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Archive for the ‘Movie Of The Month’ Category

I normally post my Movie of the Month on the first of each month, this was pushed back as I decided to look at my top ten of the year, and spoiler, one of this month’s movies crept into my top ten.  Here are the nine films I saw at the cinema in December bringing my screening total for the year to 104:

Knives Out – Rian Johnson’s homage to whodunit movies in the vein of Agatha Christie works both on the surface as a frothy thriller but more importantly as an hilarious parody.  The all star cast is fantastic especially Daniel Craig as the detective Benoit Blanc. Knives out

Motherless Brooklyn – Writer, director and star Edward Norton has been working on this passion project for about two decades.  Based on contemporary novel from the 1990’s by Jonathan Lethem, Norton has transported the story back to the 1950’s.  The period setting gives it a strangely more relevant story both tonally and thematically certainly more so than a 90’s or contemporary setting would have given.  The setting also helps the film to look fantastic, and sound even better thanks to a jazz soundtrack. Motherless Brooklyn

Jumanji: The Next Level – More of the same from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  As you would expect from a sequel, it lacks the originality, and therefore the surprise of the previous film, but is still tremendous fun largely thanks to the fantastic cast particularly Karen Gillan, and Dwayne Johnson.Jumanji The Next Level

A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood – I had never even heard of Fred Rogers until this film was made, but understand he was a big deal in America.  The brilliance of Marielle Heller’s movie is all the exposition is neatly handles by the character of Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), a journalist writing about Fred Rogers.  Tom Hanks is outstanding as Rogers.Tom Hanks (Finalized)

JoJo Rabbit – A satirical comedy about a ten year old member of Hitler Youth, whose imaginary friend is an incarnation of Hitler, sounds like a bad idea.  But when the Writer, Director, Hitler is Taika Waititi it all strangely works.  The film is light and very funny, that makes it even more hard hitting in the serious moments.  An absolute masterpiece. JoJo Rabbit

The Nightingale – I have been waiting five years Jennifer Kent’s follow up to The Babadook, it was worth the wait.  What has been tagged as a revenge thriller, but it is so much more than that, a damning indictment of colonialism it is brutal but never gratuitous.The-Nightingale

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The end of the Skywalker saga, again!  Not as good as The Last Jedi, but has some great moments and a fitting end to the trilogy. Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker - Copy

Judy & Punch – Punch &  Judy dates back around 500 years, and is certainly not what you would call politically correct, it therefore sounds like a strange thing for director Mirrah Foulkes feature début about domestic abuse.  It bizarrely works, and is a hugely satisfying feminist fable about empowerment.  Mia Wasikowska is amazing as ever!Judy & punch

Little Women – Many of the best films set in the past tell us about both how things are not just how things were, films like Motherless Brooklyn! But some films go beyond that, they also gives us a glimpse of how they could be, Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s often told story is one such film.  Saiorse Ronan is getting a lot of praise for her performance, but Florence Pugh absolutely steels the movie.  An early career masterpiece from Gerwig makes me wonder what she will do next!Little Women

A fantastic month of movies; Knives Out, and A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood, Motherless Brooklyn  are good enough to have won in many other months.  JoJo Rabbit, Judy & punch, and Little Women are even better, but also miss out to the outstanding movie of the month, that also made my top ten of the year: The NightingaleThe Nightingale Poster

