Can a song incite a revolution? That's the inherent question floating behind Lee Daniels' messy, bloated biopic, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, that seeks to capture the troubled life of a music legend but gets lost amongst Daniels' penchant for extravagance and melodrama. The powerful story is there, especially for those unfamiliar with Holiday's battles with drugs, men, and the FBI. But Daniels' frustrating direction, chaotic pacing, and a ghastly screenplay derail what could have been a terrific film. Thankfully, this disappointing biopic is saved by the...

Back in 2014, Rosamund Pike should have won an Academy Award for her sensational performance in David Fincher's Gone Girl. If not for the Julianne Moore "overdue" freight train, Pike would have easily waltzed away with that Best Actress Oscar. Seven years later, she's back with an equally icy femme fatale who would undoubtedly give Amy Dunne a run for her money. In J. Blakeson's terrifically entertaining and deliciously wicked thriller, I Care a Lot, Pike reminds us why she came within an inch of Oscar glory and...

In a case of unfortunate timing, Robin Wright's directorial debut feature, Land, arrives at a time when another film of a similar nature has been eating up awards season and generating tremendous Oscar buzz. Both feature women-of-a-certain-age essentially turning their back on civilisation. Both are running from their grief after a terrible loss. And both feature spectacular cinematography that showcases the gorgeousness of the wilderness. By virtue of unavoidable comparison, Land can't hold a candle to something like Chloé Zhao's contemplative masterpiece Nomadland. A film that feels painfully familiar...

As we've now learnt, Apple Studios has set a new Sundance record by purchasing Sian Heder's gorgeous delight Coda for $25 million. While that is a staggering sum of cash for an independent film, CODA is worth every damn penny and will prove a huge coup for Apple as a drawcard for its struggling streaming service, Apple TV+. A rousing crowd-pleaser that will surely find an adoring audience later this year, CODA leans heavily into its well-worn formula to deliver a charming heartwarmer that's good for the soul. Led...

Even the non-religious are aware of the infamous betrayal of messiah-figure Jesus Christ at the hands of his trusted disciple and eventual saboteur Judas Iscariot. His name has become since synonymous with those who would treasonously sell-out a friend for their own personal benefit. In other words, it's not a moniker you'd be proud to have attached to your name. The biblical tale is the perfect analogy for the tragic true story of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and the treacherous FBI informant who infiltrated the...

When a film is accompanied by a warning about its level of gore, you have a certain expectation something truly wicked is on the horizon, especially when it features in Sundance's infamous Midnight program. While co-writer/director Prano Bailey-Bond's Censor is a film that pays deep homage to the UK's wave of "video nasties" of the 1980s, it isn't quite nasty enough to truly call itself an example of the cult genre. Those seeking lashings of gore and violence may find this one a tad disappointing and that pre-screening...

With another spectacular line-up of nominees, picking the winners for this year's The Jam Awards has been a typically difficult task. Alas, decisions must be made, and, after much deliberation, the winners have been decided. So without further ado, let The 7th Annual Jam Awards commence! Best Film And the nominees were: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Minari Nomadland One Night in Miami Promising Young Woman Sound of Metal And the winner is...

Back in 2018, Los Angeles Times freelance film critic Katie Walsh described writer/director Sam Levinson's Asssassination Nation as "a badly bungled attempt at social commentary." It's wildly ironic that very review forms part of the inspiration for Levinson's pretentiously smug Malcolm & Marie; an equally badly bungled attempt at social commentary. Filmed in the grips of coronavirus restrictions, it's an experimental film that ultimately feels like a film school project crafted one weekend by an overly-ambitious filmmaker and his two acting school buddies. This kind of restricted filmmaking is...

New year, new name. After six years of The Jammies, it's time for a change. The Jam Report's annual yearly awards will now be known simply as The Jam Awards. But that's all that will be changing. These awards will still celebrate the absolute best of cinema from 2020. And what a year it was. Despite a troubling period for the film industry, we've still been treated to a delicious smorgasbord of wonderful films, setting up one of the most exciting and competitive awards seasons in years. As such,...

2020 will be remembered for many, many things. In the world of cinema, it will stand as the year of a hundred release date delays. This also meant it was the first year without a film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2009. Naturally, that was never intended to be the case. But when a global pandemic saw both Black Widow and Eternals punted to 2021, the MCU lay silent for the first time in over a decade. While we still await these two new cinematic entries (barring any...