Alistair Harkness

Alistair Harkness
Alistair Harkness's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Scotsman Film4

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 72% Phoenix (Føniks) (2018) Although Norwegian coming-of-age drama Phoenix owes a small debt to Guillermo Del Toro's genre-hopping explorations of childhood, don't go in expecting as wild or as haunting a ride. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
4/5 100% For Sama (2019) Filming constantly to ensure this daily nightmare can't be denied, Waad's footage is horrifying and heartbreaking as she refuses to flinch, even from scenes of maimed or dead children. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
4/5 99% Honeyland (2019) The end result is a subtly rendered story for our times. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
2/5 16% Night Hunter (Nomis) (2019) A surfeit of plot succeeds only in confusing the story, not complicating it in the kind of way that might have made its big twist the sort of jaw-dropping revelation it clearly wants to be. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/5 98% Rojo (2019) Though the missing person investigation that embroils the film's bourgeois protagonist (Darío Grandinetti) can sometimes feel a little abstract, the sense of mounting horror and dread is effectively and stylishly rendered. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
2/5 62% It Chapter Two (2019) Returning director Andy Muschietti - no doubt buoyed by the unexpected success of the first film - seems to have wilfully misunderstood the difference between a miniseries and a movie. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
1/5 68% Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (Astérix - Le secret de la potion magique) (2018) Sadly, Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion is unlikely to hook a new generation of fans given its substandard CG animation, its rubbish Harry Potter-riffing plot, and the fact that the title character barely features. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
3/5 96% Hail Satan? (2019) The film doesn't really dwell on whether or not the Satanist cover story aspect attracts gullible lovers of Lucifer, but it is pretty entertaining... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
3/5 82% Crawl (2019) [A]s the storm worsens and the feats of superhuman strength required to extricate themselves from the situation become more pronounced, the film loses whatever B-movie purity its premise may have promised. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
3/5 95% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Nevertheless, the final shot - which justifies Penélope Cruz's seemingly incongruous casting - delivers the sort of elegant rug-pull that reminds us why Almodóvar is as revered as he is. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
5/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Tarantino's finest work, Once Upon A Time... in Hollywood is a gorgeous celebration of everything that's magical about the movies and a savage exposé of everything disturbing lurking just beneath the surface of the industry. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
3/5 84% Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) Newcomer Isabela Moner, meanwhile, is an endearing ball of energy in the lead - wacky songs and all. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3/5 94% Transit (2019) It's a conceptually daring idea - the lack of specificity transforming its displaced protagonist, Georg's futile efforts to leave into a troubling, existential nightmare about the toxic air of paranoia that can't help but accompany any forced exodus. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3/5 88% Blinded by the Light (2019) Although Chadha's film is ultimately too sentimental to do full justice to Springsteen's work she is good at conveying the way music can feel as if it's speaking directly to you. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
2/5 43% The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) It's mawkish in the extreme - not helped by a lot of mystical chat about souls and reincarnation that brings back horrible memories of the similarly odd A Dog's Purpose. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3/5 87% Neither Wolf Nor Dog (2019) [A]n intriguing film adaptation. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
4/5 80% Holiday (2018) [T]he film carves out an identity of its own with Eklöf's detached, meticulously framed compositions reinforcing the rot beneath the film's yacht-filled world of luxurious idleness. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
3/5 79% Photograph (2019) Though a little too elliptical to be truly satisfying, it tells a familiar story with admirable gentleness. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
2/5 85% Animals (2019) Animals is the sort of film that's so desperate to be edgy it curdles into conventionality. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
2/5 69% Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans (2019) Padded out with embarrassing hip-hop inspired musical numbers, it's the sort of cringe-worthy British kids' films that will have its target audience running back to comfort of Pixar and Marvel. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
3/5 80% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) [W]hile it's clearly also intended as a celebratory tribute to Marianne, she continues to be presented more as a mythological figure than as a human being with thoughts, feelings and desires of her own. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
4/5 83% Of Fish and Foe (2019) Allegations of collusion between the activists and the anglers duly follow but the film's strength lies in the way it subtly probes the murky role class plays in defining how a country presents itself to the world. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
