Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
8/10 96% Hail Satan? (2019) Hail Satan? is an entertaining, insightful look at how the strongest defenders of society's liberal order are the people you'd least expect. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2019
7/10 79% Good Boys (2019) As was the case with Superbad, calling it a gross out comedy proves to be detrimental to the far more compelling examination of the dynamics surrounding young male friendship. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
8/10 94% Transit (2019) Transit is prescient without being preachy, updating a bleak noir story to the populist authoritarian resurgence and creating something truly uncomfortable. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
91% Blinded by the Light (2019) Even if you're not a Springsteen fan, you'll still find yourself rushing to stream his back catalogue as soon as the end credits roll. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Sequin in a Blue Room (2019) An effective directorial debut, handling a problematic character study with surprising care. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2019
83% Cubby (2019) The character of Mark Nabel wouldn't seem out of a place in a Will Ferrell slacker comedy, or one of Tim Robinson's more outlandish sketches - a familiar comic character, but one that feels thrillingly alien within a film aimed at queer audiences. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet BIT (2019) Beneath the angsty jet black comedy, Bit is something far more sincere - not to mention something of a high watermark when it comes to transgender representation in genre cinema. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
97% Varda by Agnès (2019) What sounds like a triumphant swan song in theory, looking back on a lifetime of iconic films and how they affected the way she sees the world, plays out like a DVD extra in practice. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet A Dog Barking at the Moon (2019) For the most part, it's a bold, brave directorial debut that marks Xiang Zi as a filmmaker with a bright future ahead of her. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2019
3/10 42% Stuber (2019) Stuber is a lazy, unfunny attempt at a high concept action comedy, that will leave you wishing you'd stayed at home to watch Collateral instead. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
7/10 65% Our Time (Nuestro tiempo) (2019) Our Time doesn't completely justify its three hour length, but it feels like a necessary catharsis for Carlos Reygadas. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
100% Only You (2018) The middle section may be something of a slog, but thanks to O'Connor and Costa, there is never a second where you won't believe you're seeing the intimate difficulties of a real couple laid bare onscreen. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
100% The Lavender Scare (2019) This moment in history, long relegated to being a mere footnote (if mentioned at all), can now finally become part of the conversation on LGBT rights - let's make sure we don't forget it again. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2019
78% Never Look Away (2019) Never Look Away shows signs of promise, but is let down by an epic scale that is never justified. By the boring final hour, it will become very easy to break the titular rule. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Pixar have created another near-perfect family film while ever so slightly deviating from their expected formula. If this is the start to a second trilogy, then based on what I've seen here, I'll follow it to infinity and beyond. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
84% The Nightingale (2019) If you're disgusted, horrified or upset by anything in The Nightingale, then Kent has done her job. Using a traditional revenge movie template as her jumping off point, she reminds us that we can have no catharsis for the horrors of the past. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
99% The Farewell (2019) The Farewell has understandably become one of the most beloved films on this year's festival circuit - and one that I'm afraid to say left me cold, despite the strength of Wang's direction and the understated performances by the entire ensemble. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
87% Diego Maradona (2019) Diego Maradona is another triumph for Asif Kapadia, looking deeper into the context behind Maradona's success and gradual downfall to offer something richer than the standard sports documentary. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
4/5 100% Beanpole (Dylda) (2019) It's not an easy watch, but it's hard to argue against it being a rewarding one. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2019
4/10 80% Late Night (2019) Late Night frequently pulls it punches, compromising its material in order to become a crowdpleaser, and missing every chance to make a meaningful statement on the male dominated world of comedy. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
3.5/5 53% Matthias and Maxime (2019) A breath of fresh air compared to Dolan's recent, weaker efforts. We're back on familiar terrain, firmly within the director's comfort zone, and it's great to see him return to form, if not fully back to the peak of his powers. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
3.5/5 82% Port Authority (2019) An attention grabbing debut film from Danielle Lessovitz. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
83% The Skin of the Teeth (2019) The Skin of the Teeth is an unusual film; not quite horror, not quite social commentary, but captivating due to its enveloping sense of unease and unpredictability. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
94% It Must Be Heaven (2019) There are amusing comic moments, but it's a shame that they are interlinked with clumsier sequences, that feel like they are playing directly to the audience's political biases with nothing new to say aside from the obvious. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
60% Yves (2019) Expect a long run on the festival circuit, as a film that lives up to the surreal ingenuity of its premise in the way Yves does truly needs to be seen to be believed. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
55% Oh Mercy! (Roubaix, une lumière) (2019) Oh Mercy!, presumably named after what you'll be screaming after enduring something so painfully run of the mill, suffers from the unusual problem of being both too convoluted, and so reliant on formula it never becomes difficult to follow. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
