Kevin Coaker's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Tangerine
Tangerine(2015)

Movie night with Iris.

Yes Tangerine was shot on an iPhone, but i marveled more at the visuals, soundtrack, humour and pathos.

The film is shot in an LA sunset glow. It is frequently very funny but in the City of Angels its protagonists are all lost souls. It's freewheeling, improvisatory style stumbles to the donut shop finale. This is spectacular, along the lines of a John Osborne stage climax.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
½

Movie night with Gertie.

Accomplished directorial debut from Ejiofor. It works on many levels - a coming-of-age tale, an eco-fable; and ingenuity to overturn a disaster.

The storyline is predictable, but it's a deeper tale of the relationships between the family members. It is grim stuff at times, even though we all know how the film will end. This is good stuff.

Crazy Rich Asians

Movie night with Iris.

Culturally important breakthrough and a box office hit. Kitsch with a capital K. But funny and sentimental enough to get away with its excesses and often toe-curling moments.

The film is muddle of satire and admiration of the super-rich. However, somehow the film's energy saves it.

Widows
Widows(2018)

Movie night with Iris.

You don't expect McQueen to be remaking ITV Lydia La Plante fare. And do you know what, he shouldn't have. It's an un-involving mess. Trying to be true to the source, trying to have a feminist reboot, and trying to be The Wire.

Some see this as a rip-roaring heist. I was bored. The plot is clunky, the script clunkier; but them critics are blinded by McQueen.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Movie night with Gertie.

Spider-Man gets an injection in the veins, with this animated outing. Brimming full of visual flair, humour, music and style. So good it even has the best Nic Cage outing for ten years.

Granted, the balance isn't always perfect. Man it's a busy film where each emotion, wonder or depth can be gone in a flash, but it's a thrill to immerse yourself in this world.

The Old Man & the Gun

Movie night with Iris.

Robert Redford's movie is lovely if overly sentimental stuff. It has a leisurely pace to match the leisurely fashion of the robbers. This isn't really a heist movie, more an existential tale about a man who can't accept the passing of time.

Redford gives a poignant performance. And Casey Affleck co-stars in a low-key, sometimes comic role. It looks and feels old-fashioned, and that's no bad thing.

Skate Kitchen

Movie night with Iris.

Skate Kitchen is a joy. A well-observed rites of passage story, and refreshingly a female one.

At the beginning the dreamy, sunlight shots had me a little anxious. Was it going to be another fetish skateboard film. Fortunately, not as it becomes a more deeper, engrossing tale. Skate Kitchen is about friendship, puberty, first love and jealousy. An urban tale but with beauty and joy. Top film.

Peterloo
Peterloo(2019)

Movie night with Iris.

Leigh's film is a long haul, and then doesn't really deliver the pay-off. I had no immediacy or sense of anger at the finale.

As a bookend the Waterloo beginning is really useful. But then at the end, you're not told how many died, how it influenced the formation of the Guardian etc.

Juliet, Naked

Movie night with Iris.

Juliet, Naked is a charming film with some good bits about middle-age disappointment. Despite the subject-matter, the mood is light and whimsical throughout. More charm than chuckles though.

Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don't Know Me by Now
½

Movie night with Iris.

I'm a big Sound of Philadelphia fan, and Pendergrass is the real don of that clan. I learnt a lot from this documentary, but the darker side felt glossed over.

Yes coming back from suicidal thoughts to perform at Live Aid is Hollywood fare. However, there's a really interesting story about getting tangled up in organised crime, where the film fears to tread.

Free Solo
Free Solo(2018)
½

Movie night with Iris.

I'm not the best with heights. I spent most of this film with sweaty palms. This is a visually staggering documentary about the climber Alex Honnold, who specialises in ‚free solo‚? climbs. This charts Honnold‚(TM)s attempt in 2017 at El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

We see his unique relationship with his girlfriend. But the interesting story is around the camera team. What do they do if he falls? Honnold himself is an enigma: withdrawn and geeky. But obviously determined to find his next free solo challenge.

Fighting with My Family
½

Movie morning with Gertie.

This really isn't about wrestling. It's funny, edgy, but a great insight into family life and broken dreams. British irony is combined with an emotional rollercoaster. It has 2 outstanding performances from Florence Pugh as Saraya, and even more so Jack Lowden as the brother Zak. Even Vince Vaughn puts in his best shift for many years.

