Movies in Focus
Movies in Focus is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Niall Browne
On the surface, Natalie Erika James' Relic is a horror film - and for all intents and purposes it is. But there's much more to unpack in this richly layered piece of genre cinema.
Posted Jul 5, 2020
Force of Nature (2020)
This throwback action film top-lined by Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth and Mel Gibson, keeps things simple and entertains across its tight ninety minute running time. It might not be high art - but it's damn good fun.
Posted Jun 29, 2020
After Midnight is another wonderful example of a small movie achieving great things. This quirky romantic comedy/horror from directors Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella delivers on almost every level.
Posted Jun 22, 2020
The Luring (2020)
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It might be, but if you're attempting to imitate something great and you don't have the chops to match it, then you come across as a very poor imitation indeed.
Posted Jun 19, 2020
Writer-director Christian Sparkes' Hammer is anchored by a wonderfully rich performance by the great Will Patton, a long-standing supporting actor who is given the opportunity to shine in a lead role.
Posted Jun 14, 2020
7500 gets off to an engaging start, but sadly Vollrath's thriller begins to outstay its welcome as it approaches the half-way point.
Posted Jun 12, 2020
The Dinner Party (2020)
Director Miles Doleac's deliciously gory The Dinner Party gets a few things right, but ultimately this horror/thriller fails to serve-up the requisite amount of tension to deliver the goods.
Posted Jun 11, 2020
A Rainy Day in New York (2019)
A Rainy Day In New York is Woody Allen's 48th film as writer-director and while it's far from his best work, it does have a certain amount of zing to it. Not bad for a director who is now in his 84th year!
Posted May 30, 2020
Long Lost (2019)
A nifty little three hander, Bloomquist's low budget film will take its audience on a cinematic mystery tour, but he's made sure the SAT Nav is turned-off so they won't know where they're going.
Posted May 29, 2020
Grizzly II. Revenge (2020)
Grizzly II: Revenge gets off to an attention grabbing start when George Clooney, Laura Dern and Charlie Sheen get eaten by a 15 foot grizzly bear in the opening moments of the film.
Posted May 29, 2020
Listen Up Philip (2014)
Listen Up Philip is a quirky movie that will satisfy those of a certain disposition. You'll never find it fascinating or frustrating but you can't deny that this is a breath of fresh air in that time of year when CGI is exploding across multiplexes.
Posted May 7, 2020
The Shadow of Violence (2019)
Calm With Horses is a hugely impressive directorial debut from Nick Rowland. Adapted by Joesph Murtaugh from a short story by Colin Barrett, this Irish crime drama packs a serious punch which vigorously pulls the viewer into its world.
Posted Apr 27, 2020
Chilean director Pablo Larrain follows-up 2016's Natalie Portman starrer Jackie with Ema, another powerful drama about a woman over-coming loss and persevering after discovering her inner strength.
Posted Apr 23, 2020
Corona Zombies (2020)
The ridiculously prolific low-budget schlockmeister Charles Band and his Full Moon Features shingle has managed to produce and release a whole movie since the Coronavirus/COVID-19 shutdown.
Posted Apr 21, 2020
The Warrant (2020)
Neal McDonough's performance is at the every centre of The Warrant and he's the main reason the film works. The man has movie star charisma and he's great at selling the film's humour and the more dramatic moments.
Posted Apr 8, 2020
This low budget actioner is energetic and it features some great physical action from its leading lady, but sadly it fails to deliver the type of thrills that you would expect from a film which also stars Dolph Lundgren.
Posted Apr 5, 2020
Director Keola Racela and writers Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli have managed to achieve the near impossible with the laugh-out-loud funny Porno. It's an absolute blast of a film, loaded with some great humour and eye-watering special effects.
Posted Apr 5, 2020
Since Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez unleashed their double-bill feature of Death Proof and Planet Terror 2007, many directors have tried and (mostly) failed to capture the gritty glory days of the 1970s drive-in experience.
Posted Feb 15, 2020
Nicolas Un-Caged - that's what you could call this man versus nature actioner. Nicolas Cage returns to his action roots with Primal, a high octane action film which takes subtlety and tosses it overboard.
Posted Jan 2, 2020
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is a Star Wars film which should give fans everything they could hope for and more.
Posted Dec 21, 2019
Daniel Isn't Real (2019)
Director Adam Egypt Mortimer's Daniel Isn't Real (based on the novel by Brian DeLeeuw) is an exceptional psychological horror/fantasy which is rich in character and strong on visual imagery.
Posted Dec 8, 2019
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Deleting all previous entries save the first two films, Terminator: Dark Fate resets the narrative and brings back Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. What we have with this Tim Miller directed pic is the best film since Terminator 2.
Posted Oct 27, 2019
After talking some serious talk, it was up for debate if The Hangover director Todd Phillips could pull-off the challenge of making Joker.
Posted Oct 10, 2019
High Noon (1952)
With one of the greatest opening sequences in film history, High Noon kicks-off in an outstanding fashion and this 1952 film just gets better and better as it builds towards its climax.
Posted Oct 5, 2019
Double Date (2017)
Director Benjamin Barefoot's Double Date, a hugely satisfying comedic thrill-ride. Danny Morgan and Michael Socha share great chemistry as two friends eager to get laid - but they get more than they bargained for from two murderous sisters.
