Empire Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4/5 Ordinary Love (2019) Ian Freer Anchored by great performances from Liam Neeson and especially Lesley Manville, Ordinary Love is alive to the feelings and moments other hospital dramas overlook. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
4/5 So Long, My Son (Di jiu tian chang) (2019) Ian Freer Beautifully played - especially by Wang Jingchun - So Long, My Son is sprawling, audacious, sometimes bewildering, ultimately moving. It tests your patience but it's worth it. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
4/5 Honey Boy (2019) Alex Godfrey Somewhere between a primal scream, a self-acceptance and even a forgiveness of sorts, this is an utterly unique bit of autobiography. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
3/5 Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Kim Newman There's quite a bit to admire in Motherless Brooklyn, but mostly in detail work - the hats, the cars, the join-the-dots conspiracy theory - but it doesn't really catch fire as either a private-eye mystery or a study in Tourette syndrome savantry. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
3/5 The Party's Just Beginning (2018) Sophie Monks Kaufman A strikingly odd and original debut that is admirable for taking the triple-threat of suicide, depression and addiction in its nonchalant stride, although the confusing presentation of separate timelines mutes the overall impact. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
4/5 Shooting the Mafia (2019) Ian Freer An affectionate portrait of a remarkable woman that loses its grip when it bites off more than it can chew. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
3/5 The Street (2019) Dan Jolin It's not easy viewing, and its central message does feel laboured, but it remains effective evidence of the inhumane impact of austerity, gentrification, and the inability of Brexit to act as any form of solution to this country's problems. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
3/5 The Biggest Little Farm (2018) Beth Webb The gentle rhythm of this timely, environmentally conscious documentary will temporarily draw you away from the world of tiny screens into a partially ambiguous yet fulfilling tale of endurance. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
4/5 The Two Popes (2019) Ian Freer With great writing, smart direction and late career-high performances from Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, it's a high-end treat. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
4/5 Atlantics (2019) Sophie Monks Kaufman In this haunting social lament Mati Diop pulls off shifts from social realism to genre mysticism with a poise as supernatural as the force that overtakes her young lovers. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
2/5 Wuthering Heights (1992) Matt Mueller A valiant attempt at compressing a novel as complex as Bronte's into under 2 hours, but 'valiant' shouldn't be mistaken for 'failed'. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 Wuthering Heights (1970) Danny Graydon Less melodramatic and earthier than the classic 1939 version with Olivier, Robert Fuest's take still heaves with passion thanks to Dalton's fiery chemistry with Anna Calder-Marshall's Cathy. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 Sense and Sensibility (1995) Deborah Brown A beautifully-crafted, witty, moving film likely to overcome even the stiffest Austen prejudice. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 Oliver Twist (1948) David Parkinson When Lean does subjugate his ego to Dickens's genius, this becomes a powerful study of depravity, misery and cruelty... EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
3/5 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) Angie Errigo Sumptuous to look at, with some decent performances... EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 Young Frankenstein (1974) Adam Smith What it demonstrates is that for spoof to work, the spoofers must have deep affection for the material out of which they are wringing the wee. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 The Nightingale (2018) John Nugent Not for the faint-hearted - and even the tough-hearted might struggle in a few places. But this uncompromising, unflinching meditation on violence should be seen as widely as possible. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
4/5 1917 (2019) Alex Godfrey Although 1917's filmmaking very much brings attention to itself, it's an astonishing piece of filmmaking, portraying war with enormous panache. This is big-screen bravado, and then some. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
5/5 Little Women (2019) Helen O'Hara If there were any remaining doubts that Greta Gerwig is a major talent in American cinema, put them to rest now. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
3/5 Ophelia (2018) Ian Freer An interesting, well played and well made attempt to reframe Shakespeare's most famous play through a feminist lens, Ophelia ultimately doesn't have the boldness to deliver on its resonant idea. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
3/5 () Amon Warmann The musical interludes in which Rapman narrates significant plot points offer a welcome change of pace, but the subject matter at play here is a little too common to truly stand out from the pack. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/5 I Lost My Body (2019) John Nugent If it's slightly hampered by a generic love story and pie-in-the-sky teenage pontificating, I Lost My Body should still rank among the year's most original and peculiar films. Hands down. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
4/5 The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Caroline Westbrook Vastly enjoyable despite the syrupy, soppy song bit in the middle (go make a glass of mulled wine during it). Michael Caine is perfect in the role and there are many genuine belly laughs. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
2/5 Harriet (2019) Amon Warmann Erivo's impressive central performance is frequently undercut by an all-too-conventional approach. Hopefully in a few years Tubman can get the definitive biopic she deserves. Sadly, this isn't it. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
3/5 The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) Ian Freer The Amazing Johnathan Documentary starts as a blast but as the journey progresses, becomes ever more slippery: Is Szeles tricking Berman? Is Berman bamboozling us? The answer is entertaining and frustrating in equal measures. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
