Sarah Cartland

Sarah Cartland
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I write for my own film website, cautionspoilers.com, which focuses on movie reviews, interviews and articles. My go-to films are John Wick, Reign Of Fire, Prometheus, and anything with bonnets.
Publications: Caution Spoilers

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 97% Carmine Street Guitars (2019) A beautiful and engrossing film full of little memories that together tell a much bigger story: about music, craftsmanship and history. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
4/5 89% Arctic (2019) A film so stark and spare requires an exceptional performance to carry it. Trudge forward a riveting Mads Mikkelsen, whose increasingly weatherbeaten face conveys every all-too-believable response to his life or death dilemmas. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
4.5/5 88% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Outlandish, pitiless, witty, madly entertaining, and like its predecessors utterly gorgeous. Reeves is exceptional, taking Wick to the next stage of a mind-boggling journey now so extreme you wonder what he can do next (usually right before he does it). - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2019
5/5 98% Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) Brilliant, bold, very funny, and terrifyingly plausible beneath its surface absurdities. (4k restoration and new short film) - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
4/5 92% Giant Little Ones (2019) Josh Wiggins as the teenage Franky, navigating isolation, ambiguity, and other people's pain, is magnificent. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2019
3.5/5 71% The Isle (2019) An eerie and utterly beautiful Victorian ghost story that skilfully blends ancient and modern. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Emotional heft combines with a sweeping sense of the epic, often within the same scene. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2019
4/5 95% In Fabric (2019) A world which conveys the best and worst about shopping: carnal, animalistic, beautiful, frightening and blackly funny, with as many touchable moments as teachable ones. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 81% Long Shot (2019) A comedy that sparkles to the very last joke (and it's a great one). - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/5 59% Greta (2019) Its inconsistencies mean it often feels flat, despite some highly enjoyable nonsense and a wonderfully histrionic Huppert as Greta. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
3/5 50% Stuck (2019) "Stuck" is mostly bouncy, the singing exuberant and sometimes very emotive. It feels like it's trying to make a difference. But it's also overly stagey, oversimplifies complex issues and portrays an obsessed young man as simply misunderstood. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
3.5/5 84% Her Smell (2019) Becky's story is all the sadder for its familiarity, and the film doesn't present a new angle. Moss, though, is riveting - terrifying and terrified, dangerous yet a victim, pulling us in, irritating us beyond belief. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
3.5/5 63% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) Witty and weird, this is an enjoyably sprawling, slightly overlong epic. Like a dream where you never make your appointment because of delays and diversions, it's also maddeningly frustrating, so I certainly felt for Gilliam and its journey to the screen. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2019
4/5 89% Missing Link (2019) A gorgeous, genuinely funny film and a wonderful family treat. The transformative effect of friendship on Mr Link and explorer Sir Lionel Frost during their travels is delightful and rather moving. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
3/5 80% 30 Miles from Nowhere (2018) A witty ensemble comedy-thriller. The excellent cast plays it completely straight, while director Koller ladles on the horror tropes. Writer Kofoed has a keen ear for 30-something reunions and their underlying bile. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
3/5 57% Pet Sematary (2019) This Pet Sematary works as a straight up, jump-filled horror movie, but it's not as layered as I was expecting, with the scares instant rather than ominous or menacing. Jason Clarke and Jeté Laurence are excellent. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Bliss! (2016) Bliss! is an assured and well-judged feature debut from director Rita Osei -- an uplifting family film but an unsentimental one, and a movie that young girls can call their own. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2/5 33% Valley of the Dolls (1967) I knew the clothes would be terrific when I spotted "Handbags by..." in the opening credits. And it's the outfits (along with the unintentionally fevered atmosphere) which stretches this film up to two stars. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Cotton Wool (2017) Wonderful performances fill this searingly honest short, that still ends on a note of realistic optimism. The statistic at the end of the film about carers under the age of 9 is shocking; just as horrifying is how normalised we've let it become. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
4/5 88% The Vanishing (2019) A brutally violent thriller that turns into a psychological drama, with a surprising (and unexpectedly sad) ending. It occasionally jars, but mostly I found the changes in tone darkly elegant. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
3/5 33% Wonder Park (2019) While it doesn't exhibit anything like the level of finesse around emotional pain as, say, Up, its focus on kids' anxieties is welcome. The UK version has a joyous turn from Tom Baker as the well-named Boomer, a highlight for parents of a certain age. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
2.5/5 47% Dumbo (2019) Dumbo himself is beautifully expressive, Keaton is spot on in his cartoon villainy, and its futuristic ideas are witty. But overall this is an underwhelming experience, and often dull. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
4/5 88% Wild Rose (2019) A fabulously entertaining, funny and affecting movie, accomplished filmmaking that is still raw when it needs to be. Buckley is extraordinary as a scrappy fighter with a voice that comes from her heart and her home. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/5 36% Out of Blue (2019) A glorious mess -- Clarkson is magnetic in a film over-stuffed with ideas. Still, the feeling of uneasiness I was left with is always worth seeking out in movies. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/5 13% The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019) An oddity with an invented twist, playing out with a delirium that sometimes works. Duff is dreamy and ethereal, until the horror unfolds. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2019
4.5/5 94% Us (2019) Peele has done a superb job. The big themes are signposted, but each layer is also made up of carefully cut-out jigsaw pieces, their significance only becoming apparent afterwards. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2019
4/5 100% Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey (2017) Like an old-style scrapbook, 75 years of mountaineering memories are told though old film, camp snapshots and scrappy notes. Director O'Leske steers a steady course trying to get to the uncompromising heart of the extraordinary and ordinary Fred Beckey. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Breaking the Limits (Najlepszy) (2017) A mind-boggling true story of success against terrible odds. The effects of addiction are laid out in all their horror, but a verve and desire for life buoys up addict-turned-athlete Jerzy and the film (though we never find out what really makes him tick) - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
