Sight and Sound

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Downton Abbey (2019) Kate Stables A wallow in the lavish living and moral certainties of Downton's shiny imagined past, Fellowes and Engler's film creates a vision of a politically and socially secure Great Britain that has rarely seemed further out of reach. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
The Flower (La flor) (2016) Kim Newman In the end, as was said in the beginning, if La Flor is endurable it's not because of its genre games, M.C. Escher structure or even the occasional well-tailored anecdote, but because of its star quartet. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Hustlers (2019) Pamela Hutchinson At heart Hustlers is a bit retro, both a callback to the ditzy gold-diggers of the 1930s and a high-energy, montage-heavy crime caper in the Scorsese vein, as these likeable good-gals turn the tables on Wall Street's most lascivious wolves. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Judy (2019) Lisa Mullen With a jaw-dropping performance from Renée Zellweger at its pulsing, neurotic heart, the film is funny, warm and satisfyingly self-aware. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Kambole Campbell Murphy is surprisingly restrained and steady in the role of Rudy Ray, resisting playing up his eccentricities and insecurities for easy laughs. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Ella Kemp No one is here to educate on or avenge for the horrors of the past - it's too silly for that, but it's crystal-clear that Waititi is laughing on the right side of history. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019) Tom Charity Armando Iannucci's rollicking adaptation announces itself as a radical and progressive reclamation of the heritage 'lit pic' from the off. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
() John Bleasdale Guerra's film not only feels fresh - it feels vital, bolstered and humanised by a stunning portrait of quiet humanity by Mark Rylance. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
Rojo (2018) Maria M. Delgado A disarming allegory about middle-class society turning a blind eye to the excesses committed in the name of so-called peace and stability. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
It: Chapter Two (2019) Lou Thomas Chapter Two is so stuffed with the slam-dunk of past memories and visceral jump scares that the latter become a touch predictable. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
() Jessica Kiang The cinema of what-the-hell-did-I-just-watch uncategorisability has a new title for its pantheon. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
() Nick James The quiet audacity with which Andersson has discarded the elements of his style that people appreciate the most - the absurdity and the payoffs - is not only admirable but more effective in bringing an inclusive feel to his cinema. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Christina Newland Audiences might expect a mercilessly bleak view of married life, but Baumbach's go-to mode is never despair, even when Marriage Story is desperately sad. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
6 Ad Astra (2019) Jessica Kiang A sometimes thrilling and always beautiful 2.7 billion-mile odyssey, in which somehow, there's just not enough space. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
Joker (2019) Christina Newland Ideas-wise, it's only slightly less superficial than so many other comic-book movies, but judging by pure entertainment factor, it's a thrill to watch. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Isabel Stevens Sciamma dodges any hint of melodrama, opting to treat emotions delicately and faithfully for a time that suppressed them into glances and gestures rather than pouring them out into words. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) Nick James It's an exquisitely put together film, beautifully designed, much of which has lingered in my memory, but I wonder how much interest and pleasure someone unfamiliar with Almodóvar's previous work could derive from it. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) Maria M. Delgado Pain and Glory is anchored in a terrific performance by Banderas: minimal gestures and economical conversations give little away. As such, the mysteries of the past unfold delicately over the course of the film. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2019
() Anton Bitel a morality play cum revenger's tragedy in which everyone's different outlaw agendas and values come into clash and under scrutiny. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
() Anton Bitel Taking its cue from The Purge (2013) and Assassination Nation (2018), this grimly allegorises a country all too easily polarised against itself, street by bloody street. For once those letters have arrived, everyone goes postal. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
() Anton Bitel claustrophobic, darkly comic thriller recalls Grey Gardens, Misery, Braid and especially Shrew's Nest in showing a dangerous domestic dysfunction that, for all its unhinged exaggeration, may strike a dissonant chord with anyone who has family. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
() Anton Bitel Fingers becomes a strange satire of both therapy culture and a pathologised America succumbing to psychosis as it chases its own tail on the quest for a redemptive cure. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Knives and Skin (2019) Anton Bitel a story of one missing girl and several lost ones, as Carolyn's classmates and their families try to navigate their way through a modern American landscape ever littered with the debris of patriarchy, and to find new ways of singing old tunes. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Why Don't You Just Die! (Papa, sdokhni) (2018) Anton Bitel a confidently mounted blur of different filmmaking styles, ethical codes & generational clashes that welcomes the viewer to laugh, wince & gawp at its messy excess, while cheering on a young antihero who surely cannot survive his ordeal to the end. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Feedback (2019) Anton Bitel His willingness to cover up and lie, his verbal gaslighting and bullying and his ability to keep rising to the top no matter what horrors emerge from his history make Jarvis a very Trumpian brand of human monster EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
