather than feeling like it's inhabiting or invoking familiar tropes, and what makes it all the more exciting is the fact that while it has the look and feel of a haunted house film, it technically isn't, and all the threats…

  • Dark City

    Dark City

    ★★★★

    Very enjoyable film noir.

  • The Freshman

    The Freshman

    ★★★★

    One of the easiest watches I've seen from the silent era. Simple, funny, good-hearted comedy, well-executed in a way that just hasn't aged very much at all.