This is more gripping and grim than its subject matter might suggest. Best ever story about a wrestling family from Norwich.

Monsters and Men
½

Movie night with Iris.

Monsters And Men tackles racism and police brutality, but not as the trailer would have you believe. It's a reflective drama in which three different protagonists' lives overlap. It is well acted and a subtle, sensitive film.

Plot wise, this is standard fare. But it doesn't lessen the impact of the story. With all three, you get continual close-up's of their anguish and torment. Some may feel the film should be angrier. This isn't Spike Lee, and we have a purposely low-key ending. It's an angry, shouty world, but insightful and delicate can be just as powerful.

A Star Is Born
½

Movie night with Iris.

I know i'm not the target audience, but i really liked La La Land. So I was willing to give this a fair crack. I was mostly entertained, but massively underwhelmed.

The first 20-30 minutes are snappy, but once it left the drag bar it started to drag. An excruciating Grammy's-scene aside, it is mostly sentimental and cliche-ridden.

I was also expecting this marvelous Lady Gaga performance, but she just seemed Lady Gaga to me. And I know the reasons for Cooper's gruff voice, but it was incomprehensible and annoying.

The Sopranos-lite father (and his friends) provide some amusing distraction. But it was very much colour by numbers. Sure that means Oscars will abound later tonight....

The Kid Who Would Be King

Cinema afternoon with Iris/Gertie.

Long overdue and disappointing follow-up to Attack The Block. Once again this is very English, but seemed very dated.

It's fun, but instantly forgettable. And boy does it overdo the Brexit analogies.

Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs(2018)
½

Movie night with Iris.

Atypical Anderson's work - stylised, offbeat and ironic humour. The Japanese stop-motion is also gorgeous to look at.

This is no shaggy dog story, with lots of nods to the Donald Trump and his wall. Nonetheless, the film retains its charm. Made me want a dog to boot.

Sisters
Sisters(2015)
½

Movie night with Iris.

Always made sense to pair up Poehler and Fey. This takes a while to get into it's stride, is amusing enough in the middle; and then like all parties drags on too long.

Cold War (Zimna wojna)

Movie night with Iris.

This is glorious stuff that like 'Ida' rekindles the glory days of 60's New Wave cinema.

Supposedly inspired by Pawlikowski's own parents, this is shot in gorgeous black and white. Mesmerising is the wonderful fiery, impulsive performance from Kulig. Her relationships are combustible in the extreme. Real can't live without each other, can't live with each other stuff.

Without being explicit or epic, the film leaps around the post-war Iron curtain. As the years pass, the two lads continue to crash into one another. The film never loses its intimate, playful and humorous tone. In under 90 minutes we're taken right through the main staging posts in the two lovers' lives. Separation, betrayal, alcoholism, ageing and even imprisonment.

Nancy
Nancy(2018)

Movie night with Iris.

Interesting debut with strong performances and a compelling tale.

This could have gone down a darker, criminal route but wisely doesn't. It stays downbeat, and oddly touching.

Private Life
Private Life(2018)

Movie night with Iris.

Sometimes funny comedy on the quest for successful fertilisation. The strong cast make what could have been unlikable characters likable.

The Last Song
½

Movie night with Gertie.

Sure the source novel is stronger. Colour by numbers effort to cash in on Miley Cyrus' TV fame. But hey it makes my daughters cry every time, so it must be doing something right.

Leave No Trace

This could have been pretentious, but is a subtle, affecting tale. Debra Granik repeats her impressive Winter's Bone.

We are not sure why they are hiding (hints of PTSD), but the father/daughter appear content enough in their own private Eden in the Oregon woods.

The performances are sensational. Foster is a fiercely committed, frighteningly intense actor. And as Granik discovered Jennifer Lawrence in Winter‚(TM)s Bone, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie dominates displaying intelligence, steeliness and maturity.

A real touching gem from 2018.

BlacKkKlansman
½

Movie night with Iris.

This is the funny, sometimes chilling true story of Ron Stallworth's infiltration of the KKK.