True Fiction (2019) Anton Bitel The tense interplay of writer and Muse offers constant reflexive commentary on the way in which horror is at its most effective when it gaslights, manipulates and misdirects before revealing its true face. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
() Anton Bitel This is a delicate dance, testing the neighbourhood boundaries between straight-up realism & genre's more sensationalist tropes of survival and revenge, while dramatising truths about the systemic marginalisation & oppression of impoverished women. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
() Anton Bitel As the plot thickens and the genre keeps shifting, this will turn out to be a funny, violent, increasingly unhinged caper of simple men EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Adam Nayman A slow, indulgent ramble through a gloriously recreated past, placidly hypnotised by its own stately paced and luminous nostalgia. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Stones Have Laws (2018) Ben Nicholson Through collective authoring and by blending the telling of traditional stories into more typically observational ethnographic documentary practices, Stones Have Laws feels like a genuine attempt to honour the Maroon way of passing knowledge. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
Mountain (2017) Michael Hale While the film takes an unequivocally romantic approach to mountains, it doesn't shy away from casting a critical eye on the colonial thinking that underpinned early mountaineering exploits and that continues in a different form today. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
Animals (2019) Kate Stables It's a film of fierce female appetites - Tyler's hunger for attention, Laura's longing for literary success, their shared thirst for good times - rather than coy yearnings. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Monsoon (2019) Ben Nicholson Monsoon feels like a precisely considered expression of the untethered experience of migration. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2019
Varda by Agnès (2019) Catherine Wheatley A gorgeous trip down memory lane and an impeccably presented primer - one that very much smacks of the official version. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2019
Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Kim Newman Middle-school horror in its near-perfect form. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
Only You (2018) Pamela Hutchinson In its unflinching and sustained examination of a very personal issue, Only You stumbles on some universal truths about human relationships. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
Men in Black: International (2019) Nick Pinkerton It's garbage, of course, the aesthetically undistinguished result of pure avarice and laziness, with nothing in it to command the attention of an adult with a functioning visual cortex. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Ghost of the Golden Groves (Shonajhurir Bhoot) (2018) Anton Bitel here everything is an ongoing performative masque, where art and expression are themselves the forces that transform everyday experience into something eternal, and where ghosts, even if they make little sense, must be storied. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
Aladdin (2019) Kim Newman Massoud's parkour-practising Aladdin and Naomi Scott's glass-ceiling-smashing Princess Jasmine aren't really allowed space to develop readings of the roles when Smith is due to pop out of a lamp at any moment to murder a song or flog a comedy routine EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Kim Newman It's typical of the film to set up a major sequence in which flying monsters Mothra and Rodan dog-fight, only to cut that short and follow Mark as he struggles to open some airplane doors. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
Advocate (2019) Paul O'Callaghan The filmmakers eschew many of the conventions of biographical documentary to deliver a propulsive, cool-headed courtroom drama. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
Dark Phoenix (2019) Michael Hale Outgunned on the action front by box-office rivals and too nervous to tell a more intimate story, Dark Phoenix leaves the franchise running on empty. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019) Pamela Hutchinson Toy Story 4 may be the most adult film in the set so far, one that explores the possibility of a second independent life for empty-nester parents. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019) Jonathan Romney The interplay between the two men plays out teasingly, with an Oedipal tension between tyro and patriarch that plays out at times like a maritime, rum-soaked version of Steptoe and Son. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2019
Dirty God (2019) Nikki Baughan Both a sharply observed character study and a damning indictment of our skin-deep Instagram culture. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
Fonotune: An Electric Fairytale (2018) Anton Bitel Shot wide and blank by DP Jon Britt, Fonotune: An Electric Fairytale is mesmerising in its austere beauty, recalling the bleak cool of early Jim Jarmusch, or perhaps of a hipster music video. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2019
After We Leave (2019) Anton Bitel His ultimate dilemma... is deftly handled and moving, ensuring that Hossain's 'one last job' scenario, for all its futurist gizmos (temple phones, paralytic implants, etc), stays down to earth. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2019
The Final Land (Das letzte Land) (2019) Anton Bitel It's an existential question - head back or move on - & The Final Land, which confines itself mostly to the spaceship, becomes more & more about these two lost souls' inner space, as they go on a conflicted quest for freedom, home, escape & mother. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2019
First Love (2019) Michael Leader Full-bore filmic frenzy as only Miike can make. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
Parasite (2019) Isabel Stevens Ever the sui generis genre-switcher, Bong this time has his class struggle play out in a con-family comedy. And it's a riot. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019