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  • Inception
  • The Secret in Their Eyes
  • Monsters
  • Winter’s Bone
  • Kick-Ass
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Social Network
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • The Road
  • The Ghost
  • Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
  • Another Year
  • Shutter Island
  • Up in the Air
  • A Prophet
  • Whip It!
  • Made in Dagenham
  • The Disappearance of Alice Creed
  • Easy A
  • 4.3.2.1
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
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  • [•rec]2
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  • Chico & Rita
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Town
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  • Micmacs
  • Cemetery Junction
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  • Unstoppable
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  • Crazy Heart
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  • Precious
  • Buried
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  • Machete
  • Tron: Legacy
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  • The Girl Who Played With Fire
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  • Salt
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  • Splice
  • Iron Man 2
  • Centurion
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  • Chloe
  • Daybreakers
  • The Crazies
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
  • Remember Me
  • The Blind side
  • The Runaways
  • Invictus
  • RED
  • Gainsbourg
  • London Boulevard
  • Letters to Juliet
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Youth in Revolt
  • Mr. Nice
  • Frozen
  • The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  • F
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  • 44 Inch Chest
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  • Super 8
  • 13 Assassins
  • A Lonely Place To Die
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
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  • Thor
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  • Take Shelter
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  • Blue Valentine
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  • The Help
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  • NEDS
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  • One Day
  • John Carpenter’s The Ward
  • Drive Angry
  • The Beaver
  • Beginners
  • Bridesmaids
  • Red State
  • Cowboys and Aliens
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • The Conspirator
  • The Art of Getting By
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  • Blitz
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  • Oranges and Sunshine
  • Faster
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  • Water for Elephants
  • Immortals
  • Battle: Los Angeles
  • 30 Minutes or Less
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  • Biutiful
  • The Mechanic
  • The Thing
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Anonymous
  • Tomorrow, When The War Began
  • The Debt
  • Green Lantern
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
  • Footlose
  • Justice
  • Attack the Block
  • Apollo 18
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Unkown
  • Scream 4
  • The Silent House
  • The Eagle
  • The Resident
  • Season of the Witch
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
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  • Sanctum
  • Skyfall
  • The Artist
  • The Dark Knight Rises
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  • Moonrise Kingdom
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  • End of Watch
  • The Avengers
  • Killer Joe
  • Life of Pi
  • Looper
  • The Hunger Games
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  • The Raid
  • Wild Bill
  • Headhunters
  • Young Adult
  • The Descendants
  • Killing Them Softly
  • Prometheus
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  • The Sapphires
  • Storage 24
  • The Grey
  • In Darkness
  • Jack Reacher
  • Liberal Arts
  • COSMOPOLIS
  • A Dangerous Method
  • Like Crazy
  • Premium Rush
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  • The Expendables 2
  • 2 Days in New York
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation
  • 21 Jump Street
  • Savages
  • Ted
  • Fast Girls
  • Total Recall
  • Pitch Perfect
  • All in Good Time
  • How I spent my summer vacation
  • Brave
  • Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
  • Red Tails
  • Gone
  • Rampart
  • Carnage
  • Contraband
  • The Raven
  • Hunky Dory
  • Snow White and the Huntsman
  • The Bourne Legacy
  • Underworld: Awakening
  • Resident Evil: Retribution
  • Gambit
  • Safe House
  • Safe
  • Dark Shadows
  • J. Edgar
  • War Horse
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
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  • The Man with the Iron Fists
  • Silent House
  • Battleship
  • Cold Light of Day
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  • Man on a Ledge
  • John Carter
  • Taken 2
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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  • Les Misérables
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  • The Last Stand
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  • Lincoln
  • Flight
  • Beautiful Creatures
  • Bullet to the Head
  • A Good Day to Die Hard
  • Warm Bodies
  • Amour
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  • Mama
  • Cloud Atlas
  • Stoker
  • Arbitrage
  • Side Effects
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  • Welcome to the Punch
  • In The House
  • The Paperboy
  • Vinyl
  • Compliance
  • Trance
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  • G I Joe Retaliation
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  • Jack the Giant Slayer
  • Dark Skies
  • Spring Breakers
  • Papadopoulos & Sons
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  • Olympus Has Fallen
  • Evil Dead
  • Iron Man 3
  • I’m So Excited
  • The Look Of Love
  • Dead Man Down
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Mud
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Fast and Furious 6
  • Byzantium
  • The Purge
  • Populaire
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  • After Earth
  • Behind the Candelabra
  • Now You See Me
  • Man of Steel
  • Before Midnight
  • World War Z
  • Snitch
  • The East
  • The Bling Ring
  • Chasing Mavericks
  • Pacific Rim
  • The Frozen Ground
  • The Worlds End
  • The Wolverine
  • Frances Ha
  • Only God Forgives
  • The Conjuring
  • RED 2
  • Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
  • Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  • The Lone Ranger
  • 2 Guns
  • About Time
  • Kick-Ass 2
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  • Elysium
  • Rush
  • You’re Next
  • Riddick
  • White House Down
  • Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
  • The Call
  • Prisoners
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Runner Runner
  • Girl Most Likely
  • How I Live Now
  • Metallica Through The Never
  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Filth
  • Captain Phillips
  • Sunshine on Leith
  • Machete Kills
  • Prince Avalanche
  • Escape Plan
  • Ender’s Game
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Philomena
  • Gravity
  • In Fear
  • The Counsellor