2/5 33% The Current War (2019) Dramatising the literal and figurative power struggle that surged between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla... The Current War generates a few sparks but very little dramatic juice as it debates the merits of AC or DC. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
2/5 68% Gwen (2019) Despite teasing some supernatural elements though, William McGregor's film is too grounded in real-world bleakness to make its tale of patriarchal menace in mid-19th century Britain anything more than an artfully shot misery fest. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
1/5 47% Tell It to the Bees (2019) Director Annabel Jankel's overuse of beekeeping as a visual metaphor, meanwhile, just gets increasingly silly. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
3/5 53% The Lion King (2019) Mostly, though, this is a cheerful nostalgia simulator for parents who want to let their kids experience the film they remember in a format they'll appreciate and understand. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
100% Crocodile (1996) that film's preoccupation with suicide and the need to find light even in the darkest realms of human existence demonstrates that these have been issues with which Kim has long grappled. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
2/5 47% Robert the Bruce (2019) Reprising the role he first played in Braveheart a quarter of a century ago, Angus Macfadyen - who co-wrote the script - makes a convincing case for Robert's battle weariness, but the story he's concocted to convey the themes lacks punch. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
2/5 63% Yesterday (2019) Yesterday squanders a promising premise by using it in service of a reactionary romcom about a bumbling guy learning to appreciate the beautiful best friend who's spent her entire adult life quietly pining for him. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 91% Support the Girls (2018) A leading dramatic role for rising star Regina Hall (Girls Trip) is the best reason to see Support the Girls. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 96% In Fabric (2019) The British high street has never seemed so strange. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) With the 50th anniversary of the mission imminent, the film serves as both a glorious tribute to that moment and a positive, hope-filled reminder of the good that can be achieved even in times of great political turmoil. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 80% Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) What the film comes up with is manna from heaven for aficionados; the trenchant analysis had even this Alien nerd looking at the film in a new light. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 83% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) It's hard to tell if the tonal inconsistencies are deliberate, but writer/director Riley Stearns certainly makes the most of them: the end result is intriguingly off-kilter. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 54% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Bill Murray and Adam Driver feel like sly surrogates for a filmmaker now operating in a world that's far weirder than anything he's ever created... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
2/5 93% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) Kael freed up film criticism with her slangy, evocative style and her willingness to pour her own life into her reviews; this film drains that life out of her work with its dull adherence to talking-head interviews and Wikipedia-style factoids. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 98% Varda by Agnès (2019) It's an absolute gift of a film from a director whose understood that sharing was a key part of her creativity. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 90% The Souvenir (2019) The end result is a sincere, audaciously complex, artistically rich attempt to grapple with the difficulty of figuring out how to articulate something meaningful in a medium built on artifice. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
69% The Flood (2019) File under worthy but dull. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
64% Child's Play (2019) The special effects are certainly well done and the tech angle is a decent idea. If only the script was smart enough to pull off its post-modern flourishes. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Pixar does pointlessness exceptionally well. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 95% Boyz in the Wood (2019) Boyz marks Doff out as a real talent to watch - and the young cast are a blast too. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
3/5 91% Gloria Bell (2019) A funny, illuminating portrait of a woman testing the relationship waters again with the wisdom of someone who has spent decades raising a family, but who has come to terms with the fact that she's no longer needed in quite the same way... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 80% Late Night (2019) It's a cliché-ridden role, but Thompson finds the grace notes in it. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) A compelling origins story that imagines what might happen if an all-powerful superbeing turned bad instead of good. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 73% Rory's Way (The Etruscan Smile) (2019) A more entertaining prospect than its groaning fish-out-of-water premise initially promises. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
4/5 59% Sunset (Napszállta) (2019) The cumulative effect is mesmerising, as vivid as a nightmarish dream that's too slippery to fully comprehend but too haunting to forget. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3/5 54% Ma (2019) An enjoyably trashy exploitation shocker... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Unforgivably dull. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
4/5 97% Thunder Road (2018) Cummings' protagonist is an empathetic marvel, a decent guy trying to hold it together as the world kicks him repeatedly in the groin. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019