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Film Reviews

First Cow

★★★★ - STUFF  - Kelly Reichardt is as idiosyncratic as they come. Her films are distinguishable and more or less immediately recognisable, by their quietness, their intense focus on small lives lived out in small communities and the wit and grace to acknowledge that every human life and human…
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The United States vs. Billie Holiday

★★★★ - THE TIMES   - An astonishing, red-raw performance from the singer and novice actress Andra Day is the main draw in this excoriating biopic about the FBI’s relentless pursuit of the jazz singer Billie Holiday. Adapted from a small section of Johann Hari’s non-fiction book about drug…
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Gunda

★★★★★ - STUFF  - Why a black-and-white documentary about a pig is 2021's best movie so far -  “This reviewer only likes black-and-white dramas about ballet dancers.” It's still my favourite online response to anything I've written. I can't remember what I wrote to elicit the comment. Probably…
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Tom & Jerry

★★★ - STUFF  - They are billed as the world’s “most famous enemies” and one of the most successful screen partnerships of all time. A duo who first appeared on-screen together more than 80 years ago and have no-less than seven Academy Awards for their work. And yet, this is only Thomas D. Cat and…
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Girls Can't Surf

★★★★ - STUFF  - Superb doco recounts how wave riders stood up against sexism -  In the 1970s, surfing became a big money sport. Sometime in that decade and the one that preceded it, the usual swivel-eyed pack of muppets who pass themselves off as “marketing", or "management", or whatever other…
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The Father

★★★★★ - STUFF  - An immersive, confronting, devastating drama that will haunt you -  Anthony Evans (Anthony Hopkins) loves his London flat. From his elevated view above Lauderdale Road, he can see the hustle and bustle of Elgin Avenue and he’s just a short distance from both the famed Abbey Road…
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The Father

★★★★ - WASHINGTON POST  - ‘The Father’ is a meticulously constructed story in which very little is what it seems -  In the intricate, exquisitely crafted movie “The Father,” Anthony Hopkins plays Anthony, an elderly gentleman living in a well-appointed flat in London, where he’s been living with…
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The Courier

★★★★ - STUFF  - Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessie Buckley shine in Cold War thriller -  “You drink too much, you’re not in great shape. If this was the least bit dangerous, you really are the last person we’d send.” Meant to allay British businessman Greville Wynne’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) concerns…
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Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

★★★½ - STUFF  - Fourth-wall shattering sequel offers fab family fun -  The 2018 original was a long way from the anthropomorphised vege-stealing bunny of your grandmother’s youth. A sass-filled combination of live action and CGI animation, Peter Rabbit was a raucous and risque comedy notable for…
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Collective

★★★★★ - STUFF  - Why you need to see 2021's most shocking, sobering and stunning doco -  It was a tragedy that had already taken down one government.  On October 30, 2015, 27 people were killed and 180 injured when a fire broke out at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest. Outraged that it had been…
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French Exit

★★★★ - DEADLINE  - Michelle Pfeiffer Delivers Oscar-Worthy Performance In Dazzling Film ‘French Exit’ -  The New York Film Festival wrapped tonight, and its closing-night film, French Exit, is a winner that firmly places Michelle Pfeiffer, a three-time past nominee, back in the heart of the Best…
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The Pinkies Are Back

★★★½ - STUFF  - Uplifting Kiwi doco about determination and dragon boating -  In the early part of last decade, they were regular medallists at the New Zealand Dragon Boat Championships. However, over the last few years, numbers have dwindled for the Auckland-based Pink Dragons. At the start of…
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