Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
44% Dune (1984) No matter how hard it tries to make Herbert understandable to those who find the saga resistible, or even to make Dune hang together for devoted fans, there is an overwhelming sense that this is familiar cinematic territory. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2021
91% Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) Franklin, who wrote the screenplay as well as directing, paints the post-war scene with very credible detail, so that you see how corruption and racism often go hand in hand. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2021
94% Paris, Texas (1984) I've seldom seen such a potent combination of superior talents. Watch the first hour of the movie, and what you will see is an unparalleled summation of America as seen by wondering European eyes. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2021
91% El Mariachi (1993) Rodriguez's ability to keep his story simple and to embellish it not with any pretension but with the liveli-ness of his camerawork and editing is certainly something to write home about. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2021
79% My Family (1995) It is always watchable but only occasionally breaks into something more than that. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2021
75% Go Fish (1995) [Rose Troche] presents us with a world entirely without men, or even straight women, and illustrates its trials and tribulations with intelligence and wit as well as sometimes devastating frankness. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2021
45% The House on Sorority Row (1983) [A] mish-mash of scream and scream again nonsense. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
96% Liquid Sky (1983) The film is a melange of electric theatre, parody, caricature and mock-seriousness. It works well if you let it. Some might not bother. But I rather liked it. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
73% Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973) The concert's the thing, and there we see this amazing phenomenon in full glory, prancing like some vaguely benign princeling at his hypnotised fellowers' behest. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
88% Trading Places (1983) Trading Places, in this of all Hollywood years, is a joy to behold -- clever without being smart, affectionate without being sentimental, They can make movies like they used to after all. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
64% The Two Jakes (1990) In short, The Two Jakes, combining the best of the old and the best of the new, is one helluva good movie. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2021
50% Valmont (1989) You do wonder sometimes whether it is not a little too sweetly fetching for its own good. No one could have accused the Frears film of that. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2021
No Score Yet Ama (1991) An intriguing and very honourable breakthrough which, despite its failings, is both perceptive about its characters and encouragingly determined to persuade us to look at things through different eyes. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2021
29% K2 (1992) K2's intrepid cinematography is not matched by a very convincing script. But you can't have everything and at least the film delivers on the mountain if not in the mind. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2021
67% To Kill a Priest (1988) In short, this is not a bad film. But it isn't the one that could and possibly should have been made. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2021
75% A Taxing Woman (Marusa no onna) (1988) Itami's real power as a director is to suggest that people are, in fact, much the same everywhere and that anarchy rathe than order is what unites them under the skin. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2021
82% Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) Tucker works well enough on a purely emotional level to become a resonant film. And its naivety is in certain ways its strength. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2021
93% Hangin' with the Homeboys (1991) Firstly, it is extremely well played by Doug E. Doug, Mario Joyner, John Leguizamo and Nester Serrano. And secondly, Vasquez orchestrates his comedy with a telling sense of the limited but almost heroically hopeful lifestyle it is depicting. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2021
90% Stand and Deliver (1988) Menendez orchestrates all this very well, without resort to the usual uplifting sentimentality, and Olmos, with his wry, hang-dog expression does everything, and more, to convince us that here was an exceptional motivator. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2021
92% El Norte (1984) I very much doubt if you'll have seen anything quite like El Norte before. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2021
33% El Pacto Holcroft (1985) Frankenheimer'a film is a real mess, being both mechanical and almost incomprehensible. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2021
97% A Touch of Zen (1969) King Hu is certainly a remarkable talent who has made a film of immense technical accomplishment while sticking to his last as a commercial direction. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2021
50% Un homme amoureux (A Man in Love) (1987) A Man in Love is by Diane Kurys who made the good Peppermint Soda and the excellent Coup de Foudre... This is a big and undoubtedly expensive commercially oriented love story, and curiously empty by comparison. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2021
50% Vice Versa (1988) The film, though scripted by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, never strays very far from orthodox Hollywood comedy, though put together with enough skill to be fairly watchable throughout. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2021
