Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
7/10 96% The Irishman (2019) On a first viewing, I was surprised by how cold I felt towards it, as it never manages to find equal balance between familiar Scorsese crime riffs and something far weightier. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2019
7/10 93% Monos (2019) There are a number of reasons to seek out Monos - but the more you think about it afterwards, the more you'll wish it had something deeper to say below the surface. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
6/10 82% The Aeronauts (2019) The Aeronauts only takes off when it relishes in disaster movie tropes - and comes crashing down to earth whenever it tries to do anything more. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
3/10 88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) At once a formulaic crowdpleaser and something far more insidious, repeatedly and problematically conflating the subject of body positivity with the need to lose weight. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 90% Monsoon (2019) A slow burner, but it lingers in the memory long after. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/10 43% The Addams Family (2019) It's one of the most cynically made, indifferently written and performed studio films I've seen in quite some time. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
95% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) Ozon's film is far from perfect, but it's hard to deny its importance, especially when it's helped to obtain the justice its protagonists have long been fighting for. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
86% Rose Plays Julie (2019) One of the best screen depictions of the internal struggle of being adopted, perfectly realising a character's permanent sense of existential displacement, and constant worries that she's not living the life she was intended for. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
88% Vivarium (2019) Pitched somewhere between a particularly creepy episode of Inside No.9 and the episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where Mac and Dennis move to the suburbs, Vivarium is a strange (and understandably divisive) horror satire. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
94% Divine Love (2019) For all its tangible glimpses into a near future dictated by the religious right, the dystopian world building can't make up for an unfocused character study at the centre. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
3.5/5 100% Moffie (2019) It's not perfect, but the visceral impact of its depiction of homophobia during this era cannot be understated. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2019
8/10 94% Uncut Gems (2019) The finest film yet from the Safdie Brothers, and one that rewards any audiences who remain after the audacious, abrasive opening. Well, "rewards" might not be the best word for it - you'll definitely need a stiff drink and a sit down afterwards. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2019
5/10 91% The Two Popes (2019) The Two Popes is consistently jarring, attempting to make the audience view both cardinals as fun, and more down to earth, than assumed, even as their values are repeatedly shown to be questionable at best, abhorrent at worst. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2019
4/5 93% And Then We Danced (2019) And Then We Danced is so much more than a coming of age love story - and is all the better for it. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
9/10 97% Knives Out (2019) More so than The Last Jedi, Knives Out firmly establishes Johnson as one of the most reliable filmmakers working in the mainstream today, subverting the expectations of popcorn entertainment without detracting from the simple pleasures. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
6/10 26% Gemini Man (2019) If you like the silliness of 90s action movies, then you will almost definitely be a gemini fan. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
42% Wasp Network (2019) Proves that Assayas' weakest films are better than the best films of most directors. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
94% The Perfect Candidate (2019) As a charming study of a woman unexpectedly running for office, The Perfect Candidate is never anything less than enjoyable - but as a political drama, it falls flat. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
100% The Garden Left Behind (2019) An important reminder of the violence and oppression faced by trans women of colour on a daily basis. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
100% Killing Patient Zero (2019) It should join the book upon which it is based as a key text for people researching this period of history. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet From Zero to I Love You (2019) It's that rare thing - a high stakes romcom. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Lemebel (2019) An enrapturing look at the life of an LGBT icon, told with an intimacy that feels like catching up with an old friend. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
No Score Yet The Dark Mile (2017) Even without the descent in to cult-territory, this would still be an effectively and disturbingly bleak effort for its portrayal of a failing relationship. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 94% Rafiki (2019) It's such a sweet natured and widely accessible story of love amidst adversity that the idea of any censorship board watching this and getting outraged is hilarious. It makes a film like Love, Simon look like Stranger by the Lake in comparison. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
81% Love, Cecil (2018) There's no denying the talent of Cecil Beaton, nor the scale of his influence to this day. But whether you leave the documentary having warmed to him is another question altogether, and is part of what makes Vreeland's film such an intriguing watch. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet At the End of the Day (2018) It's unashamedly aimed at the mainstream American audience, with a mission to change hearts and minds - but when the film has a message like this (as obvious as that message may be), that's not necessarily a bad thing. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
