Empire Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
2/5 Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Ian Freer As a last hurrah for a once great action icon, Rambo: Last Blood is a damp squib. Put your headbands at half mast and remember him from his glory days. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
4/5 Ready or Not (2019) Ian Freer Anchored by a dazzling turn by Samara Weaving, Ready Or Not brilliantly fuses thrills, satire, laughs and horror. Don't count to 100 - just go and see. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
4/5 The Farewell (2019) Nick De Semlyen Both a vehicle for Awkwafina's formidable talents and an incredibly charming ensemble piece. If there's any justice, it'll be remembered when it comes to award-scattering season. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
2/5 The Kitchen (2019) James White The Kitchen flits through scenes, coming across as its own trailer rather than a full movie. And it makes disappointing use of its great components, wasting three chewy, thoughtful core performances. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 Phoenix (Føniks) (2018) Alex Godfrey Phoenix has a huge heart, aching for its cast, and while it feels like it's only ever on the verge of getting anywhere, it's still a keen, candid character study. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 Honeyland (2019) Helen O'Hara Stunningly beautiful and quietly powerful, this is a portrait of a vanishing way of life and of a determined woman who's just trying to make her way in the world. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 For Sama (2019) Ian Freer For Sama powerfully mixes the personal and the political to thought-provoking, emotional ends. The result is one of the best documentaries of 2019. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/5 Le choc du futur (2019) Ian Freer Driven by a great turn from Alma Jodorowsky, it celebrates the creation and possibilities of music through a distinctly female filter. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
5/5 Hustlers (2019) Beth Webb A giddily entertaining homage to female power that illuminates bold ambition in its stars and director alike, Hustlers is the kind of era-defining film that Hollywood didn't know it needed. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
3/5 Downton Abbey (2019) Helen O'Hara Gentle, unchallenging drama for people who already know they like it, this is a nostalgic and rosy depiction of an England that was, surely, never so innocent. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
2/5 Nomis (2018) David Hughes At a time when television is easier to make than films, it's a pity that a quart of plot in a pint-sized pot is largely to blame for this muddled misfire, which wastes some promising ideas and an impressive cast. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
5/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Alex Godfrey A psychologically merciless sequel, everything here is as it should be: deeper, scarier, funnier. Muschietti in particular has stepped up, skilfully guiding us through a rollicking funhouse. It is obscenely entertaining. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
4/5 The Shiny Shrimps (Les Crevettes pailletées) (2019) Ian Freer The Shiny Shrimps is a warm, inclusive hug of a movie. The filmmaking is prosaic but wins you over with infectious exuberance and huge heart. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2019
5/5 Joker (2019) Terri White Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2019
3/5 Judy (2020) Ian Freer Judy is an enjoyable, sincere attempt to present a multi-faceted portrait of a Hollywood legend, bolstered by a strong Renée Zellweger. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2019
4/5 Ad Astra (2019) John Nugent Existential but also intimate, Ad Astra is a stunning, sensitive exploration of the space left by an absent parent - and the infinite void of actual space. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
4/5 () Kambole Campbell Inna De Yard, while not always incisive, is soulful and uplifting in its exploration of the hearts behind the music Webber clearly loves - a feeling compounded by its charming subjects. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
3/5 Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) John Nugent Falls slightly short of being the definitive Alien doc, but Memory is slick and thoughtful, and will deepen your love of a classic. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
2/5 A Million Little Pieces (2018) Alex Godfrey It's well-intentioned and pretty, but not much else. Occasional stylistic flourish aside, it offers nothing we haven't seen before, buckling under the weight of its own conservatism. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
4/5 The Souvenir (2019) Terri White Joanna Hogg paints a precise picture of a woman trying to develop her own artistic vision while caught in the slipstream of a toxic relationship. An understated, exquisite gem of a film. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
2/5 Angel Has Fallen (2019) John Nugent A big, lumbering bastard of an action movie sequel. It achieves more-or-less exactly what it promises - which, given this franchise's track record, is a low bar to clear. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
2/5 Crawl (2019) James White As a mindless summer horror diversion, Crawl is watchable if rarely all that thrilling. The movie's far from toothless, yet often substitutes easy scares for any real substance, and suffers for that. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2019
4/5 Dolor y gloria (2019) Ian Freer Pain & Glory might see Almodóvar working in a minor key but it is a major work, graced with career-best work from Antonio Banderas. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
3/5 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Dan Jolin The scares and monsters are effectively conjured, but if you're not familiar with Austin Schwartz's source material, you may be left a little cold. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
4/5 Hail Satan? (2019) Ben Travis A devilishly funny documentary that blends improbable imagery, self-awareness and religious provocation with a genuine sense of political purpose. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
2/5 UglyDolls (2019) Ian Freer This paean to body positivity and living your own truth is more than welcome, but you just wish UglyDolls' message could be more charmingly argued, adroitly assembled and just plain funny. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
