Sunday Independent (Ireland)

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
5/5 Woman at War (2018) Hilary A White Make a note to seek out this beguiling gem that manages to be a gripping eco quasi-thriller as well as a quirky and sensitive character portrait. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2019
4/5 A Dog's Journey (2019) Hilary A White Gail Susan Mancuso's film brings younger viewers into some admirably weighty themes, using winning doggies, light interludes and a broad scope to impart its wisdom. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2019
3/5 Tolkien (2019) Aine O'Connor It's main flaw to me is that it doesn't know exactly what to focus on and the pacing is odd, some parts are told slowly, others too fast. However, especially regarding the decimation of war, it works, and as a life story it is interesting. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2019
2/5 Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Hilary A White There's no doubting Efron's committal to the job and the sense of the era whipped together, but despite the portrayal's "idiosyncrasies" and ethical question marks, this film feels as awkward as its title and oddly lacking in verve or inspiration. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2019
5/5 Eighth Grade (2018) Aine O'Connor Sweet, poignant, funny, beautifully observed and delivered, this little gem is a potential classic and I loved it. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2019
4/5 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Hilary A White Some of the smarmy humour falls flat on its face, while other parts are surprisingly dark. All the same, you couldn't deny its sheer value for money. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2019
3/5 Dragged Across Concrete (2018) Hilary A White A two-and-a-half hour scenic route is taken to its finale, and this unhurried pace, constant off-kilter humour, and a devil-may-care attitude to violence, won't suit everyone. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
3/5 Greta (2018) Aine O'Connor It's great to see a female antagonist, and the difficulty of identifying, proving and dealing with stalking is a topic very much worth exploring. So too is loneliness and isolation. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
4/5 Loro (2018) Hilary A White Loro's narrative gaps are a result of it originally being two films that have here been condensed into one 150-minute job. But between Servillo's brilliance...and Sorrentino's majestic scene orchestration, you may be too agog to notice. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
3/5 Red Joan (2018) Hilary A White The atmospherics of the wartime scenes and its plucky cast serves to highlight the mundanity of those in the present, with Dench's conflicted turn the central highlight. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
2/5 Wonder Park (2019) Aine O'Connor There is an interesting idea in Wonder Park about childhood grief and fear...However, it is a tough one to tackle well and perhaps this is why the film lets the idea slide into the background becoming instead a sweet but unmemorable animation. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2019
2/5 Don't Go (2018) Hilary A White Simon Delaney's poker-playing priest is a small mercy in this muddled misstep of a film that collapses into complete confusion in its final act. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2019
2/5 Little (2019) Aine O'Connor What ensues is not as funny as it could be, there are scenes that make no sense whatsoever and it all descends into a mawkish morality tale. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2019
4/5 Out of Innocence (2016) Aine O'Connor Although some licence has been used, this fictionalised version of the Kerry Babies case covers one of the most pivotal points in modern Irish history. Sometimes it is well worth looking back to see just how far we have come. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2019
5/5 Wild Rose (2018) Hilary A White Walters is in particularly excellent form -- though Buckley is the vortex at the centre whom you simply can't take your eyes off. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2019
3/5 Last Breath (2018) Hilary A White Last Breath milks the extraordinary drama of its real-life survival tale, but it can sometimes feel like the theatrics...are overdoing it. If ever there was a saga that didn't need embellishments, it's this deep-sea nightmare. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/5 The Highwaymen (2019) Aine O'Connor Butch and Sundance it isn't but still, some 15 years on, the actors who fill the roles do shine, fortunately, because the pursuit is a little lacking in suspense. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
4/5 At Eternity's Gate (2018) Hilary A White Alongside Dafoe's immersive turn and an intrusive, elliptical quality that is hard to tie down, this is often a dazzlingly heady biopic that has much affection for its subject and his struggles. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
5/5 () Aine O'Connor It was lovely to get to spend time with the Coote brothers, both good-natured, chatty and wise, and to see a slice of life that is not that often seen. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
4/5 Dumbo (2019) Andrea Smith Milly, the wise child, utters many a loaded phrase. But I can't imagine the average child viewer will care -- and with a flying baby elephant and Colin Farrell directed by Tim Burton, what's not to like? EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/5 The White Crow (2018) Aine O'Connor It is a great story and Ivenko does a very good job in his acting debut. There is plenty of ballet too. I liked it, I just thought it would have worked better if it had stayed simpler. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
4/5 Minding the Gap (2018) Hilary A White This uniquely insightful and award-winning documentary captures the urgent escapism that skateboarding holds for Bing's subjects -- alongside sensitive, patient investigation of the root of that urgency. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
4/5 Us (2019) Aine O'Connor It is still seriously above average for a horror, Nyong'o is a fabulous lead and the casual race and gender inversions are great. It's a film best experienced rather than overthought. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
4/5 Girl (2018) Hilary A White Polster is quite astounding for every second he is on screen here. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2019
