Luke Buckmaster

Luke Buckmaster
Tomatometer-approved critic
I live in Melbourne, Australia, where it's sunny in the summer and unpredictable any other time of year. Film reviewing has become a great hobby for me over the last few years; it's a satisfying way for me to spend some of my time and energy. I have maintained a web site for around the last three years, and with the help of a few friends it's developed over time to something we're pretty happy with. My work can be seen on my web site, In Film Australia (, as well as various popular sites such as Urban Cinefile, Movienutz, Festivale and Movies Online. I have also been published in the Melbourne print magazine 'The Big Issue.'
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Official Websites:

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
70% Land (2021) Land is far from terrible but contains a frustrating tension between lightness of touch and explicit heavy-handedness. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2021
76% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) It requires the entering of an unspoken agreement between viewer and filmmaker. Which is: we suffer through interminable human interplay and dialogue pilfered from old instruction manuals, and they deliver scenes of cataclysmic eye-gouging destruction. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2021
3% Cosmic Sin (2021) As for Bruce Willis: despite the Buzz Lightyear getup-or perhaps because of it-this man will not, cannot be hurried, adding to a growing collection of performances in which he barely seems capable of staying awake let alone saving the world. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2021
5/5 100% My Name Is Gulpilil (2021) Pensive and piercingly emotional, this is an unforgettable film. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2021
22% Chaos Walking (2021) The gawkiness of the male adolescent experience seems to seep into everything, from the coarse chemistry between the two leads to the film's jarring perspective on sound-image relations. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2021
5/5 100% Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra (2021) What an experience. What a joy. I've watched it twice, and on both occasions emerged deeply moved. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2021
3/5 89% High Ground (2021) It's well made and directed gracefully, offsetting hard-hitting sequences with handsome production values. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
2/5 67% Penguin Bloom (2021) There is a great, moving story to tell about the real Sam Bloom - but this film only gets part of the way there. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2021
2/5 8% Music (2020) [Ziegler's] distracting performance feels ill-judged at best, and lacks the support of a credible, nuanced drama to help it resonate. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 20, 2021
75% Pieces of a Woman (2020) It is indeed composed of pieces: one (the birth sequence) much larger than the others. They don't come together as a cohesive whole. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
69% Ammonite (2020) The mood is so dour; this solemness-suffused film feels stiff and sad. Even the waves on the beach seem joyless and duty-bound. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
4/5 90% The Dry (2021) Director Robert Connolly's adaptation is a very gripping and polished film, commandingly performed and directed, with an airtight sense of tonal cohesiveness... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet A Sunburnt Christmas (2020) This spirited and charming film has only been out for a few days and I've seen it twice already: it's thoroughly entertaining, very 'strayan viewing for a holly jolly holiday in our not-so-winter wonderland. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
4/5 88% The Furnace (2020) The first-time feature filmmaker captures an intriguing stillness derived heavily from the land, which is vast and unforgiving, of course; it wouldn't be an Australian western if it wasn't. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2020
82% Mank (2020) Looks lovely and glossy, like a licorice boiled lolly, evoking a gentle sort of nostalgia that rounds the script's pointy corners, assisting in turning what might have been a cynical piece of work into a prolonged and confused hat tip to a bygone era. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
4/5 90% Rams (2021) At the heart of the picture are two very appealing performances from Neill and Caton, who feel even from early moments like real, lived-in characters, well cast to reflect their differences as actors. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2020
98% Time (2020) The film has hymn-like ambience and the texture of a photo album drained of colour, that wistful monochrome look communicating the absence of profound things-the details, the energy, the vibrancy of moments - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) The results are still shocking-more than any of the dick jokes or gags about a woman's "vazhïn"-because it's rooted in a terrible real worldness that has, at its core, nothing to do with the comedian; he's just the force that draws it to the surface. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
3/5 55% Never Too Late (2020) It's difficult - probably impossible - not to be charmed by the principal characters and their actors, all of whom can oscillate to pathos quickly. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
4/5 92% Baby, Done (2021) Baby Done is funny; it's sweet; it means something. Most of all it's charming. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
2/5 32% 2067 (2020) "All good art is political," the author Toni Morrison famously noted. A great deal of not-so-good art is political too; this film explicitly so. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2020
99% Totally Under Control (2020) The immediacy of the events depicted in Totally Under Control threw a spanner in the works and pushed the filmmakers out of their comfort zone, even resulting in a degree of technological ingenuity-the creation of a portable "COVID-cam" - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2020
30% Dirt Music (2019) The vibe is a Nicholas Sparks adaptation with an outback twist, though Jordan was obviously shooting for profundity and visual lyricism - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
