The Snowman

A chilly start to a snowballing crime sees Michael Fassbender pursue a carrot-nosed villain.

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Infamous detective, Harry Hole (Fassbender), must strike up a work-life balance before he loses everything. What starts out as a harmless homicide investigation soon escalates into a matter of personal revenge, with Harry becoming the target.

The film had enormous potential to be one of the most hard-hitting crime dramas in years, but unfortunately, the lacklustre script left the overwhelmingly talented cast pining for a bigger challenge. At every turn, this film had the ability to stun, but, director Thomas Alfredson, disappointed with a culmination of scenes that merged into one another without much hope of climax.

Whatsmore is the lack of explanation as to why a story set in Oslo,  Norway has all-English speaking characters. Though clearly done in order to heighten accessibility in the cinematic universe, it does create confusion for audiences who are not familiar with the Jo Nesbo book on which this film is based, and simply adds to the overall uninspired finish of the film.

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Home Again

With a famous film director as a dad and a gorgeous actress as a mum, it’s no wonder Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon) has the weight of the world on her shoulders.

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Two children and a broken marriage later, Alice decides to move back to her hometown of Hollywood, but she gets a little more than she bargained for when her 40th birthday bash lands her with three new housemates; young and extremely handsome housemates.

This film follows the usual romantic-comedy guidelines; putting obstacles in the way of happiness until eventually, the lead finds her happily ever after.

But unlike most films, this one seems a little more organic in its execution, by ensuring the female lead, Reese Witherspoon in this case, doesn’t need a relationship to feel ‘worthy’ or ‘complete’. Which, admittedly, is a refreshing outlook given the countless needy romances already in the back catalog of this genre.

Though entirely generic, the film does at least make for easy-watching, with its occasional comedic sketch and the inevitable and all too often clumsy-mum moments, it is a good ‘all-rounder’, but certainly won’t be winning any cinematic awards anytime soon.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

The tragedy that laid beneath Britain’s most heartwarming bedtime story is brought to the big screen with an unapologetic awakening.

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A.A. Milne’s work has a place in most peoples hearts for his marvelous creation of Winnie-The- Pooh, but what most people don’t know, is the trouble it brought to his family life to get this little bear onto a page.

As the film broadcasts the tale of Pooh’s inception, it too caresses the delicate drama that comes with, from father-son bonding to relationship woes, the script manages to capture the life of this great writer, with little hope of under-fabrication, the storyline is brutally honest and leaves little to the imagination.

With Domhall Gleeson as Milne and Margot Robbie as his wife, the casting was certainly unexpected. Though despite this seemingly unlikely pairing, the two have a unique chemistry which works remarkably well alongside the intensively captivating and at sometimes, unnerving, script.

Whilst the film does not idealize the happy-go-lucky bear we all know and love, it does leave one grateful for the sacrifices made by the Milne family, in a bid to bring happiness in an unrelenting post-war world.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Entertainingly ridiculous, and yet not quite as good as its predecessor.

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Eggsy’s (Taron Egerton) back, and so apparently is Harry (Colin Firth), despite ending the last film with a gunshot wound to the head. A new crisis befalls them in this action-packed sequel, as they must take down a crazed drug lord (Juliann Moore) in an attempt to save the world. In other words, it’s business as usual for the Kingsman, with a little help from their American cousins; The Statesman.

As is the case with most sequels, this film lacks the mystery of the first, which makes for a very predictable storyline laced with lackluster plot turns. Yet, regardless of the stunted excitement, the star-studded cast put a tremendous amount of effort into uplifting this seemingly foreseeable storyline.

With an opening scene crammed fall of computer-generated warmth, the audience is repeatedly gifted with orchestrated action throughout the film, which in some ways makes up for the unimaginative plot that must be suffered.

 

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American Assassin

Terrorist annihilation has never looked so thrilling.

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After losing his girlfriend to the deadly clutches of a terror attack, Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) takes revenge to the next level as he becomes a one-man army in an attempt to infiltrate and kill those responsible for his girlfriend’s demise. Though his plan seems flawless, the CIA decides his talents would be put to better use as part of a team, and so intercept him before he gets in too much trouble.

As movie partnerships go, Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton’s on-screen chemistry is electrically on point, with both managing to bounce of one another’s talent. The duos energetic charisma keeps the plots ever-growing tension, upbeat, without seeming forced. 

With a certification of 18, the film boasts a splendid amount of violently orchestrated bloodbaths, but given the nature of the film, it was a necessary evil in order to provide the authenticity of terrorist-driven activity.

Victoria & Abdul

Devastatingly honest, with just a glimpse of hope for post-war England.

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Queen Victoria finds an unlikely friend in Abdul, an Indian servant who visits the palace to present her majesty with an ornate gift. With this newly found friendship, comes a revolt from the royal household, who believe it beneath themselves to serve an Indian.

The story of Victoria and Abdul is exceptionally sad, especially given that the plot is loosely based on true events. The lack of understanding of cultural differences is both disheartening to watch, but also greatly influential in comprehending the need for Indian independence.

With Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal, a new face to mainstream acting, as Abdul, the actors find a unique rhythm with one another that seems effortless in its execution and encourages the audience to fall head over heels for the duos lovable nature.

In restoring such a magically historic relationship, this film has shed light on Britain’s ongoing struggle to accept those with differences; a problem that is never more present than in today’s current political landscape.

Wind River

Snow storms are not the only danger for the residents of an American Indian Reserve in Wyoming.

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When local hunter, Cory Lambert, goes on a tracking expedition for some Lions, he finds more than he bargained for when he comes across the body of a young girl, which results in an FBI investigation.

The script for this film is a constant stunner, with twists and turns that keep the audience gripped throughout. And with a cast fronted by Jeremy Renner, the film continues to portray an authentically dramatic set of events.

With little to no representation of American Indians in today’s film industry, this film shows a particularly striking revelation, which brings with it an important message regarding the all too often disappearance’s of American Indian women, who are not considered worthy of counting towards the missing person’s report of America.