2/5 What Men Want (2019) Aine O'Connor The humour is raunchy slapstick that never feels clever and is rarely funny. It feels like a waste of an idea, especially in a climate when it could have been much more. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2019
2/5 Under the Silver Lake (2018) Hilary A White Mitchell's self-indulgence at the typewriter is this otherwise curious project's undoing. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2019
1/5 () Hilary A White With all of this foolishness going on...Serenity is a real stinker. There are lines of dialogue here that beggar belief, they are so lame. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2019
4/5 Captain Marvel (2019) Aine O'Connor Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck co-write and direct this fun and funny, clever, diversity-embracing episode. Captain Marvel enjoys her powers, Larson brings warmth to the ass-whooping. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
4/5 Border (2018) Hilary A White Ugly and twisted though some of it is, there is something bold, confident and wholly compelling about this Cannes-winning blizzard of odd that deserves praise and attention. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
4/5 The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) Aine O'Connor This is more than just middle-aged angst, this is a woman unravelling, a complex mix of dissatisfaction and projection, failed boundaries and obsession that loosen her grip on reality. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 Ben Is Back (2018) Hilary A White Peter Hedges...writes and directs this family drama with mixed results, its sturdy and observant opening half giving way to tail-chasing. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
5/5 Todos lo saben (2018) Aine O'Connor The story is good but there are no huge surprises, the devil however is in the detail -- and the characters, observations and performances make this film shine. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
4/5 Fighting With My Family (2019) Hilary A White This jewel finds a rare balance between the silliness of the "sport" (and the characters it attracts), a feel-good underdog yarn and some big-hearted sentiment. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2019
2/5 The Aftermath (2019) Hilary A White More problematic is the inert chemistry between Knightley and Skarsgard, the latter particularly lacking the requisite vulnerability given what his character has supposedly been through. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2019
4/5 The Hole in the Ground (2019) Aine O'Connor It's not groundbreaking and will appeal to horror fans mostly, but Kerslake, and the excellent Quinn Markey, give it a dramatic centre. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2019
4/5 What They Had (2018) Hilary A White The three-way excellence of Forster, Swank and Shannon is the throbbing, tumultuous heart of Chomko's debut. Top-notch dialogue, earthy characterisation, a rich score...and an authentic angle on a weighty theme do the rest. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2019
5/5 Capernaum (2018) Hilary A White Feel-good fare it most certainly is not -- but as an example of cinema's power to face uncomfortable real-life truths, look no further. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2019
3/5 On the Basis of Sex (2018) Aine O'Connor It's solid and good, it's just not excellent. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2019
4/5 Cold Pursuit (2019) Aine O'Connor It's a violence revenge film that would joke about how its tongue got so firmly in its cheek. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2019
3/5 The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Aine O'Connor It feels like an old school kids' adventure film, the characters are a bit bland, there is no great sense of peril and it is a little earnest, but it's fun and light and not a bad midterm outing. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
3/5 Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Hilary A White Christopher Landon's sequel is not guilty of lacking gusto, guffaws, or a spirited and comically spry leading lady...It's just that it feels like we were through all this 18 months ago with the much better original. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
4/5 Instant Family (2018) Hilary A White Lumps form in the throat and attention is held as Anders treats the issue with the dignity it deserves, even if the odd lashing of mawkishness gets through. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
4/5 A Private War (2018) Hilary A White Between the eye-patch, American drawl and chain-smoking rakishness, Colvin is a real-life gun-slinger who befits a big-screen portrait. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
4/5 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Aine O'Connor Inevitably it doesn't have the innovation factor, it can feel like one massive product placement and it is possibly a little too pleased with itself, but that is nitpicking. This will delight lots of people. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
3/5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Hilary A White The CGI-heavy action is super slick, but at the expense of storytelling, coherence and soul. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
5/5 If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Aine O'Connor Moonlight was always going to be a hard act to follow, but Barry Jenkins has done it, delivering a warm, exquisite and heartbreaking movie EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
3/5 Boy Erased (2018) Hilary A White [Boy Erased] is efficiently crafted film drama featuring a robust array of acting turns, even in periphery roles beyond the Hedges-Crowe-Kidman-Edgerton core. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
5/5 All Is True (2018) Aine O'Connor It is more drama, even pot boiler, than worthy biopic which angers some but makes it broadly accessible. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
4/5 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Aine O'Connor Growing up can feel bittersweet but is ultimately nothing to fear and this beautiful animation gathers a starry cast to make that point in what is a spectacular sequel and finale. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 Burning (2018) Aine O'Connor It is interesting and it looks good but it is not involving enough to sustain its 148-minute run time and despite its unusual storytelling the ending proved strangely predictable. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2019