3/5 Judy & Punch (2019) Beth Webb A risky project for Foulkes to make as her first feature, Judy & Punch ventures a little too far into troubled waters with its comedic handling of heavy matter, but shows promise in the woman holding the strings. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
3/5 QA Movie Test (2014) Nick De Semlyen A refreshing break from VFX-laden spectaculars and a throwback to the pulpy cop thrillers of yesteryear, if not quite strong enough to ensure that Boseman's righteous cop gets his own franchise. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
4/5 Charlie's Angels (2019) Ella Kemp What could have been a watery rehash is a fresh, exciting update on an attractive story that previously got lost in its own glamour. Do not underestimate these women. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
4/5 Queen & Slim (2019) Jimi Famurewa Queen & Slim tackles urgent, difficult subjects with bravery, care and adrenalised genre cool. But it triumphs because it shows you the personal toll beyond the politics. And how black lives brimming with potential can still turn on one fateful moment. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
4/5 Frozen II (2019) Ben Travis But just as Frozen transcended a tangled narrative thanks to its engaging characters and show-stopping music, Frozen II's plot missteps are more than compensated for by another suite of hits by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
4/5 The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019) Ben Travis There's not much going on beneath the energetic surface, but for the most part The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil is a fast-paced, entertaining thriller buoyed by two engaging leads. Don't mess it up in translation, Sly. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
4/5 Nanook of the North (1922) David Parkinson This remains a remarkable piece of film-making and humanist anthropology. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
4/5 The Great Mouse Detective (1986) Ian Nathan The genuinely witty and endearing disney animation that everyone forgets. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
5/5 Marriage Story (2019) Terri White Driver and Johansson give performances as precise and powerful as any two you'll see on screen this year. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2019
4/5 Little Monsters (2019) Chris Hewitt At heart, Little Monsters has a lot of heart. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2019
4/5 Ford v Ferrari (2019) Nick De Semlyen A mid-1960s corporate rivalry may not seem like the stuff of fist-pumping, crowd-pleasing cinema, yet the battle is sketched with such élan, all high-gloss surfaces, scotch-swilling intrigue and rat-a-tat dialogue, that it's impossible not to be drawn in. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2019
4/5 The Report (2019) Ian Freer A challenging watch driven by intelligent writing that corrals mountains of information into compelling drama. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2019
3/5 The Good Liar (2019) David Hughes McKellen and Mirren, sharing the screen for the first time, are exquisitely matched in this slight but enjoyable yarn, which is like watching two magnificent vintage cars in a road race, without minding too much who wins. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
2/5 Midway (2019) Ian Freer In a post Saving Private Ryan-Dunkirk landscape, it feels astonishing anyone is still making war movies like this. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
3/5 Last Christmas (2019) Terri White While it won't be remembered as one of the great Christmas films, Last Christmas delivers enough moments of heart and humour to keep the festive spirit alive. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
2/5 Get Santa (2014) Nick De Semlyen With farting reindeer and frugal budgets, Christopher Smith, the man behind Triangle and Severance, has forged something almost as terrifying. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
4/5 Meeting Gorbachev (2018) David Hughes Herzog and Singer have assembled a riveting and moving portrait of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president and arguably the greatest living politician, guided by Herzog's mellifluous voice and gently probing interview style. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
3/5 Luce (2019) Kambole Campbell While it's a shame that Luce loses sight of the very topics that it brings up in service of cheap thrills, it's a fascinating, entertaining puzzle all the same. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
4/5 The Aeronauts (2019) Ian Freer The title might sound like something from Marvel Phase Six, but The Aeronauts is an exhilarating period flight of fancy, occasionally weighed down by backstory, but buoyed by Redmayne and especially Jones. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2019
3/5 The King (2019) John Nugent The Battle Of Agincourt has never looked better. But despite valiant efforts from an underused cast, this is not quite the definitive take on Shakespeare's Henriad. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
3/5 Doctor Sleep (2019) Chris Hewitt (UK) Anyone expecting a straightforward Shining sequel will be disappointed. This isn't a gruelling exercise in pure horror. It's odder and more contemplative, but worth checking in. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
3/5 Ravenous (1999) Simon Braund Antonia Bird's pitch black comedy is a patchily hilarious triumph. But the queasy and squeamish have been warned. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019
2/5 War Party (1989) Jack Yeovil War Party would obviously dearly love to be a serious film. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019
4/5 Sorry We Missed You (2019) Beth Webb Though relentless at times, this is a crucial, empathetic rally cry of a film that holds a mirror up to the swelling crisis of the gig economy with admirable intention. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019
2/5 Tales from the Lodge (2019) Dan Jolin Less Tales Of The Unexpected, more Tales Of The Unconvincing, this uneven comedy horror fails to handle its ambitious structure, or deliver on its promising premise. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019