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
4/5 62% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) [A] wonderfully labyrinthine detective movie about a Tourette's syndrome sufferer (Norton) trying to find out who killed his boss amid the municipal power struggles of post-war New York. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
3/5 97% Ordinary Love (2020) Manville is particularly impressive here, delivering a transformative performance devoid of the showiness that lesser actors might milk for awards consideration. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
2/5 91% The Biggest Little Farm (2019) Though it doesn't shy away from the realities of animal husbandry (and the environmental consequences of global warming), it's tone and style is a little treacly and manipulative. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
3/5 72% Shooting the Mafia (2019) [T]he film doesn't provide much sense of the part it has played in transforming attitudes in Battaglia's home town of Palermo. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
3/5 87% The Two Popes (2019) [T]he film is at its best when focused on the behind-the-scenes theological brouhaha the film imagines took place between these oppositional forces. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
3/5 87% The Nightingale (2019) [I]t's rigorous in it exploration of the way the brutality of colonialism is internalised and passed down every part of the command chain to create a violent reality in which women and indigenous people are systematically dehumanised and destroyed. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
92% Blue Story (2019) The melodramatic script and am-dram acting provide little real insight into the knife-and-gun-crime headlines from which the story has been ripped. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
80% The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) Neither filmmaker nor subject comes out particularly well here, but the battle of wills that ensues takes the film in some entertainingly oddball directions. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
50% 21 Bridges (2019) But if it's unlikely to surprise anyone not weened exclusively on Marvel product, it's slickly enough made to work as a more stripped-down form of blockbuster distraction - and Boseman (every inch the movie star) is a magnetic screen presence. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
80% Little Monsters (2019) [A] laugh-free Australian effort that plays like a cross between Shaun of the Dead and Kindergarten Cop. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
82% The Report (2019) The end result is dense, but quietly thrilling filmmaking, with Driver's laser-focused performance brilliant at modulating Jones's mounting frustration and disgust at this bureaucratic assault on democracy. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Matt Damon and Christian Bale barely scratch the surface of their respective characters... But they do enough to keep the film chugging along... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
77% Frozen II (2019) [Olaf] remains a beacon of brilliance as the film ties itself in knots trying to justify its own existence. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
3/5 90% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) Running through Gorbachev's life story and the seismic political changes he oversaw, Herzog frames him as a tragic figure whose decency and genuineness was his undoing - a pretty bleak but necessary reminder of how easily good work can be reversed. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
2/5 71% The Aeronauts (2019) Notwithstanding the odd bit of CGI-enhanced derring do on top of a balloon, the film has a very Sunday night TV feel, not helped by the fact that we spend most of it watching Jones and Redmayne shivering in a basket. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
4/5 96% The Irishman (2019) Like the digitally de-aged visages of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino that occupy so much of the screen time in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, the movie itself is one in which surface vitality is bolstered by the lifetime of experience informing it. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
3/5 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) It's just a shame that what unfurls isn't tense enough, perverse enough or mysterious enough to transcend its fan servicing tendencies. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
2/5 55% The Beach Bum (2019) Alas, despite McConaughey's semi-naked, bongo-playing portrayal of Moondog as a kind of cosmic Charles Bukowski, the film's goofball energy doesn't translate into a fun film for the rest of us. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
3/5 96% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) It's a tough subject, but one Ozon handles it with sensitivity and controlled outrage. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
2/5 51% Black and Blue (2019) The on-the-nose title of racially charged cop movie Black and Blue is probably the most subtle thing about this atrociously scripted, ludicrously plotted thriller about a rookie cop. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
4/5 93% Monos (2019) [I]t's the way Landes keeps us off balance... that really makes this so enervating and relevant for a world in which the machinations of conflict are never clear-cut. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