It sometimes doesn't work as Spike Lee mixes a sometimes amusing tale with more preachy, self-reflexive moments. The veiled references to Donald Trump are pretty clunky to. However the incompetence of the Klan members is there for all to see. The sub-plot of the racist cop seemed a more interesting, and threatening story-line to me.

Its most despairing moments come with its final reel - newsreel footage of white supremacists in Charlottesville last summer and Trump trying to excuse their murderous excesses.

Roma
Roma(2018)
½

Movie night with Iris.

Plucky underdog Netflix may have made my film of the year.

Some may find this pretentious. I found it truly affecting, upsetting, glorious, and beautiful. The shooting party, forest fire, shopping trip and beach scenes stand up to anything in the last 20-years.

Cleo's dignity shines throughout. And i loved this from beginning to end.

A Quiet Place

Movie night with Iris.

"Stay silent, stay alive," is the survival technique in Krasinski's original, ingenious horror film. This relies on editing, sound effects and off-screen action to crank up the tension; and is all the better for that. And a la Jaws the screeching, rumbling score is dominant in heightening the sense of dread.

The silence and use of sign language means you have to put your phone down and concentrate. Refreshing, and how it draws you in. There is a fantastic scene where they hold hands and and say grace.

And for once Hitchcock companions are relevant. Krasinski really knows how to put his audience on edge. The danger doesn't come just from the creatures. With a protruding nail on the staircase, very much coming home to roost.

The Abbotts have the same problems as any other family. The kids are fantastic, and sibling rivalry never better captured. And a true-life husband and wife that seem like a true couple. We care about this family, which means we are both on the edge of our seats and absorbed in this drama.

Bros: After the Screaming Stops

Movie night with Iris.

An unintentionally hilarious documentary on the band reunion. The 80s story is mildly interesting, but the David Brent analogies and psycho-babble are hilarious.

A Night to Remember
½

Movie afternoon with Iris.

B&W gem for a Christmas afternoon. All stiff upper lips, but my god how Cameron's Titanic rips it off shamelessly.

Mary Poppins Returns
½

Movie afternoon with Iris/Gertie.

I love the original - it's a film about fatherhood that resonated with me massively. So this was a massive disappointment.
1) No memorable songs.
2) It goes full on musical for 30-minutes.
3) The plot makes no sense.
4) George Banks was saved in the original. His offspring have inherited that. They're trying to save the house, so Mary Poppins is essentially just being a nanny.
5) Angela Lansbury was obviously supposed to be Julie Andrews. So it didn't work.
6) There's something very cold about the whole film. It's no Paddington.

Some nice touches and Dick Van Dyke is the best thing in the whole movie.

They Shall Not Grow Old

Movie night with Iris.

Fitting tribute to the centenary of the Armistice. Everyone says this, but you do gasp when the screen turns to colour. These men come to life. Even 100-years ago, people still gurn and say 'hello Mum'. But they are there rotten teeth and all. Toilet travails and brothel education stood out for me. Minor quibbles but the cartoon depiction of hand-to-hand combat seemed slightly at odds with the rest of the film. And it's not cinematic, it still very much feels like what it was - an Imperial War Museum commission.

Will hopefully educate people for generations to come.

Attack the Block
½

Movie night with Iris.

On release i remember feeling uneasy about this. So in a culture with greater knife crime concerns, i was surprised that i enjoyed this a lot more on 2nd viewing. It just fizzles with energy and fun. And Boyega and Whittaker stand out on first outing. What happened to both of them?

Creed II
Creed II(2018)

Movie afternoon with Iris.

I can not be objective about a Rocky film, i simply love them. This feels more like Rocky 4.5 than Creed II. It drags a little, but i wept and cheered.

The Bishop's Wife
½

Take 'It's A Wonderful Life' and sprinkle in a bit of Rom Com, and you essentially get this. But hey it's Christmas, and the skating scene is hilarious.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
½

Movie night with Iris.

This is rip-roaring fun, and an unashamed gem. The Mission: Impossible films don't have any hang-up's about cannon. It's spectacular action pieces, that seem rooted in realism. I remember nowt about the previous five, and it just doesn't matter. The plot's wafer thin, but it doesn't matter. You get the gist.

Henry Cavill is a great love-hate bromance, then evil foe. Indeed it's one of those films in which heroes and villains are continually blurred. We are never sure who is trying to kill Ethan, who is trying to help him and who is simply there for the money.

