Reviews & features

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

15 May 20194 stars

Keanu Reeves returns for this terrific third instalment in the ultra-violent action franchise

John Wick can kill with a horse and from a horse, with a thick library book or any kind of gun. But it's the how, when and wow that makes the third film, Parabellum, the best of this wildly innovative action franchise. It follows on from John Wick…

Beanie Feldstein on Booksmart: 'The lesson of the movie or what it's asking you to walk away with is a little bit less judgement'

15 May 2019

Lead actors Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever discuss their roles in Olivia Wilde's energetic high school comedy

Beanie Feldstein made a huge impression in Greta Gerwig's Oscar nominated solo debut feature Lady Bird in a supporting role as the titular character's endearing best friend. Now she takes the lead alongside Kaitlyn Dever in Booksmart, a vibrantly…

PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups

13 May 20193 stars

Fun, easy-to-follow big screen outing for the popular animated TV series about a gang of rescue dogs

For those who don't have a toddler in the house, PAW Patrol is a much-loved Canadian animated TV series (shown on Channel 5's milkshake! slot and Nick Jr in the UK) that's the brainchild of British TV writer/producer Keith Chapman (the man behind Bob…

Birds of Passage

13 May 20194 stars

Atmospheric Colombian crime drama from Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra

When the unassuming Rapayet (José Acosta) – a member of Colombia's indigenous Wayuu people – dabbles in the sale of marijuana to some visiting Americans in order to raise the considerable dowry for his marriage to Zaida (Natalia Reyes, soon to be seen…

Tucked

13 May 20193 stars

Believable performances power this sentimental piece about a friendship between two drag queens

Tucked really shouldn't work. The story of an unlikely May-December friendship between two drag queens is a sentimental, intermittently clunky affair but the committed performances, polished visuals and soulful mood combine to disarm any…

The Hustle

9 May 20192 stars

Gender-swapped rehash of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels that sells stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson short

Although for the most part a cologne-drenched romp, 1988's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (a remake of 1964's Bedtime Story) ultimately saw a female patsy turn the tables on the men who tried to swindle her – played by Michael Caine and Steve Martin – in a nod…

Josephine Decker on Madeline's Madeline: 'I was curious about what it means when you flow between reality and a performance'

9 May 2019

The film's writer and director discusses making responsible art and the blurred line between fictional and authentic selves

'What you are about to see is a metaphor,' a woman says into the camera at the opening of Madeline's Madeline. With that reassurance, the audience dives into its teenage protagonist, Madeline's conscious in one of the most visually striking films in…

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

7 May 20194 stars

Ryan Reynolds lends his voice to the titular sleuth in this enjoyable live-action addition to the Pokémon franchise

The first ever live-action Pokémon movie is as funny as Deadpool with eccentric VFX twists. You don't have to know about the world of Japanese 'pocket monsters' – creatures invented in 1995 by Satoshi Tajiri which, over the years, have delighted…

Wine Country

7 May 20194 stars

Amy Poehler's directorial debut is a funny, full-bodied comedy about turning 50

A group of female friends descend on Napa for a 50th birthday celebration in Amy Poehler's directorial debut. With their plans scheduled to death by Poehler's Abby, the stage is set for a long-weekend's worth of beautifully-executed, booze-fuelled…

Amazing Grace

6 May 20194 stars

Aretha Franklin makes musical history in footage capturing the recording of her landmark album

To hear Aretha Franklin's voice soaring when she was at the height of her power is an extremely emotional experience in this wonderful find: an assembly of documentary footage shot by Sydney Pollack in 1972 and 'realised' by Alan Elliott. Aretha, then…

Destination Wedding

6 May 20194 stars

Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder reunite for an enjoyably embittered romcom

Writer-director Victor Levin reunites the stars of Bram Stoker's Dracula for this enjoyably caustic two-hander. Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder play Frank and Lindsay, two grumpy middle-aged singles who annoy each other at an airport while waiting for a…

Diamantino

6 May 20192 stars

Giddy Portuguese comedy that combines strident satire and strained whimsicality

There is a giddy, hysterical comic fizz to Diamantino that cannot be denied. It takes off in all directions at once, scattering wild ideas and silly japes as it goes. However, it is so relentlessly juvenile that a little of it goes a very long way. This…

Madeline's Madeline

6 May 20195 stars

Beautifully realised deep dive into the mind of a vulnerable teen, from director Josephine Decker

