Christopher Machell

Christopher Machell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Christopher Machell is a writer and editor at CineVue. He is interested in all aspects of film culture but specializes in horror and genre cinema. Christopher has also written for The Skinny, The Quietus, Little White Lies and the BFI. Find him @Dr_Machell
Publications: The Skinny, CineVue, The Quietus

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 94% Honey Boy (2019) Honey Boy is imperfect and messy, but few can doubt LaBeouf's commitment to self-exposé, or Har'el's hazy evocation of the subjective past. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
4/5 100% Love Child (2019) Never has the banality of the plight of refugees been laid out so plainly as in this heartbreaking, Kafka-esque documentary. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
2/5 81% Sea Fever (2019) Sea Fever proves better in concept than in execution, let down by a second act of fumbled editing and slackened tension. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
5/5 100% So Long, My Son (Di jiu tian chang) (2019) So Long, My Son, is remarkable in its assured ordinariness; visually, it is rarely flashy, allowing the profoundly subtle performances to rise to the surface. Nevertheless, it is a deeply textured, often beautiful film. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
4/5 91% Saint Maud (2019) The dive into obsession, isolation and urban deprivation that you need right now... If mental illness has been leaned on by horror cinema as an easy signifier of monstrosity, Saint Maud seeks instead to understand and empathise. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
4/5 90% To the Ends of the Earth (Tabi no Owari Sekai no Hajimari) (2019) A light, airy and fun journey with flashes of poetry. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
5/5 92% Jallikattu (2019) This is filmmaking at its most visceral and primal; beneath the barbarism we are forced to examine the ritualistic nature of violence, both sanctioned and taboo. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
4/5 98% Knives Out (2019) An impeccably-staged, gripping murder mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
5/5 99% For Sama (2019) The resilience of For Sama's subjects in the face of death is never less than astounding. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
4/5 67% The Other Lamb (2019) A visceral, Atwoodian journey, The Other Lamb is as much an examination of narcissism and the existing structures of gendered power as it is of the limits of faith. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) The film's central message, that hate arrives not as a monster but as your friend, is movingly depicted. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/5 96% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) This is pop-punk filmmaking -- vibrant, disposable, and shallow. Still, it's difficult to care about the nutritional content of your confectionary when it tastes this sweet. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 85% Color Out of Space (2020) A conceptual melange that is heavy on flavour but light on cohesiveness. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
5/5 100% Blow the Man Down (2020) The brilliance of Cole and Krudy's Blow the Man Down is in its rich textures and its refusal to compromise on its characters. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
4/5 100% 143 Sahara Street (143, rue du Désert) (2019) Despite the film's vérité style, Ferhani's eye can't help but be drawn to the sublimely cinematic landscape, ironically quoting the language of the Western in this most non-Western of settings. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 80% Love Me Tender (2019) A strange, charming and occasionally confusing journey into isolation. Love Me Tender is buoyed by an eccentric lead performance from Barbara Giordano and a tight, claustrophobic visual style. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
3/5 67% Maria's Paradise (Marian paratiisi) (2019) Although its analysis of the nature of devotion and the intense narcissism that drives cult-like leaders is mostly pretty lightweight, Maria's Paradise is a well-mounted, effective thriller-drama. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
4/5 100% The Lost Okoroshi (2019) [An] exploration of heritage, culture and folk memory, seasoned with endearing, offbeat humour and a touch of body horror. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
3/5 82% Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) For anyone familiar with the original films from which this footage is taken, there's little of value to be picked over, bar the comfort of familiarity. Meanwhile, newcomers will be left frustrated at the scraps of anecdotes and allusions. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2019
4/5 96% Hail Satan? (2019) Director Penny Lane's diabolical documentary asks us to reevaluate long-held assumptions about who has the monopoly on good and evil. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
5/5 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) About as Almodóvar as Almodóvar gets. It is also, undoubtedly, one of the director's best works and among the best films of the year. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2019
3/5 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Taste shmaste: niceties like coherent editing or believable dialogue feel positively bourgeois in the face of such wonderful nonsense. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
5/5 100% Une Femme Douce (A Gentle Woman) (1969) The film's muted qualities, its drained colours, languorous pace and understated, naturalistic sound design all tug the edges of unease; while the non-linear narrative suggests that time is out of joint. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
4/5 56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) A Jarmusch joint through and through, The Dead Don't Die is as charming, affected and perplexing as we've come to expect from the long-time darling of US indie cinema. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
4/5 83% Midsommar (2019) One of the most original and challenging genre films in recent years, owing a clear debt to the folk horror cinema of the 1970s, yet resisting the pull of pastiche. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
