Fionnuala Halligan

Fionnuala Halligan
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Screen International film critic.
Publications: Screen International

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
90% The Aeronauts (2019) A thrilling, action-packed, wide-vista yarn from the sharp quills of Jack Thorne and co-writer and director Tom Harper, this Amazon-backed project is deceptively simple yet surprisingly deft. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
96% The Two Popes (2019) The delicate dance between the two veteran actors, both eagerly devouring a late-life jewel of a script, is a joy to behold. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
80% How to Build a Girl (2019) A life-affirming feisty female is always welcome, especially one whose transition to adulthood is this rocky. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
78% The Friend (2019) This is a tasteful, respectful and thoughtful film about what it means to be a true friend in the darkest of times... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
No Score Yet Lyrebird (2019) All the lavish sets and gorgeous costumes in the world - and they are here - can't quite cover over the cracks in Friedkin's canvas, constructed by three writers from a non-fiction book. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
71% Proxima (2019) A significant, ambitious and entirely impressive film by a dazzling young French director in full command of her ship. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
76% Sea Fever (2019) There's a great deal of fun to be had watching Hardiman play out her cards; we know the hand she's holding, but it's a nice-looking deck nonetheless. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
63% While at War (Mientras Dure La Guerra) (2019) While At War is a complex, steady, deeply intelligent film with a chilling resonance today, and a significant departure in tone from Amenabar's prior work. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
45% The Laundromat (2019) Obvious good intentions are drowned in a hot wash of showboating stars and flooded by self-indulgence. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2019
100% Citizen K (2019) Gibney's story is clearly told and wholly engrossing. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2019
87% Judy (2019) Renee Zellweger gives the performance of her career in a film which is certainly an awards-friendly biopic, but strikes a darker, more maudlin note than expected. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2019
39% Seberg (2019) Seberg somehow manages to pull off a tricky combination of radical politics, inter-racial sex and Hollywood tragedy while styling Stewart in Chanel. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
100% Bombay Rose (2019) A stunningly realised work of animated film-making. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
100% Marriage Story (2019) Marriage Story is very finely observed, very true to itself and its teeming cast of characters. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
No Score Yet Only the Animals (Seules les bêtes) (2019) Edgy, elusive and enthralling at the outset, Moll flirts with Rashomon-style perspectives in a remote French farming community to bracing effect. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
89% Never Grow Old (2019) Dark onscreen and pitch-black at its soul, Kavanagh's long-gestating Irish-Luxembourg co-production is a stripped-down story of the eternal battle between good and evil set within the confines of a classic oater. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2019
No Score Yet Jihad Jane (2019) A film which joins a canon of provocative features which attempt to surgically probe the hysteria and manipulation that currently surrounds us. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
No Score Yet A Bump Along the Way (2019) What starts out as a low-budget, Derry-set broad comedy takes a poignant detour through the subtle and unsubtle bullying of women of all ages to emerge as a rewarding mother-daughter romance. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
No Score Yet Breaking Out (2019) A very personal documentary which scorches the viewer with love... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
No Score Yet Lara (2019) Between the writing, the confident direction and the calm camera, we see a complex woman who is difficult and resolutely unsympathetic, and yet, we understand her. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
100% Maze (2019) Time is a healer, and this film educates as well as entertains. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2019
No Score Yet Schemers (2019) Promises of a modern-day Gregory's Girl come aground on the rocks of the writer-director's sky-high estimation of its hero - or, himself. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2019
No Score Yet The Specials (Hors normes) (2019) The Specials is a rare film that comes both from the heart and reality: it's a potent mix which allows access to a hidden subject yet welcomes the audience in with grace and humour. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
39% Sibyl (2019) Sibyl is far less than the sum of its parts, and never manages to shake off a heavy tone which consistently threatens to capsize even the rare funny interludes. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
10% Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo (2019) While it's important to have seen Canto Uno in order to savour Intermezzo, this film in itself doesn't seem remotely essential. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
