Fionnuala Halligan

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

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
50% 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
80% 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
89% 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
75% 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
86% Sonja - The White Swan (2019) Wilmann... delivers an athletic, confident performance, and attacks the alcoholic sequences with gusto. Even though she behaves dreadfully, her Sonja still manages to be a sympathetic presence - occasionally. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
89% Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) At times, Untitled Amazing Johnathan is laugh-out-loud funny in a way that's unexpected for a documentary about a deceitful, dying meth-addict magician on his final fumbling tour. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
79% We Are Little Zombies (2019) A film whose welcome wears thin in... rapid fashion over a hard-to-indulge two-hour running time. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
89% The Last Tree (2019) The Last Tree is visually lyrical in its approach to an oft-told story. Yet while the narrative can hit familiar beats as it tracks a teen through a family crisis, there's also a sense of freshness here... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
88% MEMORY - The Origins of Alien (2019) MEMORY: The Origin Of Alien is a highly-entertaining slither around the creation myths of the 1979 cinema classic. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
83% Dirty God (2019) There's enough visual brio and emotional authenticity for Knight to bring it home. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
37% Glass (2019) Despite the pyrotechnics of McAvoy's performances and Willis's grounded conviction, there's just not enough here past the high concept of "what if real people were superheroes?"... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Marshall's film is a love letter, a mirror of the first film with all the same enchantment and endearing flaws. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
75% Second Coming (2014) A fine cast, led by Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba, fleshes out the screenplay's bare, jutting bones, even if Second Coming always seems like a better prospect on paper than onscreen. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
95% Pecking Order (2017) While competitive chicken showing in New Zealand may seem pretty niche, the story of human obsession is universal and, in Martinov's hands, very accessible. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) There's real magic here, and nothing fake about the emotions which guide it. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
99% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) Jackson's film is more than a technical tribute: it's a testament to the bravery and camaraderie of the soldiers, the memory of which has faded like the photographs he brings back to life. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2018
No Score Yet Richard Says Goodbye (2018) This film is an easy target for being misintepreted by those with an axe to grind in the "me too" era; a sadder truth is that its clumsy approach was most likely unintentional. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2018
No Score Yet Wolkenbruchs wunderliche Reise in die Arme einer Schickse (2018) Put simply: it's funny, albeit as broad as Mame's bottom. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
100% Firecrackers (2018) For all that it dances on familiar ground, Firecrackers ends on a pleasingly opaque note. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
No Score Yet Welcome To Sodom (2018) The camera delivers an industrial beauty in the apocalyptic landscape which exists only in its lens; a spirit amongst the people who lives there which exists only to be crushed. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
No Score Yet Midnight Runner (Der Läufer) (2018) Its progressive use of sound as an accelerant to the main character's mental decline will distinguish Baumgartner's tightly focused and skilful film-making. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
No Score Yet Trautmann (2018) Continuously watchable despite some heavy handed touches. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
77% Mid90s (2018) This is classic rites-of-passage fare, but mid90s is executed with some real flair, most noticeable on the soundtrack. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
92% Wild Rose (2019) Much will be made of former musical reality show contestant Buckley's phenomenal performances. But it's as an actor that her RADA-trained register impresses the most. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
91% Widows (2018) An intelligent, entertaining drama... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
69% Beautiful Boy (2018) Strong, committed performances and the upsetting ring of reality anchor a highly-personal film which cycles through addiction, relapse and rehab in an episodic way, each high as inevitable as the low which follows. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
72% Greta (2019) A stupendously game Isabelle Huppert gives audiences yet another reason to venerate her as she raises arched eyebrows to new heights in this silly, funny, camp pulp thriller co-written by Jordan and Ray Wright. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
50% Close Enemies (Freres Ennemis) (2018) Punchily entertaining, and very seductively, claustrophobically shot and scored... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2018
63% Peterloo (2019) This magnificently-realised film moves from feeling like a long, dry history lesson to becoming an angrily-direct and emotional tribute to the reformers of the past. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2018
96% Roma (2018) Cuarón has written a love letter to all the women around the world who have devoted their lives to caring for the children of the families they work for. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
65% The Little Stranger (2018) Abrahamson assembles all the ingredients for Turn Of The Screw suspense but never quite twists them with the dread that needs to seep through the halls of the central stately home. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
87% First Man (2018) It's a beautifully made film, with an impeccable lead performance from Ryan Gosling as the sober, sensitive astronaut. Yet it's also a film which takes elegant flight but stalls across its extended closing sequences. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
40% The Dig (2018) A grittily effective oater, narratively tight as a drum and shot in the gloom of a never-ending winter where it unturfs a twisty ending to delight genre fans. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
100% Katie (2018) Domestic audiences will want to hear Katie's words, but international crowds should also respond well to this beautifully crafted story of a supreme athlete who thrives by defying the odds. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
No Score Yet Metal Heart (2018) It bounces over a boggy third-act thanks to a breakthrough performance from Jordanne Jones as the Goth-leaning sibling Emma. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
83% Cellar Door (2018) With its committed performances and air of enigma, this is fertile terrain for a short film, but one which comes aground at feature length. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
75% Don't Leave Home (2018) Refreshingly original even if it lacks the jump scare pay off to its heavily-signposted creepiness. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2018
77% The Devil's Doorway (2018) Two strong leads, the doubting priest Lalor Roddy and the Nurse Ratchet-like Mother Superior played with gusto by Helena Bereen, help distinguish this Exorcist update and mark Clarke as a talent to watch. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
No Score Yet The Belly of the Whale (2018) Belly is a flawed work, albeit one of promise. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2018
No Score Yet Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden (2016) Workmanlike, if palpably well-nourished, Dieter Berner's film sets about Schiele's life with stolid determination... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
38% Patrick (2019) Patrick is like having your face licked a little too eagerly by a clumsy puppy.; many will like the sensation and even those who don't will politely long for it to end. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2018
67% Dublin Oldschool (2018) Exhilarating though it may be, and elevated by Kirwan's poetry, the sheer speed of delivery coupled with strong accents and slang can make this Irish Trainspotting a - literally - semi-coherent trip, particularly during exchanges between the two leads. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2018
83% Deadpool 2 (2018) While Deadpool 2 delivers the gags and the gun-shot geeky Marvel insider references, the plot could have done with some more finesse. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
93% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Gives us a vision of a Poland in which everyone is a hardened survivor of conflict, where bridges have been crossed and one more betrayal or bargain for self-advancement is just another in a long line of similar events. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
27% Breaking In (2018) A by-the-book drama which relies so heavily on happenstance, it's almost a character in the film. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
85% Sorry Angel (Plaire, aimer et courir vite) (2019) A film without highs or lows, a collection of people and thoughts and dialogue which often has trouble connecting in translation. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2018
88% I, Dolours (2018) I, Dolours is a flawed documentary. It's short on context, long on unconvincing re-enactments; an added crime when you consider the real woman at its core. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2018
No Score Yet No. 1 Chung Ying Street (2017) This is a heartfelt, touching film by veteran director/producer Derek Chiu about his homeland, Hong Kong. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018