So chill and enjoy the set pieces, there are too many to mention. The stand-off in a car park, brutal fight sequence in the gents, a riveting motorbike chase through the streets of Paris, a rooftop chase from St Paul's Cathedral to the Tate Modern, helicopter battle; and a clifftop climax.

Invigorating viewing, just wish we'd had more of the theme tune.

Robot & Frank
½

A comedy drama about an OAP befriending a robot could have been a disaster. However this near future odd couple works.

It's an old-fashioned meditation on dementia, which is funny and never soppy.

The Blues Brothers

Movie night with Iris.

Loved watching this with my daughter. She was enchanted by it's brash bravado and upbeat soundtrack.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Decent sequel and thriller, but no match for it's predecessor. And it's concerning that no moral judgment is made about the disturbing behaviour of the U.S military.

The plot makes little sense, ISIS are linked to Mexican drug cartels. But i can't recall how/why? Some of the plot twists here are completely absurd. Men return miraculously from the dead after being shot at point blank.

But it is tense and a well-made old-fashioned thriller.

All the President's Men
½

Movie night with Iris.

Companion piece to The Post, but it blows The Post out of the water. Would never get green lighted these days. Two guys, no chemistry; reel off names for 2+ hours. It's gripping and brilliant.

Funny Cow
Funny Cow(2017)

Funny Cow is one of those British gems. Brutal, bleak, tender and comic. Only we can do this.

Set in the 1970's working men's clubs. It's a world of sweat, smoke; racism and sexism. We also have flashbacks to a 1950's childhood of poverty and domestic violence. Funny Calf (love that) is full of energy, mischief and defiance..

Men do not fare well in this film. Either beer-stained and openly violent, or sophisticated, affluent and weak Considine.

My favourite moment are the auditions for a "Search For A Star." Great cameos from John Bishop and Vic Reeves. The film's climax where she swears and tells racist, homophobic jokes is shocking. But it shouldn't be diluted, and the audience is delighted to hear her just as coarse and aggressive as any male comedian of the period.

Not everything works.The storyline is choppy and episodic, leaping randomly back and forth in time. It's disconcerting to see Stephen Graham as nasty father one moment, net curtain-twitching brother the next. Even Funny Cow seems remote at times, but it's great stuff from Peake.

First Man
First Man(2018)
½

Movie afternoon with Iris.

First Man is all about understated heroism. It's affecting precisely because Armstrong (played with quiet intensity by Gosling) doesn't feel the continual need to big himself up. This is no Apollo 13, and the study of grief and ongoing loss very affecting.

Claire Foy gives an exceptional performance as Armstrong's wife, Janet, the one always left behind and trying to hold the family together. Cliche maybe, but she brings the role to life. The backdrop of Vietnam, Civil Rights and the Cold War are also expertly woven in.

The testing phase is exhausting, frustrating and very dangerous. The sound of rattling blots and claustrophobia is terrifying. Music is almost as important to First Man as it was to Chazelle's La La Land. The score is both haunting and majestic.

We all know Armstrong made it to the moon, taking "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". But it still generates buckets of suspense. Chazelle throws in footage of JFK's "we choose to go to the moon" and like that, this is inspiring intelligent film-making.

Dave
Dave(1993)
½

Movie night with Iris. This was made against a backdrop of wanting Clinton to be the new JFK. Which he was in so many ways!

This has a Capra-esque feel, and is saved by the genuine charm of Kline.

Avengers: Infinity War

Infinity War is a wildly ambitious and entertaining ride. For the first 90 minutes it pulls it off. However i was bored in the last 60 minutes.

It's very funny, and many of the characters are on good form. Thanos is an intimidating villain, cunning and cruel. But like so often with Marvel he does come up short. And blink and you'll miss Black Panther, bar the fantastic Wakanda battle,

Everyone floats away at the end, and it will do likewise in my memory.

All the Money in the World

Wow they re-shot a film in 2-weeks after Spacey was a sex pest. Doesn't stop it from being an average film. It's an interesting, bonkers tale, but there's never a dramatic moment. Everything is sign-posted long before.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

It plods along, but never really engages; and you just wish you were watching Alien or Aliens.