2.5/5 50% Fisherman's Friends (2019) Too by-numbers to entirely succeed despite its winning performances (particularly Purefoy), sense of history and singing (which never sounds better then when they're in the acoustically perfect village church or in their fishing boat, heading out to sea). - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
3.5/5 67% Triple Threat (2019) A riotously exuberant thriller, with often eye-popping action. Sometimes it's frenzied and furious, sometimes measured and driven by cold rage, with an elegance to both the performers' moves and their stillness. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
2.5/5 43% Stanley A Man Of Variety (2016) Spall treads a line between embodiment and impersonation with extraordinary skill. I'm not sure who the film's audience is though - if you don't find old-style variety funny, it'll grate. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
2.5/5 28% The Aftermath (2019) A truly beautiful-looking film that takes an absolute age to get going, and then tends to wobble into melodrama. Jason Clarke is fantastic as the buttoned-up British army colonel whose misplaced stoicism threatens any hope of reconciliation. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
4/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Entertaining, witty and sincere, it only loses out on excitement because Captain Marvel is just so capable. There's always a supporting character threatening to take over though and this time it's Goose the cat: the Fury-furry relationship is a highlight. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
4/5 57% The Hippopotamus (2017) Director John Jencks does a great job highlighting the cognitive dissonance resulting from the human race's uneasy blend of practicality and credulity. And Roger Allam is terrific as the self-loathing Ted Wallace, drunk poet turned drunk sleuth. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
2/5 19% Serenity (2019) Tuna And Dill, the organic cafe-owning detectives we've been waiting for. Actually that could be a good movie. Serenity is not. But I'm still unsure whether it's a work of genius that went off the rails, or is simply self-indulgent (or both). - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2019
4/5 69% Isn't It Romantic (2019) A film that, like the trope-filled movies it gently mocks, literally tells you what it's going to do. Wilson is hilarious and hugely engaging; Hemsworth cheerily one-dimensional and deliciously earnest in the way that young, white billionaires often are. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2019
4/5 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) Pugh is a winning heroine, real and flawed, acting on instinct out of the ring when within it she knows the scripted moves intimately. Though the standout is Lowden's sensitive portrayal of her brother Zak, forced to craft a different kind of dream. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
5/5 97% Alien (1979) Ridley Scott slowly drains every droplet of hope from his audience as the tension rises in a crescendo, his camera lingering for an age on the crew's desperate faces. Even after multiple watches it remains brutally frightening. (4k restoration) - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
4.5/5 96% Roma (2018) A beautiful yet unromantic look back at Cuarón's childhood, and a gorgeous tribute to the woman who helped raise him. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2019
3.5/5 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Lessons about everyone bringing something to the (Lego) table are delivered via a never-ending meteor shower of jokes and cameos. (Though no Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn mini figures thank goodness; another movie Brexit allegory would have been too much.) - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2019
4/5 84% Jane Eyre (2011) Fukunaga has done a terrific job with Charlotte Bronte's 1847 classic. Despite its moorland setting it's fresh rather than bracing, highlighting the universality of the teenage Jane's feelings; this a film for all ages but particularly for young women. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/5 100% Two for Joy (2018) A film about a family where grief has become the driving force, rather than the reaction. At times unutterably sad, it's beautifully made - and in a movie crammed with excellent performances, Bella Ramsey blazes. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
3.5/5 61% The Duchess (2008) Knightley shines, taking Georgiana from carefree teen to ignored wife then motherhood in a hugely sensitive and honest portrayal. The outfits are stunning, their scale extraordinary, the attention to detail first class; with fashions changing as she does. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
4/5 89% Hereditary (2018) There's a lot going on and a lot that's been used before in "Hereditary". Ari Aster pushes scenes as far as they can possibly go. Yet it works. Toni Collette is its heart; she's superlative, her face moving from utter terror to delight to pure evil joy. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2019
3.5/5 90% The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) An entertaining, magical and sometimes scary family movie of derring do and derring don'ts. The film sags in the middle but never sugar-coats its lessons; as 12 year old Alex realises what he thought was a myth is true and what he believed true is a myth. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
3.5/5 67% Amaurosis (The Unseen) (2019) It's never really clear til near the end who's most dangerous in this creepy thriller as lines between obsession, insanity and the supernatural blur. The performances are terrific particularly the movingly haunting Jasmine Hyde as bereaved mother Gemma. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
4.5/5 93% Logan (2017) The world may be aching, Logan creaky, Charles losing his mind and Caliban a latter day Mrs Mop, but the film itself is anything but tired and broken - as extreme violence is offset by thoughtful questions about family, sacrifice and the end of the line. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
3.5/5 96% The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le grand méchant renard et autres contes) (2018) A beautifully drawn delight with a funny, sparring cast; though some stories appeal more than others. I did question the film's "dangerous behaviours" warning until baby Pauline was sucked out of a plane and my 6 year old piped up "I want to try that!" - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
4/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Hugely enjoyable and beautifully judged, this tale of love, loss and letting go packs a big emotional punch as it says goodbye; its refusal to shy away from difficult questions one of its strengths. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
4.5/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Lee Israel has stumbled on one of the few lucrative careers in writing, so it's a pity it's illegal. McCarthy ensures we root for the unlikeable Lee from the off. Grant is superb, slowly peeling off the layers to find Jack hiding from himself. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019