4/5 71% Gwen (2019) The real star is Adam Etherington's richly bleak cinematography. - The Skinny EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Far From Home nails its characters, chemistry and sense of humour, while fumbling the action and visuals. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
4/5 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) While the film rarely approaches the existential gut punch of Toy Story 3's conclusion, the various answers each of our heroes arrive at are among the most moving of the quartet. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
1/5 23% Men in Black International (2019) The feeling of watching Men in Black: International is like being trapped in some sort of time paradox: somehow it feels mind-numbingly slow and hyperactively impatient at the same time. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
3/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) Looking past the meta-narrative of production troubles and franchise fatigue reveals a film that, while deeply flawed, conjures a rare and welcome sense of melancholy. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
5/5 95% Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) (1930) Unlike the monsters of Murnau and Wiene, Blue Angel's light is equal to its darkness - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
3/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) In the end, whether one buys into the spectacle, or just sees the proverbial dude in a suit, ultimately comes down to that old trick of perspective. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
4/5 62% XY Chelsea (2019) Hawkins smartly keeps the details of Mannings' leaks to a tight segment at the film's mid-point... To explore something altogether messier and contentious -- Manning's identities as a trans woman and a political activist. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
4/5 83% Sew the Winter to My Skin (2018) It's a perfect union of genre, mythology and political filmmaking, using generic tropes and familiar narrative patterns both to lampoon colonialism and to reflect on the ways that all westerns are in some way about myth. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Bear with Us (2016) It's a fine, if well-worn set up for a comic chamber piece... Sadly, Bear with Us begins to lose focus just when it should be hitting its stride. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Barefoot (Po strnisti bos) (2017) A sweet and doggedly innocent fable set among a terrible moment of history, Barefoot assuredly asserts the primacy of childhood in its beautiful simplicity. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
4/5 86% Winter Flies (Vsechno bude) (2018) Told through a non-linear narrative and brimming with warmth, Winter Flies is an effortlessly charming third feature from the director of Family Film and A Night Too Young. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
5/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Precision, energy, and innovation move the components of John Wick, but the synergy that comes from their singular motion transcends mechanistic clockwork into a vital, aesthetic flow. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
3/5 91% Searching for Ingmar Bergman (Ingmar Bergman - Vermächtnis eines Jahrhundertgenies) (2018) It feels insightful but leaves a nagging feeling of surface-level psychology. Perhaps this is a harsh reading, but what we're left with is nonetheless a phantom -- a spectral silhouette where a person should be. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
4/5 99% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Ash Is Purest White's is an epic spanning decades and vast geography that ultimately gives way to the intimate and personal. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) This is fan service elevated into an art form, transcending winking self-aggrandisement to become something of a reflection on the past eleven years, a chugging, tooting, spectacular train of a franchise, careering indefinitely forward. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
3/5 90% Shazam! (2019) Shazam!'s candy-floss sweetness rarely fails to hit the spot. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
5/5 93% Us (2019) If the number one rule in horror is to never show the monster, Peele gleefully breaks it, forcing his characters and his audience us to gaze directly into its face. Perhaps what is most terrifying is the humanity that stares back. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/5 82% Ben is Back (2018) While Roberts and Hedges work together to conjure the sense of a loving, fraught relationship, the film itself rarely takes any risks, either from a narrative or visual standpoint. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
3/5 91% The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) A compelling drama-thriller, bolstered by a quietly fierce turn from Gyllenhaal. It's difficult to imagine another actor more perfectly suited to such a role. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Captain Marvel succeeds as a rollicking-good film in its own right. Accessible to newbies and satisfying to fans, it's about time that brilliant performers like Larson were given their time in the spotlight. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 70% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) A fluffy and surprisingly smart, if shallow, tumble through genre tropes. Never veering into self-parody, Landon's film knows exactly what it is, and is all the better for it. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/5 37% Glass (2019) The flaw in Glass's surface is, ironically, its opacity. Instead of interrogating the structure of superhero narratives, Shyamalan uses it as a crutch, explicitly drawing attention to it whenever his story begins to topple. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
5/5 100% One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o tomeru na!) (2019) As much a repudiation of auteur theory as a tribute to the imperfect process of creation, One Cut of the Dead is a thrilling reminder that of the beautiful, vital lie that is cinema. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
5/5 93% The Favourite (2018) Bestial cunning and instinct run riot through this deliciously Machiavellian period drama. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019