The Arts Desk

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
2/5 Stockholm (2018) Nick Hasted Falling prey to his own Stockholm syndrome, Budreau lets his crooks off their dangerous foolishness. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
5/5 Toy Story 4 (2019) Saskia Baron The opening sequence featuring a torrential downpour, is a masterpiece of digital artistry. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
4/5 What's My Name: Muhammad Ali (2019) Adam Sweeting Fuqua has an obvious affinity for the sport, skilfully blending fight footage with music or Ali's poetry, and also extracting full value from some superb black and still photographs taken ringside. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2019
2/5 Men in Black: International (2019) Saskia Baron Chris Hemsworth's accent drifts from Antipodean to Prince William. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
4/5 Sometimes Always Never (2018) Adam Sweeting Nighy is a perfect fit as the somewhat scuffed roué who still radiates an unmistakeable mystique. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/5 We the Animals (2018) Markie Robson-Scott The movie lacks the book's ferocious impact (best not to read it before watching) but, shot on 16mm film, it has a dreamy, lyrical beauty. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
5/5 Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019) Tim Cumming Because it was [Dylan's] crew, his money, his own time, the film Scorsese has created from what was shot in the autumn of 1975 comprises the most intimate, intense footage of Dylan at work that will ever be released. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
4/5 Dirty God (2019) Owen Richards With the continued prevalence of acid attacks in the UK, it was only a matter of time before they became the subject of a film. Thank goodness, then, it's handled with such unflinching care as it is in Dirty God. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2019
4/5 Eating Animals (2017) Sarah Kent This could be the most important film you see all year. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2019
4/5 Dark Phoenix (2019) Nick Hasted One day, when superhero films are as rare as westerns, we will appreciate the brilliant talent applied to the best of them. X-Men: Dark Phoenix moves with a classic's smooth conviction from its very first scenes. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
4/5 Gloria Bell (2018) Adam Sweeting Moore expertly catches Gloria's fleeting and fragile emotions, from doubt, hope and regret to the liberating joy of her concluding dance to Laura Branigan's "Gloria". EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
2/5 Late Night (2019) Matt Wolf And yet time and again, Mindy Kaling's script seems itself in need of doctoring from one of Katherine's put-upon scribes. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
4/5 () Adam Sweeting The slow, methodical progress of the series down the decades has meant that it has steadily accumulated a strange power, as these lives of others have in some ways become merged with our own. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
3/5 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Nick Hasted This Godzilla is at its best when casually obliterating lost underwater cities and holding forth on Hollow Earths. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
4/5 Freedom Fields (2018) Owen Richards The film's most affecting moments come when the women confront their situation. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
4/5 The Last Tree (2019) Adam Sweeting This is smart, thought-provoking filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
3/5 After the Wedding (2019) Adam Sweeting It's basically an old-fashioned weepy, complete with a tear-jerking splash of personal tragedy, and Moore sets a cracking pace as bossy, controlling Theresa. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
2/5 The Nightingale (2018) Adam Sweeting The British don't even qualify as subhuman, though it isn't clear how people as moronic as this ever found their way off the boat. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
1/5 Corporate Animals (2019) Adam Sweeting It's crass and it's gross. Perhaps director Patrick Brice and screenwriter Sam Bain have a souped-up director's cut where they stashed all the missing jokes. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
5/5 The Farewell (2019) Adam Sweeting The Farewell is a perceptive examination of family bonds, generational differences and cultural contrasts. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
4/5 Salome (1922) Nick Hasted Salomé's reputation for practically inventing camp proves its least interesting aspect. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
3/5 Booksmart (2019) Saskia Baron Actor Olivia Wilde makes a creditable directing debut with Booksmart. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
3/5 Tarde para morir joven (2018) Demetrios Matheou Sotomayor beguiles with the economy of her storytelling and her painterly, often surprising compositions. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2019
3/5 () Joseph Walsh Thankfully, this feature allows Dolan to step away from the enfant terrible image that has been thrust upon him. It's altogether more meditative - calmer, even - and all the better for it. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2019
