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Film Reviews

Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

★★★½ - STUFF  - Colin Burstead (Neil Maskell) thought a New Year's celebration in the country would help bring his family together – instead it threatens to tear them even further apart. For a start, no-one is particularly happy about the lengthy drive to Dorset. Then, within seconds of their...
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The Peanut Butter Falcon

★★★★ - OBSERVER  - Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen are a dream double act in this unlikely buddy movie - It could have been so corny. The heart of The Peanut Butter Falcon beats to a rhythm that harks back to the ragged romanticism of a Huck Finn adventure, a time when outlaws were armed with...
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Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

★★★★ - EMPIRE  - Ben Wheatley’s new film begins epically, with an unassuming suburban bungalow. Outside stands Neil Maskell’s middle-aged Colin, vaping for England in his sleeveless V-neck, for 15 seconds, in profile, in slow-motion, soundtracked by a score that makes it feel like a Western. For...
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Jumanji: The Next Level

★★★★ - LONDON EVENING STANDARD  - Jumanji has a layered history. In 1981, it was a short children’s picture book by Chris Van Allsburg (who also wrote The Polar Express). Two children, Judy and Peter, find a magical board game. Its hazards (a lion, a stampede) spring to life in their house when...
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Cats

★★★★ - DISCUSSING FILM  - Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats stage production, Tom Hooper’s much-talked-about film adaptation is a grand musical extravaganza of musically soaring heights. Although it’s a film, it most definitely feels like a stage show and if you’re into musicals on the stage,...
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Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN Caution: Contains spoilers About 40 minutes into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker there’s a little switcheroo where you think that Chewbacca has died. And I believed it. I mean, it’s the last of the sequel-trilogy, the last of this particular nine-film story arc, and...
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Little Women

★★★★★ - TIME OUT  - A triumph of well-matched sensibilities, Greta Gerwig's effervescent spin on Louisa May Alcott's sisterhood finds freshness in between the pages. Greta Gerwig has directed only two films that are solely her own but she’s already become a brand. It’s in evidence within the first...
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Ask Dr. Ruth

★★★★½ - STUFF If you grew up in North America in the mid 1980s, "Dr Ruth" Westheimer was everywhere. She was the "sex lady" on TV, merrily rolling condoms onto bananas, astounding the late night talk show hosts with her willingness to use words like "vagina" and "penis", happily discussing orgasms...
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The Good Liar

★★★★ – THE GUARDIAN  -  The veteran pair duel hypnotically in a mystery thriller whose occasional silliness is masked by storytelling gusto -  This mystery thriller is outrageous and irresistible, an old-fashioned drama with dashes of Patricia Highsmith, Patrick Hamilton, John le Carré and maybe...
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The Good Liar

★★★★ - THE TIMES  - Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are the cinematic couple that we never knew we needed. Until now -  Sharing the big screen, almost inconceivably for the first time, they play a pair of elderly online daters who, in the opening scene, meet in a north London gastropub. Mirren and...
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The Biggest Little Farm

★★★★ - TIME OUT  - This joyous doc about a couple striving to set up a biodiverse farm from scratch is pure cinematic dopamine -  Like a cross between Microcosmos and an origin story for Old MacDonald, this wonderful doc is possibly the most joyous 90 minutes you’ll spend in a cinema this year....
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The Biggest Little Farm

★★★½ - STUFF   - Eco-doco offers enlightening, but also sobering viewing -  What happens when a wildlife cameraman and a private chef and culinary blogger decide to attempt to farm 200 California acres in harmony with nature? That's the premise of this entertaining eco-documentary. Former Animal...
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