Halloween (2018)

Director: David Gordon Green

Writers: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Haluk Bilginer, Rhian Rees, Jefferson Hall, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle

Cert: 18

Running time: 106mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: 40 years after the events of Halloween, Laurie Strode (Curtis) must protect daughter Karen (Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) from unstoppable killer Michael Myers when he escapes from prison.

What’s the verdict: For a franchise with an unkillable boogeyman, a 40th anniversary movie was always likely. Less certain was if said movie would be any good.

Halloween’s 1998 20th anniversary instalment, H20, was a worthwhile reuniting of Jamie Lee Curtis and her most enduring co-star...

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2018 London Film Festival – Mid-Festival Round-Up

An exquisite torture when attending the London Film Festival is working out how many movies can be viewed over the twelve days before physical shut down occurs. Two or three a day seems reasonable. But, with 225 feature films showing (plus a further 160 shorts), 24 or 36 movies begins to seem like small beer indeed.

A first amongst first world problems, we know, but there is so much to feast upon and so little time. And sleep tends to encroach at some point (typically around day 4).

What is genuinely good fun is seeing how the disparate films can be bunched together. What themes emerge across the movies? Below are our observations of this year’s London Film Festival at the midway point.

Sure, it is arbitrary as all hell – key films we were unable to attend include Vox Lux, Beautiful Boy...

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Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writers: David Kajganich (script), Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi (1977 script)

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton Angela Winkler, Lutz Ebersdorf, Mia Goth, Chloë Grace Moretz

Cert: 18

Running time: 152mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: 1977, Berlin. Susie Bannion (Johnson) arrives at the Markos Dance Academy, not knowing it is run by witches.

What’s the verdict: Remake Suspiria at your peril was the consensus opinion. Director David Gordon Green realised that and abandoned his attempt, having more success with 2018’s Halloween remake-sequel. Darren Aronofsky paid homage in Black Swan rather than tackling head-on.

Dario Argento’s 1977 horror masterpiece is too delirious, too of-a-moment, too one-man’s-vision to be effectively replicated decades later...

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Fahrenheit 11/9

Director: Michael Moore

Writer: Michael Moore

Cast: Michael Moore, Donald Trump, Rick Snyder, Emma Gonzalez, Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, David Hogg

Cert: 15

Running time: 128mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Michael Moore looks across America to see what paved the way for Donald Trump becoming President.

What’s the verdict: Michael Moore’s explosive new film is a paean to the grassroots activism that has mobilised in the face of Republican and Democrat indifference and corruption.

For Donald Trump is not Moore’s only target. Indeed, he is correctly depicted as a conniving opportunist able to see self-gain in a wrecked system. The film presents an urgently argued account of the road he took to seize the White House.

Moore is master of editing found footage into a compelling narra...

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Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind

Director: Ursula Meier

Writer: Ursula Meier, Antoine Jaccoud

Cast: Fanny Ardant, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Jean-Philippe Ecoffey

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 70mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: A high school student sends his teacher a diary confessing to the murder of his parents.

What’s the verdict: Commissioned for Swiss TV but equally suited to the big screen, Ursula Meier’s based on true events drama recalls the intelligence, impact and humanity of Kieslowski’s Dekalog or Alan Clarke’s best work.

Mottet-Klein is sensational as Benjamin, a student who uses a writing assignment to confess why he chose to murder his parents. Equally impressive is French icon Ardant as Benjamin’s teacher, Madame Fontanel...

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The Old Man and the Gun

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (script), David Grann (The New Yorker article)

Cast: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Elisabeth Moss

Cert: 12 (TBC)

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Texas, 1981. Aged escaped convict Forrest Tucker (Redford) embarks on a string of bank robberies, but the law is close behind.

What’s the verdict: The Old Man and the Gun was initially announced as Robert Redford’s acting swansong. Reportedly this may no longer be the case, but David Lowery’s irresistible crime caper is a wonderful summation of Redford’s screen legend.

The Sundance Kid may now be an old man, but as career criminal Forrest Tucker both the actor’s baby blues and infectious smile shine brightly as ever.

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Out of Blue

Director: Carol Morley

Writer: Carol Morley

Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Mamie Gummer, Toby Jones, James Caan, Jonathan Majors, Jackie Weaver, Brad Mann, Todd Mann

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 110mins

Year: 2018


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What’s the story: When a noted astrophysicist is murdered, troubled detective Mike Hoolihan (Clarkson) investigates the case.

What’s the verdict: Carol Morley’s 2014 feature The Falling was equally lauded and lambasted. History is unlikely to repeat itself with her latest movie. Out of Blue won’t receive any unequivocal praise.

An indigestible hotchpotch of neo-noir trappings crudely spliced with ruminations on quantum physics, its false notes echo across the multiverse.

Based on Martin Amis’ 1997 novel Night Train, we open on a dying star, before the plot zooms in on ast...

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The Load (2018)

Director: Ognjen Glavonic

Writer: Ognjen Glavonic

Cast: Leon Lucev, Pavle Cemerikic

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 98mins

Year: 2018 



What’s the story: During the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, a truck driver must transport mysterious cargo from Kosovo to Belgrade.

What’s the verdict: Ognjen Glavonic’s feature debut is a pared back, near anti-thriller set against NATO’s bombing of Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian regime in 1999.

Leon Lucev is Vlada, a truck driver transporting secret cargo for the military from Kosovo to Belgrade. The rules are he is not permitted to stop, and must not try to discover what is in the back of his padlocked lorry.

Forced to take an alternate route following a vicious looking car accident on a key bridge, Vlada breaks protocol by picking up young hitchh...

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Sorry To Bother You

Director: Boots Riley

Writer: Boots Riley

Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Steven Yuen, Omari Hardwick, Danny Glover, Kate Berlant, Armie Hammer, David Cross, Lily James

Cert: 15

Running time: 111mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: A lowly telemarketer discovers as his fortunes improve the world seems to grow more insane.

What’s the verdict: Boots Riley’s wildly, willfully bizarre feature debut is so packed with invention, barbed satire, surrealism, egalitarian philosophy, and radical gear shifts it is best experienced with its surprises unspoiled.

So, we’ll try to provide a flavour of what to expect without revealing everything on the menu. But, how best to describe Sorry To Bother You?

Imagine if Get Out, Brazil, Being John Malkovich and Office Space go...

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Widows

Director: Steve McQueen

Writer: Steve McQueen, Gillian Flynn (script), Lynda La Plante (original TV series)

Cast: Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Brian Tyree Henry, Carrie Coon, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Jackie Weaver, Liam Neeson, Garrett Dillahunt, Jon Bernthal

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 129mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: In Chicago, four women are left owing $2m to a crime lord when their husbands are killed attempting to steal his money.

What’s the verdict: Remaking a 35-year old ITV thriller may seem an odd choice for Steve McQueen as a follow-up to his Best Director Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave.

But, a fan of the series, he takes the framework of Lynda La Plante’s original story and, along with co-writer Gillian (Go...

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