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
4/5 99% MLK/FBI (2021) [I]t's an authoritative look at what Comey calls "the darkest period in the bureau's history," one that does a good job of laying out the complexities of the times while pre-emptively trying to assess what the impact on King's legacy will be... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
2/5 33% Blithe Spirit (2020) Despite the star wattage of the cast, they fail to conjure up anything especially amusing. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
1/5 14% Stardust (2020) What makes Stardust even more redundant though is that this period of Bowie's career has already been entertainingly essayed on film in the form of Todd Haynes's riotous 1998 glam rock movie Velvet Goldmine... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
4/5 95% Soul (2020) Indeed, it's frequently more complicated than it already sounds and yet it moves along so breezily... that its deeper resonances hit you in a way great art often does: unexpectedly and with a force that's sometimes difficult to explain. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
3/5 76% Pieces of a Woman (2020) Despite these flaws, there remains plenty to admire, not least Kirby's titular performance, which is steely yet brittle and never once tries to milk our sympathies. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
4/5 82% Let Him Go (2020) [Bezucha] approaches his material here with a pared-down classicism that's thrilling to watch, taking his time to build a detailed portrait of his protagonists' loving, mutually respectful marriage... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2020
3/5 60% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) At two-and-a-half hours, the film imbibes the very excesses of the era it's satirising. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
3/5 100% Cocoon (Kokon) (2020) [I]t's not exactly subtle in its efforts to dramatise what Nora is going through. Then again, neither are the feelings teenagers have at this age, so all the transformation symbolism feels appropriate rather than condescending. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
2/5 59% Dreamland (2019) Instead [Joris-Peyrafitte] spends so long framing it as the story of a comic-book-reading teenage boy obsessed with his long-absent father that watching it feels like queuing up for a dull theme park ride into the past. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
4/5 33% Smiley Face Killers (2020) It's freaky, engrossing stuff and Glover's casting provides a neat link to his earlier collaboration with Hunter.... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
4/5 98% David Byrne's American Utopia (2020) Lee's ability to capture and convey liveness on screen that really ramps up the poignancy of the film. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
3/5 57% The Prom (2020) [T]his is mostly a preaching-to-the-choir celebration of the joys of musical theatre and to that end it can be terrifically entertaining thanks to some dazzling routines, sharp one-liners and outré performances. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
2/5 51% The Midnight Sky (2020) [I]t's a mishmash of sci-fi clichés with a twist M Night Shyamalan might reject as too hokey. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
2/5 58% Murder Me, Monster (Muere, monstro, muere) (2018) An array of Freudian imagery (and one very literal monster) suggest the film is exploring some kind of deep-rooted fear of female sexuality, but it's mostly baffling. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
4/5 100% Host (2020) Like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity before it, [Host] also transcends its potentially gimmicky premise with genuine scares that reflect a new way of interacting with the world. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
3/5 73% Falling (2020) Though Mortensen relies too much on flashbacks to guide us through the intricacies of Willis's relationship with his kids, the film doesn't go for easy emotional pay-offs and the present day scenes have real power... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
4/5 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) The film's director, George C Wolfe, a theatre veteran, is also confident enough in the power of his source material not to feel any great need to open the play up. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
3/5 79% Uncle Frank (2020) It's all a little hackneyed, but Bettany and Lillie make it worth watching. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
2/5 48% Black Beauty (2020) It's all slickly enough put together, if hokey in the extreme. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
2/5 74% Audrey (2020) ... all they really provide are glowing testimonials to her humanitarian instincts and her generosity of spirit. Which is all very lovely, but over 100 minutes it feels very thin. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
5/5 93% Possessor: Uncut (2020) [T]ransforming it into a bleak critique both of big data and it's ability to control people, but also of the kind of corporate and technocratic mindset that sees the shedding of one's humanity as an evolutionary step forward. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
3/5 95% Asia (2020) [D]ebut writer/director Ruthy Pribar's no frills drama presents its title character (played by Alena Yiv) as a woman filled with regret at the burden of parenthood. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
5/5 99% Collective (Colectiv) (2020) It's a bleak but important film - a timely warning to everyone about the need to keep those in power in check. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
5/5 83% Mank (2020) [Fincher] knows where the decaying bodies are buried in other words, but more importantly, he knows how to transform the tarnished glamour of Hollywood into great cinema. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
4/5 97% Billie (2020) [T]he chance to hear that voice in a film that contextualises everything she went through is, ultimately, what makes this a valuable endeavour and worth seeking out. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2020
