Destroyer, directed by Karyn Kusama, isn’t able to salvage what it a dower, cliché revenge drama, despite having two scenes near the very end of the film that do a lot of work to try and evolve the film into something more than what it primarily is. To be honest, my enthusiasm for this review is low, as when it comes to Destroyer, there’s very little to talk about that doesn’t feel like me rehashing things I’ve said about plenty of other films that are exactly like this one. Anyway, let’s drop ourselves down into the review and see what to make of Destroyer. Read more
Can You Ever Forgive Me, directed by Marielle Heller, with its morose, nihilistic view, there’s a wit and a charm… and even the tiniest little hint of heart, offers an experience that speaks to you and in its own unique way, endears you to its characters. So, let’s explore all of those qualities and more in my review and see if this is a film you might want to see. Read more
Glass, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, might possibly be the filmmakers best work to date (with Unbreakable or Signs being its primary competition). With a meaningful focus on characters, a competency with the camera that hasn’t always been there, and a noticeable cinematic growth by Shyamalan; Glass ends up being one of the most compelling films and experience from a director who has often struggled to deliver on the vision he seems to have in his head. For the first time in a very long time, I’m excited to be talking about and reviewing an M. Night Shyamalan film, so let’s get to it. Read more
Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Josie Rourke is a film that feels as if it’s constantly going around in circles; never achieving anything impactful, never feeling like a film that’s finding a purpose or drive that results in something meaningful. Sadly, there’s not much I was ever able to find compelling about this film… but maybe there’s something in it that makes it worth seeing; maybe there’s something that makes it worth seeing. So, let’s get into the review and see if there’s anything that makes it worthwhile. Read more
Vice, written and directed by Adam McKay, is a film that always felt on the verge of ascending into something truly incredible; something that completely captivated you – and that’s all because of the film’s primary focus (Dick Cheney and the tornado of people around him) and the actors that perfectly embody some of history’s most defining politicians. But… there is one massive and obtrusive obstacle in the way of this really good film from being something truly great, and that is Adam McKay’s ‘shock and awe’ style directing, and frankly… his ego. So, the question is: does this film’s incredibly rich characters and its monumentally important story break through all the nonsense of Adam McKay’s writing and directing and deliver something worth seeing? Well, let’s figure that out together in this review, shall we? Read more
Stan & Ollie, directed by Jon S. Baird, is a pleasantly endearing film. It makes you smile, it draws you into a bond and a friendship that is sweet and funny. It all makes for an experience I sat through and… happily enjoyed. But… with Stan & Ollie, I always got the sense that it was struggling to find a driving force that was overly compelling. While I liked my time with the film, it was never one that fully grasped my attention; I drifted from it a few times. My time spent with Stan & Ollie was mixed, and much like it, my path through this review will also be mixed. So, let’s get on with the review and see if those mixed opinions add up to a film worth seeing. Read more
The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, was a delightfully self-indulgent film that I gleefully grinned throughout its bitingly clever dialogue and its incredibly nuanced characters. Watching as the film’s three main characters battled one another in the most deceptively sinister ways was something that… to put it bluntly: I gorged myself on every dark, comedically brilliant moment of. And now, I’m very excited to dive deep into all it has to offer. So, let’s stop with all the adjectives (in this intro, there’s about to be a whole lot of adjectives thrown your way throughout this review) and get on with things. Read more
Aquaman, directed by James Wan, in all its flashy camera moves, vibrant landscapes and somewhat entertaining action, is a big, dumb, empty film that I found myself inevitably checking out of and forever having to mentally try to keep up with an experience that genuinely seemed confused by what it wanted to be. With this review, I’m going to try to not be totally negative, but I must stress that Aquaman doesn’t make that an easy thing to do. Read more
Not to start this celebration of films off on a glum note, but 2018 has been one of the toughest years for me, personally, and because of that my time spent in the cinema or watching films hasn’t been as extensive as previous years. Why am I telling you this? Well it means that this year’s list might have what you may consider to me omissions. That could either be because I wasn’t able to see the film, or I thought they weren’t as good as everyone else seemed to think they were (I’m talking about you, Hereditary).
Still though, this has been another great year for cinema, and when I have made it to the chapel of film, I’ve been treated to a number of special experiences – I even found myself wowed and excited by a Marvel movie this year with Avengers: Infinity War (a film that I enjoyed the first time round and then loved the second time). So, despite my limited time with films this year, there are still plenty of standout films that I’m excited to share with you in this list.
Before I get started properly, I want to as always lay out the fact that this list is not one comprised of what are perhaps the absolute best films of the year (though some definitely are in my opinion). This is more a list about exploring films that for one reason or another stuck with me and made an impact on me when I saw them. And as always, this list will contain the film that was my favourite of the year – a decision I have struggled with when looking at the list. So, enough with this rambling intro, let’s get to the list and see what were the films that stood out to me in 2018! Read more
Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight, proves that with just a little bit of heart, a lot of fun, and nothing of what Michael Bay considers filmmaking; that you can make a big-screen adaption of Transformers be a surprisingly wonderful experience. I’m really looking forward to writing this review, and that’s because it keeps me thinking about a little film that continues to make me smile with its innocent, joyful offerings. So, let’s get to it, shall we? Read more