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SPOTLIGHTS

Best Dressed at the 2019 London Film Festival

Acting performance this and cinematography that. Critics, we get it, you like cinéma. For those looking for a light-hearted summary of this year’s cracking London Film Festival, here is a rundown of the top ten looks from the films offered in the programme.

‘Final Destination’ Franchise: The Pinnacle of Absurd Horror is Also the Eeriest

Amidst the absurdity, the Final Destination franchise contains a horrifying assertion.

What Holiday Does ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Belong To?

So, which holiday does this movie belong to? The movie might have the word ‘Christmas’ in its title but don’t forget it also has the word ‘nightmare’. 

The Remarkable Absence of Emptiness in Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’

If Joker is meant to represent the corrupting power of self-immolation, of a nihilistic obsession for spectacle, of forging a toxic personal myth in a world where nothing matters, then there’s a remarkable absence of emptiness.

‘Legion’: A Superhero Series that Rejects the Basic Tenets of the Genre

Unlike the redemptory finale of Endgame, Legion offers no way out. What it does, however, is to suggest that the only hope we have is to firmly believe that change — or at least the possibility of change — exists.

Criterion Spotlight: 60 Years Later ‘Some Like It Hot’ Still Stands the Test of Time

What is it about Some Like It Hot that keeps us watching, over half a century later?

Women of Horror: A Tribute

A tribute to women in horror.

‘Jennifer’s Body’ at 10: A Violent Feminist Tale Ahead of Its Time

‘Jennifer’s Body’ delves into feminist themes to become more than just a cult classic.

‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ Still Blooms in a Field of Coming-of-Age Dramas

When it comes to teenage coming-of-age films, Perks of Being a Wallflower’s somber bildungsroman was pivotal in the genre.

Almodóvar’s Women: Breaking the Roles, Remaking the Mold

Pedro Almodóvar goes beyond singular representations of women with nuanced, complex and deeply human female leads.

Don’t/Look: The Differing Messages Behind ‘Battle Royale’ and ‘The Hunger Games’

The similarities between The Hunger Games and Battle Royal are too blatant to ignore, but the ultimate messages of these two films are almost the exact opposite of one another.

How the Symmetry and Aesthetics of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is Essential to Its Storytelling

The Handmaid’s Tale holds a brutal storyline, balanced by crucial aesthetics and symmetry.

FESTIVALS

‘Ford v Ferrari’ Review: Toxic Masculinity at Its Most Fun, Vintage Bravado at Its Most Cinematic

“Adrenaline-fueled bombast, aesthetic flair, and two endlessly charming lead actors turn a somewhat antiquated script into a charming, exhilarating spectacle.”

Celluloid Dreams
‘Babyteeth’ Review: Shannon Murphy’s Debut Feature is a Bittersweet Embrace of Familial Dysfunction and Hope

Shannon Murphy’s off-kilter family drama manages to subvert sentimentality in favour of an untidy but powerful emotional resonance.

‘White Riot’ Review: Rubika Shah’s Rip-Roaring Rock Doc Raises A Fist Against 20th Century Hate

A must-see firebrand of a film, filled with rock & roll passion and fascinating history.

‘Sibyl’ Review: Justine Triet’s Latest is a Beautiful Mess of Emotions

From the beginning to end, Sibyl deals with a beautiful mess of emotions that is a direct result of asinine decision making.

Sony Pictures Releasing
‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ Review: Tom Hanks Provides a Deeply Touching Window Into the Mind of Fred Rogers

This sensitive story of forgiveness and compassion is far more than the awards-bait biopic you may be expecting.

‘Saint Maud’ Review: Have Faith in Rose Glass’ Audacious Debut

Following a series of acclaimed short films, Rose Glass blends Joan of Arc and Carrie…

‘The Aeronauts’ Review: Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne Reunite in a Victorian-Era Version of ‘Gravity’

This is as Oscar-bait as they come, but while pandering to its target audience, The Aeronauts also finds time to meet some of our modern demands.

A24
‘Uncut Gems’ Review: Adam Sandler Shows Us How He Wins in the Latest Manic Masterwork from the Safdie Brothers

Adam Sandler gives what might be his best ever performance in this magnificent New York crime odyssey.

‘First Cow’ Review: Kelly Reichardt Brings ‘Old Joy’ to the Old West

The director’s sixth feature is a tender portrait of unlikely friendship amidst American greed.

‘Varda by Agnès’ Review: A Final Film but Not a Farewell From the Matriarch of Cinema

Though Varda by Agnès will pull at the heartstrings of her admirers — serving as Varda’s last film before death — it will forever be a great introduction to Agnès Varda: as a person, as an artist, and as an inspiring force.

‘Knives Out’ Review: Rian Johnson’s Latest Brings Clue to Life in a Whimsical Whodunit

Whether you stay for the illustrious performances given by the illustrious cast, Johnson’s witty twists, or Daniel Craig’s award-winning speech on doughnut holes, Knives Out will certainly be worth your time.

‘Jojo Rabbit’ Review: An Anti-Hate Satire That Doesn’t Need the Satire

The humor of Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit undercuts the more intelligent film bubbling underneath.

REVIEWS

‘Little Monsters’ Review: Even Lupita Nyong’o is Not Enough to Bring this Lumbering Zombie Comedy to Life

Dodging awful male characters and tired comedy, Nyong’o almost single-handedly makes this film work.

‘Gemini Man’ Review: Ang Lee’s Ambitious Tech Demo Elevates an Otherwise Unremarkable Will Smith Action Movie

Gemini Man won’t be winning any awards for screenwriting, but as a technical curiousity it’s more than worth seeing.

‘Fourteen’ Review: A Dialogue-Driven Portrait of Friendship Burdened by Depression

A dialogue driven portrait of friendship burdened by depression.

‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ Review: Armando Iannucci’s Latest is a Sweet Affair Lacking in Substance

Whatever his reason for crafting The Personal History of David Copperfield, Iannucci has unfortunately left most of what makes him an exciting filmmaker behind altogether.

‘The Report’ Review: Adam Driver and Annette Bening are Magnetic in Scott Z. Burn’s Latest C.I.A Drama

The Report is a deeply important exercise in exhuming the demons of the recent past and forcing the nation to reckon with them.

‘Joker’ Review: A Formidable Villain Within an Unworthy Narrative

Joker muddles its themes while thrilling viewers with its chaos.

Warner Bros. Pictures
‘Just Mercy’ Review: Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx Command the Screen in a Sturdy but Generic Legal Drama

Crowd-pleasing only in the moment, Just Mercy will leave you yearning for the truly great movie that this real-life story deserves.

‘The King’ Review: A Split Kingdom of Competency and Mediocrity

The King does not break new ground so much as it lies down on the ground in an act of comfortable complacency. It refuses to be daring and suffers because of it. This is both enjoyable in the moment but glaringly insignificant in aftertaste.

‘Itsy Bitsy’ Review: A Creature Feature Full of Family Drama

After a background in visual effects, Micah Gallo tries his hand at writing and directing an arachnophobe’s nightmare.

MUBI UK
‘Zombi Child’ Review: Bertrand Bonello Explores the Horrors of Colonialism in an Ambitious, Frustrating Misfire

The French auteur’s latest has a lot on its mind, and no real way of tying it all together.

‘The Juniper Tree’ Review: Björk Beguiles in Her Bergman-esque Debut

Based on a particularly grim Grimm Brothers fairy tale featuring dark magic, dismemberment and a…