Film of the week: Mountains May Depart speaks with taciturn eloquence
Jia Zhangke’s format-shifting triptych crosses generations to document a new China, revolutionised and divided by technology, writes Nick Pinkerton.
Wednesday 3 January 2018
Film of the week: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a bitterly poignant comedy
Martin McDonagh’s small-town policing story has a greater emotional depth than his previous offerings, thanks in part to Frances McDormand’s sincere portrait of a grieving mother, writes Graham Fuller.
Wednesday 10 January 2018
Film of the week: Coco, Pixar’s vital dance with los muertos
Lee Unkrich’s fabulous familial adventure finds its animating principle in Mexican cultural riches, with a reach that crosses our mortal divide, says Violet Lucca.
Monday 22 January 2018
Film of the week: Downsizing plots an unpredictable course into American purgatory
Alexander Payne miniaturises Matt Damon and forces him to face up to some big issues in this frequently surprising high-concept drama, writes Henry K. Miller.
Thursday 25 January 2018
Film of the week: Phantom Thread unravels the relationship between an artist and his muse
Daniel Day-Lewis stars as a chilly 1950s couturier resisting romantic intimacy in Paul Thomas Anderson’s slyly comic Hitchcockian drama. It’s his most ambitious and surprising film yet, writes Adam Nayman.
Thursday 1 February 2018
Film of the week: Loveless takes a symbolic hammer to a family tragedy
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s latest film manipulates the story of a divorcing couple and a missing child to pass comment on Russian politics. It’s a pity it feels so forced, writes Adam Nayman.
Thursday 8 February 2018
Film of the week: The Shape of Water swims in lagoons of love and horror
Guillermo del Toro’s bittersweet romance between a mute cleaning woman and an amphibious man cleverly and affectionately updates Hollywood monster movies of the past, writes Kim Newman.
Friday 16 February 2018
Lady Bird review: Greta Gerwig sketches scenes from an awkward adolescence
Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age drama boasts high-calibre performances but only skims the surface of the relationship between its enigmatic title character and her overstretched mother, writes Nick Pinkerton.
Friday 16 February 2018
Black Panther review: an electrifying, Afrofuturist superhero movie
Ryan Coogler’s spectacular film diverges from one tradition while honouring another, in the process becoming a unusually poignant, political entry in the Marvel franchise, writes Kelli Weston.
Friday 16 February 2018
I, Tonya review: a chilling story of thwarted ambition
Margot Robbie gives a fierce performance as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in Craig Gillespie’s bruising biopic, supported by Allison Janney as her monstrous mother, writes Nikki Baughan.
Monday 5 March 2018
Film of the week: A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián Lelio’s heartfelt tale of emotional survival
Daniela Vega gives a luminous performance as the enigmatic transgender heroine of the Chilean director’s powerful fifth feature, writes Maria Delgado.
Friday 2 March 2018
Film of the week: Sweet Country, a landmark Aboriginal western
Warwick Thornton upends The Searchers with this deftly shaded and powerful account of the hunting of an indigenous couple wanted for the murder of a white man in the 1920s Australian outback, writes Jason Anderson.
Monday 12 March 2018
Film of the week: You Were Never Really Here makes pointillist poetry from hard-boiled brutalism
The body count vies with the word count in Lynne Ramsay’s stunningly pared-down avenger noir, with a battered but unbowed Joaquin Phoenix storming the urban night, writes Kate Stables.
Monday 12 March 2018
Film of the week: The Square artfully exposes hidden injustice
Ruben Östlund’s museum-set satire contrasts the prestige of high culture with the thankless work of helping people, with unpredictably uncomfortable results, writes Violet Lucca.
Thursday 15 March 2018
Film of the week: Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson’s absurdist canine caper
The universe of this shaggy-dog story reflects the influence of classic animators and Japanese auteurs both, but its attention to delightful detail and its sympathy for pack of furry leads are all Anderson’s own, writes Kim Newman.
Thursday 29 March 2018
Film of the week: 120 BPM is an enthralling, devastating call to action
Robin Campillo’s superb story of Aids activists in the 1990s is more than just a revelatory period piece, it’s a celebration of sex, dance and the invigorating value of collective resistance, writes Ben Walters.
Thursday 5 April 2018
Custody review: a scintillating separation drama
This scintillating separation drama deservedly won first-time feature director Xavier Legrand the Venice Film Festival’s Best Director award, writes Paul O’Callaghan.
Saturday 16 September 2017
Film of the week: Western faces a cold frontier
Valeska Grisebach’s tense new film summons the essence of a classic Hollywood genre to tell a mournful tale of fractured Europe and wounded masculinity, writes Elena Gorfinkel.
Thursday 12 April 2018
Film of the week: Funny Cow is a tough tale of hard times and dark humour
Maxine Peake blazes in an unapologetically jagged story of a comic battling domestic violence, sexism and hecklers on the 1970s and 80s club circuit, writes Kate Stables.