  • Flu
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Carrie
  • Kill Your Darlings
  • Nebraska
  • Homefront
  • Getaway
  • Oldboy
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • 47 Ronin
  • All Is Lost
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • American Hustle
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  • August: Osage County
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Out of the Furnace
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • I, Frankenstein
  • Robocop
  • Lone Survivor
  • The Monuments Men
  • Jack Strong
  • Her
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Stalingrad
  • The Lego Movie
  • 300 Rise of an Empire
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Zero Theorem
  • Need For Speed
  • Under The Skin
  • Starred Up
  • A Long Way Down
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • The Double
  • DivergentNoah
  • The Last Days on Mars
  • The Raid 2
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Locke
  • Transcendence
  • Brick Mansions
  • Pompeii
  • Blue Ruin
  • Sabotage
  • Next Goal Wins
  • Two Faces of January
  • Godzilla
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Maleficent
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Belle
  • Oculus
  • 3 Days to Kill
  • Jersey Boys
  • Cold in July
  • Chef
  • Transformers: Age Of Extinction
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Boyhood
  • Begin Again
  • The Purge: Anarchy
  • Hercules
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • What If
  • The Inbetweeners 2
  • The Expendables 3
  • The Rover
  • Lucy
  • Deliver Us From Evil
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • Million Dollar Arm
  • As Above, So Below
  • The Guest
  • The Guvnors
  • Before I Go to Sleep
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • A Most Wanted Man
  • 20,000 Days on Earth
  • Pride
  • A Walk Amongst the Tombstones
  • Magic in the Moonlight
  • The Riot Club
  • The Giver
  • Maps To The Stars
  • I Origins
  • What We Did on Our Holiday
  • The Equelizer
  • Gone Girl
  • Dracula Untold
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Maze Runner
  • ’71
  • The Judge
  • The Babadook
  • Annabelle
  • Nightcrawler
  • Fury
  • Serena
  • Mr. Turner
  • The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
  • Say When
  • Interstellar
  • The Drop
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
  • The Homesman
  • Get On Up
  • Paddington
  • Black Sea
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Pyramid
  • The Hobbit
  • Big Eyes
  • Unbroken
  • Exodus: Gods And Kings
  • Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance
  • The Theory Of Everything
  • Into the Woods
  • Taken 3
  • American Sniper
  • Whiplash
  • Wild
  • Ex Machina
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • The Gambler
  • Inherent Vice
  • Trash
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Selma
  • Focus
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Blackhat
  • Project Almanac
  • It Follows
  • Predestination
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Kill The Messenger
  • X + Y
  • Still Alice
  • Suite Française
  • The Divergent Series Insurgent
  • The Gunman
  • Run All Night
  • Wild Card
  • Seventh Son
  • Fast & Furious 7
  • While We’re Young
  • John Wick
  • Cinderella
  • Good Kill
  • The Woman in Gold
  • The Salvation
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Child 44
  • The Falling
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Unfriended
  • Big Game
  • Top Five
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Spooks: The Greater Good
  • Tomorrowland
  • The Connection
  • Man Up
  • Danny Collins
  • Survivor
  • Mr Holmes
  • The Longest Ride
  • Knock Knock
  • Amy
  • The Terminator
  • Terminator Genisys
  • Love & Mercy
  • Ant-Man
  • Self/Less
  • Southpaw
  • Inside Out
  • Maggie
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Fantastic Four
  • The Gift
  • Precinct Seven Five
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • Trainwreck
  • Paper Towns
  • Hitman: Agent 47
  • No Escape
  • We Are Your Friends
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • The Transporter Refuelled
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • American Ultra
  • Ricki And The Flash
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  • Legend
  • Everest
  • The Visit
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Sicario
  • The Martian
  • McFarland
  • Macbeth
  • The Walk
  • The Intern
  • Regression
  • Suffragette
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Program
  • Black Mass
  • The Lobster
  • The Last Witch Hunter
  • SPECTRE
  • He Named Me Malala
  • Brooklyn
  • Kill Your Friends
  • The Lady in the Van
  • The Hallow
  • The Hunger Games Mockingjay part 2
  • Steve Jobs
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • True Romance (BFI Love Season)
  • Krampus
  • Victor Frankenstein
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Doctor Zhivago (BFI Love Season)
  • joy
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Hateful Eight
  • The Revenant
  • Creed
  • Room
  • The 5th Wave
  • The Big Short
  • Our Brand Is Crisis 
  • Spotlight
  • Youth
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • Point Break
  • Goosebumps
  • Deadpool
  • Concussion
  • A Bigger Splash
  • Triple 9
  • The Secret in Their Eyes
  • Hail Caesar 
  • How to be Single
  • The Witch
  • Divergent Allegiant
  • Anomslisa
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • High-Rise
  • Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice
  • Disorder
  • Eddie the Eagle
  • The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
  • Midnight Special
  • The Man Who Knew Infinity
  • Eye in the Sky
  • Bastille Day
  • Louder Than Bombs
  • Miles Ahead
  • Captain America Civil War
  • Zootropolis
  • The Jungle Book
  • Sing Street
  • Our Kind of Traitor
  • Everybody Wants Some!!
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Green Room
  • X Men Apocalypse
  • Whisky Tango Foxtrot
  • A Hologram for the King
  • The Nice Guys
  • Warcraft: the Beginning
  • Race
  • The Conjuring 2
  • Independence Day Resurgence
  • Now You See Me 2
  • The Neon Demon
  • Ghostbusters
  • The Legend of Tarzan
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Jason Bourne
  • Suicide Squad
  • Nerve
  • The Shallows
  • Julieta
  • Lights Out
  • Swallows and Amazons
  • The Purge: Election Year
  • The Mechanic: Resurrection
  • Brotherhood
  • Hell or High Water
  • Morgan
  • Cafe Society
  • One More Time With Feeling
  • Don’t Breathe
  • Anthropoid
  • The Girl With all the Gifts
  • Blair Witch
  • The Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  • The Infiltrator
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • Swiss Army Man
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
  • Blood Farther
  • The girl on the Train
  • War on Everyone
  • American Honey
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Inferno
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
  • The Accountant
  • Doctor Strange
  • Train To Busan
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Arrival
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years
  • Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
  • A United Kingdom
  • Paterson
  • Allied
  • Edge of Seventeen
  • Sully
  • Snowden
