Alistair Harkness

Alistair Harkness
Alistair Harkness's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Scotsman Film4

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/5 71% Gwen (2018) Despite teasing some supernatural elements though, William McGregor's film is too grounded in real-world bleakness to make its tale of patriarchal menace in mid-19th century Britain anything more than an artfully shot misery fest. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
1/5 50% Tell It to the Bees (2019) Director Annabel Jankel's overuse of beekeeping as a visual metaphor, meanwhile, just gets increasingly silly. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
3/5 52% The Lion King (2019) Mostly, though, this is a cheerful nostalgia simulator for parents who want to let their kids experience the film they remember in a format they'll appreciate and understand. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
100% Crocodile (1996) that film's preoccupation with suicide and the need to find light even in the darkest realms of human existence demonstrates that these have been issues with which Kim has long grappled. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
2/5 47% Robert the Bruce (2019) Reprising the role he first played in Braveheart a quarter of a century ago, Angus Macfadyen - who co-wrote the script - makes a convincing case for Robert's battle weariness, but the story he's concocted to convey the themes lacks punch. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
2/5 63% Yesterday (2019) Yesterday squanders a promising premise by using it in service of a reactionary romcom about a bumbling guy learning to appreciate the beautiful best friend who's spent her entire adult life quietly pining for him. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 92% Support the Girls (2018) A leading dramatic role for rising star Regina Hall (Girls Trip) is the best reason to see Support the Girls. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 96% In Fabric (2019) The British high street has never seemed so strange. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) With the 50th anniversary of the mission imminent, the film serves as both a glorious tribute to that moment and a positive, hope-filled reminder of the good that can be achieved even in times of great political turmoil. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 92% MEMORY - The Origins of Alien (2019) What the film comes up with is manna from heaven for aficionados; the trenchant analysis had even this Alien nerd looking at the film in a new light. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 84% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) It's hard to tell if the tonal inconsistencies are deliberate, but writer/director Riley Stearns certainly makes the most of them: the end result is intriguingly off-kilter. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 54% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Bill Murray and Adam Driver feel like sly surrogates for a filmmaker now operating in a world that's far weirder than anything he's ever created... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
2/5 93% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) Kael freed up film criticism with her slangy, evocative style and her willingness to pour her own life into her reviews; this film drains that life out of her work with its dull adherence to talking-head interviews and Wikipedia-style factoids. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 97% Varda by Agnès (2019) It's an absolute gift of a film from a director whose understood that sharing was a key part of her creativity. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 89% The Souvenir (2019) The end result is a sincere, audaciously complex, artistically rich attempt to grapple with the difficulty of figuring out how to articulate something meaningful in a medium built on artifice. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
69% The Flood (2019) File under worthy but dull. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
64% Child's Play (2019) The special effects are certainly well done and the tech angle is a decent idea. If only the script was smart enough to pull off its post-modern flourishes. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
98% Toy Story 4 (2019) Pixar does pointlessness exceptionally well. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 95% Boyz in the Wood (2019) Boyz marks Doff out as a real talent to watch - and the young cast are a blast too. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
3/5 91% Gloria Bell (2019) A funny, illuminating portrait of a woman testing the relationship waters again with the wisdom of someone who has spent decades raising a family, but who has come to terms with the fact that she's no longer needed in quite the same way... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 80% Late Night (2019) It's a cliché-ridden role, but Thompson finds the grace notes in it. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) A compelling origins story that imagines what might happen if an all-powerful superbeing turned bad instead of good. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 73% Rory's Way (The Etruscan Smile) (2019) A more entertaining prospect than its groaning fish-out-of-water premise initially promises. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
4/5 59% Sunset (Napszállta) (2019) The cumulative effect is mesmerising, as vivid as a nightmarish dream that's too slippery to fully comprehend but too haunting to forget. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3/5 55% Ma (2019) An enjoyably trashy exploitation shocker... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Unforgivably dull. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
