Christopher Machell

Christopher Machell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Christopher Machell is a writer and editor at CineVue. He is interested in all aspects of film culture but specializes in horror and genre cinema. Christopher has also written for The Skinny, The Quietus, Little White Lies and the BFI. Find him @Dr_Machell
Publications: The Skinny, CineVue, The Quietus

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 53% The Dead Don't Die (2019) A Jarmusch joint through and through, The Dead Don't Die is as charming, affected and perplexing as we've come to expect from the long-time darling of US indie cinema. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
4/5 82% Midsommar (2019) One of the most original and challenging genre films in recent years, owing a clear debt to the folk horror cinema of the 1970s, yet resisting the pull of pastiche. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
4/5 89% Gwen (2018) The real star is Adam Etherington's richly bleak cinematography. - The Skinny EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Far From Home nails its characters, chemistry and sense of humour, while fumbling the action and visuals. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
4/5 98% Toy Story 4 (2019) While the film rarely approaches the existential gut punch of Toy Story 3's conclusion, the various answers each of our heroes arrive at are among the most moving of the quartet. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
1/5 22% Men in Black International (2019) The feeling of watching Men in Black: International is like being trapped in some sort of time paradox: somehow it feels mind-numbingly slow and hyperactively impatient at the same time. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
3/5 22% Dark Phoenix (2019) Looking past the meta-narrative of production troubles and franchise fatigue reveals a film that, while deeply flawed, conjures a rare and welcome sense of melancholy. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
5/5 95% Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) (1930) Unlike the monsters of Murnau and Wiene, Blue Angel's light is equal to its darkness - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
3/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) In the end, whether one buys into the spectacle, or just sees the proverbial dude in a suit, ultimately comes down to that old trick of perspective. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
4/5 62% XY Chelsea (2019) Hawkins smartly keeps the details of Mannings' leaks to a tight segment at the film's mid-point... To explore something altogether messier and contentious -- Manning's identities as a trans woman and a political activist. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
4/5 82% Sew the Winter to My Skin (2018) It's a perfect union of genre, mythology and political filmmaking, using generic tropes and familiar narrative patterns both to lampoon colonialism and to reflect on the ways that all westerns are in some way about myth. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Bear with Us (2016) It's a fine, if well-worn set up for a comic chamber piece... Sadly, Bear with Us begins to lose focus just when it should be hitting its stride. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Barefoot (Po strnisti bos) (2017) A sweet and doggedly innocent fable set among a terrible moment of history, Barefoot assuredly asserts the primacy of childhood in its beautiful simplicity. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
4/5 86% Winter Flies (Vsechno bude) (2018) Told through a non-linear narrative and brimming with warmth, Winter Flies is an effortlessly charming third feature from the director of Family Film and A Night Too Young. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
5/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Precision, energy, and innovation move the components of John Wick, but the synergy that comes from their singular motion transcends mechanistic clockwork into a vital, aesthetic flow. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
3/5 91% Searching for Ingmar Bergman (Ingmar Bergman - Vermächtnis eines Jahrhundertgenies) (2018) It feels insightful but leaves a nagging feeling of surface-level psychology. Perhaps this is a harsh reading, but what we're left with is nonetheless a phantom -- a spectral silhouette where a person should be. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
4/5 98% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Ash Is Purest White's is an epic spanning decades and vast geography that ultimately gives way to the intimate and personal. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) This is fan service elevated into an art form, transcending winking self-aggrandisement to become something of a reflection on the past eleven years, a chugging, tooting, spectacular train of a franchise, careering indefinitely forward. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
3/5 91% Shazam! (2019) Shazam!'s candy-floss sweetness rarely fails to hit the spot. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
5/5 94% Us (2019) If the number one rule in horror is to never show the monster, Peele gleefully breaks it, forcing his characters and his audience us to gaze directly into its face. Perhaps what is most terrifying is the humanity that stares back. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/5 82% Ben is Back (2018) While Roberts and Hedges work together to conjure the sense of a loving, fraught relationship, the film itself rarely takes any risks, either from a narrative or visual standpoint. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
3/5 91% The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) A compelling drama-thriller, bolstered by a quietly fierce turn from Gyllenhaal. It's difficult to imagine another actor more perfectly suited to such a role. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Captain Marvel succeeds as a rollicking-good film in its own right. Accessible to newbies and satisfying to fans, it's about time that brilliant performers like Larson were given their time in the spotlight. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) A fluffy and surprisingly smart, if shallow, tumble through genre tropes. Never veering into self-parody, Landon's film knows exactly what it is, and is all the better for it. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/5 38% Glass (2019) The flaw in Glass's surface is, ironically, its opacity. Instead of interrogating the structure of superhero narratives, Shyamalan uses it as a crutch, explicitly drawing attention to it whenever his story begins to topple. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
