Sight & Sound

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Earwig (2021) Anton Bitel Earwig keeps its secrets which is precisely what will ensure that its enigmatic, oneiric visions burrow their way into the darker crevices of the viewer's consciousness. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2021
Sunset Blvd. (1950) James Agee It is Hollywood craftsmanship at its smartest and at just about its best, and it is hard to find better craftsmanship than that, at this time, in any art or country. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2021
A Brixton Tale (2021) Alex Davidson A Brixton Tale has a simplicity that sometimes verges on the simplistic; but the strong lead performances, some effective set pieces and its unassailable arguments against privilege make this a tale worth telling. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2021
Uppercase Print (2020) Carmen Gray The piercing earnestness, very soon snuffed out, that pours from Lazarovici as he addresses us, his face framed close, stands out all the more against the regime's language of ruthless depersonalisation... EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2021
Panic in the Streets (1950) Gavin Lambert It has not only a particularly good story, but a sharpness and flexibility of observation in the writing and handling that occasionally makes it more than a melodrama about a city under the threat of plague. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2021
Seconds (1966) David Wilson Perhaps the real trouble is that a brilliantly conceived idea is never really worked out beyond its first stage. Whatever might have been made of the idea after the personality-change, Frankenheimer's development of it falls decidedly flat. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2021
The Little Fugitive (1953) Karel Reisz There are, too, some attempts to make beautiful pictures of some of the shots (one of the directors is a photographer by profession) which do not mix with the roughnesses of the unrehearsed material. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2021
El Mariachi (1992) Cynthia Rose Despite its superficial sense of low-budget genre-as-usual, this project offer something truly new for American film. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2021
Night of the Living Dead (1968) Elliott Stein Romero was offered a budget for colour; he preferred shooting in black and white; the result is a flat murky ambience which is perfect for the ramshackle American Gothic landscape where the events occur. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2021
Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) Tony Rayns Obayashi Nobuhiko's three-hour swansong is a pop-art paean to pacifism and unity in the form of an exploration of Japanese film history and, in particular, its many depictions of armed conflict. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2021
My Family/Mi Familia (1995) Lucy O'Brien It's not until the final scenes that the drama begins to bite... These moments, however, are not enough to give this film the substance it badly needs. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2021
Go Fish (1994) Lizzie Francke The flexible digressive style enables Troche and Turner to dive a little deeper under Go Fish's seemingly light, shimmery surface and ponder on some weightier questions about lesbian identity -- but without letting the movie get too hung up on them. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
Demonic (2021) Anton Bitel Stealing a trick from Tarsem Singh's The Cell (2000). Blomkamp's film uses zones constructed from the detritus of the unconscious as a way of giving cinematic form - sight and sound - to otherwise internal struggles and states. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
The Unburied (2021) Anton Bitel a cultic, carnal ritual that restores a dysfunctional family to its former, self-perpetuatingly toxic state of masculinity. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2021
Nocturna: Side A - The Great Old Man's Night (2021) Anton Bitel Falling somewhere between Michael Haneke's Amour (2012) and Florian Zeller's The Father (2020), and playing hide and seek with the emotions, this long, dark night of the soul sends Ulises on a mystical round-trip home to his long-lost wife and family EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2021
Slapface (2021) Anton Bitel an ambiguous film of mourning gone wrong, as a neglected boy's transgressive rites of passage play out simultaneously as supernatural tale and psychodrama, with a murderous monster emerging as much from within as from without... EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2021
Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021) Anton Bitel grief radiates from the film's very centre to impose an oneiric order on the world's chaos. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
Ultrasound (2021) Anton Bitel here different interests - scientific, political, military, personal - vie for control over a narrative that's fast coming to term. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
Coming Home in the Dark (2021) Anton Bitel as the car speeds towards a different home from which it set out, the circle is never fully closed. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes (2021) Anton Bitel In this meta-cinematic hall of mirrors, characters whose every step seems prescribed and well-rehearsed will need to rewrite the screenplay if they hope ever to see in the mo(u)rning and move on. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
Hotel Poseidon (2021) Anton Bitel Stefan Lernous' feature debut is a surreal day and night in the life, showing an oppressed, alienated man's stasis in a place more normally associated with passing through. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
Offseason (2021) Anton Bitel writer-director Mickey Keating conjures the spirits of Lucio Fulci, John Carpenter and H.P. Lovecraft for a retro-layered reimagining of the myth of Persephone. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
Post Mortem (2020) Anton Bitel a charming if creepy promise of gradual community recovery. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
Wildland (2020) Katherine McLaughlin A chilling portrait of twisted family loyalty, told from the perspective of a young woman caught up in grief, trauma and desperation. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2021
Jumbo (2020) Anton Bitel a classic coming-out (as well as coming of age, and just plain coming) narrative, allegorising both the rejection and acceptance faced by anyone whose erotic interests do not adhere to narrowly conventional expectations. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2021
