Scotsman

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
5/5 Minding the Gap (2018) Alistair Harkness It's the tenderness and compassion that Liu brings to his friends' stories, as well as the brave, sensitive way he confronts his own past, that marks this out as something special. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 The White Crow (2018) Alistair Harkness It's as if Fiennes as a director doesn't trust his own artistic instincts - ironic given the subject - and it all rather defeats the object of hiring an experienced dancer rather than an experienced actor for the lead. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 Girl (2018) Alistair Harkness Admittedly, the harshness of the ending feels a little unearned, but this is a promising debut nonetheless. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
2/5 Ben Is Back (2018) Alistair Harkness [Chalamet] can't save this faux gritty film from its melodramatic plotting or its public-service-announcement-style moralising. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/5 Ray & Liz (2018) Alistair Harkness It's almost too difficult to watch in one sitting. Nevertheless, its evocative conjuring of the past functions as a stark warning about viewing it with rose-tinted glasses. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/5 Under the Silver Lake (2018) Alistair Harkness The sort of self-consciously indulgent meta-movie that elates and infuriates in almost equal measure. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
1/5 Benjamin (2018) Alistair Harkness A tediously self-reflexive sophomore feature about a filmmaker who's just made his own tediously self-reflexive sophomore feature. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 Border (2018) Alistair Harkness Abassi does such a fine job of rooting his protagonist's otherness in a realistic setting that even when he starts incrementally weaving in more fantastical elements, the story always feels plausible. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/5 The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) Alistair Harkness Gyllenhaal captures perfectly not just her character's passive-aggressive condescension, but the quiet tragedy of a cultured woman who is painfully aware of both her own artistic limitations and the casual way society devalues talent in others. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/5 Scotch: A Golden Dream (2018) Alistair Harkness A compelling exploration of the multimillion-pound industry. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/5 Captain Marvel (2019) Alistair Harkness [Larson] quickly comes into her own in a role that, despite the limitations of the franchise, never quite conforms to superhero conventions. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/5 Fighting With My Family (2019) Alistair Harkness An affectionately told story about outsiders finding their place in the world of professional wrestling. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/5 The Hole in the Ground (2019) Alistair Harkness Cronin does a decent job of keeping things ambiguous, even as he's pushing the film into more fantastical territory, and that prolonged sense of mystery helps sustain it through all the creaky jump scares and the over-cranked score. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
2/5 Serenity (2019) Alistair Harkness The end result can best be described as a rubbish knock-off of Black Mirror made by someone who's clearly never played a video game in their life. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/5 Capernaum (2018) Alistair Harkness Though it over-eggs some aspects (and makes questionable use of a toddler in one of the subplots), it feels true to the heightened perspective of its protagonist. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
2/5 Cold Pursuit (2019) Alistair Harkness [Neeson] has none of the comedic skills required to pull off the farcical nature of this Coen brothers-esque black comedy. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 On the Basis of Sex (2018) Alistair Harkness Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer remain eminently watchable... EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 Mid90s (2018) Alistair Harkness The big question is whether this is all in service to the story or Hill's determination to announce himself as a credible artist. In truth, it's a little of both. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
2/5 Instant Family (2018) Alistair Harkness Veering wildly between ribald jokes, serious discussions about child abuse and scenes of saccharine sentimentality, the whole thing falls flatter than a Joanna Lumley BAFTA monologue. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
4/5 Jellyfish (2018) Alistair Harkness Just 16 when she shot it, [Hill] carries a tough film about difficult subject matter- mental illness, sexual exploitation - with the sort of matter-of-fact authority that's just right for a character forced to get on with a terrible situation. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
3/5 The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Alistair Harkness The film [can] feel simultaneously under and over-cooked, but it's also been made with a great deal of charm and the young cast are delightful. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
3/5 A Private War (2018) Alistair Harkness It has a raw and uneasy power, one that resists the clunky screenplay's many attempts to reduce Colvin to a series of easy-to-understand psychoanalytic bullet points. Pike's brusque, ravaged performance helps. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
4/5 Burning (2018) Alistair Harkness Director Lee Chang-dong has complete mastery of the tone here and he gets great, subtle performances from his cast. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
3/5 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Alistair Harkness It's a worthy concluding chapter, especially when Toothless falling in love leads to an unexpectedly bittersweet twist. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