Ready Player One
½

Movie night with Iris. Spielberg's Ready Player One nerdfest. It is so full of pop culture references, that it does eventually sag under the weight of its own nostalgia. There are some joys - the 80s pop, Atari games, the Iron Giant; and a fairground ride through The Shining.

So you have 2-3 breathtaking set pieces, but not a lot to join it all together. The satirical stabs don't really land. Indeed Spielberg pulls his punches whenever the storytelling becomes too disturbing.

Love, Simon
Love, Simon(2018)

Love, Simon could be dismissed as frothy stuff. But why has it taken us until 2018 to get a high school love story for a gay teen?

Is it perfect? No, it's slick, very white; and not breaking any boundaries. But it's charming, funny and has a heart.

Thoroughbreds
½

Morbid, stylised black comedy. Echoes of Strangers on a Train, in a dark coming of age drama.

Cooke achieves the feat of making Amanda almost sympathetic. She has an acerbic turn of phrase and dominates the screen.

Thoroughbreds is dark stuff, and veers into silly, self-indulgent territory. Thanks to the perfectly judged performances of its two young female leads and witty script, it is both unsettling and captivating.

The Impossible
½

The Impossible vividly re-creates the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. It's difficult to see the CGI stitches in the stunning disaster. With a special nod for the 10 seconds of wind rush immediately before.

The eldest boy Lucas played by Tom Holland is superb, and Naomi Watts terrific. I much more enjoyed their first half. McGregor and the second half are a lot weaker. The narrowness of focus looks increasingly awkward as the film goes on. The travel insurance advert at the end, extremely bizarre.

Incredibles 2

Movie afternoon with Iris/Gertie.

If you park Toy Story, Pixar's sequels aren't up to much. This may not be groundbreaking but is wonderfully lively and very funny.

Quibbles, it's too long; Jack Jack annoying; and this is not pitched at kids. Better Call Saul nods and the house from North by NorthWest essentially.

We've seen many of the visual gags before, but the charm doesn't fade. The film feels fresh, because the writing/gags are so sharp.

Lean on Pete
Lean on Pete(2018)
½

A film of quiet intensity. Charlie Plummer stands out as the sensitive young hero, and Buscemi is on good form.

At times the improbabilities stack up, and sentimentality takes over. But from the school of Kes, this is a powerful and poignant film.

The Shape of Water

Del Toro's Beauty and the Beast-style romance, captivates from the outset. The Americana is stunning, and never been done better, or glossier.

Hawkins (as always) is utterly captivating here. And Shannon on fine, creepy form. The Cold War thriller and Disney fairy tale don't quite gel for me. And i think the film flounders a little bit after consummation.

Eden
Eden(2015)

Let me start with the positives: some good 90's tunes and an accurate description of club nightlife. Not too many films have achieved that.

It definitely meanders and is far too long, but i wasn't bored. However,it is essentially the tale of a DJ who never hits the true heights, and neglects friends, lovers and family. And then it ends.

The Post
The Post(2018)

Movie night with Iris.

Lovely old fashioned-film, about an old-fashioned medium. It's a gripping tale, with obvious modern allegory's. Who can't resist a Hold the Front page tale. Hanks and Streep (and Spielberg) all excellent. The feminist shot on the Supreme Court steps had me weeping.

Makes you want to watch All The President's Men straight away afterwards (and buy a newspaper).

Phantom Thread

Beautiful film, that captivated me in the first hour. However just as Woodcock tires of his muse, i tired of this in the second half.

Lesley Manville is great (she always is), but for me the revelation is Vicky Krieps. Yet she received no Oscar nomination?

Beautiful Jonny Greenwood score though.

Downsizing
Downsizing(2017)

So this is a real oddball. Set-up works, and you can see where it's targets are. But like many black comedies it doesn't quite hit the mark, and goes seriously off the rails in the 2nd half.

Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager
½

World Cup tie-in. A little too obsessed with the Barcelona chapter, and Newcastle come across as buffoons.

But you've got all the Mexico 86 and Italia 90 nostalgia that you've come for. And with Gascoigne's decline and Robson's cancer, you get a tearful finale.

A Ghost Story
½

This is no horror film, and it's not quite the Truly Madly Deeply or Ghost as some credit.

