Observer (UK)

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4/5 American Woman (2018) Simran Hans Miller's finely tuned performance manages to be tough and sparky and just world-weary enough, without slipping into one-size-fits-all inspirational "survivor" cliche. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
3/5 The Day Shall Come (2019) Mark Kermode None of this would pack a punch were it not for the powerful thread of pathos that runs through the drama. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
1/5 Gemini Man (2019) Simran Hans Never mind the silly science or that Smith's face is shoddily de-aged with digital technology to enable him to play Junior: it's simply hard to buy the actor as a weepy 23-year-old virgin. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
2/5 The King (2019) Simran Hans The battle scenes have a crunchy, tactile feel, all swords slicing chainmail, but there's something standard-issue slick about the rest of the proceedings. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
3/5 Abominable (2019) Simran Hans The central relationship here is not dissimilar to the one in How to Train Your Dragon, (also produced by DreamWorks Animation) but that's not necessarily a bad thing. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
2/5 Farming (2018) Simran Hans Enitan's trauma is revelled in but for what? Few new truths are learned here. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
2/5 Werewolf (Wilkolak) (2018) Wendy Ide Choppy editing adds to the sense that this picture is struggling to achieve a tonal balance and work out exactly what it is trying to say. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2019
4/5 () Wendy Ide The gentle decency of Birrell's writing and his openness to the world around him more than speaks for itself. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2019
4/5 Good Posture (2019) Wendy Ide Wells's bracingly spiky writing vividly draws both the characters and the connections between them. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2019
4/5 Joker (2019) Mark Kermode Joker looks set to have the last laugh. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2019
4/5 Judy (2019) Wendy Ide At its strongest, the film captivates; it grabs you by the heart and demands adoration. And in a film about Judy Garland, you would expect nothing less. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2019
() Euan Ferguson After so much ramping up, it was almost bound to fall short. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
4/5 The Last Tree (2019) Mark Kermode Powerful performances, tactile visuals and an elegantly fluid score add to the impact of this impressively understated yet profoundly moving tale. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2019
2/5 Hotel Mumbai (2018) Simran Hans There is something queasy about mining such fresh real-life trauma for popcorn entertainment. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2019
3/5 Skin (2018) Simran Hans Bell is magnetic in the role, and there's real chemistry between him and Macdonald, but the film's formal glossiness and frequent overhead shots create distance between the viewer and the hate crimes on display. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2019
4/5 Ready or Not (2019) Simran Hans There is an elegance to the premise - an otherwise straightforward cat-and-mouse chase around a gothic mansion - and a satisfying clip to the rewardingly gory action. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2019
2/5 The Goldfinch (2019) Simran Hans There is no sense of pace or mystery, but rather an evident need to get through Tartt's dense plotting in the two-and-a-half-hour run time. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2019
3/5 Ad Astra (2019) Mark Kermode In a world in which Star Wars movies still rule the roost, it's encouraging to find an $80m space-based movie setting its artistic sights on the stars rather than simply recycling intergalactic horse-opera cliches. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
1/5 Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Wendy Ide It's cheap and lazy stuff. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
3/5 () Wendy Ide Duane's perceptive camera picks up on the moments when Drummond's robust self-belief wobbles... EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
1/5 The Kitchen (2019) Wendy Ide [A] thuddingly inept crime picture. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
4/5 The Farewell (2019) Wendy Ide Ultimately, it's all about balance, a yin and yang of roots and identities, humour and pathos that comes together into a satisfying, bittersweet wedding banquet of a movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
4/5 For Sama (2019) Mark Kermode For Sama interweaves its very personal narrative with a broader political story, finding the bigger picture in the tiniest of details. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
2/5 Phoenix (Føniks) (2018) Simran Hans Bjørkaas Thedin's debut performance is striking in its restraint, but the film's thriller mode and social commentary B-plot never quite cohere. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
