Alex Garland is developing a justified reputation as an auteur for our times - he has written well-liked genre films, from 28 Days Later to Dredd, alongside a pair of the more thoughtful narrative games of this decade, DMC and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. His directorial debut Ex Machina cemented his position as a rising genre star, and his … Continue reading Annihilation


Netflix's quest for cinematic world domination continues with Duncan Jones's new film, Mute. The director of eerie cult classic Moon and the sprightly Source Code has demonstrated the fallacy of Netflix's model, however, with a frankly dull science fiction thriller. Alexander Skarsgård is the film's central and titular mute, a future-Amish man named Leo who won't have his vocal chords … Continue reading Mute

Lady Bird

In recent years Greta Gerwig has begun to make good on her early promise, moving beyond the mumblecore trappings of her early acting work on film. Impressive turns in Jackie and 20th Century Women  have demonstrated her increasing maturity and now,  behind the camera, she has produced a wonderful and gentle bildungsroman, Lady Bird. Saoirse Ronan is the irrepressible … Continue reading Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

If Phantom Thread is really to be Daniel Day-Lewis's final film, he has signed off with a suitably superb performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's latest exploration of power and relationships. This is a challenging and multi-faceted picture. Reynolds Woodcock, Day-Lewis's latest inhabited persona, is a celebrated and dedicated dressmaker to the 1950s elite in Bloomsbury. He lives … Continue reading Phantom Thread

Last Flag Flying

This year's awards season of releases has seemed at times to demonstrate a grand Hollywood collusion to chart the many ills of America. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Post, Downsizing - all have lambasted different elements of American society, lamenting its decline. Richard Linklater has built a reputation on subtler explorations than these films, and Last Flag Flying is another … Continue reading Last Flag Flying


All of a sudden, without warning, Alexander Payne has dropped a clanger. After the quiet, consistent success of his previous films from Sideways to Nebraska, his latest effort is a mess, pure and simple. Downsizing is a confused and confusing film, naively nostalgic and structurally lazy. Matt Damon is Payne's everyman hero, playing Paul Safranek, a workplace physiotherapist who observes … Continue reading Downsizing