94% A Skin So Soft (Ta peau si lisse) (2018) Millions of people worry about trying to get the perfect body - Côté's film goes one step further to ask how far you would go to not just obtain it, but maintain it in the most image conscious environment imaginable. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 57% Devil's Path (2019) It's unmistakably a midnight movie, but with a heart and soul that ever so slightly elevates it above the pack. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 89% Every Act of Life (2017) For theatre fans, this is essential viewing - and for those of you like me, who shamefully don't watch as many plays as they should, this is still well worth a look. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
80% M/M (2018) M/M is sure to polarise audiences due to its increasingly mind-bending nature - but it's such a singular, unique experience, it's worth stepping out of your comfort zone to experience the madness for yourself. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
71% Film Hawk (2016) A charming documentary about an important figure in American indie cinema. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
No Score Yet Shining Moon (El Destello de la Luna) (2018) With a warm comic touch, the film explores the differences between two different generations, allowing its characters to confront their prejudices without forcing any unbelievable character developments. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 92% Porcupine Lake (2017) Whether or not its about an intense friendship, or a relationship between two confused young girls, Porcupine Lake is an impressive drama about two characters caught between childhood and a forever elusive emotional maturity. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Obscuro Barroco (2018) Don't let its experimental nature put you off. Instead, let director Evangelia Kranioti take your hand and guide you through a glamorous city in a light you've never seen it before. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Silk and the Flame (2018) Jordan Schiele's film captures an intimate portrait of family life in rural China, examining the bleakness and the tenderness of various family relationships at close range. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
No Score Yet Evening Shadows (Surmaee shaam) (2019) It's a timely film for India, and even though it may feel quaint to Western audiences, it still feels refreshing to see a mainstream film on this subject coming from a society that is conservative towards LGBT issues. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
45% Yves Saint Laurent (2014) Yves Saint Laurent may have suffered from being one of two separate biopics about the fashion icon, and the more narratively straightforward of the pair. Luckily, the strengths of the performances help make for an entertaining, engaging drama. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
78% The Revival (2018) Less a self-acceptance narrative, and more of an exploration of one man's crisis of faith, Samuel Bret Williams' screenplay avoids giving easy resolutions to the character's problems - making for an unrelentingly harrowing viewing experience. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
4/5 83% Abu: Father (2017) It may have taken over forty years for this debut to reach the big screen, but let's hope it doesn't take another forty before we get a chance to see another of Arshad Khan's candidly honest and uniquely moving autobiographical efforts. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
86% A Very Sordid Wedding (2017) Although far from the sordid affair the title suggests, this joyously camp film is a definite guilty pleasure that will be a flat out triumph to returning fans- and an enjoyably trashy time for newcomers to the franchise. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Something Like Summer (2017) Contains brilliantly likeable performances from the central cast, with the cheesy teen drama of the first half paying off in the more emotionally complex second. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3.5/5 88% Santa & Andrés (2017) No matter your political affiliation, it's hard not to like these two very complicated characters, and admire looking through the window in to their conflicted society. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
7/10 88% American Woman (2019) American Woman is a great star vehicle for Sienna Miller - but the strength of her performance leaves everything else in her shadow, waiting for a moment to shine. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
60% Days of the Bagnold Summer (2019) Far closer in spirit to the lighter works of Mike Leigh than the broader material that made him a well known figure in British comedy, Bird's debut is innately humanistic, with cross-generational appeal. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2019
10/10 97% Marriage Story (2019) The best film of Noah Baumbach's career, and very likely to be the last truly perfect film of this decade. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2019
5/10 81% Just Mercy (2019) A big screen depiction of how this injustice got miraculously overturned needs to be told via more than just a generic procedural. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2019
4/5 95% End of the Century (2019) One of the year's most surprisingly inventive and emotionally enveloping directorial debuts, End of the Century is so much more than your typical indie romance. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
91% Saint Maud (2019) A striking and sure to be controversial psychological thriller; a nerve wracking depiction of a young nurse's crisis of faith pitched somewhere between First Reformed and the gory self discovery of Julia Ducorneau's Raw. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
84% Little Monsters (2019) What should be a midnight movie style crowdpleaser becomes one of the most insufferable big screen comedies in quite some time. - Film Inquiry EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
8/10 96% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) The Personal History of David Copperfield may seem like an unnecessary literary adaptation from a director trying to prove his serious side, but rest assured, this as much of a fast paced comedy as Iannucci's previous work. - The Digital Fix EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019