5/5 100% One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o tomeru na!) (2017) As much a repudiation of auteur theory as a tribute to the imperfect process of creation, One Cut of the Dead is a thrilling reminder that of the beautiful, vital lie that is cinema. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
5/5 93% The Favourite (2018) Bestial cunning and instinct run riot through this deliciously Machiavellian period drama. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
5/5 73% Assassination Nation (2018) As a fable, Assassination Nation is cynical, jaded, and defiant: in other words, vintage 2018. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
3/5 84% Disobedience (2018) While nuance may be lacking, it makes up in tone and directorial precision. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
3/5 84% Creed II (2018) Creed II is neither as assured nor as rousing as its predecessor, but it has a secret weapon up its boxing gloves, and that is to embrace the daftest elements of the series while simultaneously finding the heart that drives every good Rocky film. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
4/5 93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) In The Old Man & the Gun, Lowery discovers his warmest shade of nostalgia yet, tinted with just a hint of thoughtful ambivalence. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
5/5 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) Riley builds on the history of satirical cinema to tell a sharply contemporary fable that critiques the related inequities of race, class and unionised labour. - The Skinny EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Reinvigorating the genre even for those in the depths of superhero fatigue and complete with slapstick humour and a cartoon pig called Spider-Ham, Into the Spider-Verse is unabashedly a children's film, and all the better for it. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
97% The Light of the Moon (2017) An intelligent and mature examination of the post-traumatic experience of sexual assault, depicting how even the good intentions of well-meaning people perpetuate a toxic culture of blaming and controlling victims. - The Quietus EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
81% That Summer (2018) With an eye on challenging or differently interpreting a modern American legend, That Summer could have been superlative. Instead, it just feels superfluous. - The Quietus EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
66% Alien: Covenant (2017) Alien: Covenant works best as a series instalment reflecting on itself, reforming old ideas, reshaping old concepts and tropes. But as a messy, sometimes rather silly film, its reach very much exceeds its grasp... - The Quietus EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
4/5 63% Outlaw King (2018) Outlaw King's true appeal resides in the timelessness of its myth of the oppressed struggling against their oppressor. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
4/5 100% Female Human Animal (2018) A visually arresting, surrealist piece whose reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, but which is never less than intriguing. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
4/5 87% First Man (2018) Nothing on the screen, or anywhere else, could ever hope to replicate the profound, transformative experience of walking on another world. But it is difficult to imagine that it could ever be captured more closely than here. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
4/5 96% Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Possum's evocation of wrongness, that unbalancing feeling that something is off -- if only you could put your finger on it -- lingers long. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
3/5 57% J.T. LeRoy (2019) It's truly fascinating to witness Stewart first perform as the naive, likable Knoop, and the as the affected, aloof LeRoy. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
3/5 97% Free Solo (2018) Free Solo goes some way to explaining just why someone would want to do such a thing, but is ultimately more captivated by the vicarious thrill of watching Honnold do his thing. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
5/5 83% High Life (2019) Denis has crafted an astonishing and original film, one to be pondered over, reflected upon and ingested. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
3/5 71% The Command (Kursk) (2019) The claustrophobic brilliance of these scenes is undermined a little by the film's frequent journeys back to the surface, which though also effective, illustrates Kursk's main flaw - it doesn't always know what kind of film it wants to be. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
3/5 72% Maya (2018) There's a therapeutic quality to Maya's gentle, winding river of a story, moving at its own pace. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
4/5 89% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) Herzog has a knack for extracting pithy, poetic responses from his subjects, but here he outdoes himself. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/5 33% A Million Little Pieces (2018) A Million Little Pieces is its treatment of addiction as an obstacle to be overcome, instead of a condition to managed throughout life. Issues as complex as this have little need for such reductive, simplistic narratives. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
5/5 91% Widows (2018) Widows is as thrilling - and as relevant - as it gets. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
4/5 91% Gloria Bell (2019) Gloria Bell's strongest suit is the way the film alchemically creates weaves emotional textures without any obvious change in tone. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/5 60% American Dharma (2018) Perhaps the most important lesson of American Dharma is that Bannon and his ilk are spoilt children, and like lazy, indifferent parents we have let them run riot. Perhaps it's time for the adults to start acting as such and finally put the kids to bed. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018