Posted Oct 5, 2019
Running with the Devil (2019)
Jason Cabell's Running With The Devil might not be perfect, but at least it attempts to do something new with the oft-told tale of drugs moving across the Mexico/US border.
Posted Sep 30, 2019
Satanic Panic (2019)
Director Chelsea Stardust's Satanic Panic is a film which knows exactly what it wants to be. There's no pretence or aspiration - Satanic Panic wants to be a fun horror-comedy which doesn't skimp on gore or laughs.
Posted Sep 22, 2019
Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019)
Ridley Scott's Alien was a bleak, lived-in look at the genre, a film which took a real world aesthetic and crafted a film which combines sci-fi, horror and family drama to deliver something which everyone can relate to on a primal level.
Posted Sep 17, 2019
When it was first released back in 2003 Park Chan-wook's Oldboy hit audiences like a hammer. Forget Spike Lee's 2013 US remake with Josh Brolin, this South Korean film is the only version of Oldboy that needs to be seen.
Posted Aug 3, 2019
Any Brian De Palma is better than no Brian De Palma. That's the way to look at any film from one of cinema's greatest thriller directors.
Posted Jul 30, 2019
Nick Broomfield's Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is an epic poem dedicated to Marianne Ihlen and the great Leonard Cohen.
Posted Jul 24, 2019
Don't Look Now (1973)
Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now is a stunningly crafted horror/thriller from 1973. It's a classic, a wonderfully realised piece of cinema which delivers on a dramatic and an emotional level. This is how you make a horror movie.
Posted Jul 21, 2019
Destination Wedding (2018)
A sort of anti-romantic comedy, Destination Wedding is a snide, well written independent comedy with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as Frank and Lindsay, two strangers who meet on their way to a wedding in California's wine region.
Posted Jun 24, 2019
Escape Plan: The Extractors (2019)
The poor quality of Escape Plan 2 meant that I went into Escape Plan 3: The Extractors with serious trepidation, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun this turned out to be. It's worth a watch.
Posted Jun 23, 2019
Ghost Light (2019)
A quirky supernatural comedy, John Stimpson's Ghost Light pokes a lot of fun at the world of theatre and all its ticks and eccentricities.
Posted Jun 18, 2019
Echo In the Canyon (2019)
A wonderfully textured look at a very special time in music history, Andrew Slater's Echo In The Canyon is an exceptional journey into the music scene in and around LA's Laurel Canyon in the the mid-to-late 1960s.
Posted May 25, 2019
Featuring interviews with Springsteen, Van Zandt and Southside Johnny - the holy trinity of the New Jersey sound, Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock 'n' Roll delivers the heart, soul and tales that you would hope for in such a documentary.
Posted May 4, 2019
The title of The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot might imply a far-fetched pulpy B-movie and while it has some elements of what you might expect, it's actually a rather grounded character piece about life, love and loss.
Posted Apr 15, 2019
30 Miles from Nowhere (2018)
When you see enough movies you get into the rhythm of certain genres and it's often easy to guess what's going to happen next. I can honestly say that director Caitlin Koller's 30 Miles From Nowhere was a total surprise
Posted Feb 24, 2019
It would have been very easy to say that Chris Sun's Aussie horror film Boar was...something of a bore. I won't go for such a simple pun-fuelled insult, but I will say that Sun has made a right pig's ear out of this outback creature feature.
Posted Feb 23, 2019
Crucible of the Vampire (2017)
Iain Ross-McNamee tries to take British horror back to the late 1960s and early 1970s with Crucible of The Vampire, a solid low budget fright pic that has enough atmosphere, quirky performances and mystery to keep you hooked.
Posted Feb 2, 2019
Alfonso Cuarón's Roma is a soulful cinematic prayer. It's an open letter which embraces and reverences childhood, class struggles and politics.
Posted Jan 28, 2019
Writer-director Henry Dunham makes a gutsy directorial debut with The Standoff At Sparrow Creek. The thriller is a confined and claustrophobic character piece that unfolds at its own pace, drawing its audience into its slow-release plot.
Posted Jan 24, 2019
Speed Kills (2018)
Following on from the recent Gotti, John Travolta once again toplines a film which is undeserving of his talents with Speed Kills.
Posted Jan 24, 2019
King of Thieves (2019)
Who wouldn't be excited by the prospect of Michael Caine, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Paul Whitehouse, Ray Winstone and Charlie Cox starring in the screen version of the UK's largest ever burglary?
Posted Jan 24, 2019
M.Night Shyamalan's films are often incredibly divisive and it's likely that Glass will be his most divisive yet. The converging of Unbreakable and Split sees Shyamalan working to all his strengths as a filmmaker - and his weaknesses.
Posted Jan 19, 2019
A frustratingly terrible paranoia thriller, Distorted manages to waste a potentially intriguing premise and the star power of Christina Ricci and John Cusack.
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Social Animals (2018)
The power of social media is fascinating. Users are able to connect with people from all over the world, using various platforms to market products and even themselves.
Posted Jan 15, 2019
The Rainbow Experiment (2018)
A multi-layered drama, Christina Kallas' The Rainbow Experiment weaves a lot through its many characters and plot-lines.
Posted Jan 3, 2019
Newly Single (2018)