Top 10 Films of 2017

10. A Ghost Story

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“David Lowery serves up a surreal slice of paranormal absurdity with A Ghost Story, finding long-lasting intimacy in a film that is utterly and eternally universal. The lonely protagonist is trapped by space but not time, creating thought-provoking cinema that intelligently highlights both the significance and insignificance of the marks we leave on the world in our wake”.
My full review
9. War for the Planet of the Apes

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“War for the Planet of the Apes is a thoughtful, emotionally charged and fitting finale to what should be recognised as one of the greatest trilogies in the modern age of filmmaking”.
My full review
8. Lost City of Z

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“As a work of filmmaking, it’s an immediate classic, fit to stand beside the best of Werner Herzog and Stanley Kubrick – though it’s also entirely its own thing, classical to its bones yet not quite like anything that’s come before it”.
The Telegraph’s full review
7. The Beguiled

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“There is tremendous entertainment value in the dinners and musical evenings that the women lay on for their wolfish guest. Kidman’s delivery of the line, “Would you cay-uh for a digestif, corporal?” is very entertaining”.
The Guardian’s full review
6. Manchester by the Sea

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“With its minimalistic cinematic approach, Manchester by the Sea manages to tell a heartrending story with maximum impact. Lonergan’s precise filmmaking, both in the script and the visuals, is cleverly geared towards the performance of Casey Affleck, which doesn’t for one second fail to deliver”.
My full review
5. Raw

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“Raw marks a masterful directorial debut from a skilled filmmaker who presents a visceral feast for the eyes and ears that should be avoided at all costs by the sensitive and squeamish. It may be the most disgusting film I’ve seen at the cinema but the frequent shocking sequences are reined in by a sharply clever script that ensures that the craft of storytelling is at the forefront of the film’s vision”.
My full review
4. The Florida Project

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“Moonee, along with her friends Scooty and Jancey, goes off exploring around odd pastel coloured buildings that resemble the run-down ruins of a Wes Anderson set, and through their playful escapades the movie masterfully captures the mischievous adventure of childhood. The narrative flows like a summer holiday; wild and sprawling with no strong sense of where one day ends and another begins”.
My full review
3. Dunkirk

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“Dunkirk is war cinema at its most epic, perfectly showcasing Christopher Nolan’s supreme ability as a director as well as his storytelling gift of depicting intimacy on the grandest of scales”.
My full review
2. Get Out

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“Jordan Peele achieves shockingly smart satire as well as shuddering trepidation with his remarkable directorial debut. His subversive vision is powerful and scarily topical, and is transformed into an intensely enjoyable cinema experience”.
My full review
1. La La Land

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“The trick to why La La Land works so well is the clever balancing act between nods to romanticised nostalgia and the harshness of reality. For example, mesmerising musical sequences can be ended abruptly by the shrill sound of an incoming call, illustrating the juxtaposition between the era they revere and the world we live in today”.
My full review

 

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DVD review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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As the modern revival of Star Wars continues, director Rian Johnson takes the reins for the eighth episode of the space-opera saga.  The Last Jedi picks up where 2015’s The Force Awakens left off, as the dwindling Resistance prepares to do combat once again with The First Order. As Rey (Daisy Ridley) tracks down Jedi master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to ask for help with the impending battle, her fellow fighters including defector Finn (John Boyega) and pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) remain at base, with General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) fronting the army. Meanwhile, the First Order, led by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) plan an attack to wipe out their enemies once and for all.

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DVD review: Molly’s Game

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 Over the years of writing fast-talking dialogue for television and film, Aaron Sorkin has developed such a recognisable signature style that he could well be dubbed a screenplay auteur. He penned the scripts for acclaimed movies such as A Few Good Men, The Social Network and Moneyball, and now he is at the helm of his directorial debut. Adapted from the memoir of the same name, crime drama Molly’s Game retells an incredible true story of an Olympic-class skier who found herself at the centre of a federal indictment. After a horrific injury forces her into early retirement from sport, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) moves to LA to start again, and her PA job leads to her involvement in a weekly high-stakes poker tournament, exclusive to the elite, rich, and famous. When her underground activity attracts the attention of the FBI, she visits lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) to ask for help.

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DVD review: Battle of the Sexes

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 In 1973, Billie Jean King fought for equality in tennis, leading a group of female players to boycott a major tournament and subsequently start their own tour. This later became known as the Women’s Tennis Association. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Davis bring their retelling of the events to the big screen with Battle of the Sexes which pits Emma Stone in the leading role. During the tour, King embarks on an affair with her hairdresser Marilyn (Andrea Riseborough) and is challenged to an exhibition match by Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), a former Wimbledon champion whose gambling addiction was leading to the breakdown of his marriage.

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