15 Reasons why X-Men: Apocalypse Sucked

My estimable colleague Jono Winter recently posted a favourable – if tentatively favourable – review of X-Men: Apocalypse on this site. As a steadfast fan of (most) of the X-Men films, I found time in my overseas holiday to fit in a (Croatian-subtitled) screening of the film and, regrettably, I can’t concur with his positive…

Dirty Grandpa (2016)

There’s a world in which Dirty Grandpa is a great, if lowbrow, comedy. Robert De Niro is perfectly suited to the eponymous role of smutty senior; he’s always been convincing at improvisational comedy (look at Mean Streets, or even Goodfellas) plus you buy him as someone who can still pull off one-armed push ups. Oh,…

Black Mass Makes the Gangster Film Boring

It’s pretty hard to go about making a film about Whitey Bulger, because how do you make it not like every other sub-Scorsese, heated-up-bullshit gangster movie? All the basic elements of the Whitey Bulger story – corrupt feds, brother on the other side of the law, paranoiac crime lord – are well-worn clichés in the…

Critical Dissent: Debating Inherent Vice with Yen Nguyen

It’s fair to say that Inherent Vice, the latest from American auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, is a divisive film. This adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel is a digressive, intoxicated journey through 1970s California as perpetually-stoned PI Larry Sportello – everyone just calls him “Doc” – (Joaquin Phoenix) stumbles into a world of neo-Nazis, property…

Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice is one of those rare examples of cinema where the experience of the audience is entirely aligned with the experience of the film’s protagonist. This achievement should celebrated when found in great horror films, that terrify and alienate you along with their characters, or classics like Goodfellas, which follows sharp-edged cocaine dynamism with…

Jersey Boys (2014)

Jersey Boys is based on the hugely successful Broadway musical telling the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, but it isn’t exactly a musical – if we disregard the weirdly incongruous musical number that plays over the credits, anyway. Musical biopic would be a better description, as we follow the career of Frankie…