4/5 Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Alistair Harkness The film, directed with unobtrusive sharpness by Marielle Heller, revels in the low-tech minutiae of Israel's increasingly elaborate criminal enterprise. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
2/5 Green Book (2018) Alistair Harkness True, Ali acts the hell out of his role, but his interpretation of the character is too constrained by the anti-intellectual lens through which we're being forced to view him. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
4/5 Destroyer (2018) Alistair Harkness An ingeniously structured Bad Lieutenant-esque procedural directed with real punch by indie veteran Karyn Kusama. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
2/5 The Mule (2018) Alistair Harkness Eastwood's typically minimalist direction keeps everything moving, but he seems thoroughly uninterested in the wider moral implications of his protagonist's actions. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
3/5 Vice (2018) Alistair Harkness Lest the current occupant of the White House make you feel less critical of George W Bush's motley crew of warmongering fact-fudgers, Adam McKay's new film Vice is here to put the kibosh on such misplaced nostalgia. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
3/5 Beautiful Boy (2018) Alistair Harkness If the film ultimately becomes a little enamoured with the relentless grind of this process, Carell and Chalamet are good enough to see it through. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
2/5 Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Alistair Harkness What a disappointment. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/5 Monsters and Men (2018) Alistair Harkness Though the triptych structure makes the overall film feel a little uneven, the main characters' respective introspection feels truthful... EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
2/5 The Upside (2018) Alistair Harkness All its dated interracial comedy and pandering sentimentality is just as grating without subtitles. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
4/5 Stan & Ollie (2018) Alistair Harkness Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are perfectly cast as Laurel & Hardy in Jon S Baird's late-years biopic Stan & Ollie, a gentle, melancholic look at the beloved duo long after they've fallen out of favour in Hollywood. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
4/5 Colette (2018) Alistair Harkness Dominic West is a riot as Colette's louche husband, but Knightley owns the film with a brilliant performance as the free-spirited author who pushes back against patriarchal oppression. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
3/5 The Front Runner (2018) Alistair Harkness Much of the film comes across as a well-crafted, Altman-esque attempt to present a kaleidoscopic view of complex and thorny issues. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
4/5 Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Alistair Harkness It all adds up to a charming celebration of the value of stuff and nonsense in difficult times - and who doesn't need a reminder of that at the moment? EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
3/5 An Artist's Eyes (2018) Alistair Harkness A suitably and pleasingly abstract sketch of someone whose place in the larger art world has yet to take shape. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
2/5 Mortal Engines (2018) Alistair Harkness Mortal Engines manages to be even duller than The Hobbit. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/5 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Alistair Harkness Irreverent comic book in-jokes, a collage-like mix of animation styles and a vocal cameo from Nicolas Cage add to the fun. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/5 The House That Jack Built (2018) Alistair Harkness An oddly beautiful and richly symbolic portrait of a prankster reckoning with his own misdeeds and finding out too late that he's the punchline. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
4/5 Roma (2018) Alistair Harkness A generous and lovingly made film. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
4/5 The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Alistair Harkness Flat-out charming, a movie stripped of the usual clichés about ageing (it's a world away from the recent Michael Caine dud King of Thieves) and shot with the retro feel of a New Hollywood classic. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2018
5/5 Sorry to Bother You (2018) Alistair Harkness It's... a mark of Riley's sheer narrative chutzpah that the film never feels didactic as it crams a semester's worth of radical politics into its swift 100-minute running time. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2018
2/5 Disobedience (2017) Alistair Harkness Stacks the dramatic decks so much in favour of its protagonists that their dilemma feels a little quaint. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
4/5 Three Identical Strangers (2018) Alistair Harkness Wardle gradually zooms out to show the devastation wrought upon their lives is both heartbreaking and chilling. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
4/5 Happy New Year (2017) Alistair Harkness A nightmarish vision of familial disharmony... EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
2/5 Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) Alistair Harkness The use of zombies as a coming-of-age metaphor is promising but ineffectively exploited and the gore is about as effective at disguising the film's overall dullness as a tacky bit of tinsel on a fake Christmas tree. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Alistair Harkness Another win, but only just. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 Creed II (2018) Alistair Harkness The fight scenes are decent, Stallone's still appealing, and when Bill Conti's original theme kicks in, it's impossible to resist. But please, no more. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018