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars story
  • Passengers
  • Silence
  • Assassins Creed
  • Live by Night
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Donnie Darko 15th anniversary Re-issue
  • Underworld Blood Wars
  • A Monster Calls
  • La La Land
  • Trainspotting
  • XXX: Return of Xander Cage
  • Split
  • Jackie
  • T2 Trainspotting
  • Denial
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
  • Hidden Figures
  • Loving
  • Fifty Shades Darker
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • 20th Century Women 
  • John Wick: Chapter 2
  • Lion
  • Logan
  • Trespass Against Us
  • Moonlight
  • The Great Wall
  • The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Viceroy’s House
  • Fences
  • Free Fire
  • Personal Shopper
  • Get Out
  • Life
  • Power Rangers
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Raw
  • Table 19
  • Fast and Furious 8
  • The Handmaiden
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • The Belko Experiment
  • Rules Don’t Apply
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Their Finest
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Black & Chrome
  • Lady MacBeth
  • Lowriders
  • Sleepless
  • Unlocked
  • Miss Sloane
  • Alien: Covenant
  • Colossal
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
  • Wonder Woman
  • Gifted
  • The Mummy
  • My Cousin Rachel
  • Baby Driver
  • Churchill
  • The Book of Henry
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • It comes at Night
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • The Beguiled
  • Dunkirk
  • The Big Sick
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • Atomic Blonde
  • A Ghost Story
  • Overdrive
  • The Dark Tower
  • Annabelle: Creation
  • American Made
  • Logan Lucky
  • Detroit
  • Patti Cake$
  • Wind River
  • Gods Own Country
  • Mother!
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  • IT
  •  Borg vs Macnroe
  • Home Again
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • The Snowman
  • Double Date
  • The Death of Stalin
  • The Party
  • Happy Death Day
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Breathe
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
  • The Florida Project
  • Paddington
  • Justice League
  • Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
  • Battle of the Sexes
  • Ingrid Goes West
  • Molly’s Game
  • Good Time
  • The Man Who Invented Christmas
  • Blade of the Immortal
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Pitch Perfect 3
  •  Jumanji: Welcome yo the Jungle
  • The Greatest Showman
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Hostiles
  • All the Money in the World
  • Happy End
  • Darkest Hour
  • The Commuter
  • The Post
  • Coco
  • Downsizing
  • 12 Strong
  • Early Man
  • The Shape of Water
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  • Phantom Thread
  • Roman J Israel, Esq
  • I, Tonya
  • Loveless
  • Black Panther
  • Fifty Shades Freed
  • Lady Bird
  • Dark River
  • Game Night
  • Red Sparrow
  • Wonder Wheel
  • You Were Never Really Here
  • Gringo
  • Mom and Dad
  • Love, Simon
  • Tomb Raider
  • Ready Player One
  • Martyrs (10 year anniversary screening)
  • Unsane
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising
  • Isle of Dogs
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • A Quiet Place
  • Thoroughbreds
  • Ghost Stories
  • Death Wish
  • Beast
  • Funny Cow
  • Every Day
  • Wildling
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Battle Royale
  • Audition
  • Tully
  • Journeyman
  • Breaking In
  • Revenge
  •  Deadpool 2
  • Filmworker
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • On Chesil Beach
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Bobby Robson More than a Manager
  • Animal World
  • Leave no Trace
  • Sicario 2: Soldado
  • Hereditary
  • Ocean’s 8
  • Whitney
  • Mary Shelley
  • The First Purge
  • Hotel Artemis
  • First Reformed
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Pandora’s Box
  • Equalizer 2
  • In The Fade
  • A Prayer Before Dawn
  • Unfriended: Dark Web
  • The Darkest Minds
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • The Children Act
  • Searching
  • Hearts Beat Loud
  • Yardie
  • American Animals
  •  The Miseducation if Cameron Post.
  • Cold War
  • King of Thieves
  • The Rider
  • The Predator
  • A Simple Favor
  • Climax
  • Mile 22
  • The Little Stranger
  • Black ‘47
  • A Star is Born
  • The Wife
  • The Hate U Give
  • Halloween
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • First Man
  • Mandy
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Halloween
  • Venom
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Fog
  • The Evil Dead
  • Juliet, Naked
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Overlord
  • Widows
  • Wildlife
  • Assassination Nation
  • Suspiria
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • The Girl In The Spiders Web 
  • Escape From New York
  • Robin Hood
  • Disobedience
  • Green Book
  • Creed II
  • Tulip Fever
  • The Old Man and the Gun
  • Beautiful Boy
  • Mortal Engines
  • Aquaman
  • Bumblebee
  • Sorry to Bother You
  • Stan and Ollie
  • Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse
  • Colette
  • The Favourite
  • The Front Runner
  • Vice
  • Glass
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Escape Room
  • Schindler’s List
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Destroyer
  • The Mule
  • Alita: Battle Angel
  • Happy Death Day 2U
  • A Private War
  • Wild at Heart
  • Burning
  • Fighting With My Family
  • The Aftermath
  • Alien
  • The Hole In The Ground
  • Free Solo
  • Captain Marvel
  • The Kindergarten Teacher
  • Gräns (Border)
  • Everybody Knows
  • Wild Rose
  • Under the Silver Lake
  • Us
  • Mid90s
  • Shazam!
  • Lords of Chaos
  • Out of Blue
  • The Sisters Brothers
  • Eighth Grade
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Greta
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Hellboy
  • Long Shot
  • Booksmart
  • Beats
  • Vox Lux
  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  • Asbury Park: Riot, Redemtpion, Rick & Roll
  • Rocketman
  • High Life
  • STYX
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • Brightburn
  • I Love My Mum
  • Society
  • Diego Maradona
  • Apollo 11
  • Yesterday
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Anna
  • Midsommar
  • The Dead Don’t Die
  • Animals
  • The Matrix
  •  Toy Story 4
  • The Intruder
  • Crawl
  • Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
  • Oldboy (15 Year Anniversary Screening)
  • Blinded by the Light
  • Pain & Glory
  • Apocalypse Now, Final Cut
  • Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
  • Fleabag – NT Live
  • Hustlers
  • Rambo: Last Blood
  • Ad Astra
  • Ready Or Not
  • Roger Waters Us + Them
  • Joker
  • It: Chapter II
  • Downton Abby
  • The Day Shall Come
  • Zombieland: Double Tap
  • Official Secrets
  • Terminator: Dark Fate
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon
  • Luce
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • The Aeronauts
  • Le Mans 66
  • Sorry We Missed You
  • Doctor Sleep
  • The Irishman
  • Blue Story
  • Charlie’s Angels
  • 21 Bridges
  • Harriet
  • Knives Out
  • Motherless Brooklyn
  • Jumanji: The Next Level
  • A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood
  • JoJo Rabbit
  • The Nightingale
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Judy & punch
  • Little Women

