New Statesman

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Rose Plays Julie (2019) Ryan Gilbey It's still a parent trap, only this one has teeth. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2021
Annette (2021) Ryan Gilbey The difference in Annette is that Driver's dourness is replicated rather than offset by everything around him. The movie becomes not merely the story of a misogynist but one that reproduces his misogyny on every level. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2021
Candyman (2021) David Sexton Candyman is quite a showreel for [director Nia DaCosta's] talents, making brilliant use of inversion and reflection throughout. Together, Peele and DaCosta have made a definitive Black Lives Matter horror. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
Censor (2021) Ryan Gilbey If Censor isn't in the same class as last year's outstanding British horror debuts, it remains a promising start, and it will be fascinating to see what this film-maker can do once she engages more emphatically with the world. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2021
The Courier (2020) David Sexton Cumberbatch, emaciated and shaven-headed, exposes the slightly alien being he always contains and the film gears up considerably in emotional impact. This is Cumberbatch's best espionage film, then, after Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2021
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) Johanna Thomas-Corr Sadly, the film is tragically, depressingly, awfully of its time... The transition to screen stripped out much of Fielding's irony, nuance and cynicism. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2021
Old (2021) Ryan Gilbey Old is all concept and no character. Once the premise has been established, Shyamalan seems at a loss for what to do with it; for a film in which the years run away with themselves, the sensation here is one of killing time and treading water. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2021
Girlfriends (1978) Ryan Gilbey The editing (by Suzanne Pettit) is so fleet-footed, and the scenes staged so economically by Weill and her cinematographer Fred Murphy, that it sometimes feels as though we're leafing through a pile of New Yorker cartoons. EDIT
Posted Jul 21, 2021
Two of Us (2019) David Sexton The romantic and domestic frustrations of two retired women in their seventies is not the most obviously suspenseful, high-concept premise for a movie, but Meneghetti makes the story remarkably compelling. EDIT
Posted Jul 14, 2021
Raising a School Shooter (2021) Rachel Cooke The message of their searching and ultimately profoundly moving documentary being not only that life must (and does) go on even after something unimaginably terrible has happened, but that human survival often depends on the humdrum. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2021
Black Widow (2021) Ryan Gilbey It's no small thing to bring together actors who have carried two of the most audacious films of the past decade (Johansson in Under the Skin, Pugh in Midsommar) but they deserve better than this material. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2021
Another Round (2020) David Sexton Another Round is made irresistible by Mikkelsen: such a noble face, such a wonderful presence even when most withdrawn, battered and saddened. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2021
Supernova (2020) Ryan Gilbey Some directors go an entire career without making anything decent -- whereas Macqueen has directed half a good film, and shaped dauntless performances from Firth and Tucci, on only his second go. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2021
Together (2021) Rachel Cooke Its underlying emotional message, its special pleading for tatty compromise and pathetic half-shares of love, struck me as bogus. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2021
In The Earth (2021) Philippa Snow What it rarely feels is entirely new, never quite successfully conjuring up the air of evil that, for example, permeates Lars von Trier's 2009 film Antichrist. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2021
The Father (2020) Ryan Gilbey In its howls of mortal distress, Florian Zeller's film is as hypnotically ugly as a Francis Bacon mouth, as doom-drenched as one of Larkin's late laments. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2021
A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Ryan Gilbey The new film has inevitably lost the concision of the last, in the same way the minimalist frights of Alien were swapped for the wham-bam action of Aliens... In other instances, though, the stakes have been raised. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2021
Friends: The Reunion (2021) Imogen West-Knights Aside from finding it curiously painful, I was also surprised to find that I enjoyed the special on its own terms. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2021
4/5 Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power (2021) Katie Rosseinsky So many music documentaries are so carefully stage managed that they become an extended branding exercise, but like the rest of BBC Three's recent spate of compelling, celebrity-led docs, Pinnock's film feels more authentic. EDIT
Posted May 19, 2021
Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power (2021) Emily Bootle Race, Pop and Power interrogates what is perhaps the central issue of both celebrity and general online activism: the difference between "having the conversation" and taking action. EDIT
Posted May 19, 2021
Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes (2020) Rachel Cooke Above all, I thought it was so clever, the way that Catz's film mirrors aspects of its homespun, meagerly funded subject. EDIT
Posted May 19, 2021
First Cow (2019) Ryan Gilbey Watching their friendship crackle into life is one of the film's deepest pleasures. Conversation flows so casually that it feels more sighed than spoken. EDIT
Posted May 19, 2021
My Octopus Teacher (2020) Pippa Bailey Must we view an octopus as a friend, a saviour, a teacher? Couldn't we simply settle for not eating them? EDIT
Posted May 12, 2021
Bhaji on the Beach (1993) Simran Hans In the film, beachside donkey rides, ferris wheels, striped deck chairs and the blue expanse of the ocean aren't just seasonal pleasures, they're images of liberation. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2021
