Life movie review: alien blockbuster loses its course

LIFEweb
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“Calvin” is an awful cute name for a tiny alien blob that comes alive and embarks on a murderous rampage; I would have preferred “Norman” or “Hagetha.” In space nobody can hear you scream, so the saying goes, though initially Swedish director Daniel Espinosa’s containment thriller Life – with the aforementioned Calvin as a terrifying

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T2 Trainspotting movie review

TRAINSPOTTINGweb
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The long-awaited Trainspotting sequel begins, of all places, in a gym. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) is stomping on a treadmill while the director Danny Boyle violently assaults his audience with techno music. It’s an interesting way to begin a follow-up to a famously scatty and notoriously confrontational film about a group of hoggish British junkies

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The Great Wall movie review – the first blockbuster for the Trump era

GREATWALLweb
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Following the election of a pumpkin-skinned President and the associated Trumpification of American politics, film critics have been on the look out for movies that might in some way correspond to the zeitgeist. Observers down in the mouth about the present political situation in the White House have, for example, suggested comedies or musicals boast

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Toni Erdmann movie review

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Nothing strikes terror in the heart of parents quite like the thought of calamity befalling their children. But in writer/director Maren Ade’s already legendary (and freshly Oscar-nominated) German dramedy Toni Erdmann, a father inflicts cataclysmic misfortune onto his daughter very deliberately, swinging his madness around like a wrecking ball and infusing her life with chaos.

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Hidden Figures movie review: a postcard history lesson

HIDDENFIGURESweb
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At the start of director Theodore Melfi’s Oscar-nominated historical drama Hidden Figures, we are introduced to a precocious young girl and informed she is a prodigy. The script lays it on thick: “in all my years of teaching …” we hear her primary school teacher say, understanding immediately that young Katherine Coleman (Lidya Jewett) is

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Manchester by the Sea movie review – an American masterpiece

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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Is a flashback, like a voice-over narration, a powerful device too often over-used and under-thought? We’ve recently seen the technique put to highly memorable effect in the science fiction film Arrival. In that film, director Denis Villeneuve played with what a flashback (or ‘switchback’ as they were once known) might mean in a universe where time is a palindrome:

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