Thursday 19 April 2018
Let the Sunshine In review: Juliette Binoche rings love’s changes
In Claire Denis’s low-key rondo, archetypal romantic situations elicit subtle yet surprising transformations in the character of Binoche’s newly divorced painter as she returns to the romantic fray, writes Nick James.
Saturday 20 May 2017
A Quiet Place review: a masterly evocation of silent terror
John Krasinski’s meticulously crafted horror film is both a devastating allegory and a genuinely terrifying succession of jump-scares, writes Nikki Baughan.
Thursday 19 April 2018
Film of the week: Beast is a fairytale with more than one monster
Michael Pearce’s bold debut feature conjures a tantalising mix of eroticism and paranoia, as its heroine struggles with agonising doubts about her mysterious new lover, writes Philip Kemp.
Thursday 26 April 2018
Film of the week: Jeune femme is a divisive portrait of a flamboyantly chaotic young woman
The heroine of Léonor Serraille’s film comes across, at points, as a vulnerable, deluded individual and at others an enviably free spirit confronting the world’s hypocrisies. Is the trope of female messiness feminist or quite the reverse, asks Hannah McGill?
Wednesday 23 May 2018
Film of the week: Zama makes slow jest of a mouldering colonial mandarin
Lucrecia Martel’s masterly adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 novel maroons Daniel Giménez Cacho’s preening officer of the Spanish empire in an Argentine backwater, then turns the screw, writes Maria Delgado.
Sunday 27 May 2018
Film of the week: Hereditary paints a diabolical family portrait
Ari Aster’s unnerving and artful debut stars Toni Collette as a woman tormented by her own mother’s terrifying legacy, and uses a palette of haunted-house tropes to keep the audience guessing until the end, writes Anton Bitel.
Friday 15 June 2018
The Happy Prince review: Rupert Everett’s dark Wilde
Veteran Oscar Wilde impersonator Rupert Everett returns to the fray as writer and director too with a fervent if blearily kaleidoscopic portrait of the artist as a spent force, writes Michael Leader.
Monday 19 February 2018
EX LIBRIS – the New York Public Library review: Fred Wiseman’s ode to patience and fortitude
The director’s latest magisterial study of a public institution is a tribute to the power of education and the importance of community, characteristically ambitious yet surprisingly brisk, writes Neil Young.
Thursday 7 September 2017
Film of the week: Leave No Trace grieves for the wild at heart
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie gives a breakthrough turn as the loyal daughter of Ben Foster’s post-traumatised soldier, determined to live off-grid in post-frontier America, in Debra Granik’s tremendously subtle drama of diverging yearnings. Pamela Hutchinson reviews.
Friday 29 June 2018
Mission: Impossible – Fallout review: Tom Cruise defies gravity (and age)
The actor refuses to hang it up in the sixth Mission Impossible film, a movie thin in plot but packed with astonishing visuals and thrilling action sequences, writes Henry K. Miller.
Friday 27 July 2018
Film of the week: Apostasy presents a family’s painful crisis of faith
Mother and daughters are torn apart by religion in Daniel Kokotajlo’s assured debut, a potent drama about life in a tight-knit community of Jehovah’s Witnesses, writes Nikki Baughan.
Wednesday 25 July 2018
Film of the week: Sicilian Ghost Story is a chilling vision of lost youth
Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s hypnotic mystery film about a teenage girl stalking her missing lover into a dream world is as beguiling as it is bleak, writes Pamela Hutchinson.
Thursday 2 August 2018
El mar la mar review: a shape-shifting portrait of the US desert border, cloaked in dread
J.P. Sniadecki and Joshua Bonnetta’s unsettling portrait of the American southwest and people caught in purgatory is one of the strongest films yet from Harvard’s celebrated Sensory Ethnography Laboratory, says Jordan Cronk.
Tuesday 14 February 2017
Film of the week: The Heiresses follows a woman emerging from her shell of privilege
Paraguayan director Marcelo Martinessi strikes an exquisitely melancholic note with his female-centric debut feature, starring an impressive Ana Brun as a woman facing a disturbingly uncertain future, writes Maria Delgado.
Thursday 9 August 2018
A Northern Soul review: essential viewing in the age of austerity
Sean McAllister’s deceptively casual documentary about a warehouse worker bringing hip-hop to kids in Hull reveals uncomfortable truths about inequality in the UK, writes Trevor Johnston.
Thursday 23 August 2018
Film of the week: BlacKkKlansman fails to get to the heart of racist America
Spike Lee recounts the true story of a black police officer who went undercover in the KKK in this sweeping, clumsy parable, more concerned with landing jokes than interrogating racial hatred, writes Kelli Weston.