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It’s that time of year again, my top ten movies of the year.  The criteria for selection: All films to have been released in the UK during 2019,  and seen by me in a cinema. 

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – The film I was most concerned about turned out to be my favourite of the year. I didn’t particularly enjoy Quentin Tarantino’s last film, The Hateful Eight, do we really need another movie about Charles Manson, and most significantly, is he capable of the sensitivity needed to tell the story of the horrendous murder of actress Sharon Tate?Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The Irishman – Martin Scorsese’s epic tale of mob hitman Frank Sheeran based on the novel I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.  This is not Goodfellas part 2, it is more thoughtful and sombre film than Scorsese’s previous entries into the gangster genre.  A masterpiece by a true master of cinema, the three and a half hour runtime is justified! The Irshman

Styx – Unbelievably this is just Wolfgang Fischer second feature, and more than a decade after his debut.  If All Is Lost is an existential crisis, Styx is a commentary on one of the biggest world issues today.  The title tells you all you need to know: In Greek mythology Styx is the river between the land of the living and the land of the dead.  Passengers must pay the ferryman, if they have no money they must remain on the river for 100 years.styx

Midsommar – I visited rural Sweden for midsummer a few years ago, while I’m pleased to report there was no murder or mutilation, it is a really big deal.  If you hated Hereditary, you will really hate Midsommar!  I was mixed on Hereditary but loved Midsommar.  The film looks amazing and is disturbing rather than scary, the near two and a half hour runtime flew by.  Once again Florence Pugh proves she is the most exciting and talented young actor working today.Midsommar

