Film Critic

Cambridge-based film writer for The Digital Fix, Den of Geek and for my personal film review blog. Film and Philosophy graduate from the University of East Anglia.

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chrisatthepictures.blogspot.com

'The Emoji Movie' - Review

In the closing moments of Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs, our heroine, Anna, is close to death. Flayed alive in pursuit of the sight of God, she is presented to her captor, Mademoiselle. She leans in close to Anna, who whispers illegibly. Shortly afterwards, the matriarch commits suicide. Critics and fans have spent almost a decade wondering what Anna could have possibly[...]

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'Dunkirk' - Review

Christopher Nolan completes his ticking clock trilogy with this unutterably gripping World War 2 thriller. As with the dilated dream-spaces of Inception and the ruthless relativity of Interstellar, time is the enemy in Dunkirk; for the 400,000 allied soldiers trapped on the beach, the fleet of civilian ships headed to the rescue and the Spitfire pilots low on fuel. Fionn Whitehead[...]

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'War for the Planet of the Apes' - Review

Matt Reeves’ concluding chapter to one of the finest franchise trilogies of the modern era is a work of such staunch drama and allegory that a more apt title might be The Passion of the Apes. The film begins fifteen years after the first outbreak of the simian flu that all-but wiped out humanity and enhanced the intelligence of Earth’s ape population. [...]

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'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' - Review

Luc Besson barely avoids going full Wachowski in this overstuffed sci-fi adventure. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star as special operatives Valerian and Laureline, a bickering will-they-won’t-they duo charged with uncovering a massive disturbance at the heart of a vast space metropolis, home to countless sentient species. The[...]

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'47 Meters Down' - Review

Murky, cheap, and laden with an oxygen supply-to-dialogue ratio to make critics of Gravity rethink their entire being, 47 Meters Down is a throwaway piece of sharksploitation from British director Johannes Roberts (Storage 24, The Other Side of the Door). Mandy Moore and Claire holt star as two American holidaymakers dumped onto the seabed when the winch[...]

35 spiderman homecoming article
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'Spider-Man: Homecoming' - Review

“Not another Spider-Man reboot!” I hear you moan, as the third iteration of the wall-crawler in a decade (now played by young British star, Tom Holland) gains his first lone outing. I totally sympathise. The apprehension that the character has been wrung dry by Sony/Marvel in such a short time is understandable, but surprisingly baseless here [...]

34 baby driver article
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'Baby Driver' - Review

Edgar Wright’s new film was the first time I took a notepad into the cinema, and if Baby Driver is any indication of experiences to come, it may be the last. As Ansel Elgort's getaway driver murmured, spun and leapt his way across the screen, the pen and pad lay untouched in my lap and a smile grew unhindered on my face. The young actor and his Han Solo jacket lead a [...]

Sofar article
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'Cinema 2017: The Story So Far'

Yes, it’s that time of the year where everyone goes “How is it nearly July already? Mad, innit?”, which also means it’s time for the inevitable articles appraising the best and worst of the year so far. To try and avoid serving up a listicle that could be copy-pasted from my Letterboxd profile (and because I’m a sucker for gimmicks)[...]

32 wonder woman article
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'Wonder Woman' - Review

Wonder’s the word, alright. Patty Jenkins brings a pop-culture icon to the screen in grin-broadening fashion with this electrifying and earnest superhero film that aims to expand the DC cinematic universe. Thankfully, Wonder Woman’s part in building the latter is small, taking a step away from the stodgy forward-planning of films past to tell a singular[...]

30 colossal article
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'Colossal' - Review

Far from neglecting the trappings of either monumental blockbuster or dry satirical comedy, Colossal wears its bizarre premise proudly on its sleeve. Largely, it’s all the better for it. Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an alcoholic who is kicked out by her boyfriend, Tim (a fantastically clipped Dan Stevens), and heads back to her old hometown. Waking from [...]

29 king arthur legend of the sword article
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'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' - Review

Chock full of smirk-inducing dialogue and many a fire-wielding enchanter, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword finds it very difficult to avoid the obvious Monty Python jokes. As the opening expository scroll faded, to be replaced by the location marker ‘Camelot’, all I wanted to do was lean across [...]

27 alien covenant article
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'Alien: Covenant' - Review

Ridley Scott loses the plot somewhat in this bold and barmy return to the Alien franchise. Ten years on from the disappearance of the Prometheus, a colonization ship intercepts a transmission from the missing crew. Acting Captain Oram (Billy Crudup) makes a beeline for its point of origin, against the express wishes of terraforming commander [...]

26 sleepless article
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'Sleepless' - Review

The second of this month’s films with an ill-advised and easily mocked title is this middle-of-the-road thriller remake starring Jamie Foxx. Based upon the moderately acclaimed Nuit Blanche¸ Sleepless sees deep cover cop Vincent Downs (Foxx) scouring a Las Vegas hotel in search of his kidnapped son after a drugs theft goes awry. The[...]

Star wars 40th anniversary article
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Feeling The Force - What 'Star Wars' Means to Me

“This’ll make you feel old…”

It’s a statement I direct at my parents quite a lot these days whenever a certain celebrity, family member or piece of media survives another decade. It’s not something I have levelled at myself very much (with the slight exception being two years [...]

25 guardians of the galaxy vol 2 article
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'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' - Review

“All you do is shout at each other!” – the frustrated words of cyborg assassin Nebula (Karen Gillan) ring loud and true regarding Marvel’s dizzying and thunderous return to the stars. Following an incursion with a giant tentacle monster and gold-faced aliens, the[...]