Tag Archive: United Kingdom

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

B (out of 5) Luc Besson tries to recapture the spirit and look of his problematic but still superior Fifth Element with this adaptation of a comic book series, the most expensive film made in… Continue reading

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The Children Act

BBB (out of 5) Emma Thompson plays a judge whose cases mostly involved minors and who frequently has to apply the law to cases that are sensitive (the film opens with her debating the… Continue reading

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Dunkirk

BBBBB (out of 5) British and French soldiers, approximately 400,000 in number, have been pushed back in battle to the French town of Dunkirk, their only possibility for evacuation the wide open sea… Continue reading

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Wind River

BBBB (out of 5) Jeremy Renner plays a hunter for the Fish and Wildlife Department whose job has him living in the snowy peaks of Wyoming, shooting the odd wolf that threatens local livestock.… Continue reading

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Sleuth (1972)

BBB (out of 5) Michael Caine is summoned to the estate of famed detective novelist Laurence Olivier to discuss Olivier’s wife, with whom Caine is having an affair.  Happy to be rid of her, Olivier… Continue reading

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Jimmy’s Hall

BBB.5 (out of 5) True story of Jimmy Gralton (Barry Ward), who returns to Ireland in 1932 after ten years of exile in America, a dedicated socialist with no religious sentiment; in an… Continue reading

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Edward, My Son

BB.5 (out of 5) Robert Morley and Noel Langley’s play is adapted into pure film treacle, imagine an update of Cavalcade and you have an idea of what you’re watching. Spencer Tracy and Deborah Kerr are both… Continue reading

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A Closed Book (Blind Revenge)

BBB (out of 5) A famous art critic (Tom Conti) lives in his aristocratic family’s country manor after having been gruesomely injured in a car accident that took both his eyes and left… Continue reading

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Under Milk Wood

BB.5 (out of 5) Dylan Thomas’ popular radio drama is adapted to film with a number of stars making brief and, in some cases, obscure appearances, including Peter O’Toole, Elizabeth Taylor, Glynis Johns, and Richard… Continue reading

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The Whisperers

BBB.5 (out of 5) Edith Evans is excellent as a woman who is slowly losing touch with reality thanks to the decay of age and her perpetual loneliness.  Among her many delusions are her… Continue reading

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Night Watch

BB.5 (out of 5) The closest Elizabeth Taylor ever came to starring in a horror movie was her appearance in this quickie thriller that has only a few brief chill-worthy moments.  She is recovering… Continue reading

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The Awakening

BB.5 (out of 5) With so many dead and so many mourning after the end of the Great War, Europe sees a rising interest in the occult thanks to people’s desire to communicate… Continue reading

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Wasp (2015)

BB (out of 5) Olivier and James are going on for a minibreak to Olivier’s summer home in the south of France and have brought along a last minute addition: James ran into… Continue reading

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My Cousin Rachel (2017)

BBBB (out of 5) Orphaned Sam Claflin was raised by his loving, older cousin (also played by Claflin) who, once his ward has arrived at adulthood, spends his last few years in southern Europe… Continue reading

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Their Finest

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Gemma Arterton rules this tribute to the spirit of British filmmaking and the spirit of Britain itself during World War II.  She plays a newspaper copy editor who is advanced… Continue reading

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Dreams of a Life

BB (out of 5) Authorities pounding on the door of Joyce Vincent’s flat were determined to get into her apartment and demand the rent she had not paid in three years.  What they found… Continue reading

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Ill Met By Moonlight

BBB.5 (out of 5) True story of the kidnapping of Germany’s General Kreipe (played here by Marius Goring) by British soldiers stationed on the Greek island of Crete.  Patrick Leigh Fermor, later to become… Continue reading

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Alien: Covenant

BB (out of 5) We move ten years past the events of Prometheus and find ourselves aboard the Covenant, a vessel carrying colonists to a distant planet where they will create a new civilization.  A series of circumstances… Continue reading

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Sons And Lovers

BBBB (out of 5) Adaptation of the second half of D.H. Lawrence’s masterful novel that takes liberties with dramatization but has at its core the same essential focus, a relationship between mother and… Continue reading

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Free Fire

BBB (out of 5) A group of low creatures enter an abandoned warehouse to do a deal with another group of low creatures, and the process should be simple:  one bunch have boxes… Continue reading

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Saturn 3

B (out of 5) Earth is overcrowded and harvesting food has been outsourced to other celestial bodies manned by small crews, including a moon of Saturn where Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett live completely alone… Continue reading

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Theatre of Blood

BBBB (out of 5) For anyone who thinks that Shakespeare is meant to be a quiet and lofty experience, this delicious horror movie that celebrates the violence in his plays is a must-see.… Continue reading

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The Zookeeper’s Wife

BBB.5 (out of 5) Warsaw’s zoo is run by a happily married couple who see it destroyed in the September 1939 German invasion, then have it taken over by Nazi forces led by… Continue reading

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A Quiet Passion

BBBBB (out of 5) A woman who suffers for being too modern for her society is not new ground for director Terence Davies, whose House of Mirth, Sunset Song and The Deep Blue Sea have previously put… Continue reading