Apollo 11 – The rare inclusion of a documentary on my bets of year list.  Made up of NASA footage shot at the time of the moon landings.  Much of it on 65mm.  With no voiceover and no talking heads, it’s a wonder the film can hold the attention for its 93 minute runtime.  The key word here is wonder, because the film is filled with wonder, it is nothing short of stunning.Apollo 11

Burning – Its best to go into Chang-dong Lee’s Korean thriller with as little background information as possible.  Wonderfully ambiguous that keeps you guessing until the end and ultimately asks a lot more questions than it answers.Burning

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – True story of celebrity biographer Lee Israel based on her own memoir detailing her decent to rock bottom.  Written and directed by Marielle Heller with both flair, and humanity.  Melissa McCarthy’s gives her best performance to date, Richard E. Grant is as brilliant as ever.Can you ever forgivr me

If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel.  Brilliantly conveying a novels internal monologue in a way that last years On Chesil Beach failed to do. The acting is first rate throughout,  but the true triumph of the film comes in its direction and construction.If Beale Street Could Talk

The Nightingale – I have been waiting five years Jennifer Kent’s follow up to The Babadook, it was worth the wait.  What has been tagged as a revenge thriller, but it is so much more than that, a damning indictment of colonialism it is brutal but never gratuitous.The Nightingale

Under the Silver Lake – The downside to David Robert Mitchell’s follow-up to It Follows is that it has a feel someone trying to emulate David Lynch or the Coen brothers.  The plus side, is that it looks amazing and has some great moments of flair.  It doesn’t always work but it so bold it deserves to be seen.Under the Silver Lake

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Nine trips to the cinema this month, including one I didn’t think I would get to see on the big screen, the Netflix release, The Irishman.  I enjoyed all but one of them, but there is a clear winner for Movie of the Month. 

The Aeronauts – Reteaming of Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.  Loosely and vaguely inspired by an almost true story of a meteorologist’s attempt to make break the world record for the highest balloon flight in order to record data, and prove a theory.  Jones is on great form and the film looks spectacular.  There are some real moments of excitement and tension, but ultimate let down by a plot as thin as the air at 37,000 feet.The Aeronauts

Le Mans ’66 –  Based on the true story of Ford’s attempt to beat Ferrari at Le Mans with the help of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and Ken Miles (Christian Bale) Director  James Mangold is on top form making the two and a half hours fly by. Damon and Bale are both excellent as are the entire supporting cast. Le Mans 66

Sorry We Missed You – Exploration of the perils of the “gig economy” and the vicious circle of financial.  Whatever Ken Loach next would be compared to his previous film the excellent I, Daniel Blake.  His latest offering is very good, and hard hitting as you would expect, but not amongst the best of the directors work. Sorry We Missed You

Doctor Sleep – Sequel to The Shining with Ewan McGregor as an now adult Danny Torrance.  Taken on its own merit, it is a really good movie, but the recreations of Stanley Kubrick’s movie seen in flashback is jarring.  The highlight of the movie is Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat, the movies villain, I would have happily seen a movie about her, and her group.   Doctor Sleep

The Irshman – Martin Scorsese’s epic tale of mob hitman Frank Sheeran based on the novel I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.  This is not Goodfellas par 2, it is more thoughtful and sombre film than Scorsese’s previous entries into the gangster genre.  A masterpiece by a true master of cinema, the three and a half hour runtime is justified!The Irshman

Blue Story – Story of divided loyalties between two school friends against the backdrop of warring London gangs.  Strong performances are let down by a terrible script that is unoriginal and poorly plotted.  Musical/rap interludes are an interesting idea, but don’t work.  To its credit it condemns gang violence and never glorifies it. Blue Story

Charlie’s Angels – Soft reboot of the franchise that pitches itself as a sequel to all other incarnations of the Angels.  The plot is paper thin, with twists that are well telegraphed, but that doesn’t matter, as the film is so much fun.  The standout performance comes from Kristen Stewart, but the real star is the script and direction from Elizabeth Banks that provides the right balance of action and comedy.  It’s a shame it appears to have bombed at the US box-office, as I would have liked to see more of them. Charlies Angels

21 Bridges – After a heist goes wrong, two NYPD detectives (Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller) have a short period of time to catch a pair of cop killers.  The kind of old fashioned thriller that we don’t often see made these days.  Not an all time classic, but a well made and compelling thriller that is elevated above its predicable plot and ripe dialogue by stylish direction and excellent performances. 21 Bridges

Harriet – The true, and extraordinary story of Harriet Tubman, a woman whose escaped slavery was only the beginning of her amazing story.  The direction and narrative is vey by the numbers and doesn’t offer anything new or original, but Cynthia Erivo is sensational as ever. Harriet