Friday 24 August 2018
Film of the week: Cold War dances to the music of hard times
Pawel Pawlikowski triumphs with a romantic epic cut down to a series of evocative episodes, with luscious monochrome photography and an unimprovable cast, writes Tony Rayns.
Thursday 30 August 2018
Film of the week: The Miseducation of Cameron Post teaches tough life lessons
Chloë Grace Moretz plays an introverted teenager at a naff but merciless gay conversion therapy camp in Desiree Akhavan’s study of psychological cruelty, writes Violet Lucca.
Thursday 6 September 2018
Film of the week: Faces Places pastes Agnès Varda’s playfulness over French landscapes
Teaming up with street artist JR, the legendary director goes in search of friends new and old in this intuitive caper, which veers between moments of collective joy and great personal poignancy, writes Sukhdev Sandhu.
Tuesday 25 September 2018
Film of the week: Columbus artfully balances a pair of opposites
Kogonada’s first narrative feature is as meticulously composed as you would expect, and a poignant tale of intergenerational conflict that recalls the work of Ozu, writes Ben Nicholson.
Friday 5 October 2018
Film of the week: Mandy aims Nicolas Cage at a temple of doom
Nicolas Cage’s bereft lumberjack becomes a slash-metal Samson rampaging against Linus Roache’s false god and his addled idolaters in Panos Cosmatos’s transcendental pulp cult wig-out, says Anton Bitel.
Wednesday 17 October 2018
Make Me Up review: Rachel Maclean takes a cyber cleaver to art history
Multimedia artist Rachel Maclean offers a digital twist on the suffragette assault on art-historical misogyny – a sherbert-fountain-screened unmasking of cultural command and control, writes Tara Judah.
Monday 15 October 2018
Film of the week: Vs. lets the Southend rap battles fly
Connor Swindells’s foster teen channels his hurt into rap in Ed Lilly’s feisty and evocative pierside drama, says Katherine McLaughlin.
Sunday 21 October 2018
Film of the week: Shirkers is a true-life horror story for indie filmmakers
As a teenage punk, Sandi Tan dreamed of making a movie, and a charismatic older man promised to help – until he vanished with the finished reels. In this documentary, she tells the tale of her lost and found film, writes Michael Atkinson.
Thursday 25 October 2018
Film of the week: Mirai freestyles a child’s exploration of sibling-hood
Pulling no punches in its child’s-eye view of everyday emotional turmoil, Hosoda Mamoru’s latest anime odyssey might be his most unconventional film yet, writes Andrew Osmond.
Thursday 1 November 2018
Film of the week: Widows takes the heist thriller for a spectacular ride
Viola Davis leads a gang of novice female crooks in Steve McQueen’s slick and intelligent blockbuster, which has plenty to say for itself over the gunfire, writes Pamela Hutchinson.
Thursday 8 November 2018
Wildlife first look: Paul Dano’s film is a picture of suburban sorrow
A teenage boy watches his parents’ marriage crumble in Dano’s nuanced directorial debut, which features exemplary lead performances from Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal, writes Ella Kemp.
Saturday 12 May 2018
They Shall Not Grow Old review: Peter Jackson brings controversial colour to WWI footage
Does Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s colourising of archive film of WWI soldiers make them more or less real to us? The critics and archivists who argue it’s a travesty have got it wrong, says Ian Christie.
Friday 9 November 2018
Film of the week: Shoplifters reveals Koreeda’s masterfully light touch
Koreeda Hirokazu won the Palme d’Or at Cannes with this nuanced and immersive drama about a makeshift family group, and rightly so – there is compassion in every frame, writes Trevor Johnston.
Friday 23 November 2018
Film of the week: Roma reframes Alfonso Cuáron’s boyhood through the eyes of his family’s maid
Cuáron’s magnificently crafted memoir casts us back to a 1970s childhood in the throes of family break-up, ruptures on the streets of Mexico City – and a Mixtec housekeeper given the weight of the drama, writes Nick Pinkerton.
Saturday 1 December 2018
Dead Souls first look: Wang Bing meets the survivors of Mao’s Anti-Rightist purge
Wang Bing’s harrowing, eight-hour documentary explores a long suppressed, and utterly horrific, chapter of China’s history, writes Giovanni Marchini Camia.
Saturday 12 May 2018
The Image Book review: Jean-Luc Godard’s ruminative and radical montage
Godard’s multifaceted essay film revels in the mobility and mutability of imagery in the 21st century, uncovering the violence of representation but always searching for hope in a cacaphonous world, writes Erika Balsom.
Thursday 6 December 2018
Film of the week: Sorry to Bother You is an unruly, outrageous corporate satire
The grasping racial politics of late-stage capitalism come under fire in Boots Riley’s wildly inventive comedy, starring Lakeith Stanfield as an office worker who gets too close to the truth, writes Adam Nayman.
Thursday 6 December 2018