New Statesman

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Ad Astra (2019) Ryan Gilbey Expeditions to Mars are all very well, but Ad Astra is only really interested in reaching the planet Closure, with its twin moons of father and son. That's not enough to hang a movie on, even one as handsome as this. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
Downton Abbey (2019) Ryan Gilbey You half expect the twist of the film to be that these aren't early-20th century aristocrats at all, but a group of former thespians convinced they are starring in a period drama when in fact they're in a nursing home for the tragically bewildered. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
It: Chapter Two (2019) Ryan Gilbey It just isn't good enough. I can't take It any more. I'm over It. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
Untouchable (2019) Rachel Cooke As horrifying as it was to hear of Weinstein's abject pathology and all the disgusting ways in which it operated, what I most admired about [Ursula] Macfarlane's film was its subtle placing of him in a wider culture. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
The Souvenir (2019) Ryan Gilbey The skill of the film lies in how coolly its evidence is assembled. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) Ryan Gilbey [Antonio] Banderas has a tentative charm - he is always holding something in reserve - and is captivating in an encounter with an old flame, Federico, but he's fighting a losing battle against the lugubriousness of the material. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Ryan Gilbey If Once Upon a Time... falls a long way short of meaningful, it still deserves credit for groping in its graceless way towards profound ideas about the restorative miracles of cinema and the consolation of lies projected at 24 frames per second. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Animals (2019) Ryan Gilbey The debauchery on screen sometimes feels like an overcompensation for a lack of authenticity. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
The Chambermaid (2018) Ryan Gilbey Avilés's disconcerting film takes us from the starched suites to the service lifts, laundries and back corridors hidden from view. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
The Lion King (2019) Ryan Gilbey Restaging a superannuated property such as The Lion King can leave decent performers with nothing to play with, no meat on the bone. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Ryan Gilbey The appeal of the film's practised and deliberate amateurism is exhausted fairly quickly. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Ryan Gilbey The picture does a fair bit of narrative slaloming, each new twist revealing an ever-more exasperating switcheroo. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
In Fabric (2018) Katherine Connell The film teeters towards experimental: a tough ask for an audience sitting through a two hour feature. Our focus is anchored, however, by strong performances which ground In Fabric's intoxicating weirdness. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
Yesterday (2019) Ryan Gilbey If Yesterday is a failure it is because, it lacks the sort of robust rules that are crucial to the most far-fetched fantasy. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Sometimes Always Never (2018) Ryan Gilbey The director Carl Hunter, formerly the bassist of the Liverpudlian band the Farm, puts rather too much faith in quirkiness to see the film through. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Erica Wagner Deadwood: The Movie is true to the show's original spirit and is as satisfying a conclusion as could be hoped for. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Late Night (2019) Ryan Gilbey Though the film is about people striving for comic excellence, its own quality control hints that mediocre is good enough; it's stuck between 30 Rock and a hard place. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
Napszállta (2018) Ryan Gilbey All the good intentions in the world can't compensate for an audience's alienation, and with nothing to sustain the suspense from one scene to the next, it dwindles away after an hour. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
Booksmart (2019) Anna Leszkiewicz Booksmart is a more cerebral take on the genre: its clever, funny, feminist leads undercut the dafter party sequences with their own private wit and chemistry. On screen together, they are an infectious delight. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
Rocketman (2019) Ryan Gilbey Crushingly literal... More redolent of a Christmas round-robin letter than of anything resembling cinema. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2019
Pájaros de verano (2018) Ryan Gilbey A film of unshowy and eye-opening surprises, which leads its audience somewhere previously unexplored by cinema: into the dream lives of drug lords. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
Wine Country (2019) Anna Leszkiewicz All in all, it's a drinkable, if at times indulgent, affair. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
High Life (2018) Ryan Gilbey In working without exteriors, Denis sacrifices a crucial component of her range... For all its intimacy, it says less about the isolating expanse of mortality than it does about the limitations of a Claire Denis movie shot entirely in the studio. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
Vox Lux (2018) Ryan Gilbey Corbet's thesis that a world in thrall to spectacle risks conflating hedonism with horror has a strong whiff of the undergraduate about it. In practice, though, his movie is a satisfying experience that consistently resists hysteria. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2019
Eighth Grade (2018) Ryan Gilbey The movie catches every marginal cringing embarrassment and each infinitesimal joy. Very little happens in it, and yet everything does. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
