The Arts Desk

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Bombshell (2019) Demetrios Matheou ... powerful, to a point, though could go deeper into the murkily complicit office politics on show. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
3/5 Seberg (2019) Joseph Walsh Despite the soap opera script from Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel, Stewart elevates what's on the page (and there isn't much) to something quite sublime EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
4/5 Uncut Gems (2019) Saskia Baron This is edge-of-the-seat filmmaking, with vertiginous camerawork by Darius Khondji and a relentless, immersive soundscape of electronica and layered dialogue. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
4/5 The Runaways (2019) Owen Richards The Runaways is worth seeking out, with heartfelt performances and a charming script. It's a ray of British sunshine on film. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
5/5 1917 (2019) Demetrios Matheou The result is an agonisingly tense, immensely moving and unusually immersive experience. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
4/5 () Adam Sweeting It's bloody entertaining... EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
3/5 Jojo Rabbit (2019) Adam Sweeting What saves it, makes it strangely touching, are the central performances. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
5/5 Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018) Graham Fuller [F]ans of directors Alain Resnais, David Lynch, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Nicolas Roeg, and Wong Kar-wai will likely find this art-house stunner an enrapturing experience. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2019
2/5 Liam Gallagher: As It Was (2019) Kathryn Reilly This might have been a more enjoyable watch if centred around a "you-know-what-I-mean" drinking game. The count was off the scale. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2019
5/5 Little Women (2019) Demetrios Matheou With its outstanding young cast and a modern sensibility that blows a feisty breeze through the well-worn period action, this is a joyful, moving, near flawless piece of filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
3/5 Cats (2019) Nick Hasted Tom Hooper's freakily phantasmagoric visualisation of an already strange West End smash is a high-wire act... And yet it never falls, sustaining a subtly hallucinatory, wholly theatrical reality. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
3/5 () Adam Sweeting The mixture of gross-out comedy and satirical silliness was suitable for children of all ages. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
1/5 () Adam Sweeting It all refused to hang together. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
A Christmas Carol (2018) Adam Sweeting A Christmas Carol like none you'd ever seen. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
1/5 The Courier (2019) Tom Baily The film makes for a limp and tensionless attempt at on-off drama. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
4/5 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Demetrios Matheou The Rise of Skywalker is epic, spectacular, surprising and, most importantly, brings its human stories to resolutions that brim with emotion. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
2/5 () Adam Sweeting The lack of real substance in the film was exposed. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
3/5 Citizen K (2019) Nick Hasted Gibney can't get beneath Khodorkovsky's skin. Keeping his cameras on him still reveals a lot. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2019
3/5 Pink Wall (2019) Markie Robson-Scott Cullen is influenced by Cassavetes and 70s realism, as well as Richard Linklater and his Before trilogy, and there is a gritty, intense quality to Pink Wall. It could be seen as a wilder, indie companion piece to Marriage Story, perhaps. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2019
3/5 () Veronica Lee Another enjoyable melding of fact and fiction. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
3/5 Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Demetrios Matheou [T]o make it work the filmmakers had to go onto the 'next level'... They've achieved that, with a great deal of ingenuity, while perhaps predictably losing some of the freshness of the earlier outing. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/5 Sons of Denmark (Danmarks sønner) (2019) Adam Sweeting The ending vigorously semaphores its arrival a mile off. Yet the film touches a nerve. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
3/5 Lucy in the Sky (2019) Joseph Walsh Without a doubt, Hawley is one to watch. He's one of the most visually daring directors working at the moment. But here, the material runs away with him. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
4/5 So Long, My Son (Di jiu tian chang) (2019) Nick Hasted It's a masterful social epic. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
5/5 The Cave (2019) Graham Fuller To not see it - and Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts's likeminded For Sama, as well - is to bury one's head in the sand. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
4/5 () Jill Chuah Masters There is something remarkable about the unreliable narrator of Elizabeth is Missing. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
3/5 Honey Boy (2019) Tom Baily With a dash of humility and maturity, LaBeouf manages to work it through. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
4/5 Ordinary Love (2019) Matt Wolf How refreshing to find a movie that actually views people in middle age as sexual beings. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
3/5 Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Demetrios Matheou Nevertheless, it's impeccably acted by all concerned, gorgeously produced and thoroughly engaging. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
4/5 () Adam Sweeting Fascinating but agonizing. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
4/5 () Adam Sweeting Set against a hauntingly beautiful backdrop of mountains and ocean, the story felt like an elemental parable of man and nature. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
4/5 () Tom Baily A graceful attempt to itemize the totality of the Holocaust by viewing it through an especially enlightening lens. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
2/5 The Nightingale (2018) Tom Baily The Nightingale remains a film of grand intent and ambition, but it just does not soar. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
3/5 Charlie's Angels (2019) Graham Fuller [A] pleasurably larky action rollercoaster that makes the most of its lowballed feminism. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
4/5 Knives Out (2019) Demetrios Matheou Poirot and Miss Marple were never as much fun as this. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
4/5 The Party's Just Beginning (2018) Owen Richards Lesser directors would struggle to strike this balance, but Gillan proves a deft hand. It's one of the strongest British debuts this year, and you have to ask - is there anything she can't do? EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
2/5 Harriet (2019) Matt Wolf On more than one occasion, Harriet seems caught in that not-unusual limbo between wanting to honour its subject while avoiding the mess, whether physical or emotional, that goes with it. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
3/5 Ophelia (2018) Owen Richards As a partner piece to Hamlet, it's an interesting twist on the traditional roles. As a standalone film, it somewhat suffers from its parent script. But particularly strong performances and beautiful imagery make it worth catching. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
4/5 Greener Grass (2019) Markie Robson-Scott Greener Grass is full of dark, delicious weirdness. Don't look too hard for deeper meaning. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
4/5 The Amber Light (2019) Tom Baily Rich with personal stories, The Amber Light studies whisky via social history: how and why the golden dram has brought people together. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
4/5 Cold Sweat (Araghe Sard) (2018) Negar Esfandiary Permission is a masterly portrayal of a reality affecting women in too many countries. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
4/5 Permission (2017) Negar Esfandiary Permission is a masterly portrayal of a reality affecting women in too many countries. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/5 Frozen II (2019) Demetrios Matheou While Frozen II is accomplished and delightful, it doesn't quite soar like its predecessor. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
4/5 21 Bridges (2019) Adam Sweeting Nonetheless, 21 Bridges could have drowned in genre cliches were it not for performers able to wring out some strong emotional colours. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
4/5 () Adam Sweeting Heartwarming and sometimes sentimental, but always clear-eyed about the story's fundamental message. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
4/5 The Report (2019) Joseph Walsh To call The Report 'urgent' or 'worthy' diminishes its power. It's none of these things - it's angry. Angry that such actions could take place in a modern, democratic, western society - and that's the point. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
2/5 Last Christmas (2019) Demetrios Matheou It's hampered by way too much rom-com cliché and cutesiness. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
Hamlet (2009) Adam Sweeting [David] Tennant looked like a full-scale actor instead of a novelty turn, capable of raising his game substantially enough to keep abreast of a superb cast. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
3/5 () Adam Sweeting It looked quite fun actually. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
4/5 Ford v Ferrari (2019) Demetrios Matheou Christian Bale and Matt Damon - Batman and Bourne if you will - let their hair down as two motor-racing legends, to the extent that the racing drama doubles as a buddy movie. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019