Mothering and mental illness combine to smothering effect in Josephine Decker's deep dive into the mind of a vulnerable 16-year-old, strikingly played by newcomer Helena Howard. Evocatively shot by Ashley Connor (The Miseducation of Cameron Post), it…

May the Fourth be with you: A trip down memory lane of the Star Wars franchise

4 May 2019

The List team looks back on all of our favourite moments from a galaxy far, far away

Marvel might be the big movie franchise taking in all the hype right now (have you recovered from Avengers: Endgame yet? No, neither have we), but do you know what they don't have? That's right, their own day. The fourth of May has, since 2011…

Tolkien

2 May 20193 stars

Cosy biopic of the Lord of the Rings author, starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins

Directed by Dome Karukoski (who made Tom of Finland), this British biopic of fantasy author JRR Tolkien takes a traditional, by-the-numbers approach (an 'Expected Journey', if you will) – yet succeeds well enough on its own terms, thanks to a likeable…

Scottish comedy Boyz in the Wood to open 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival

1 May 2019

Anarchic comedy starring Eddie Izzard makes European debut in June

The Edinburgh International Film Festival has revealed its 2019 Opening Night Gala film to be the European premiere of Scottish social satire Boyz in the Wood. The film will open the the 73rd edition of the festival on Wed 19 Jun at the Festival…

A Dog's Journey

1 May 20193 stars

The sequel to A Dog's Purpose goes big on tragedy and old-fashioned charm

Hankies at the ready, the sequel to 2017's A Dog's Purpose is here. Even if you're not a dog lover, it'll be hard to stifle the sniffles for this tale of canine reincarnation. We're reunited with Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad)…

The Curse of La Llorona

29 Apr 20192 stars

The sixth entry in The Conjuring Universe is a disappointing take on The Weeping Woman

Dating back to the 1930s, a plethora of horror movies have dared to tangle with Mexican folklore staple La Llorona (The Weeping Woman), including bargain bucket titles like the Wailer trilogy. Nevertheless, The Conjuring Universe's spin on the legend…

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile

29 Apr 20192 stars

Zac Efron turns in a bravura performance as serial killer Ted Bundy in this otherwise unsatisfying biopic

The popularity of true crime entertainment has been exponentially rising over the last five years, with season one of the Serial podcast setting it off in 2014 and Netflix's Making a Murderer continuing the trend the year after. Investigating injustice…

Long Shot

29 Apr 20194 stars

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen join forces for a smart, entertaining and empowered comedy

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen may not be an obvious pairing, but Jonathan Levine's romantic comedy makes a virtue of that. Rogen is Fred Flarsky, a rebellious investigative journalist; she's Charlotte Field, Secretary of State and soon to be candidate…

Best immersive outdoor cinema experiences this summer in the UK

26 Apr 2019

Enjoy curated film and venue pairings this outdoor cinema summer season

Why squander the summer in a soulless multiplex? Open air cinema companies across the UK are screening films in settings that are both beautifully atmospheric and thematically resonant, creating immersive cinematic experiences without the need for the…

Film Fest in the City: Musical delights and gorgeous animation to hit St Andrew Square

25 Apr 2019

Edinburgh's open-air cinema event to screen Oscar winner Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Poppins Returns, Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse and more

Come rain or shine, the June weekend of Film Fest in the City invariably finds a riveted audience packed into Edinburgh's St Andrews Square. It is therefore with many glad tidings that this free, three-day open-air cinema event – hosted in partnership…

Avengers: Endgame

24 Apr 20194 stars

The Avengers reassemble as the Infinity Saga draws to a poignant close

The final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga has its work cut out. Not only does it need to bring a 22 film, 11-year series to a satisfying climax and seed the MCU's remixed continuation, it also has to resolve that cliffhanger – half…

Pond Life

22 Apr 20194 stars

Charming slice of South Yorkshire life from director Bill Buckhurst

A wistful throwback to the early 90s, Pond Life plays like a love letter to the childhoods of the pre-digital era. Set in a mining village outside of Doncaster, the film's core characters are introduced through montage in moments of blissful serenity…

Bel Canto

22 Apr 20193 stars

Paul Weitz helms an intriguing but flawed hostage drama, starring Julianne Moore

Inspired by the Japanese embassy hostage crisis that took place in Peru in 1996, Bel Canto is a tale of terrorism shorn of the heroics that usually accompany your typical Hollywood take on the subject. Based on the award-winning novel by Ann Patchett…