Film Reviews by CD

Welcome to CD's film reviews page. CD has written 164 reviews and rated 168 films.

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The Last Duel

Well made mediaeval epic

(Edit) 18/02/2023

The period of the 100 years war is a good one to choose for a bloody tale of rivalry and misdeeds. Matt Damon seems a little miscast as the rough hewn knight facing a much more charming rival to his wife's affections. Jodie Comer is excellent as the wife. I agree with some other reviewers that the mix of accents grates somewhat, and also that the film is a bit long due to the technique of showing three viewpoints of the same event. This can work well if those viewpoints are very different, but not so well in this case where they are not. The film brings out the sheer brutality and chaos of the age well, but could have provided a much clearer historical context for those not so familiar with the events. It is never very clear as to who is fighting who and why, especially in Scotland. The Trial by Combat at the end is expertly done and with a great cameo role from the actor playing the young French king, it's a satisfying if very violent film. 3.5 stars for ambition.

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She Dies Tomorrow

Very original and powerful drama

(Edit) 18/02/2023

If you are looking for a horror movie this is probably not for you. It is a very well acted, highly atmospheric and at times quite disturbing film about auto-suggestion, the power of suggestion from others and the realisation that life, which before was certain, is now so transient and about to be lost. The best scenes are the ones where several people are confronted by the assurance of one person that they themselves will die, and the impact that this has on their confidence. Also the admissions that people make to each other about how this changes everything for them. The script is quite limited but very powerful in places. As a watcher one finds oneself consciously shying away from even considering that one might die tomorrow in case one gets pulled into the action! - surely a testament to a very strong theme, expertly executed.

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Suburbicon

Superbly acted black comedy

(Edit) 07/02/2023

This is the second time I have seen this film since its release and I really enjoyed it again.  The acting is superb and the suburban caricatures make for an amusing, sometimes challenging (as in the case of the racism theme), and highly entertaining film played with true gusto by the cast. The plot moves along at a good pace and the baddies are truly mean.  The little boy’s expressions and gestures are beautifully done as he finds himself a pawn in the game.  

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Nope

Very disappointing in comparison to Director’s two previous films

(Edit) 07/02/2023

I had high hopes for this film having really enjoyed Jordan Peele’s other work.  I was confused almost from the outset and got the impression that this is one of those films that is very clever and amusing for those in the industry but for many viewers will leave them a bit cold.  The characters are quite irritating (partly due to the script) and the horror element seemed almost non-existent.  One for film buffs and total fans of this talented director.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Wolf Creek

Well directed shocking movie

(Edit) 25/01/2023

This is the second time I have watched this film since its release.  It is a very taut and well constructed road movie with great characterisation and good action.  You may ,as I did find that the violent scenes are too much ( I had to fast forward) but the film really prompts one’s sympathy for the young people and for their courage in a truly awful situation.

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The Thing

Very well made and directed Alien shocker

(Edit) 24/01/2023

This is a terrific film with great special effects and a good dose of dark humour. Always fun to see 1980s technology being presented as leading edge at the time. The opening scene is truly masterful and original. The directing and acting are great throughout and the storyline cleverly weaves in the paranoia and suspicion that build up as the true scale of "The Thing" emerges.

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The Queen of Spades

Justifiable rating as a ghostly classic

(Edit) 22/01/2023

I was a little nervous about whether a 1949 film would stand the test of time. It does, mainly due to a good plot and excellent characters.  There are some good spooky moments and the camera work is excellent creating a very atmospheric and enjoyable film that keeps its momentum to the end.

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The Missouri Breaks

Great scenery and some sinister characters

(Edit) 22/01/2023

I have seen this film 3 times now over the past 20 years and enjoyed it each time.  Marlon Brando gives life to one of the most sinister “regulators” in any of the films I have seen.  While Jack Nicholson seems a little out of normal character he does a good job and brings some extra humour to the role.  The other leads are all good and there is enough action to make this an enjoyable and visually well presented film. 

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The Isle

Well crafted and well acted supernatural drama

(Edit) 18/01/2023

I am not sure what were the expectations of other reviewers but I really enjoyed this film. It is beautifully acted, very atmospheric and contains enough of an interesting plot to be very satisfying as a historical drama, while being slightly creepy in parts.  Thoroughly recommended.

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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Well directed off-beat modern western

(Edit) 17/01/2023

This is the second time I have seen this film and I rate it very highly.  It’s a bit confusing for the first 20 mins as there are a lot of time shifts but the characters are really excellent and the lead actors are very strong.  The aspect I really like is change in the relationship between the two main characters as the story unwinds, the human and compassionate portrayal of ordinary Mexicans and the emotional transition of the main baddie.

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First Cow

Very disappointing frontier movie

(Edit) 19/12/2022

This is described by some reviewers as "immersive". It certainly has almost no plot and the characters drift in and out without any real colour or identity. There are also experiments with the lighting that did not work at all for me - having minutes of darkness and other twilight scenes was not in any way compensated for by meaningful dialogue. Overall very disappointing.

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Julia's Eyes

Disappointing although has its moments

(Edit) 19/12/2022

I was expecting a lot more from this film given the reviews that I had read comparing it to Hitchcock's work. The acting is quite good and there is good attempt at a plot, but it is all terribly unlikely and the scenario of blind people being left alone in houses supported only when they asked for help is not very believable. It's all quite retro which is interesting and the motivation for the crimes makes some sense. The support characters are a real mixed bag which adds a bit of spice to the plot. Overall worth a watch but more a gory thriller than the horror film I was expecting.

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Lake Mungo

Excellent - chilling and absorbing

(Edit) 02/12/2022

A really superbly put together chiller documentary.  The documentary format works really well and quite apart from the ghost photography which keeps the suspense level up, the gradual revealing of the family context and pressures add considerably to the credibility and sadness of the film.  The plot resolves itself into quite a scary conclusion.  I watched the film in two sittings and it prompted a lot of thoughts, some unsettling.  It certainly makes you think twice about potential impacts of the supernatural.

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The Outfit

High class and very absorbing

(Edit) 02/12/2022

This is a top notch thriller with excellent acting especially from Mark Rylance.  The backdrop of “cutting” suits works well as a counterpoise to the violence in the film and Mark Rylance gets to deliver some powerful lines in the face of extreme intimidation.  The baddies are interesting enough to give the film life, and the gradual revelation of the truth is cleverly handled - highly recommended.

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Schalcken the Painter

Great and ghoulish film

(Edit) 20/11/2022

There is plenty of great detail in the Dutch painting interiors, reminiscent of that other fine film “Girl with a pearl earring” (2003). The film takes a turn towards the dark with the arrival of the strange suitor but I like the way that the plot did not go an obvious route with the jilted young painter.  There are also some clever small details that add some extra mystery later on.  Good acting, good plot, scary at times, overall highly recommended.

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