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I, Daniel Blake

BBB.5 (out of 5) After suffering a heart attack on the job, a Newcastle construction worker (Dave Johns) tries to claim disability benefits and is plunged into nine circles of bureaucratic hell, constantly… Continue reading

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Alone In Berlin

BB (out of 5) After losing their son in battle, a Berlin couple decide that Nazi ideology is not worth believing in if the cost is to be so high.  He (Brendan Gleeson) continues his work… Continue reading

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A Rage In Harlem

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A magnificent shoot-out in mid-fifties Mississippi ends with dead bodies everywhere, the one survivor a gorgeous femme fatale (Robin Givens) who makes away with the loot, a trunk full of… Continue reading

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A Little Chaos

BB.5 (out of 5) Louis XIV (Alan Rickman, who also directed) is moving his court to Versailles to appease France’s nervous aristocracy, turning the former hunting lodge into a glorious palace with a… Continue reading

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Manderlay

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier’s proposed trilogy of observations of American society starts out strong with Dogville but moves on to a much less interesting second chapter (the third has yet to be… Continue reading

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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

BB.5 (out of 5) J.K. Rowling exploits her fans for all they’re worth in this original screenplay based in the world of her megahit Harry Potter series, taking place decades before the action… Continue reading

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Loving

BBBB (out of 5) Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga) tells her boyfriend Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) that she’s pregnant; he is pleased with the news and immediately buys a plot, begins building a house in their rural… Continue reading

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X Y & Zee (Zee And Co.)

BBB (out of 5) Trash should always be this fun. Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Caine have no end of fun camping it up in this melodrama, in which they play a married couple who have their… Continue reading

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Sing Street

BBBB (out of 5) Conor is loaded with adolescent angst and a burgeoning longing to get in with girls, so when he spots a gorgeous older lass after school, he tells her that he’s the leader of… Continue reading

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Allied

BB.5 (out of 5) A Canadian spy (Brad Pitt) working for the British forces during World War II is sent to Casablanca, where he plays house with a French agent (Marion Cotillard) until they… Continue reading

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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

BBB.5 (out of 5) They smoke too much, they drink too much, they have no respect for any person or institution and they spend money while hardly bothering to make it: in short, they… Continue reading

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The BFG

BBBB (out of 5) Sophie is lonely in her London orphanage, beset by the misery within its walls and what she senses are possible monsters outside her window.  She dares to look beyond the curtain and… Continue reading

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Carla’s Song

BBB.5 (out of 5) A Glasgow bus driver (Robert Carlyle) intercedes when a woman with poor English skills named Carla (Oyanka Cabezas) is accosted by a fare inspector for not buying a ticket, getting… Continue reading

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The Angels’ Share

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A group of petty thugs and criminals are sentenced to community service, among them a bright but beleaguered young man named Robbie, whose newborn baby inspires him to want to… Continue reading

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The Spirit of ’45

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This lyrical, robust documentary sees Ken Loach examining the spirit of socialism that grew in England in the aftermath of World War II, through to its destruction by conservative… Continue reading

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Family Life

BBBB (out of 5) Ken Loach can turn even manipulative melodrama into compelling interactions that have a documentary feel, here adapting David Mercer’s play about a young woman so pressured by her parents’… Continue reading

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Sunset Song

BBBB (out of 5) A young woman (Agyness Deyn) grows up on a farm under the oppressive tyranny of her abusive father (Peter Mullan, who rarely plays anything else), watching as he dominates… Continue reading

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Hidden Agenda

BBBB (out of 5) A lawyer (Brad Dourif) and a former documentary filmmaker (Frances McDormand) are investigating allegations of abusive behavior by British Security Forces in Northern Ireland on behalf of the civil… Continue reading

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Of Time And The City

BBBB (out of 5) Terence Davies’ fictional films have often had a deep, resonant preoccupation with his beloved birthplace of Liverpool and the post-war era that he witnessed in his childhood. Coming after… Continue reading

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Staircase

BB (out of 5) Richard Burton and Rex Harrison have been living together for over twenty years, running a barbershop downstairs and bickering constantly upstairs, with Burton taking care of his aging and infirm… Continue reading

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Paddington

BBB.5 (out of 5) Michael Bond’s delightful character creation, a veritable institution in England that was inspired by the sight of refugee children arriving in London in World War II, is brought to… Continue reading

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In The Heart Of The Sea

BB.5 (out of 5) Established but not quite yet venerated author Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) shows up at the home of an old tar (Brendan Gleeson) and begs to be told the story… Continue reading

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Carol

BBBBB (out of 5) A department store clerk (Rooney Mara) catches the eye of a beautiful, wealthy housewife (Cate Blanchett), which leads very quickly to lunches together and, before long, evenings in front of the… Continue reading

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Mr. Holmes

BB.5 (out of 5) Arthur Conan Doyle’s eternal detective hero has seen better days when this film begins, a now frail old man (portrayed by Ian McKellen) who has left Baker Street and… Continue reading

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Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)

BBB (out of 5) Carey Mulligan is perfectly cast as Thomas Hardy’s modern-minded heroine, a woman who refuses to be held back by marriage and prefers her own run of her property.  After rejecting… Continue reading

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