The Souvenir Part II (2021) Sophie Monks Kaufman Evidence of [Hoggs'] intention to own this portrait of the artist as a young, bereaved woman arrives in a perfectly judged finale, where Hogg's own voice has the final word. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2021
A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Anton Bitel While it is certainly thrilling for its duration, what you see - or hear - is what you get. For here, as in A Quiet Place, viewers will find little subtext to keep ringing and resonating in their ears afterwards. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2021
Violation (2021) Katherine McLaughlin Madeleine Sims-Fewer co-writes, co-directs and stars as Miriam in a daring and referential debut that questions the nature of revenge. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2021
Black Bear (2020) Katherine McLaughlin Aubrey Plaza is an unpredictable powerhouse in writer-director Lawrence Michael Levine's two-part negotiation of the untrustworthy power dynamics of a filmmaking couple. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2021
Modern Times (1936) William Whitebait The whole of this satirical fantasy is flawlessly exact, down to -- or rather up to -- the gadgety feeder: a wonderful piece of imagery that breathlessly amuses and whacks hard. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2021
Apples (2020) Anton Bitel Here Nikou satirises the banality of the human condition by reducing to a standardised bucket list the experiences (joining a protest, crashing a car, a one-night stand) that we imagine constitute our very individuality. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2021
Seven Samurai (1954) Tony Richardson Visually the film makes a tremendous impression. Kurosawa can combine formal grace with dramatic accuracy, and many scenes create a startling pictorial impact. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2021
Dreams That Money Can Buy (1948) Herman G. Weinberg Hans Richter's first American feature film, Dreams That Money Can Buy, is a surprise -- and a most pleasant surprise. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2021
Schindler's List (1993) Philip Strick A near-documentary, brilliantly designed and choreographed, [and] a character study in which Ralph Fiennes, the winningly urbane Liam Neeson, and the magnificently impassive Ben Kingsley attain a memorable dramatic intensity. EDIT
Posted Apr 14, 2021
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Herman G. Weinberg It has everything it should have -- a literate and often sharp and honest script by Robert E. Sherwood, supple direction by William Wyler, and is ingratiatingly played by at least one actor -- Frederic March. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2021
Born in Flames (1983) Sophie Mayer Born in Flames' continued resonance and growing popularity suggests... that we need radical approaches to image-and-sound making more than ever. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2021
The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) Claire Monk The Ballad of Little Jo is an exemplary and often starkly beautiful tale -- a mix of adventure and romance which succeeds in reinstating female experience into a genre which has by definition sidelined it. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2021
Clueless (1995) Amanda Lipman This is essentially a one-joke movie, but it is an enjoyably witty one, packed with vignettes of middle-class teenage lifestyles without resorting too much to video-style musical interludes. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2021
Wayne's World (1992) Kim Newman In the end, the film holds together because of the leads' adroit performances. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2021
Blue Story (2019) Matthew Taylor The emphatic style can be repetitive, but it's confident work that crucially doesn't condescend to the youth audience best placed to receive its sobering pacifist message. EDIT
Posted Feb 24, 2021
The Wild Goose Lake (2019) James Lattimer While Chinese director Diao Yinan's The Wild Goose Lake hardly reconfigures the crime thriller afresh, it does pare it down to the essentials to exhilarating effect... EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2021
Luxor (2020) Pamela Hutchinson An apparently slight, but deeply rewarding film, Luxor reveals its purpose slowly, in fragments of growing significance. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2021
Landscapes of Resistance (2021) Cathy Brennan What makes Landscapes of Resistance so remarkable is the way it successfully frames anti-fascist resistance as an expression of love. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
Beginning (2020) Pamela Hutchinson In contemplating the horror of a subservient life, Kulumbegashvili has created a quite extraordinarily compelling film. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Supernova (2020) Jessica Kiang If the two performances are individually excellent, it is the relationship between them that is the real star of Supernova, a portrait of the dazzling starburst of intense feeling that floods a deeply loving couple's universe right before heat death. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2021
Rocks (2019) Ela Bittencourt A compassionate, finely observed portrait of a young woman's gradual breaking down, as the usual buffers, including brotherly love and friendships, strain under her crushing responsibility. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2021
White Riot (2019) Sukhdev Sandhu It's a tribute to the fire and ferment of Rock Against Racism, and to Shah's infectious passion for her subject, that White Riot feels at least half an hour too short. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) Violet Lucca The Forty-Year-Old Version paints a loving portrait of parts of New York City that aren't represented with such care, if at all, in narrative films of this scale. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Christina Newland Ultimately, the plot is as messy as its central character, trotting around with one shoe and a bacon sandwich in hand, but it's also a whole bunch of glittery, satisfying fun -- especially the unkempt, cheerful, chaotic energy of Harley Quinn. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
Casablanca (1942) Evelyn Russell It may not be the best of its kind ever, but it is good melodrama. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2021