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Film Reviews

The Lego Movie 2

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - The second Lego Movie is even better than the original: a sophisticated new adventure that gives us a new look at how the universality of the Lego universe was more gendered than we thought. There’s hilarious voice-work artistry, ceaselessly inventive pop-culture riffs...
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Vai

★★★★ - STUFF - Kiwi producers Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton's follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut Waru is perhaps even more audacious. Rather than an octet of tales revolving around a single event, Vai focuses on eight stages in one woman's life (a kind of female Pasifika reimagining...
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The Heart Dances

★★★★★ - STUFF - Jane Campion's 1993 film The Piano is a cultural touchstone in New Zealand and around the world.  The film briefly made us known as producers of something other than sportspeople and bits of sheep, picking up awards and adulation wherever it played. Until The Return of the King ca...
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Dumbo

★★★★ - STUFF  - For someone who gets paid a few bags of peanuts every week to have an opinion about the movies I watch, I truly do have some unforgivable gaps in my viewing history. I have never seen Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz or even The Rocky Horror Picture show from beginning to end....
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Woman at War

★★★★½ - STUFF - I've been waiting to write this review for more than half-a-year now, ever since I first saw Woman at War at a packed-out Embassy Theatre screening at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2018. Waiting, because sometimes – and this is why film festivals exist – you'll...
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Woman at War

★★★★ - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD - Bleak windswept landscapes, folk in heavy woollen jumpers, cattle dogs and civil disobedience – what's not to like? This might be the best thing to come out of Iceland since their 2014 World Cup football team and that other-worldly clapping thing they made famous. ...
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Woman at War

★★★★ - NZ HERALD - Woman at War presents the middle-aged film hero you've been waiting for... Woman at War was described to me as an Icelandic thriller. It is set in Iceland and comes complete with thrilling scenes, but this story of one woman's war against the Government's co-operation with...
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Vai

★★★★ - EYE FOR FILM The history of the South Pacific is a history of movement between isolated communities, with all the sorrow - and potential for renewal - that brings. What links these communities is water, and it's through their relationship with water that members of these communities...
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Woman at War

★★★★ - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - An impressive follow-up to his strikingly eccentric debut, Of Horses and Men, Icelandic auteur Benedikt Erlingsson's second feature-length fiction, Woman at War (Kona fer i strid), is another skillfully crafted, surreally told tale of man and nature — or in this...
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Us

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN "We’re Americans.” That phrase, delivered in a deathless, deadpan drawl, echoes through the twists and turns of a movie whose very title slyly evokes the common abbreviation for United States. Having taken a scalpel to the covert racism of gliberal America in Get Out,...
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Daffodils

★★★★½ - STUFF The timing couldn't be better. With the world in the middle of a movie-musical renaissance sparked by La La Land and confirmed by last year's box-office dominance of The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, Mary Poppins Returns and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – here's...
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Fighting With My Family

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN These are big movies,” insists Michael Lerner’s studio boss in the Coen brothers’ 1991 hit Barton Fink, “about big men – in tights, both physically and mentally!” He’s trying to explain to John Turturro’s angsty writer the inherent parameters of a wrestling movie, insisting: “We...
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