This is a soothing, reflective examination of loss. The black comedy scenes with next door's ghost don't quite work. For me the film, gradually works its spell. It's a quiet meditation on life, love, bereavement and the difficulty of letting go.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Movie night with Iris.

The In Bruges pedigree, means i was always attracted to this. There are some fantastic performances, and it's very funny for long periods. It perhaps has a few wrong turns that requires a lot of commitment. But i was willing to overlook those, and it rewards.

And i like the nods to Psycho, the highway killed that road, a man with a domineering mother complex.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
½

Movie afternoon with Gertie.

Never seen the 90's original, but i love The Rock. Don't judge me! This is great fun, doesn't take itself too seriously; and delivers in buckets.

Wonder
Wonder(2017)

Movie night with Iris.

Every now and again you pick a weepie to keep the wife &/or daughter(s) happy. Everyone is dialing it in here, and it's manipulative as hell. However there's enough charm to keep you watching. But Eric Stoltz in Mask is a lot better.

Deadpool
Deadpool(2016)
½

The first 30-minutes is free-wheeling, funny and very violent. The last hour drags, as it tries to flesh out a plot; has another terrible Marvel baddie and the usual boring 30-minute punch-up.

Dazed and Confused

Movie night with Iris.

Still stands up 25-years later, god 25-years. My teen daughter loved it, so it still speaks to a young generation.

I, Tonya
I, Tonya(2018)
½

This is a fun film. Don't be looking for the historical recreation, this is a sometime hysterical interpretation.

It has great fun avoiding sport film cliche's, and has something interesting to say about US snobbery. No redneck was going to win an Olympic gold.

Brad's Status

Poor Ben Stiller, he's not as rich as his friends. Boohoo he's not sleeping with 20somethings. Yawn-inducing middle class, middle-aged angst. Terrible.

Blade Runner 2049

I was never a fan of the original, i've tried all the later 'cuts' but it still leaves me cold. So surprisingly this wowed me. This is awe-inspiring film, beautiful; and so enigmatic.

On a technical level, it gets Zimmer fresh from his Dunkirk star turn to produce a stunning, intimidating score. And Roger Deakins' cinematography is stunning, but it just always is. I love the nods to the original - the Pan Am and Atari street neon in particular. Like the director's recent Arrival, this appeals to our intellect as well as to our sense of adventure. The film deals with love, memory, reality and identity in a probing and thought-provoking way.

Not everything works. Some of the sci-fi movie seems very clunky and dated, perhaps because so much has imitated it over the years? Harrison Ford's returning Deckard, is a bit too returning Solo. But Gosling gives another soulful and intelligent performance - he's a consistent gem for me.

Call Me by Your Name
½

Coming of age film set over a long, lazy Italian summer. It will certainly influence your holiday plans. It builds the 1980s feel and romantic desire neatly. Tiny throwaway incidents (touches, glances) assume great importance. Chalamet is as good as he was in Ladybird.

The Sunday supplement travel-brochure approach does start to grate though. Where are the consequences? Is the skin legion a portent of AIDS? The director is happy to show heterosexual oral sex, but pans away during gay lovemaking?

As always with this genre, we are always aware that time is passing, that summer will soon end. That the characters will have to move on. This has beautiful moments, but perhaps is a little style over substance.

The Death of Stalin

The film is funny and shocking, but the use of English/American accents made it seem an oddity.

It begins with the wonderfully comic, surrealistic Radio Moscow set piece, with a fantastic turn from Considine. The film capture the comedy as well as the paranoia that comes with everyday life under Stalin. The standout's are Isaacs' Yorkshire Field Marshall, and Russell Beale's creepy, comic turn.

The jokes, though, begin to seem increasingly incongruous as we realise how many people have actually died and are continuing to die. The rape jokes in particular were inexcusable. It may be historically accurate, but maybe Stalin's terror and its aftermath isn't such a good subject for comedy after all.

Battle of the Sexes
½

There's not enough for a film, so they mash everything they read on Wikipedia about Billie Jean King. Bobby Riggs match, the battle for pay equality; and discovery of her lesbian feelings.

All are ok, but it's the gay story-line that is done the best. Shot beautifully and an interesting love triangle develops, where you have a real empathy for the husband.

The Florida Project

One of the best films about childhood, this is more Ken Loach than Walt.