3/5 Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) Beth Webb A little heavy-handed with its moral messaging, this is nevertheless a self-deprecating and diverse tale of discovery. Michael Peña's take on rave culture alone is worth your money. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
3/5 Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (2018) Ian Freer JT LeRoy is a decent telling of a fascinating, resonant true story. If it never really fulfils its promise, it's worth it to see two major talents - Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern - in full flow. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
3/5 Good Boys (2019) Ben Travis Its kids-say-the-funniest-things gags become one-note, but Good Boys has consistent laughs, winning performances, and a dollop of sweetness to boot. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
2/5 () Amon Warmann Horrible Histories never escapes the sense of feeling more like a feature-length TV special than a movie. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
2/5 Playmobil: The Movie (2019) Olly Richards Maybe it's fitting Playmobil: The Movie is old-fashioned, stiff and only suitable for those between the ages of four and ten, but it sure isn't much fun. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
2/5 The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Ian Freer It might be built on the notion that dogs are the wisest of us all, but the end result winds up stupid. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
4/5 Blinded by the Light (2019) Ian Freer Combining both the universality and specificity of Springsteen's music, Blinded By The Light is an exuberant anthem to the importance of music, the need to be seen and the hope of new possibilities. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2019
4/5 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Kambole Campbell Despite some jokes falling flat, Hobbs & Shaw is still a thrilling, nitrous-powered charm machine with Johnson and Statham having a hell of a time at the wheel. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
4/5 Photograph (2019) Ian Freer Photograph is decidedly old-fashioned and the outcome is never in doubt but the craft is impeccable, the performances low-key and likeable plus there is something persuasive about Batra's gentle worldview, his faith in people and love restorative. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2019
3/5 The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) Ian Freer Moving beyond the confines of the app's premises, The Angry Birds Movie 2 starts slow but flourishes into breezy, colourful fun. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2019
2/5 Charming (2018) Ian Freer It has the odd fun conceit but the set-up is tortured, the storytelling is episodic, the gags scattershot, the songs forgettable and the animation rudimentary. You'll live happily ever after without it. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2019
4/5 Animals (2019) Beth Webb Grainger is a revelation and Shawkat a rebel in this delightfully defiant celebration of women's imperfections. 
Stick with them through the chaos and you'll be rewarded with an utterly electric tale of female friendship. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2019
2/5 Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) Ella Kemp Broomfield's approach feels more intrusive than reflective, reducing the private story to public gossip. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2019
4/5 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Ian Freer If it's not top-drawer QT, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is at once an engaging buddy comedy, an intoxicating fact and fiction mash-up, gorgeous filmmaking and a valentine to the movies that delivers geek nirvana. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
3/5 The Current War (2017) Dan Jolin A stylish portrayal of a literal power struggle based on truly interesting historical figures and events. But it tries to take in too much in too little time, when all it needed was to centre on Edison and Westinghouse. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2019
Making Noise Quietly (2019) Ian Freer Dromgoole never finds a way to make the film earn its place on the big screen. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
3/5 Gwen (2018) John Nugent The story might feel a little one-note at times, but Gwen is an atmospherically rich - and starkly beautiful - tale of anguish. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
2/5 Tell It to the Bees (2018) Christina Newland A gentle and prettily appointed romantic tragedy with likeable performances; but there's a stultifying blandness to proceedings and an implausible final act. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
2/5 The Wedding Guest (2018) Ian Freer Despite good performances and an interesting milieu, The Wedding Guest doesn't deliver as an exciting genre piece or thought-provoking drama. Michael Winterbottom is a master in many areas but the thriller seems beyond him this time. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
4/5 Varda by Agnès (2019) Ian Freer Funny, moving and insightful, all filmmakers should lay out their art and art like this. But not all filmmakers can be Agnès Varda. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
2/5 Moon 44 (1990) Kim Newman The plot unravels in unwieldy dollops, and, despite some adequate special effects (for the time), the whole thing is really a bit of a bore. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
4/5 Only You (2018) Ian Freer Only You, the feature debut of TV screenwriter Harry Wootliff, is that rare effort that could go toe-to-toe with its American counterpart, a passionate, moving love story told with nuance and heart. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
3/5 The Lion King (2019) Helen O'Hara Beautifully crafted and carefully conceived, without ever entirely justifying its existence... So, you might feel the love tonight, but perhaps not quite as much as before. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 The Dead Don't Die (2019) John Nugent But in spite of itself, The Dead Don't Die remains a Jarmusch joint, to the end. It's still a disarming world to hang out in; you just wish it could have been a little less indulgent. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019