3/5 Downton Abbey (2019) Simran Hans It's lighthearted stuff and mostly benign too, save its unashamedly effusive stance on the monarchy. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 Honeyland (2019) Simran Hans [A] gripping, Sundance-winning documentary. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 Hustlers (2019) Simran Hans Hustlers is a classically made film about capital - sexual, social and financial. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2019
2/5 The Shiny Shrimps (Les Crevettes pailletées) (2019) Wendy Ide The Shiny Shrimps has a rambunctious, carnivalesque quality, but it's also full of crude cliches and stereotypes. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
3/5 Scarborough (2018) Wendy Ide [A] queasily atmospheric drama... EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
3/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Mark Kermode A peculiar mix of the crowd-pleasing and the patience-testing, veering wildly between the entertaining and the frustrating, built round a story that ventures inexorably underground without ever getting to the heart of what lies beneath. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 Lejos de La Habana (2014) Wendy Ide It's as unmistakably French as the Provençal chestnut puree that provides a key plot device. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 Rojo (2018) Wendy Ide The film does not serve up its ideas in easily digestible bites. The audience needs to work with a dislocated string of scenes that sometimes highlight absurdity, sometimes violence and frequently say very little at all. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
5/5 Bait (2019) Mark Kermode It's a genuine modern masterpiece, which establishes Jenkin as one of the most arresting and intriguing British film-makers of his generation. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2019
2/5 Mrs. Lowry & Son (2019) Wendy Ide The script, by Martyn Hesford, gets bogged down in repetition. And Adrian Noble's direction leans too heavily on a score that is as frilly and prim as one of Mrs Lowry's lace doilies. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2019
4/5 () Wendy Ide Both the film and its cast of charismatic, dreadlocked old-timers are loaded with an easy charm that is as heady as anything that gets smoked during the course of the recording sessions. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2019
4/5 The Mustang (2019) Wendy Ide As Schoenaerts demonstrated with his pin-eyed rage in Bullhead, he's a physically gifted actor who can convey as much with stillness and silence as he can with pages full of dialogue. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2019
4/5 The Souvenir (2019) Mark Kermode Hogg's work with actors has always been exceptional, but here she is at the top of her game, making each role count by maintaining that balance of closeness and separation that is her trademark. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2019
4/5 Aniara (2018) Wendy Ide A haunting allegorical tale, Aniara warns of humanity hurtling in the wrong direction and realising too late that there is no turning back. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2019
() Barbara Ellen Gruelling, affecting. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2019
2/5 Angel Has Fallen (2019) Simran Hans There is something odd about the way the film condemns bloodshed while revelling in trigger-happy violence. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2019
2/5 Crawl (2019) Simran Hans Crawl benefits from its economical 87-minute runtime, but as a genre piece it's perhaps more skin than muscle. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2019
4/5 Dolor y gloria (2019) Mark Kermode It all adds up to a richly satisfying work from a film-maker whose love of cinema, in all its pain and glory, shines through every frame. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2019
3/5 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Simran Hans This uneven film can't decide who it's trying to scare. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2019
4/5 Hail Satan? (2019) Simran Hans Though she takes her subjects seriously, Lane allows herself to be led by her sense of humour. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2019
3/5 Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (2018) Simran Hans Dern brings a hungry, manic energy to Albert... while Stewart's performance is typically interiorised and exacting. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
2/5 Good Boys (2019) Simran Hans One joke can't sustain the entire movie. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
3/5 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Wendy Ide This is a film set in a stunningly evoked Hollywood past. It can also be read as a commentary on Hollywood present. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
4/5 Transit (2018) Simran Hans [A] tightly coiled thriller... EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
4/5 Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) Simran Hans Goofily charming and a rare, age-appropriate children's film in which the adults are silly and the kids, especially the girls, are smart. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2019
4/5 Stones Have Laws (2018) Wendy Ide It's languid, immersive and hypnotic. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2019