70% Black Box (2020) Director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour's sci-fi thriller takes the theme of missing and distorted memories and gives it an actual, navigable space. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
42% The Lie (2020) The director does a fine job building and escalating tension; there is a sense throughout that the director is tightening the screws, reducing the amount of oxygen in the room. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
82% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) It's not the explosions of batshit craziness that most enthrall but the events leading up to them, when you can sense the walls of logic are going to collapse in on themselves but you can't quite see the fold marks. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2020
86% The Social Dilemma (2020) Pleasant weekend viewing this is not. But it's a must-see documentary and it's important to have this conversation now. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2020
67% I Am Woman (2020) It is a lean and likeable, if slight and a little trite, celebration of the legendary Australian-American singer, feminist and anthem-creator Helen Reddy, shot with a rich neo-noirish texture by Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2020
100% Host (2020) It would be a bit rich to describe Host as a metaphor for the fear of isolation, or a metaphor for anything...But it does reflect contemporary forms of powerlessness. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2020
38% Wendy (2020) Wendy is very much a work of atmospheria, sometimes maddening but with a style, a mood, a feeling impossible to shake. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2020
88% Deerskin (2020) David Lynch might have directed Deerskin as if it were a dream; others might have treated it as a farce. Dupieux keeps a straight face. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2020
3/5 71% Lowdown Dirty Criminals (2020) Rolleston is not just a likeable presence; he seems to bend the tone of the entire film in his lowkey direction, giving it a hard-to-hate sincerity even when it is vulgar. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2020
2/5 14% The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (2020) A lot of it comes across as weird, self-pitying flapdoodle. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2020
4/5 92% Relic (2020) The beauty of this film... is that you feel it first, and think about it later. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2020
97% Hamilton (2020) I've consumed methamphetamine that was less invigorating than this delicious chunk of musical and political catnip, performed with a soaring sense of purpose - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2020
40% Capone (2020) Hardy's fascinatingly intense performance is the smelly adhesive binding together what often feels like a kind of bizarro revue or series of twisted vignettes: a biopic by way of a sideshow - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2020
8% Artemis Fowl (2020) Eventually the whole damn movie begins to eat itself, when SFX carnage is unleashed in the form of a giant glob of CGI that slithers across the frame like a tapeworm. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Die haut der anderen (2018) The Skin of Others is not a simple and linear cradle-to-the-grave biography. It's more a work of academia: a kind of growing, breathing investigation, constantly expanding its hypothesis, challenging itself and its assertions. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2020
92% The Vast of Night (2020) A strikingly idiosyncratic excursion into style and mood, saluting an era when spectacle didn't mean ironic, or bombastic, or self-conscious, or directed by algorithm, or part of an elephantine pop culture portal to nowhere (like the MCU). - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2020
3/5 81% Hearts and Bones (2020) It is a human-oriented drama that builds a thoughtful and contemplative space, empathising with characters grappling with difficult circumstances outside the common experience. It is also the kind of drama you sometimes want to grab and shake to life. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2020
92% Holy Motors (2012) For lovers of cinema Holy Motors is probably a must-see, but in sad clown cinema as sporadic and strange as this, even a rock solid recommendation seems to be slippery territory. - The Daily Review/Crikey EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2020
67% Extraction (2020) Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel colour grades using a thick sunset orange, apparently believing that evoking the qualities of dusk and creating moody atmosphere are the same thing. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
91% 1922 (2017) 1922 is easily the finest Stephen King film this year, and among the finest in recent memory. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2020
57% The Hunt (2020) The question of what games the film is playing-shifting realities and relegating performances inside performances-is much more interesting than anything the humans are up to. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2020
51% Guns Akimbo (2020) The Deathgasm maestro has not just made a really dumb movie, but a really dumb movie that's also very smug: a noxious combination of imbecilic and self-satisfied. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
88% Onward (2020) The fact this CGI-animated feature uses magical technology to tell a story denouncing the relationship between technology and magic is, of course, entirely lost on the director - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
2/5 67% Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020) On several occasions I had to pause to remind myself what the story was about and what each of the characters were trying to achieve. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2020
62% The Call of the Wild (2020) A beautiful film in aesthetic, setting, staging and sentiment. Magnificent images of largess counter an ultimately intimate story. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2020
4/5 100% In My Blood It Runs (2019) In My Blood It Runs is Newell's best film yet. It feels like a turning point: the director's aesthetic choices reflecting the contents of her subject's character in different and exciting ways. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
2/5 60% The Leunig Fragments (2019) For better or, more often, for worse, it is a collection of fragments. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2020