72% Coming to America (1988) Subtlety is not Mr Murphy's strong point, but on the, whole his spiky charm saves both him and the movie. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2021
100% The Runner (Davandeh) (1984) One of the best films in town right now. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2021
73% Pretty in Pink (1986) The film looks like nothing so much as a very shrewd compendium of what the market requires. Pretty In Pink is a teenage version of those wrong side of the tracks romances of some 30 years ago, impeccably dressed in mid-eighties clobber. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2021
97% What's Love Got To Do With It? (1993) What's Love Got To Do With It may not be quite in the class of George Cukor but it's a lot better, for instance, than Mark Rydell's picking of the bones of Janis Joplin in The Rose. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2021
38% The Baby of Mâcon (1993) The ambition of The Baby Of Macon is betrayed by handling that consistently engages the curiosity without clarifying its true purpose. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2021
50% Acción mutante (Mutant Action) (1993) You could read meaning into this if you like, but it wouldn't be wise to seek other than a certain visual panache and a jokey determination at all costs to surprise. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2021
No Score Yet Scandalous (1984) A mess. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
30% Harry & Son (1984) Harry And Son ought to have been a better film than it is. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
56% Cross Creek (1983) Ritt is an able and honourable film-maker but when his heart is on his sleeve like this, the result tends to be the kind of liberal Hollywood movie that looks and tastes like fudge. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
64% Against All Odds (1984) Alas it does not work, though Hackford, who made An Officer And A Gentleman, is the kind of director who always looks as if he is just about to make something interesting. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
100% Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Negres) (1984) Even the superb sepia-toned print seems to be enjoying itself, basking in the Martinique sun as Palcy illustrates her theme with bold and confident brushstrokes. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2021
98% The French Connection (1971) Apart from telling a pretty exciting story with great mechanical skill, Friedkin examines the cop and his prey with a sceptic's eye. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2021
96% The Godfather, Part II (1974) The film is a very considerable achievement it is an epic about the underbelly of America that says far more than The Great Gatsby, for instance, ever did. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2021
97% The Godfather (1972) It's a bloody good story, or a good bloody story and you can't take that away from it. Puzo's book hasn't half its artifice and style. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2021
81% Near Dark (1987) Adrian Pasdar and Jenny Wright act the plot out with as much conviction as they can muster, and Bigelow orchestrates an increasingly violent fantasy with some appreciation of how to make it look good through visuals that catch the eye. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
94% Daughters of the Dust (1991) It's a true original and, as such, of considerable value both as a film and as a sad yet hopeful summation of history as memory and experience. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2021
76% The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) The film has two distinct virtues. The first is Suzy Amis's brave portrait of Josephine Managhan, which might well have signalled an Oscar nomination. The second is Greenwald's luxuriant portrait of the old West beautiful, lonely and acutely dangerous. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
88% Light Sleeper (1992) The cast is skilfully alert... and Schrader's vision is unencumbered either by sentiment or cynicism. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
62% Out of Africa (1985) The book and its characters are simply not translatable to the screen, and what we get is a sufferable alternative. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2021
90% Wattstax (2000) Richard Prvor, the satirist, is very funny; Rufus [Thomas is] a joy to behold in outrageous pink shorts and cloak. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
65% Live and Let Die (1973) It is good, lively, mindless entertainment, slow to warm up but once embarked upon its improbable story quick to appreciate its own absurdity. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
86% The Joy Luck Club (1993) The film persists in telling us what to think and feel, rather than letting us have our own quiet thoughts. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
100% The Railway Children (1970) A wonderful piece of family entertainment in the sense that nobody could possibly take offence at anything they see on the screen and many will obviously find it a blow struck for sanity in a wicked incomprehensible world. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
81% Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) Some may find it weird and wonderful. I just found it weird. But a sight for sore eyes just the same, if you can keep them open. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2020
89% Clerks (1994) It is one of those small-scale American independent movies that you either fall for or you don't, and one would confidently expect most of those fed up with big, empty, run-of-the-mill Hollywood epics to raise at least two cheers. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
69% Little Murders (1971) Often exceedingly funny. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2020