2/5 27% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) File under "missed opportunity." - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2020
2/5 91% Luxor (2020) Sadly, the elliptically structured film, named for the Egyptian city in which it's set, lacks the artistic chops to pull off the story it's trying to tell. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
3/5 53% Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020) In this respect, it owes more to various Mad Max films than the zombies-on-a-train purity of its predecessor, but returning director Yeon Sang-ho pulls everything off with a degree of B-movie panache that's very entertaining. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
4/4 100% Love Child (2020) [A] thoroughly engrossing portrait of resilience and hope as personal issues, local complications and global political shifts repeatedly challenge their simple desire to have what so many others take for granted. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
4/4 100% The Three Kings (2020) [An] affectionate and thoughtful documentary about Matt Busby... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
4/4 95% About Endlessness (Om det Oändliga) (2020) That Andersson has chosen to bring his career to a close not with a bang but with an entropic whimper makes this a perfectly droll swansong. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
79% Summer of 85 (Été 85) (2020) Lively performances from its young French cast see it through, but it's no Call Me By Your Name. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
89% The Climb (2020) Tightly performed and scripted by its two stars (Covino also directed it), it's tonally similar to last year's Thunder Road and has a similarly sweet pay-off. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
40% Honest Thief (2020) It's completely implausible, but there's still mileage in Neeson's reluctant tough guy persona. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
49% The Witches (2020) [T]he specificity of the location switch adds an intriguing racial dimension to the story, but otherwise this is a pretty faithful adaptation, retaining the age-appropriate malevolence of Dahl's book, as well as his wonderfully unsentimental ending... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
86% On The Rocks (2020) In the end, the film functions as a kind of affectionate swan-song for an old-school type of guy who knows his time is up but is determined to go out in the decadent style to which he's become accustomed. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
3/5 91% Relic (2020) What follows is good at dramatising the stressed-out family dynamics of its protagonists, but despite fine production design, there's a frustrating lack of commitment to its more supernatural elements. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
3/5 100% His House (2020) Though a little uneven in its efforts to balance genre thrills with social commentary, the film's twists are imaginatively rendered and Dirisu and Mosaku are good as a couple struggling to reconcile their pasts with their present. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
4/5 97% The Painter and the Thief (2020) The story's twists and turns are too good to risk ruining in a review, but suffice to say that the film stands as a genuine testament to the way art can transform the lives of those who make it and those who appreciate it... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
4/5 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) [T]he film itself remains a valuable and at times very funny take-down of the willful ignorance and intolerance coursing through all levels of American society. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
5/5 87% Shirley (2020) Working from an internalised script from Sarah Gubbins, Decker trusts us to intuit the connections between Jackson's experiences and her work, and she brings her subject to life with all the gnarly texture of one of Jackson's stories. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
4/5 75% The Other Lamb (2020) It's not subtle, but it is bold. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
3/5 92% Body of Water (2020) Featuring a committed performance from Siân Brooks in the lead, what follows may not not offer much in the way hope, but it's a worthwhile attempt to grapple with the complexity of a still much-misunderstood disease and the devastating reach it can have. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
4/5 100% Being a Human Person (2020) Even if you're not familiar with his films, the uniqueness of his process is a wonder to behold. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
4/5 98% Time (2020) Making extraordinary use of Fox's own video diaries, director Garrett Bradley expands the film into a philosophical inquiry into the meaning of time for those whose lives have been ripped apart by a system that favours incarceration over rehabilitation. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
4/5 77% One Man and His Shoes (2020) Yemi Bamiro's trenchant documentary examines Jordan's relationship with Nike and the development of the Air Jordan brand as a way of tracking the destructive path of capitalism on the black community in America. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
3/5 39% Rebecca (2020) Indeed, the film - as handsomely mounted and well performed as it is, especially by Kristin Scott Thomas - ends up, ironically, feeling almost too respectful of its source material to fully come into its own. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
4/5 89% Supernova (2021) [T]he film - written and directed with real elegance by Harry Macqueen - packs a big emotional punch thanks to Firth's and Tucci's sublime, intimate and heartfelt performances. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2020
4/5 98% One Night in Miami (2020) King takes care to avoid the theatrical pitfalls inherent in the material, broadening the play out with real cinematic flair. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2020
2/5 96% Beyond the Visible - Hilma af Klint (2020) A pretty tedious primer that fixates on her status as a marginalised woman to offset the frustrating lack of insight into her work. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020