The film is remarkably upbeat in spite of its character's economic frailties. The performances are remarkable. Child actors can irk, but Brooklyn Prince's Moonee is tough, self-reliant but with a charm about her too that captivates. Similarly Bria Vinaite looks one to watch.

If you liked Kes, Rat-catcher or The Selfish Giant give this a go.

78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene
½

Watched this on train journey back from Scotland.

It whiled away 90-minutes, but doesn't add a great deal. Made me want to watch Psycho, and frustratingly i was on a train!

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
½

Movie night with Gertie.

This is good fun, but not quite on a par with the first outing. Even my 9-year old daughter although entertained, said she preferred the original.

My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette)

Movie night with Gertie.

Oscar-nominated stop-motion animation, as poignant and well observed a film about the darker side of childhood as you could ever hope to see. Touching on bereavement and bullying, but does so in a way that is humorous and ultimately life-affirming.

Courgette has big, marvellously expressive eyes. You quickly forget that you're watching puppets. There are plenty of laughs, especially the ill-informed sex education. And it has Ron Swanson for god' sake.

This is a film that should appeal both to adults and to older children. This is a sensitive and very nuanced account of orphan children. One word lovely.

Dark Night
Dark Night(2017)

How apt i thought, with the inspiring #MarchForOurLives occurring in Washington, to watch this.

The director adopted the right approach in not sensationalising the cinema atrocity. It's just after 5-minutes you get it that the characters collectively mesh into a portrait of a dislocated society. You then have to sit through 80-minutes of skateboarding, selfies and PS4 violent games.

Gus Van Sant's superb Elephant this is not.

Sherlock Holmes

Movie night with Gertie.

This is rollicking good fun. My daughter enthralled and laughing throughout.

Thor: Ragnarok
½

Movie night with Iris.

The law of diminishing returns continues. It's fun and amusing. Indeed they're obsessed with making it the next GOTG film. But like most Marvel it lacks a decent baddie and clutters up the screen.

Daphne
Daphne(2017)
½

Captivating portrait of someone falling down the cracks in the big city. An isolated soul who's bumbled into her 30's, and has a life characterised by one-night stands and drug-taking.

Emily Beecham is excellent, and should be on everyone's 'one to watch' lists.

6 Days
6 Days(2017)
½

Movie night with Iris.

One of the earliest news memories i have. This has no tension and everyone is dialing it in. Kate Adie is a little too glamorous, but Billy Elliot saves the day.

Lady Bird
Lady Bird(2017)
½

As an actor i've never quite bought into the Gerwig hype. But this is a fantastic directorial debut. Teen America, coming-of-age has been done to death. But this is fresh, hilarious; brutally honest and deeply moving.

Family life is perfectly depicted, as Lady Bird's mother tries to hold it all together. It is a true love/hate Mother, daughter relationship. Special mention for Julie, who deserves her own spin-off movie.

This will be in the running for my film of 2018....

Wind River
Wind River(2017)

Movie night with Iris.

This is an old-fashioned film, that was commonplace in the 70s. It is atmospheric, and a chilling murder mystery. A little like the snow, this film engulfs you.

I have some minor quibbles around the conclusion, but like it's Sicario predecessor, this is an intelligent and compelling film.

God's Own Country
½

Gritty, tender and extremely romantic Yorkshire fare. Touching farming scenes, and stunning scenery. However, there's a real depth in its exploration of loneliness, neglected working class; and lack of social care. Strong debut.

Borg Vs. McEnroe
½

Looks spot-on and shoehorns in all the legends. The psychological reevaluation doesn't add up too much. And the epic final itself doesn't create any tension or excitement.

Detroit
Detroit(2017)

Movie night with Iris.

Some amazing performances, and a masterpiece of claustrophobic terror. Social history and docu-drama dominates the first hour. Then Poulter takes over in a truly horrifying standoff at the Algiers Motel. Pouter deserves all the plaudits, but Boyega in a silent role is no less powerful.

Personal Shopper

Flawed but interesting.Without a doubt a career-best performance from Stewart, and an excellent exploration of grief. The text message scenes are gripping, and on a par with any thriller. And there's a truly stunning scene where she tries on a forbidden dress.

Where it falls down is that it can't quite decide whether it's a thriller or a chiller.

