Sight and Sound

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The World We Knew (2020) Anton Bitel Economically told and full of lived-in performances, this bleak gangland ghost story shows toxic masculinity caught in its own limbo. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Benny Loves You (2020) Anton Bitel In this comic killer-doll film, our hero struggles to put away childish things, even as we are left wondering whether it might be Jack's own arrested psyche, rather than a stuffed animal, that is the real deadly danger. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Concrete Plans (2020) Anton Bitel ...Welsh building site becomes a microcosm for British insularity, xenophobia and dog-eat-dog rapacity, with everyone trying to rip off a corrupt London-centric system that is loaded against them. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Honeydew (2020) Anton Bitel It is a familiar story, told in a defamiliarised, disorienting style, and its excruciating cavalcade of carnivorous transgressions represents the craft of unease at its most pure and perverse. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
The Banishing (2020) Anton Bitel The vicious revenants within this house mirror the spectre of fascism rising beyond its walls EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
The Owners (2020) Anton Bitel From this chaotic clash between different classes and generations, a genre-distorted picture emerges of contemporary Britain where property is in the hands of senior citizens, and the have-nots are forced to keep living with their elders. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Hosts (2020) Anton Bitel exposes a deep seam of dysfunctional fathering and familial alienation as the Hendersons's Yuletide dinner is violently disrupted by body-snatched neighbours, and home truths are excavated. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Caveat (2020) Anton Bitel The uncannily claustrophobic design of the setting matches the tightness of the irrationally unfolding narrative in this slice of ghostly surrealism, so beautifully styled that you can practically smell the mildew-stained walls. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
The Night of the Hunter (1955) Gavin Lambert The Night of the Hunter doesn't altogether, as they say, "come off," but it is a film of extremely individual flavour, and its daring, its indifference to convention, make it uniquely surprising for a Hollywood production today. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2020
She Dies Tomorrow (2020) Anton Bitel a horror movie which reduces its central fear to the most fundamental form of existential dread. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2020
Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) Catherine de la Roche Although having genuine qualities in their own right, both performance and production fail to catch the essence of the play. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2020
The Star (1952) James Morgan It is well worth seeing not only for what it might have been but for the star; this actress of wonderful temperament and precision creates a vivid, genuine figure, alternately pathetic and exasperating, gay and decrepit, vain, impossible and defenceless. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2020
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) James Morgan Brilliant as the film undoubtedly is, ingeniously shaped and textured, it remains, with its lack of a developing centre, too insubstantial. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2020
Hall (2020) Anton Bitel a taut, hallucinatory, not-quite-zombie film in which women are exposed to the worst pathologies of the human condition. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2020
The Swerve (2018) Anton Bitel ...no less irresistible and poisonous than the nation's prevailing patriarchy, making Holly's violent deviation from her prescribed homemaking path the last tragic swerve of a woman in trouble. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2020
Blinders (2020) Anton Bitel a clever, deeply subversive take on gendered norms, where the blinders are ultimately on the viewer. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2020
12 Hour Shift (2020) Anton Bitel dark Coens-esque farce is very much a women's picture, as Mandy, her corrupt manager (Nikea Gamby-Turner) and even her crazy cousin (Chloe Farnworth) must show a grudging female solidarity so that they can live to face the same shi(f)t on another day EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2020
The Columnist (2020) Anton Bitel a blackly funny satire exploring the limits of obscenity and hateful discourse in our new mediated age. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2020
La llorona (2019) Andrew Simpson Postcolonial critique - and a bold comment on Guatemala's failure to atone for crimes against its Mayan population. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2020
The Vigil (2019) Anton Bitel view[ing] Jewish history and identity through the prism of genre, The Vigil dramatises the processes by which myth and memory sustain trauma down the generations EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2020
Camille (1936) Derek Prouse In Camille, Cukor's direction led Garbo deeper into the heart of the situations than ever before, and into the greatest triumph of her career. EDIT
Posted Jul 21, 2020
Handsworth Songs (1986) Mark Fisher One of many striking things about Handsworth Songs is the serene confidence of its experimental essayism. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2020
Paris Is Burning (1990) Louise Gray If the wit, glamour and mind-boggling outfits of Paris Is Burning are disarming, not far beneath the film's surface is an immensely moving quality. EDIT
Posted May 19, 2020
Ping Pong (1986) Sean French The cumbersome thriller plot provides an all too neat solution. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2020
