Short reviews

  1. Flatliners (2017)

    A tepid remake lacking any of the weird neon charm of the 90s original, this went stale halfway through and never recovered

  2. A Wrinkle in Time

    A little more saccharine and superficial than I like my kids’ films to be, this was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours but largely free of calories

  3. Robot Jox

    A cheap and cheerful giant mech fighting flick with occasional surprising depths

  4. Frankenstein Unbound

    A weak and gimmicky take on Frankenstein that throws in a time-travelling scientist and Mary Shelley being driven around in a futuristic car, but Raul Julia is a great Frankenstein so I’ll forgive it almost anything

  5. 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Certainly to my mind this is Leonard Rossiter’s finest film

  6. Alien: Resurrection

    The most underrated of the Alien films, full of casual horror and genuine terror, all filmed with a characteristic French weirdness. Advances the franchise in the exact opposite way that Ridley Scott’s ponderous fan-fiction origin stories have

  7. Killing Zoe

    Mixed feelings; it’s at times an artfully-exhilarating piece, but there’s a clumsiness about it I can’t put my finger on. All felt a bit “overconfident man who’s just graduated from film school”

  8. Bedazzled

    A bit more shrill than it needed to be but Brendan Fraser is a constant delight, and I’m still laughing at the Big Mac and Coke gag

  9. Super Mario Bros.

    Loud, brash, overbearing, incoherent and tonally-inappropriate, but it’s not all bad; some actually amazing set design in a disused five-storey cement factory, and Hoskins, Hopper and Leguizamo are all clearly doing the best they can

  10. The Sunset Limited

    A play by Cormac McCarthy filmed with Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones; it’s exactly as gripping and meatily performed as you’d expect that combination to be

  11. The Villainess

    Some genuinely jaw-dropping action sequences sadly bookending a turgid, flabby, incoherent middle. Watch the start and end on YouTube, and skip the rest

  12. Jupiter’s Moon

    A busy film never quite sure what it wants to be, whether that’s thriller, satire, sci-fi action or social commentary. Regardless, this is still worth watching for some incredible camera work, stunning Budapest views, and a gripping story

  13. Thelma

    Definitely the best Norwegian lesbian supernatural thriller I’ve ever seen. Taut and chilling, highly recommended

  14. John Carter

    John Carter is good, actually” is the hill I will die on. Fantastic soundtrack, gripping and thrilling action, great performances, tremendous fun.

  15. The Mermaid

    A dorky, dopey romantic comedy from Stephen Chow. If you’ve seen Kung Fu Hustle then you know what to expect, except this time with mermaids

  16. Your Move

    A decent-enough Luke Goss-helmed Taken-lite piece, attractively shot and solidly presented. Very much a “stumbled upon this one night on Channel 5 and was pleasantly surprised” sort of film

  17. Monkey Business

    A dated and exhausting ‘50s screwball comedy that lives or dies on how high your tolerance of Cary Grant acting like a 12 year old is. My tolerance is…not high.

  18. Annihilation

    Objectively I don’t think I can fault it, but I can’t deny I rarely felt engaged by it either. Left me with an overwhelming sense of “Ok, and?”

  19. The Great Muppet Caper

    One of the more manic Muppet films, with maybe a touch too much fourth-wall breaking and ironic winking. How can you not love a film that has that mind-bending cycling-muppet sequence though?

  20. Sweet Virginia

    An enjoyably-dour thriller, slow-burning, plausibly-violent, and intensely performed.

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