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
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 45% Fisherman's Friends (2018) 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 63% 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 26% 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 79% 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 70% 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 86% 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 89% 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 65% The Unseen (2017) 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
3/5 78% Green Book (2018) Nuanced in places, tellingly clunky in others, its central idea is old-fashioned yet beguiling: that racism can be defeated if only people get to know each other. Still, Mortensen is excellent and Ali outstanding as an unexpected friendship takes root. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 55% Killing Gunther (2017) A cautionary tale about the modern assumption one can achieve fame through a single act rather than putting the work in, the amiable if messy Killing Gunther is saved by Schwarzenegger's exuberant portrayal of the World's Top Assassin (yes, another one!) - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
4/5 74% All Is True (2019) A witty, quirky and deliberately stagey film about Shakespeare's return to the rather chilly bosom of his family - where established truths are not what they seem, and religiosity looks to be determined by hat height. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3.5/5 65% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) "What is the point of art if nobody sees it?" someone asks. Though here the question is what is the point of art if it cannot be sold? This satire on a supposedly rarefied world driven by greed is, like its haunted paintings, lurid and lushly fantastic. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
2/5 62% A Dog's Way Home (2019) An odd mix of warm family film, bleak drama and public service broadcast. (Even my pet-loving 7 year old, presumably its target audience, declared it "too sad".) - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
1.5/5 24% Polar (2019) Polar mixes brooding, methodical kills with flashy gunfests to weird and baffling effect. There's humour, intentional and not, which combined with an admirably straight-faced performance from Mikkelsen meant I didn't watch it entirely through my fingers. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
4.5/5 90% Their Finest (2017) "Film, Mrs Cole, real life with the boring bits cut out" says scriptwriter Tom Buckley. A witty story about authenticity in an age of propaganda, this is a captivating, fascinating and sometimes abrasive tale about women and men fighting their own wars. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
4/5 91% The Martian (2015) A hugely entertaining movie about the scientific ingenuity of man while coping with the age-old dangers of abandonment and isolation. Despite coming in at 144 minutes it doesn't feel long at all (or maybe I'm just still on Mars time). - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
3/5 49% Churchill (2017) Watch for Brian Cox's extraordinary and powerful portrayal of Winston. Arrogant and egotistical, he arouses both exasperation and sympathy - something that could also be said for the film itself. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
4/5 77% Split (2017) McAvoy's performance is jaw-dropping. It manages to be both mesmerising and scarily unwatchable at the same time, then by turns terrifying and sympathetic, playful and murderous. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
3/5 37% Glass (2019) Is Shyamalan mocking us film buffs with Kevin Wendell Crumb's personalities, one a film professor and one given to movie spoilers? I hope so. By no means a disaster (McAvoy is exceptional, for a start) it meanders, and is curiously unengaging. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Your Move (2018) Some nifty camera tricks help compensate for the low budget, but Goss (who wrote, directed and stars) has spread himself rather too thin. As an actor he's fine, and he's assembled a decent supporting cast, but he's let down by his own script. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
5/5 94% Arrival (2016) "Arrival" is challenging yet comforting science fiction and frankly it's about time. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
3/5 38% A Violent Man (2019) A thriller that punches above its weight. There are some twists and turns that I wasn't expecting; and to director Matthew Berkowitz's credit, it's a film that follows through on its promises to the very end. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
4/5 67% A Caribbean Dream (2017) It never outstays its welcome and fairly bowls along, which also means any shortcomings aren't really given enough screen time to be noticeable. Patrick Michael Foster's Puck is great fun - a Shakespearean Quentin Crisp. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
4.5/5 89% I, Tonya (2018) Hilarious, shocking and poignant, careering through your scepticism at 100 miles an hour, it deserves a 5.8 for both technical merit and artistic expression. And despite claiming to put across different points of view it's unashamedly pro-Tonya Harding. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2019
3.5/5 80% Unsane (2018) Taut but also frighteningly unpredictable, Foy's performance holds the film together. The last act takes us into thriller territory and it's a rather creaky changeover. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2019
4.5/5 95% A Quiet Place (2018) An almost old-fashioned horror that blends psychological battery with hideous, murderous monsters to near-perfection. It's a 90 minute crescendo of suspense, peppered with shocks and heartbreak. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2019
1.5/5 No Score Yet King of Crime (Milk and Honey: The Movie) (2018) After a rather bouncy initial 30 minutes, the film does the opposite of run out of steam, and goes completely bonkers. The plots and plots-within-plots become ever more convoluted, the violence more brutal but without motivation, the dialogue sillier. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2019
2/5 5% Hangman (2017) Watch in the right frame of mind and "Hangman" is occasionally diverting; you may well enjoy spotting the cliches and tropes. But the story is hackneyed and the final twist one that will make you sigh rather than scream. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2019
4/5 100% The Islands and the Whales (2017) Communities often feel outsiders don't understand that a way of life is an intricate jigsaw. Demands too often bond them together in antagonistic response. Day doesn't offer answers but illuminates the wider community and sometimes work-in-progress views. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2019
5/5 92% Dunkirk (2017) Dunkirk may be short on words but it is not short on brilliance. And despite the tiny boats, big ships, darting planes, lumbering lorries and repeated identical queues, Nolan's spotlight shines on humanity in all its bravery and mundanity. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2019
4/5 68% The Fate of the Furious (2017) So cheesy they should sell the DVD at your local deli, the plot is advertised a mile off, and the dialogue is exposition-heavy. But it's hilarious - most of the time intentionally so - with some seriously impressive and entertaining action sequences. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2019
3.5/5 100% The Endless Summer (1966) A laid-back golden haze, a soundtrack of 60s summer tunes. The jokey racism and leering camera now grate; the surfing is still spectacular as two men, genuinely curious about the places they visit, travel the world in search of a perfect wave. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2019
3.5/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Monarchs lean heavily on symbolism to shore up a throne, as does Rourke; the constant allusions to the symmetry and asymmetry in the queens' lives sometimes threaten to overwhelm. Robbie is phenomenal; her Elizabeth both fully human and mythically regal. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2019
4/5 75% Trolls (2016) "Trolls" warmed even my crusty, oozing black heart. Yes it's rainbow fluff with unicorns and glitter on top but it's a ton of fun with a soundtrack of established songs that even the most old fashioned parent should know. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
5/5 96% What We Do In The Shadows (2015) Immortality can't all be glam, cloak-swishing nights out or chases pursued by pitchfork-waving villagers. At some point someone has to sort out the recycling and wash up the blood-spattered plates. Funny, clever, weirdly believable and eminently quotable. - Caution Spoilers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019