Frenzy (1972) Penelope Houston Once a Londoner, always a Londoner. Hitchcock's return to home ground, twenty-two years after Stage Fright, is a remarkable performance in most senses of the word. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2020
Topaz (1969) Philip Strick Whatever doubts there may be about what drew Hitchcock to the novel by Leon Uris, there is no doubt at all that he enjoyed enormously the rearrangement of it to suit himself. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2020
Chan Is Missing (1982) Sean French The whole of Chan Is Missing, impressively photographed in black and white by Michael Chin, funny and fast moving, crackles with the excitement of a new director tackling a new, exciting subject. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2020
Holy Motors (2012) Ginette Vincendeau The film makes up for... lapses with dazzling moments. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2020
The Trouble With Harry (1955) Penelope Houston Assimilating the black humours of the comedie noire into the gentler comedy of village eccentricity, Hitchcock and his scriptwriter, John Michael Hayes, have concocted an entertainment insidious in its charm. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2020
The Day of the Jackal (1973) Penelope Houston Like the Jackal himself, the film is something of a professional without an identity. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2020
Yanks (1979) David Thompson Yanks is so much better than I expected that I hope I don't overrate it. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
Dial M for Murder (1954) Derwent May Ray Milland is sufficiently suave as the misbegotten genius, and Hitchcock has moved about very sure-footedlv on what continues to be for the most part just a stage. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
Rear Window (1954) Derwent May Rear Window has a situation which promises intricacy and then fails to provide it. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
Scarface (1932) Alan Page [Scarface is] a brilliant film thanks mainly to the acting of Paul Muni and Ben Hecht's script. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2020
The Servant (1963) John Russell Taylor Even at his worst Losey is never dull, and here he is pretty consistently at his best. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2020
The Caretaker (1964) John Russell Taylor Alan Bates and Donald Pleasence are familiar in their roles, but at the same time so fresh that one would never guess how often they had played them on the stage, and Robert Shaw is, for British audiences at least, a revelation. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2020
Fantastic Voyage (1966) Peter John Dyer Technically, the film is only too obviously under all kinds of strain, as if trying to live up to a budget which it never wanted in the first place. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
A Fine Madness (1966) Elizabeth Sussex All this is a well-tried type of nonsense, with a sound grounding in verisimilitude, that needs the right touch to emerge as both wild and funny. [Irvin] Kershner has this touch and his film never loses our amused attention. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
() Philip Strick [Zbigniew] Cybulski and Harriet Andersson may not have understood much of each other's language but they plainly enjoyed the larking around, the pantomime, and the funny faces. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
Torn Curtain (1966) Penelope Houston The chase is just cat and mouse with a clawiess cat. Not, of course, that Hitchcock's own claws are quite sheathed. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
The Chase (1966) David Wilson Hysterical, extravagant, preposterous... Yet through all the Wagnerian excesses of the film, one can't help remembering the real events of this summer in Texas. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
La Guerre Est Finie (1966) Tom Milne With La Guerre est Finie (Gala), it is as though some timid night creature had finally emerged from its lair, still a little wary perhaps, but ready to be recognised as an ordinary mortal, amused, tender and capricious. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
Daisy Miller (1974) Jonathan Rosenbaum The first and perhaps the final question to be asked about Peter Bogdanovich's adaptation of Henry James' novella is just why he chose to embark on it. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
Cockfighter (1974) Richard Combs Cockfighter looks as sleek an item - and almost as exploitable - as any of the company's recent work in the girl gang prison revolt cycle, and far less bizarre than the two Westerns which [Roger] Corman allowed [director Monte] Heilman to make. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
Dirty Money (1972) David L. Overbey The film seems to come apart... Still, there remains that stunning first sequence, and enough richness of style and theme to make Un Flic a characteristic if not the quintessential [Jean-Pierre] Melville film. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) Tony Rayns Like Rainer Werner Fassbinder's other recent imitations of life, Fear Eats the Soul... achieves a remarkable balance between stylisation and realism. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020
Amarcord (1973) John Russell Taylor Compared with [Fellini's] other recent films, Amarcord is simple and classic to the point of self-denial. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020
Black Holiday (1973) James Monaco It is exceptionally successful within its prescribed limits, as so few political films are. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020
Chinatown (1974) Tom Milne [Polanski] handles the mechanics of the plot with a ruthless brilliance that is immediately involving. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020
() Paul Hammond The problem of centring Europe After the Rain on individuals becomes most acute when we consider that surrealism is a group activity. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020