Le Mans ’66 was excellent, and could have been Movie of the Month had it come out earlier in the year, but in November, it misses out to the clear winner:The Irshman poster

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A varied month with debut features, sequels, a soft reboot of a franchise, a TV spinoff and a concert movie.  Here are the contenders for movie of the month: 

Roger Waters, Us + Them – Essentially a concert firm made up mainly of Pink Floyd material.  A sensational audiovisual show with a political edge.  The juxtaposition of proactive images with the timeless lyrics makes a strong statement about the UK and US governments, the refugee crisis, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Worth seeing for the music alone, but it has so much more to say. Roger Waters, Us + Them

Joker –  The clown prince of crime as you have never seen him before.  Joaquin Phoenix is excellent, the film is better than the backlash would have you believe, but not as flawless as early reviews suggested.  I really liked it but didn’t love it. joker

It: Chapter II – The first movie was excellent, part two had excellent early reviews but poor word of mouth.  I liked it, it is creepy without being scary.  The adult cast are excellent in the own right, and at following on from the kids in the first film.  It could have benefited from a tighter edit.  It Chapter II

Downton Abbey – I have seen a few episodes of the TV show but didn’t watch it religiously, as such I kind of knew what to expect, and that is exactly what you get.  Well shot, and well acted, not massively cinematic, but passed the time harmlessly.  Fans of the show will probably love it.  Downton Abbey

The Day Shall Come – Nearly ten years after his first film, Four Lions, satirist/agent provocateur Chris Morris returns with his second film.  A naive, impoverished, and deluded preacher is manipulated into an arms deal by the FBI so they can arrest him as a terrorist to improve their conviction rates.  An absurdist satirical comedy that while fictional in itself, the tagline and the opening caption says: Based On a Hundred True Stories. Lacking both the levels of heart and humour of Four Lions, it is still a compelling if frightening watch.  Marchánt Davis is funny, compelling and confident in what is amazingly his movie debut, I expect to see a lot more from him in the future.The Day Shall Come

Zombieland: Double Tap – Ten years after the first movie, the original quartet are back. Very much the same again: the plot is thin, and only there to link a series of set-pieces together.  However there are plenty of funny moments from the always watchable returning cast with Rosario Dawson and Zoey Deutch making excellent additions. Zombieland Double Tap

Official Secrets – True story of Katharine Gun, the whistleblower who leaked information to the press in the build-up to the  2003 invasion of Iraq.  A little on the nose, with a little too much of characters explaining the plot, but an enjoyable film with an import story to tell.  Keira Knightley is excellent, as are the supporting cast including Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes, and Matt Smith.  Rhys Ifans appears to be in a different film playing an over the top character, I am led to believe it is an acurate portrayal. Official Secrets

Terminator: Dark Fate – Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in yet another Terminator, but this time Linda Hamilton returns to the franchise for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).  Thanks to the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff, the plot kind of works with the other films.  The story returns to the plot of the first two movies of Terminators chasing someone, and a protector also sent from future trying to save them.  It is notable that there are essentially three female leads, Hamilton, along with Mackenzie Davis, and Natalia Reyes.  All three are really good, but the script can’t decide who the lead is and sometimes suffers.  Schwarzenegger is used well, but Gabriel Luna lacks the menace of Robert Patrick from T2, or Schwarzenegger in the original film. Terminator Dark Fate

The Peanut Butter Falcon – A young man with Down syndrome is forced to live in an old people’s home, as the state doesn’t know where else to put him.  He escapes and begins an adventure akin to a modern day Mark Twain character.  Zack Gottsagen who like his character has Down syndrome is a compelling leading man, and is supported by an ever reliable Dakota Johnson, and Shia LaBeouf who again reminds us that he is a really good actor and his dalliance with Michael Bay movies was just a blip. The Peanut Butter Falcon

Luce – Saved from a warzone in Eritrea and adopted by a middleclass couple, Luce is an all-star student.  A dedicated teacher suspects there is more going on with Luce than his parents and the faculty see.  The brilliance of the film is in its subtly, it doesn’t answer many of the questions it asks.Luce

The Last Black Man in San Francisco – Jimmie, a young black man spends his spare time returning to his grandfathers old house to maintain it, against the wishes of the current owners.  When they are forced to move out, Jimmie sees his opportunity to reclaim what he believes is his birthright.  Low on plot and deliberately paced, it is a slow and mournful lament.  There is a lot more going on under the surface than a movie about gentrification.  Amazingly it is the feature debut from director Joe Talbot.The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Many people will expect my movie of the month to be Joker, its good, but not quite good enough.  The Peanut Butter Falcon, Luce, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco are all contenders, but the film that has stayed with me is the first one I saw this month:  Roger Waters, Us + Them:Roger Waters, Us + Them Poster