7/10 90% Zombi Child (2019) The spectres of colonialism and cultural appropriation are both lurking under the surface of Bonello's unusual foray into art-horror, which takes the very concept of the living dead back to its mythological roots in Haiti. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2019
4/5 100% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019) No longer is Sciamma dealing with the struggles of young people as they deal with their changing bodies, but she is taking the logical next step, crafting a romance all around the idea of capturing the female body in a work of art. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2019
9/10 100% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) To say more about Parasite and spoil its secrets would be to ruin the fun, but rest assured, as Bong's class satire is one of his finest films to date. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
100% A Sun That Never Sets (Fire Will Come) (O Que Arde) (2019) The astounding visuals are easy to praise, but it can be so easy to get swept up in the atmospherics that the complexities of the character study feel like an afterthought placed next to them. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
88% Adam (2019) Maryam Touzani's directorial debut has all the ingredients we've come to expect from poverty porn cinema designed to tug at the heartstrings of wealthy liberal audiences at elite film festivals the film's protagonists could never visit. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
65% Frankie (2019) Sachs is normally a safe pair of hands with intimate character studies, but here, he's decided to add on the problems of an extended family instead of solely focusing on the genuinely moving story of the couple at its centre. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
8/10 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) There is something quietly (and very surprisingly) moving about Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, and how it depicts two men out of time, caught in a transitional period between two cinematic eras to which they don't belong. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
4/5 94% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) I can't think of another living director whose examination of the creative process could be so emotionally involving. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
4/10 52% Young Ahmed (Le jeune Ahmed) (2019) Young Ahmed is nowhere near as problematic as it could have been - but it's nowhere near as dramatically engaging either. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
86% The Whistlers (2019) No film relying so hard on the originality of its premise should fade from the memory this quickly. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
90% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2019) It goes from patience testing to pure excitement at the tip of a hat; dialogue free sequences of wandering round the town are followed minutes later by moments as gleefully insane as a man getting killed by an umbrella. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
5/10 74% A Hidden Life (Une vie cachée) (2019) As you can expect with Malick, there are moments of transcendental beauty - but at nearly three hours long, it can be a slog sitting through a one note character study just to find them. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
8/10 98% The Lighthouse (2019) There is nothing as unnerving as the most striking sequences in The Witch - in fact, for the more adventurous genre audiences out there, this unpredictable ride could constitute the year's most unlikely crowd pleaser. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
100% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) First Love feels like a great reminder as to why we love Takashi Miike's brand of insanity in the first place. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
83% The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul) (2019) The Swallows of Kabul vividly captures the horror of life under Sharia Law, packing such a visceral punch in its drama that it's often easy to forget you're watching a beautiful work of hand drawn animation. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
8/10 68% Little Joe (2019) It may be hard to look past the problematic allegory, but Little Joe is a fantastic sci-fi throwback that made me long for more of the paranoia fuelled films like the high watermarks of the genre's past. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
7/10 75% Sorry We Missed You (2019) A haunting, urgent film that needs to be engaged with despite its faults, in order to change workers' rights for the better. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
74% Les Misérables (2019) Les Miserables is a powerful debut - one that functions as well as a sobering examination of policing in poverty-stricken areas as it does a tense mainstream thriller. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
89% Bull (2019) Bull is likely to receive a rapturous response from any audience member who hasn't seen The Rider or Lean on Pete - but for those who are familiar with those, Silverstein's debut doesn't offer anything to shake up the pre-existing formula. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
83% Deerskin (Le daim) (2019) Deerskin is a hilarious midlife crisis satire, with some of the darkest belly laughs I'm sure to have this year. You'll never look at a tacky jacket in the same light ever again. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
6/10 88% Nighthawk (Bacurau) (2019) It's exciting in the moment, but can't help but feel like a let down when thinking it over afterwards. The film's mystique is eventually revealed to be nothing more than a cover for what is a midnight movie through and through. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
4/10 54% The Dead Don't Die (2019) The Dead Don't Die is a resounding disappointment; a failure as a social commentary, an insufferable mess as a comedy, and an irritating scare-free chore as a B-movie throwback. Jim Jarmusch will never make a film worse than this. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
87% Diamantino (2019) Forest Gump meets Brexit. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
83% Marilyn (2019) There are many stories about gay trauma that feel like emotional abuse - Martín Rodríguez Redondo refrains from the horror as much as he can within a story like this, making the character study all the richer as a result. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019