Nine movies, one was rubbish, four were okay, four are contenders for movie of the month:
Eddie the Eagle: Dexter Fletcher’s take on the true story of British ski jumper Eddie Edwards. What could have been a joke is actually, warm funny and uplifting.
The Huntsman: Winters War: Part sequel, part prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). The cast including Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt deservers better. The visuals are good, but the story is confused and falls flat.
Midnight special: Jeff Nichols moves into sci-fi with a film that manages to tip its hat at Spielberg without ever feeling like a pastiche. Like many of the best sci-fi it’s a film about people and relationships.
The Man who Knew Infinity: True story of self taught mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Well acted by Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel but the story telling is a little pedestrian.
Eye in the Sky: Thriller that explores the pitfalls and moral complexities of modern drone warfare. Often tense, but not without comic moments. A great film elevated by performances from Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman who are on top form.
Bastille Day: Silly action thriller set in Paris. It lacks the nastiness and xenophobia of many similar films. It is also helped by the always watchable Idris Elba.
Louder than Bombs: Told in a mixture of present day and flashback, a man and his two sons deal with the death of his wife. A mesmerising film thanks in no small part to a monumental performance by Isabelle Huppert. A brilliant little film that deserves a bigger audience.
Miles Ahead: Don Cheadle writes, directs, produces and stars in this sort-of biopic of Miles Davis. A hugely entertaining caper movie that gives a good backdrop to Davis’ music. It however total fails as a biopic. Cheadle is great, however it’s a film that would have been far more interesting if made 30-40 years ago with Davis playing himself.
Captain America: Civil War: The collateral damage of their actions cause a showdown between super heroes. Sound familiar? The idea is largely the same as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, Civil War succeeds in just about every way that Dawn of Justice fails. It is coherent and fun, it even manages to avoid the biggest failing of the MCU, an original final act, not a rehash of previous movies.
The month boils down to four real contenders: Eye in the Sky, Midnight special, Louder than Bombs and Captain America. Louder than Bombs was probably my favourite and Midnight special will be held with the highest regard in future, but the movie of the month is Captain America: Civil War.