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Moving house has taken up a lot of time and curtailed my cinema-going this month.  A lack of internet access has also resulted in my leanest month of blogging, this is my first post since last months Movie of the Month.  Fortunately, I am back online, and all but one of the movies this month were really good:   

Fleabag: NT Live – Not actually a movie, but my first NT Live experience.  Phoebe Waller-Bridge returns to the origin of the hit TV Show, a one woman stage show.  Waller-Bridge is sensational, and it lends a great prospective to the TV show. NT LIVE_ FLEABAG

Hustlers – Based on a New York magazine article, writer/director Lorene Scafaria’s movie has come out of nowhere to be one of the most significant films of the year.     If there is a reverse version of Bechdel Test, this film would not pass it, and is all the better for it.  Constance Wu gets top billing, and is great, but this is Jennifer Lopez’s film reminding us of the promise shown in Out of Sight (1998).Hustlers

Rambo: Last Blood – With Rocky Balboa (2006), and Creed (2015), Sylvester Stallone has proved that there is life in his old franchises.  Sadly, Last Blood drops the ball.  Around a decade after the events of Rambo (2008), John Rambo seems to be living a happy life, living with a makeshift family, and running his late father’s ranch.  Given Stallone’s age, 73 this would be a great opportunity to make something akin to Gran Torino (2008) (made when Clint Eastwood was 78).  As it happens, we get a nasty rehash of the things we have seen a million times before.  The action isn’t bad, but the story is terrible. rambo-last-blood

Ad Astra – Brad Pitt plays an emotionally detached Astronaut living in the shadow of his father, Tommy Lee Jones who disappeared while looking for intelligent life.  What is essentially Heart of Darkness in space, looks amazing, but is ultimately is a little dull, with a few scenes that feel like they belong in a different film.  What should be a subtle subtext, comes across as a sledgehammer that we are hit with throughout the film.Ad Astra

Ready or Not – A new bride must play a game before being accepted by her husband’s family.  Comedy horror is the narrowest of tightropes, but when it works, it really works.  Ready or Not really works, thanks to an unflinching script, plenty of gore, and some great performances; but most importantly plenty of funny moments. Andie MacDowell and Adam Brody have fun in supporting roles, Samara Weaving has a bright future.ready or not

I sometimes give movie of the month to the best film of the month, other times I go for the one that is the most pleasantly surprising, Hustlers wins on both counts.Hustlers Movie Poster 

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A little late with my movie of the month following a busy weekend, here are the contenders, just five new movies and two classic reissues:

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw – The Fast and the Furious long since stopped being The Fast and the Furious and became Mission Impossible, if you accept that you will probably enjoy their latest outing.  It isn’t exactly good, but it is really great fun.  Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are likeable stars, Idris Elba is having great fun as the villain, and Vanessa Kirby is sensational.Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw

Oldboy – Back in cinemas for one day only, one of my all time favourite movies is as great as ever.Oldboy

Blinded by the Light – Based on the memoir of Bruce Springsteen supperfan Sarfraz Manzoor: Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll.  The tone of the film doesn’t always work, not knowing if it wants to commit to being a musical fantasy or not.  The young leads are great and its use of music of The Boss is great.Blinded by the Light

Pain & Glory – Many of Pedro Almodóvar’s movies have elements of autobiography, particularly about his relationship with his mother.  This may be his most autobiography and is certainly about his mother. Penélope Cruz is as great as ever in a small part.  Always underrated as an actor, Antonio Banderas gives the performance of a lifetime; it’s a shame Oscar is blinkered to subtitles! The film features something in the final act that I would call a revelation rather than a twist, it is truly sublime. Pain & Glory

Apocalypse Now, Final Cut – I first saw Apocalypse Now in my early teens, and loved it.  A few years later I saw a scratchy old 35mm print on the big screen, it was even better. The Final Cut offers a longer version of the film (but around 20 minutes shorter than the Redux version), with a runtime around three hours.  More significant than the cut, is the print, a 4K transfer from the original negative; I saw it on IMAX, it looked amazing! Apocalypse Now

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino’s return to form.  Rather than try and distil my thoughts into a paragraph, take a look at THISonce upon a time in hollywood dicaprio and pitt

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Teen horror, that lacks any real horror or scares.  It is generally fun with likeable characters, and a couple of good performances.  The film looks fantastic with excellent production design and photography. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

As always I excluded re-releases for movie of the month, this leaves two contenders.  In most moths Pain & Glory would be a clear winner, but looses out to my Movie of the Month:movie of the month once upon a time in hollywood (1)

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