In 2020, we were served a throwback classic Western in the form of Paul Greengrass' charming News of the World. In 2021, co-writer-director Jeymes Samuel is here to give the genre one almighty shake with the coolest Western in years. A brutal, bloody affair that finally places an ensemble cast of actors of colour at the forefront of such a narrative, The Harder They Fall is stylish as hell, hugely entertaining, and uproariously fun. An ambitious directorial debut that announces the arrival of a bold new filmmaking talent, The...

As the old saying goes, there are two sides to every story. But in the case of Ridley Scott's latest Middle Ages epic The Last Duel, there are actually three. A film that admirably attempts to dabble in the #MeToo movement but gets somewhat lost along the way, this is more of a medieval soap opera than a scathing critique of sexism and misogyny. Whether that's a compliment or a criticism will be entirely up to the viewer. Impeccably crafted and brilliantly acted, The Last Duel runs long and...

It's been a strange and terrible year for many reasons. After the misery of 2020, we foolishly assumed this year had to be better. As someone who's been in the Sydney lockdown for over 100 days, I can attest this year has been more akin to a terrible sequel; more of the same, yet somehow so much worse. But if you'd told me at the start of 2021 that one of my favourite films of the year would star Nicolas Cage and its narrative would centre on his...

For over two decades, the world has watched in horror at the news of yet another shooting inside an American school. From Columbine and Sandy Hook to Parkland and Virginia Tech, the number of shootings and the growing death toll is too painful to even fathom. There's a whole generation of children who have sadly grown accustomed to school shootings being a reality of their formative years to the point active shooter drills are now necessary to prepare American kids for the very real possibility of a shooting...

It's perfectly acceptable to admit you forgot there was an animated feature film version of The Addams Family back in 2019. A lot has happened since then. And, to be honest, the film didn't exactly take the world by storm. The film's saccharinely sweet treatment of Charles Addams' deliciously macabre source material drew a tepid response from critics. But a surprising worldwide gross of $203 million on a budget of just $24 million meant a second film was all but assured. Much like many animated sequels, The Addams Family...

Trigger warning: this review discusses topics including suicide, depression, and self-harm. Book adaptations are a tricky beast to conquer. Stick too closely to the source material and you run the risk of presenting something that feels like little more than a narration of the text. Stray too far from what came before and you're likely to frustrate those expecting a faithful interpretation. Writer-director Michael McGowan's adaptation of Miriam Toews' semi-autobiographical 2014 novel All My Puny Sorrows falls into the former in a film that feels more literary than cinematic. For...

We've all likely been in a situation where one little white lie becomes a series of untruths that soon spiral completely out of control. But those lies have likely never involved pretending to be the best friend of a relative stranger who died by suicide. Yes, that's the basic ghastly plot of the movie musical Dear Evan Hansen. Yes, this is also the plot of the Broadway musical sensation that won six Tony Awards at the 2017 ceremony hosted by Kevin Spacey. And, just like hearing Spacey's name,...

A harrowing portrait of exploitation and systemic corruption and a gripping tale of morality, co-writer-director Alexandre Moratto's 7 Prisoners is tense and disturbing but so urgent and necessary. Moratto crafts an unflinching insight into the world of human trafficking and fuses it with a coming-of-age narrative where moral dilemmas abound at every turn. It's still early days, but we may have found Brazil's deserving submission for Best International Feature Film at this year's Academy Awards. Set in present-day São Paulo, 7 Prisoners centres on 18-year-old Mateus (a terrific Christian...

When American filmmakers get their hands on the rights to remake an international feature film, we're generally served something that's little more than a carbon copy of its predecessor. If you've never seen the original, that's perfectly fine. But if you're familiar with what came before, it's the worst example of cinematic déjà vu. Such is the case with Antoine Fuqua's The Guilty, an almost beat for beat remake of Gustav Möller’s 2018 Danish film of the same name. For those terrified of subtitles and without any previous knowledge...

As an ardent fan of Riz Ahmed of more than 15 years, the rave response to his revelatory performance in 2020's Sound of Metal was something I felt was long overdue. For more than a decade, Ahmed has been a consistently underrated performer in films like Four Lions, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Nightcrawler. After his first Oscar nomination last year, the film industry finally appears to be paying attention. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn Ahmed delivers another mesmerising turn in co-writer-director Michael Pearce's...