Mid90s (2018) Ryan Gilbey The dingy cinematography and abrasive score scream authenticity, but Mid90s hits every last beat of the coming-of-age movie... Mostly the film strives desperately for effect over logic. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
Wild Rose (2018) Ryan Gilbey Jessie Buckley... makes a mighty impact in Wild Rose. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
Happy as Lazzaro (2018) Ryan Gilbey Rohrwacher handles the shifts of tone gracefully, as she did in The Wonders, which also explored the tension between a rustic idyll and the modern world. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
The Sisters Brothers (2018) Anna Leszkiewicz This is a one-last-hurrah cowboy film with a warm sense of humour and a number of unexpected quirks, including two delightful performances from Riz Ahmed and Jake Gyllenhaal. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
Se rokh (2018) Ryan Gilbey Panahi has already made one decisive study of gender oppression (his fiery 2006 comedy Offside...) and it is into this territory that 3 Faces proceeds with warmth, curiosity and ultimately anger. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2019
Us (2019) Ryan Gilbey Us represents a definite advance on Get Out, and establishes Peele as a fascinating film-maker. When he learns to stop over-complicating things, he may even become a great one, too. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Benjamin (2018) Anna Leszkiewicz If this all seems a bit meta, Benjamin is grounded by its very sweet love story. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Ray & Liz (2018) Ryan Gilbey The lives we see are eked out on the breadline with an air of desperation and feverishness. Yet Daniel Landin's cinematography captures them affectionately. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Under the Silver Lake (2018) Ryan Gilbey Pop culture can furnish us with potent hits of meaning, and the film rejoices in that. But it also asks what happens when they eclipse or outstrip lived experience. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019) Ryan Gilbey Vital to the success of Captain Marvel is Larson, whose amused intelligence warms the movie through like Carol's hands heating a kettle. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
Fighting With My Family (2019) Ryan Gilbey Fighting with My Family is a rare and delightful beast: a movie that seems to understand the world of professional wrestling. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2019
() Rachel Cooke The Rushdie affair has many ongoing repercussions, and chief among them, I think, is the confusion and fear that now almost inevitably trails the notion of offence. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
() Ryan Gilbey The absence of a moral component, or some indication that what we're seeing isn't meant to be titillating, renders the film about as enjoyable as surgery without anaesthetic. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Hannah (2017) Ryan Gilbey It's a bit rum to make a sophisticated performer go through the motions in this way. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
() Rachel Cooke What a wasted opportunity. Sen's universe is far more profoundly weird than at first it appeared, and yet Levine hardly cared to probe it. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2019
Capernaum (2018) Ryan Gilbey Labaki directs the inexperienced cast sensitively, and mixes appalled commentary on the bureaucracy conspiring against the disenfranchised with the occasional indelible image. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (2017) Ryan Gilbey Like the characters, Mektoub, My Love is itself apparently aimless, often irritating, prone to treading water -- indeed, it could be accused of being one long longueur. But I found plenty to admire in it. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
On the Basis of Sex (2018) Imogen West-Knights You could play a round of biopic-cliché bingo to On the Basis of Sex, but there is plenty to admire here alongside. It's well acted... [And] the ins and outs are dispatched clearly without dumbing down the technical language. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
A Private War (2018) Ryan Gilbey The director Matthew Heineman has a background in documentary, and Pike serves as a one-woman answer to the question of why he didn't make a factual piece: her tenacity, swagger and depth are astonishing. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2019
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Ryan Gilbey Jenkins's greatest achievement is to recreate Baldwin's depiction of the psychological horror of racism, the dread and claustrophobia it generates, along with the surging passion the couple use to try to defeat it. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Ryan Gilbey For what could have been a sordid and interior little yarn, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" positively glows. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2019
Dogman (2018) Ryan Gilbey A character study rather than the conventional thriller hinted at by its gangster trappings... In little more than 90 minutes, [Marcello Fonte] completes the unlikely metamorphosis from a Mr Bean to an El Greco. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2019
Tehran Taboo (2017) Ryan Gilbey The lyrical animation, and especially an expressive use of shadows which illuminates emotion in the actors' faces, makes it all appear to be unfolding in a woozy dream. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2019
First Man (2018) Ryan Gilbey In those sequences when Armstrong is heading for the stars, the approach is so immersive on a sensory level -- cacophonous sound design, juddering cinematography verging on the abstract -- that it almost compensates for the void at the film's core. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2019
Possum (2018) Ryan Gilbey In taking his inspiration from Jimmy Savile, Holness has placed at the centre of his film the sort of bogeyman who could give even Michael Myers nightmares. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2019