Darkest Hour
Darkest Hour(2017)

Cinema night with Iris.

It's an amazing story, and the stirring moments stirs. However, it's too desperate to crowd please. Cox's Churchill last year was a more interesting portrayal. The script reads like GCSE revision notes, and the underground scene is truly awful.

I left with a burning desire to watch Dunkirk again.

Early Man
Early Man(2018)
½

Movie afternoon with Gertie.

An Escape to Victory/MOTD mash-up was always going to win me over. Nick Park captures British life like nobody else. There's visual gags aplenty, and the best of British acting voices. Comedy bronze, and Gareth Southgate should show the cave scene before Russia '18.

War for the Planet of the Apes
½

I love the Heston original, and was fond of the first in the trilogy. Dawn left me cold, a boring and very nasty film. So War was a pleasant surprise.

It's still extremely bleak, but an engrossing adventure. A mature, confident multiplex film. The nods are everywhere, some less than subtle. Apocalypse Now, River Kwai; Great Escape; and Cecil B. DeMille.

Get Out
Get Out(2017)

Movie night with Iris.

This led to a heated family debate, so it certainly made an impact. The first hour or so has spot-on satire, and a building dramatic tension. It's also extremely funny. The final third horror section is less impactful.

It has a Marmite ending. I'd recommend you check out the alternative ending online. I prefer it, and would have made it a 5* film.

Logan Lucky
Logan Lucky(2017)
½

Movie night with Iris.

Fun, flippant film where everyone is enjoying themselves. It's snappy and deadpan, and not desperate to be serious. Twenty minutes too long, but good fun.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power
½

Movie night with Iris.

You can argue about the merits of renewable energy. But this underlines there's some serious shit going down, and we need to do something. The Paris conference and ISIS attacks make for a gripping conclusion. But the Trump Tower visit goes nowhere (literally and cinematically).

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
½

Cinema night with Iris/Gertie. ## SPOILERS ##

So i need to see this again. There were bits of this that really didn't work. Luke living on Fraggle Rock? Dern and Del Toro? It's too long, muddled and certainly not epic.

But the salt mines, the Rey/Ben DM scenes and the New Hope reboot all worked for me. Unlike the geeks I have no problem with the refresh button being pressed. Snoke's death genuinely blew my mind, and Luke's was handled well.

Needs a 2nd viewing....

Spider-Man: Homecoming
½

Movie night with Iris.

This doesn't retread old ground, and is fun. However my problem with Spider-Man is always the baddies. The lack any charisma. Keaton is essentially running an amazon warehouse.

The Beguiled
The Beguiled(2017)

I'm a big fan of the Eastwood original, and this doesn't match it. It ties itself up in knots to show it's moved on from the sexual politics of the early 70s. It ends up being neither sexual or eerie.

Biggie and Tupac
½

Broomfield can be hit and miss, with mostly misses. This is entertaining, but essentially after 10 minutes it reaches the conclusion. Yet we still have 1h20m to go. Ok to iron to.

Certain Women

This is typical indie fare. Sepia-toned and not a lot happens. Three loosely interwoven tales, with four fabulous acting performances. The third tale is the strongest. Beautiful and haunting in equal measure.

A Bronx Tale
A Bronx Tale(1993)

Movie night with Iris.

You can argue this is a Tesco Value version of Goodfellas. De Niro's direction is poor, but Palmiteri's script sizzles. It has a real charm, and the semi-autobiographical moral resonates.

Baby Driver
Baby Driver(2017)

Movie night with Iris.

Car Car land. Take True Romance, Blues Brothers; Bullitt; French Connection and The Driver and turn it up to eleven. This truly sparkles from beginning-to-end.

This is not a car movie, this is a musical. And a musical i liked. The coffees Harlem Shuffle scene is truly stunning. Riddled with cold, this put a big smile on my face.

I, Daniel Blake

Movie night with Iris.

Although a long-time fan of Loach, i came to this convinced it would be a party political broadcast and little more. I was wrong. This was up there with Loach's angry best.

The relationship between Daniel and Katie (and her offspring) is genuinely touching. The letterbox scene had me in tears. But there is an unbelievable sequence at the food bank, which ranks as one of the greatest in British film history. I will give no spoilers, but you see human life at it's hungry, desperate lowest ebb. A shattering scene.