4/5 97% Thunder Road (2018) Cummings' protagonist is an empathetic marvel, a decent guy trying to hold it together as the world kicks him repeatedly in the groin. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
97% Booksmart (2019) The film traverses... new yet familiar territory with utter confidence, expertly subverting clichés at every turn and delivering great gags and brilliant performances. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
90% Rocketman (2019) As the film has it, music courses through every fibre of Elton's being, and these big show-stopping moments are a fun way of letting us understand the power music held over him... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
4/5 100% Irene's Ghost (2018) A haunting mix of documentary and animation in which British filmmaker Iain Cunningham turns detective to piece together the life story of his mother, who died before he could form any lasting memories of her. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
1/5 59% Breakthrough (2019) Breakthrough could have been done in an interesting way had its makers not been intent on turning it into a Sunday school recruitment video. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/5 99% Amazing Grace (2019) It's aesthetically atrocious. But as a record of one of greatest artists of the 20th century in her prime, it's a useful historical document... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
4/5 90% Beats (2019) Beats pulls off the tricky task of delivering a culturally specific coming-of-age movie in a way feels simultaneously cutting edge yet affectionate. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/5 96% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) The effect is oddly distancing, but cumulatively intriguing, part of the holistic design of a film that is attempting to track the devastating impact of an increasingly globalised trade on a point in the supply chain that rarely features in movies. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Final Ascent (2019) The film charts [MacInnes's] remarkable attempt to rescue himself from personal oblivion by re-engaging with his well-documented past - something the film smartly uses as a cue to look back at his incredible life and career. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3/5 88% Arctic (2019) Unfortunately, a script largely uninterested in the interior life of its main character proves the biggest obstacle to this transcending its status as just another man-vs-nature endurance test. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3/5 67% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) The plot pretty much recycles Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but it's fine for younger kids who perhaps don't have the bladder control for Avengers Endgame. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
4/5 88% Madeline's Madeline (2018) [A] quietly radical film about who has the right to tell what story, one that cuts seamlessly between its three excellent female leads' points of view. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2/5 83% High Life (2019) The film eventually plays out like the umpteenth lo-fi riff on 2001 and Solaris and it's hard to escape the sense that she's using provocative imagery the way blockbuster hacks use expensive action sequences. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2/5 81% Long Shot (2019) Rogen's default schlub-with-a-heart-of-gold persona wears very thin, very quickly and Theron can't do much with a role that recycles diluted versions of the ribald routines we've seen in the countless Rogen comedies since Knocked Up. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
1/5 31% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) A weak, shoddily executed 1970s-set story about centuries-old infanticidal Mexican ghost. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3/5 56% Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) The film's attempts to create some ambiguity around Bundy's guilt for dramatic purposes starts to feel like a disservice to the 30 known victims whose stories the film, like the media it's critiquing, doesn't seem all that interested in exploring. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
2/5 51% Tolkien (2019) The film fails to drill down into the creative process in any meaningful way. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
4/5 62% Vox Lux (2018) Corbet's willingness to approach his subject matter with the freedom of a novelist or a painter and push the form on a scale that feels simultaneously grand and intimate is thrilling to watch. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
4/5 94% Styx (2019) Great stuff. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
2/5 48% Bel Canto (2018) Weitz can't quite whip up the requisite emotional fireworks when the film demands it. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
2/5 75% Pond Life (2018) A little underpowered, particularly in its efforts to explore the ways in which the carefree nature of adolescence can be tinged with a darkness that makes the stagnant world of childhood harder to escape. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
3/5 95% The World Is Yours (Le monde ou rien) (2018) Gavras... deserves credit for using the auspices of a knockabout gangster comedy to take satirical sideswipes at the racial prejudices of a divided Europe. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
4/5 99% Eighth Grade (2018) A sweet, funny, wonderfully nuanced coming-of-age film that modifies the daily trauma of being 13 for a digital age that demands at least the pretence of a perfectly realised life. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
3/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) A grandiloquent spectacle that passes by in what feels like seconds. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019