When a film becomes the early frontrunner for Best Picture, the mudslinging inevitably begins. Kenneth Branagh's Belfast saw glowing reactions after screening at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. At the latter, it won the People's Choice Award - a trophy three of the last five Best Picture winners all scored. But if you peruse the tweets of the vocal members of Film Twitter, its possible victory in late March would be a travesty not seen since the much-maligned Green Book won in 2018. I completely...

892 From Vietnam to Iraq, America's woeful treatment of its returning soldiers has always been a dark stain on the country's history. Co-writer/director Abi Damaris Corbin taps into America's systemic failure of veterans' affairs with a pertinent and important true story ripped straight from the headlines. Led by a powerhouse performance from John Boyega and a terrific ensemble cast, 892 is a tense thriller with a powerful narrative that's damaged by Corbin's melodramatic TV Movie of the Week direction. In the summer of 2017, Lance Cpl. Brian Brown-Easley (Boyega) walks into...

After Yang Sci-fi is a genre of cinema that loves to explore the notion of what is to be human, especially when robots are involved. That notion is at the heart of Kogonada's tender and delicate After Yang; a beautifully crafted wonder that explores grief, loss, and love in a way that's entirely mesmerising. Elevated by a hypnotic score from ASKA, elegant production design by Alexandra Schaller, and Benjamin Loeb's gorgeous cinematography, its emotional core will quietly creep up on you and leave you rather breathless. Taking place somewhere in the...

Ah, 2021. The year that held such promise, yet ultimately ended up merely proving the old rule that the sequel is worse than the original. After 2020 served film lovers with nothing but cinema closures, release date delays, and endless hours watching movies on our televisions, 2021 gave us much of the same. Well, that's if you were unlucky enough to live in certain parts of Australia where theatres sat dark from June to October. That meant we were forced to sit at home while major films like...

The year was 1997 and a young pre-teen boy was sitting on the family couch, cowering under a blanket after witnessing the sight of Drew Barrymore's disembowelled body hanging from a tree. 25 years later and the opening of Wes Craven's Scream still has the power to completely take my breath away. You likely don't need me to explain how that unassuming masterpiece changed the very face of the horror genre. Calling it a gamechanger is an understatement. For better or worse, it revitalised the slasher subgenre and...

Absolute power corrupts absolutely and there are few texts in literary history that finer exemplify this statement than William Shakespeare's Macbeth. From Orson Welles and Roman Polanski to Geoffrey Wright and Justin Kurzel, Shakespeare's epic tale of ambition, fate, and witchcraft has seen its fair share of cinematic adaptations over the years. In 2021, we are gifted perhaps the finest interpretation yet. In his solo directorial debut, writer-director Joel Coen strips back Shakespeare's "Scottish play" to focus on the text's darker elements to create one of the most breathtaking...

Every so often, a film comes along that appears to follow the same well-worn tropes of many films that preceded it, particularly those in the romantic comedy/drama genre with a lost twentysomething protagonist. The trials and tribulations of young adults bumbling their way through life is rarely the most original of narratives. Then something like The Worst Person in the World shatters all expectations and reaffirms your faith cinema can still subvert those clichés and deliver something entirely new and refreshing. Hilarious, heartbreaking, insightful, and sensitive, this film is...

In 1999, The Wachowski's The Matrix was a genuine game-changer. It broke new ground with its stunning visuals and time-bending action sequences and captured the cultural zeitgeist like few other films in the pre-millennium era. Two disappointing sequels followed and the franchise has laid dead for over two decades. It's surprising a sequel has taken this long to get off the ground, particularly from a studio like Warner Bros. whose penchant for eliciting as much as it can from existing IP is only surpassed by the House of...

A film that won ten Academy Awards (the outright second-highest tally in history) including Best Picture is hardly something you would think requires a remake. Remember how well that 2016 update of Ben-Hur went? To be fair, Steven Spielberg's take on West Side Story is officially an adaptation of Jerome Robbins' 1957 stage musical and not a reimagining of Robert Wise and Robbins' 1961 Oscar-winning classic. Regardless, comparisons will inevitably be drawn. Lucky for us, Spielberg has crafted a gorgeous new interpretation that practically leaps off the screen....

The films of writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson typically feature a dark streak bubbling beneath the surface. From the seedy underbelly of the world of pornography in Boogie Nights to the twisted romance of Phantom Thread, Anderson is a filmmaker who isn't afraid of life's nastier elements. Perhaps given the miserable events of the last two years, Anderson has decided to take a refreshingly different route with Licorice Pizza; a film so effervescently joyous that it will likely leave you floating out of the cinema. A wistfully nostalgic portrait of Los...