4/5 87% Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (2019) [T]he film gradually reveals itself to be a both a sly take-down of such intellectual and ideological posturing and a funny celebration of the very human foibles for which such behaviour is often a cover. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/5 100% Mystify: Michael Hutchence (2019) [T]he film provides a fuller picture of him as an artist and a human being, which in turn provides some much-needed context for the more hedonistic rock star cliché image that took root in the final years of his life... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
2/5 83% Official Secrets (2019) Matt Smith, Matthew Goode and Rhys Ifans run around like they're in a remake of All the President's Men made by people who've never seen All the President's Men. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/5 97% Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019) A charmingly British way to pay tribute to the long history of alien invasion B-movies. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/5 93% Honey Boy (2019) Rehab stories are ten-a-penny, but this one distinguishes itself with insider details on the dark side of Hollywood. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
4/5 100% Rialto (2019) [I]t's exceptionally well directed by Mackie Burns, who elevates the stage-sourced material into an exacting piece of cinema that teases out some complex father-son themes... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
4/5 96% Marriage Story (2019) The film is very good at giving both Johansson and Driver equal space to show how easily something that once seemed so great can sour so completely. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
3/5 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Taika Waititi's... ability to ridicule the Third Reich with a coming-of-age comedy mostly works by filtering its horrors through the prism of its pre-teen Hitler Youth protagonist. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
5/5 97% Knives Out (2019) [T]he film plays around with the tropes of the genre while skilfully creating a riveting mystery of its own, one that functions in part as a sly, satirical take-down of Make America Great Again-style thinking. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
3/5 89% American Woman (2019) As a blue-collar mother dealing with the disappearance of her teenage daughter, Sienna Miller gets a great showcase for her talents in American Woman. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
3/5 81% Abominable (2019) A little bit ET, a little bit Spirited Away, a little bit Jurassic Park, the film offsets the familiarity of its story with some imaginative set pieces and beautifully rendered details that help bring its Asian settings to life. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
3/5 65% The Day Shall Come (2019) Anna Kendrick leads a more-than-capable cast, but both the script and the performances fall back on that bumbling, throw-away style familiar from TV shows such as The Thick of It and Veep and neither the humour nor the horror it's trying to expose... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
1/5 26% Gemini Man (2019) Indeed, it's so lacking in cinematic magic it becomes impossible to enjoy it even on the level of the high-concept action blockbuster it's intended to be. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 100% Our Ladies (2019) Collectively and individually, Marli Siu, Eve Austin, Tallulah Greive, Abigail Lawrie, Sally Messham and Rona Morison imbue their characters' brazen behaviour with a matter-of-fact vitality and believability consistent with Warner's prose-style. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Harry Birrell Presents: Films of Love and War (2019) [A]n absorbing, intensely personal visual history of the early part of the 20th century. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
3/5 100% Hitsville: The Making Of Motown (2019) [H]aving Berry, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and many of the other key players lay out the story of his legendary record label in their own words alongside some incredible archival footage feels like a valuable trade-off. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
3/5 83% Judy (2019) Zellweger makes it work, but it never really transcends its stage-play origins. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
5/5 69% Joker (2019) [T]he film is more character study than franchise film, a psychologically rich portrait of a mentally ill loner that just happens to take place in a world that will one day yield a cowl-wearing billionaire vigilante. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
4/5 88% Ready or Not (2019) Co-starring Adam Brody and Andie MacDowell, what follows is all kinds of grizzly fun, with the hilarious twist-ending the cherry on the top. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
4/5 76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) The mass slaughter that ensues is necessarily bloody and brutal, albeit queasily exciting too... - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) The film... is too constrained by its efforts to condense the former aspect into a manageable plot to allow the novel's intricate themes to soar in any meaningful way. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
4/5 99% The Farewell (2019) In the lead, Awkwafina delivers a wonderfully complex, deeply felt performance that perfectly conveys the maddening nature of family life. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) As reductive as it sounds, Apocalypse Now in Space isn't all that inaccurate a description. - Scotsman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/5 76% 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 99% 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 14% 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 63% 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