Baby Driver (Edgar Wright, 2017) – tunes, tension, and terrible female characters.

Ansel Elgort stars alongside Kevin Spacey, Lily James, and Jamie Foxx in this car-chase heavy, cliché-ridden film that features its lead Elgort as the titular Baby, a young man suffering from tinnitus after a traumatising childhood incident involving a car. He’s constantly plugged in to his array of classic iPods, the music seeping into the … Continue reading Baby Driver (Edgar Wright, 2017) – tunes, tension, and terrible female characters.

Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013) – a quiet take on the revenge genre.

Jeremy Saulnier’s film Green Room (2015) impressed many with its unique twist on the horror genre. Macon Blair, the star of Saulnier’s previous film Blue Ruin,had a directorial debut with the 2017 drama I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. The combination of Blair’s vast creative abilities and Saulnier’s directingled me to believe … Continue reading Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013) – a quiet take on the revenge genre.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe, 2020) – blues, bands, and Boseman’s best performance.

Adapted from the stage production by playwright August Wilson and produced by actor Denzel Washington, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is less about the legendary ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey herself and more about the appropriation of black culture and music, explored over one afternoon at a recording session for her and the band. This … Continue reading Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe, 2020) – blues, bands, and Boseman’s best performance.

Thunder Road (Jim Cummings, 2018) – a tragicomedy of perfect proportions.

Thunder Road is an extended version of the 2016 short by Jim Cummings that was loved by Sundance. The short was recreated by him as the first 12 minutes of this feature film, featuring similar elements but ultimately made to be a better fit to lead into the rest of the feature. The single shot … Continue reading Thunder Road (Jim Cummings, 2018) – a tragicomedy of perfect proportions.

Malcolm & Marie (Sam Levinson, 2021) – a white voice spoken over a black character.

Filmed last summer in the middle of a pandemic, shot in one location and featuring just two actors, Sam Levinson manages to utilise his surroundings and restrictions well enough to shoot Malcolm & Marie. However, it’s the actors John David Washington (BlacKKKlansman, Tenet) and Zendaya (Levinson’s own tv series Euphoria) as Malcolm and Marie that … Continue reading Malcolm & Marie (Sam Levinson, 2021) – a white voice spoken over a black character.

Uncut Gems (Benny and Josh Safdie, 2019) – a semi-precious film.

After enjoying Good Time (2017) so much, I was excited to watch another Safdie brothers’ film. Then I watched The Pleasure of Being Robbed (Josh Safdie, 2008) and was exceptionally disappointed. With the success of Uncut Gems, Benny and Josh’s next collaboration after Good Time, I thought maybe there was hope. Reviews showed that people … Continue reading Uncut Gems (Benny and Josh Safdie, 2019) – a semi-precious film.

His House (Remi Weekes, 2020) – a promising debut of terror, tension, and trepidation.

Weekes’ debut feature film is a mixture of human drama and conventional horror, exploring the trauma of survivor’s guilt through the main characters and their environments. Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial Major (Wanmi Mosaku) are a husband and wife who have fled their home of South Sudan, escaping the grips of terror and war that … Continue reading His House (Remi Weekes, 2020) – a promising debut of terror, tension, and trepidation.

Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) – the sardonic termination of the bourgeoisie.

Colourful yet bleak, violent yet funny, politically critical yet excessively absurd – there are many ways to describe Week End/Weekend, Godard’s scathing critique of the bourgeoisie and social class portrayed through a lens that switches between ludicrous images of cannibalism and obscene amounts of automobile accidents to long monologues of political policies, Marx, and Neo-colonialism. … Continue reading Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) – the sardonic termination of the bourgeoisie.

The Devil All the Time (Antonio Campos, 2020) – a confused fizzle rather than a slow burn.

An all-star cast that brings genuinely superb performances to the table doesn’t elevate this film enough to the level it could have achieved. Spanning generations, years, and two rural states; building on the aftereffects of World War 2 and feeling the tense beginnings of the Vietnam War; doused in a thick coating of hyper-religious attitudes … Continue reading The Devil All the Time (Antonio Campos, 2020) – a confused fizzle rather than a slow burn.

Babyteeth (Shannon Murphy, 2019) – the falls, failures, and faults of human mortality.

Young, naïve, and jumping at any opportunity to add some punch to her life before it ends leads the wig-wearing schoolgirl Milla (Eliza Scanlen) into the arms of a chaotic -three year old drug-user named Moses (Toby Wallace). Teenage defiance and a lust for life doesn’t stop the fact that Milla still has one of … Continue reading Babyteeth (Shannon Murphy, 2019) – the falls, failures, and faults of human mortality.