5/5 Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood (2019) Joseph Walsh It's outrageous, brash filmmaking that only Tarantino is capable of pulling off. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
4/5 Parasite (2019) Joseph Walsh There are other similarities with his twisted 2013 sci-fi. Joon-Ho's use of contained spaces once again allows the director to navigate his subject matter very effectively. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
4/5 John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (2018) Veronica Lee It's an oddity but a fascinating one. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
4/5 () Adam Sweeting It was brave of him to open up on camera, but maybe the real heroes are his long-suffering family. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2019
3/5 () Joseph Walsh This documentary might be highly entertaining, but you don't feel that Kapadia has gotten under the skin of Maradona to the extent he did with Amy and Senna. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2019
4/5 Pájaros de verano (2018) Markie Robson-Scott The film's contemplative, spiritual atmosphere and its focus on Wayuu traditions and taboos is extraordinarily powerful. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019
4/5 Last Stop Coney Island: The Life and Photography of Harold Feinstein (2018) Saskia Baron [T]his is a worthwhile documentary to set alongside recent portraits of Vivian Maier, Robert Frank and Gordon Parks. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019
2/5 () Joseph Walsh Banderas looks the part and does the best he can with the material provided. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019
2/5 Tucked (2018) Saskia Baron The thin script cries out for another more nuanced pass. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019
4/5 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Adam Sweeting Wick fans will adore this. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
4/5 Beats (2019) Graham Fuller Achingly nostalgic for rave culture, Beats will likely appeal to anyone whose formative experience of ardent friendships and communal joy peaked in a transcendent musical setting with or without the help of Ecstasy. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
1/5 Destination Wedding (2018) Joseph Walsh While Reeves and Ryder have an undeniable charm, the film soon becomes very monotonous. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2019
2/5 The Hustle (2019) Nick Hasted The idea that there are moral lessons lurking in this quagmire is the biggest con of all. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2019
3/5 Diamantino (2018) Graham Fuller Consistently amusing... it's unexpectedly moving, too, Rahim/Aisha's and Diamantino's naturally warm relationship entering new territory after the cloning procedure gives him a new identity. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2019
2/5 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Nick Hasted Pikachu's hologram flashbacks to imperishable, buried memories have also strayed in from some phantom, Philip K. Dick-scripted Pokémon film. Then it goes back to subliminally selling you games, and it all seems a bit offensive. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
4/5 Madeline's Madeline (2018) Demetrios Matheou The permutations of life, art and imitation are many, the musings on the creative process intriguing. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
3/5 High Life (2018) Saskia Baron The slow pace and pretensions of High Life make it hard to love and it's distinctly challenging for the squeamish. But it's quite possible to admire its bravura performances and the director's design choices. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
4/5 Arctic (2018) Adam Sweeting Despite the absence of dialogue, it's a remarkably eloquent performance from Mikkelsen. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
4/5 Vox Lux (2018) Graham Fuller Vox Lux outstrips Bohemian Rhapsody in terms of ambition and stylistic panache. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2019
4/5 Woman at War (2018) Demetrios Matheou If Meryl Streep were playing Halla, everyone would know about it. So they should definitely get to know Halldóra Geirharosdóttir. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2019
2/5 Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Saskia Baron The expository dialogue is evidence of a script that could have done with another pass. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2019
3/5 Long Shot (2019) Nick Hasted Much as Fred's frog turns into a prince, Long Shot becomes briefly, exhilaratingly revolutionary. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
3/5 Tolkien (2019) Joseph Walsh This gentle biopic is not without charm, if only they had left out the witless montages of Nazgûl charging the Western Front. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
4/5 Donbass (2018) Tom Birchenough Loznitsa has worked impressively with a broad, surely largely non-professional ensemble cast -- singling anyone out seems almost impossible -- to create a grim but gripping film. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2019
4/5 Styx (2018) Nick Hasted If the metaphors for current refugee policies are sometimes heavy-handed, this response's angry despair is powerfully put. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
5/5 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Owen Richards Endgame is a totally unique, brilliant cinematic experience. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019