50% Sick, Sick, Sick (Sem seu sangue) (2019) All the tricks in the world can't disguise the gap which is supposed to be inhabited by the characters and story. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Once Upon A Time....in Hollywood is beautifully made. Beyond all the 'Tarantino-esque' touches of the action, the banter, the violence, the constant movie references, there's a real craft at play here. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
No Score Yet Our Mothers (Nuestras Madres) (2019) This is an appealingly dignified, humane story of the repercussions of the little-known civil war in Guatemala in the 1980s as borne by the country's women. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
88% Diego Maradona (2019) It's impossible to conceive that the accomplished documentarian Asif Kapadia would deliver anything less than a rigorous, multifaceted and probing feature: with his latest, Diego Maradona, he does not disappoint. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
100% Litigante (2019) This accomplished film is gentle and humorous in its outlook... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
63% Yesterday (2019) The raw energy which propelled Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire has dissolved into the Suffolk cider, but there is still enough to savour here. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2019
51% Tolkien (2019) An essential problem with Tolkien is its tone: you could call it solemn, reverential or even hagiographic, but essentially it topples a script which doesn't bear up to all the worthiness. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
51% A Dog's Journey (2019) This is hardly one for the cynics. It's a big, wet, sloppy lick of a film that's going to jerk your tears, and then some. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
No Score Yet Run (2019) The sketchiness of the premise doesn't really favour the full cinematic treatment it has been awarded here. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
No Score Yet The Lady Improper (2019) Apparently based on a true story, The Lady Improper is certainly never less than sincere and that honesty rings through... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
No Score Yet A Dog Barking at the Moon (2019) Although this Dog increasingly runs around in the same circles, Zi demonstrates with her debut that she is a name to watch. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
100% Still Human (2018) This story about a disabled man and his Filipina maid may superficially look like a re-tread of French hit Intouchables, but Chan's deft writing and a strong local flavour make this a real Hong Kong treat. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
No Score Yet Vanishing Days (Man you) (2019) Vanishing Days is not exactly a new prospect for fans of Asian arthouse cinema, but Zhu's age and confidence speak towards a future of note. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
80% Bodies at Rest (2019) With its high-concept brawn funnelled into a 93-minute cat-and-mouse game, Bodies At Rest is low on humour for the genre but, with the help of action director Sam Wong, it pulls no punches in its many lengthy fight sequences. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
No Score Yet The Assassination of G (G Affairs) (G saat) (2019) On this evidence, Lee could be a Fruit Chan in the making. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
No Score Yet Land Without God (2019) Land Without God isn't evidence-based or linear; it's more about anguish and remembrance. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
No Score Yet Dark Lies the Island (2019) Dark Lies The Island combines elements of Barry's two short story collections, stitched together with scabrous humour, and while the blend isn't entirely smooth, perseverance is rewarded with a satisfyingly bleak payoff and some killer one-liners. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2019
88% José (2018) Cheng's touching debut was made after years of research into the gay networks of South America, and the effort shows in a quiet, reflective film. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
95% Gaza (2019) This carefully-made film delicately avoids direct confrontation with political elements while still making clear their culpability for the devastation it surveys. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
27% The Aftermath (2019) This slightly stodgy drama is elevated by the presence of Australian actor Clarke, who commands attention a as the weary British Colonel weighed down by years of incessant tragedy. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2019
No Score Yet All My Loving (Geschwister) (2019) Although its tri-partite structure and concentration on the ebb-and-flow of domestic affairs imply a lack of cinematic urgency, this is a very satisfying film for connoisseurs of fine drama. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
72% Light of My life (2019) A superb performance by Affleck, who constructs a touching and believable rapport with his 11 year-old co-star, grounds his low-key directorial and feature-writing debut. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
85% Animals (2019) Watching someone wrestle with their notebook is a tricky prospect, but Grainger has always been a lively screen presence who makes every role sparkle, small or large. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
89% The Souvenir (2019) Souvenir is a brilliant little gem, a rigorously-authentic, highly-personal and admirably-open memoir by a British director whose reputation is as slow-burning as her films. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
79% Photograph (2019) Photograph's deliberate pace does bring some rich rewards for the patient viewer, while a lovely ending feels like a throwback to the old-fashioned big screen romances of yore. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019