Ian Wright: Home Truths (2021) Sophie McBain Home Truths is one of the most affecting and urgent documentaries I have seen in a while. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2021
The Battle for Britney: Fans, Cash and a Conservatorship (2021) Eleanor Peake The film is a serious journalistic investigation. But at times, rather confusingly, it also taps into something seedier: an insatiable public lust for details about Spears's life. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2021
Indiscreet (1958) Philippa Snow We are never unsure about how Indiscreet will end, but the way it gets there -- lightly, cleverly, at a pace and with a rhythm that is closer to a foxtrot than a sprint -- makes the exercise worthwhile. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2021
Nomadland (2020) Nathalie Olah Personally, I am fine with the more sentimental moments of Nomadland. Social realism needs the space to contain multitudes and contradictions, just as life does. EDIT
Posted Apr 27, 2021
Nomadland (2020) Ryan Gilbey As Fern, [Frances McDormand] pecks at conversation like a bird, and moves like a lizard, holding still as if to conserve energy before darting off suddenly. Her bravest choice is to embody the character's passion without always rendering it palatable. EDIT
Posted Apr 21, 2021
Seaspiracy (2021) Freddie Hayward While these may at first appear to be a harmless stylistic choice, the hurried coverage of each subject means the film fails to capture the full story. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2021
Ammonite (2020) Ryan Gilbey It is tempting to wonder whether Lee is already working to a formula... Forgive these mannerisms, though, and Ammonite becomes a film of earthy, robust sensuality. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2021
Tina (2021) Stephanie Phillips Most importantly, the documentary seems to question what it means to be a survivor in a world that doesn't allow you to be anything else. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2021
Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death (2021) Rachel Cooke This is an old story, and a sad one, but it's also, I'm afraid, the nature of the beast. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
Shampoo (1975) Philippa Snow George is that rare breed of lothario whom we believe when he suggests that he is promiscuous because he loves women too much and too well, a casualty of his own emotional immaturity. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
Minari (2020) Ryan Gilbey The picture's chief contribution, alongside some extremely subtle and acutely observed performances, is the consoling message that everyone is the same underneath. Films with that sort of one-size-fits-all sentiment tend not to linger. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2021
Housekeeping (1987) Simran Hans Housekeeping is a stranger, sparser, sadder film than it first appears. Forsyth, the Glaswegian film-maker known for Gregory's Girl (1981) and Local Hero (1983), channels the spirit of Robinson's distinctive prose. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2021
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Ryan Gilbey [Director Lee Daniels'] strengths don't really lie in the sane or the straightforward, which explains why The United States vs Billie Holiday only fully comes to life when it deviates from the biopic playbook. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
In the Cut (2003) Philippa Snow In the Cut is masterful in its suggestion of the ambient, omnipresent air of sexual threat that exists in traditional heterosexual dynamics. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Music (2021) Kate Mossman That is the tragedy of Music, really. That no one stepped into Sia's bubble in all the five years it was being made. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2021
News of the World (2020) Ryan Gilbey News of the World has many of these wise, unforced moments on its way to a final scene in which the on-screen audience applauds wildly. My sentiments exactly. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2021
Palmer (2021) Mark Kermode Much more affected than I expected...I'd like to see more films starring her. Very well-written. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2021
Two Lovers (2008) Simran Hans What's striking about this particular entry in the Phoenix-as-isolated-eccentric canon is its flavour of defeated animal loneliness. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2021
Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020) Ryan Gilbey [Writer-director Jasmila banic] has shaped the factual into an eloquent and conscientious picture that purrs along as suspensefully as any ticking-bomb thriller, using Ðuricic's performance as its engine. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2021
High Art (1998) Philippa Snow As well as its procession of downtown drug soirées, High Art offers one of the more sensitive on-screen depictions of lesbian sex in (relatively) mainstream cinema. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
The Hunger (1983) Simran Hans The film's enduring quality is its ineffable coolness, which feels inextricable from Scott's supposedly lowbrow music video origins. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2021
David Byrne's American Utopia (2020) Ryan Gilbey While no Stop Making Sense, it's still thrilling to see the singer and his 11-strong band, barefoot in their grey wool suits, romp through Talking Heads favourites, solo hits and a churning Janelle Monae protest song. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
The Prom (2020) Ryan Gilbey I kept gawping at this prom, with its grisly, charmless show-tunes and crash-bang choreography, and thinking: where's Carrie and her bucket of blood when you need them? EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Ryan Gilbey Boseman's dialogue is often close to the bone, though his performance, with its exposed nerve endings, would be impressive in any context. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
Soul (2020) Ryan Gilbey Most of the script's ideas are recycled -- or rather, reincarnated -- from A Matter of Life and Death and All of Me, but Soul has its own visual elegance, and an appealing line in pet-based humour. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
Happiest Season (2020) Philippa Snow It cleverly turns a few of the enduring clichés of the genre on their heads and adds new jeopardy by spinning queerer touches EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2020