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Human Nature

2 Dec 20194 stars

Gene editing is the subject of an accessible and engaging documentary from Adam Bolt

The far-reaching implications of gene editing tend to inspire more fear than hope. The ability to shape the very 'building blocks of life' instantly conjures up images of Frankenstein-style experiments, a master race and science-fiction…

StarDog and TurboCat

2 Dec 20193 stars

Enjoyable, UK-produced animation, featuring the voices of Nick Frost and Luke Evans

'The greatest superheroes ever unleashed!' is the tagline for writer-director Ben Smith's UK-produced animation. Perhaps that's something of an overstatement, yet 'unleashed' is certainly the operative word, because animal superheroes are the subject of…

The Wolf's Call

2 Dec 20193 stars

Omar Sy stars in this gung-ho French submarine thriller from Antonin Baudry

'Are we at war?' asks a radio announcer during writer-director Antonin Baudry's punchy submarine thriller. Based on the scenarios explored here, the ongoing Cold War is on the cusp of exploding into full-throttle open conflict. This is an unusual French…

So Long, My Son

2 Dec 20194 stars

Epic and intimate Chinese drama from Wang Xiaoshuai, focusing on a family's anguish

Taking in nearly 40 years of life in Mainland China, from the 1980s to the present day, and with a three-hour running time, Wang Xiaoshuai's So Long, My Son is epic both in scope and prospect. Yet the Beijing Bicycle filmmaker has brought an astonishing…

Motherless Brooklyn

2 Dec 20193 stars

Edward Norton's well-cast passion project is an intriguing but flawed noir

Motherless Brooklyn has been a labour of love for Edward Norton. He is the writer, director, star and co-producer of a project that he has nurtured to fruition over the past two decades. This is not a slavish adaptation of Jonathan Lethem's novel, as…