Film Reviews by CD

Welcome to CD's film reviews page. CD has written 161 reviews and rated 165 films.

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Joan of Arc

Arty but unsatisfying

(Edit) 19/03/2022

I had read the critics reviews and was prepared for a challenging and rather long film.  Hats off to the director for trying to be radical and the actors do their best, but the film is too fragmented and slow moving.  There is some interesting choreography such as using dressage to mimic a battle and the appearance of WW2 bunkers as prison cells.  I’m still awaiting the definitive film of “Joan” though and would only recommend this one if you want to see a radical and allegorical interpretation of a life.  2 stars rather than 1 star for courage of the Director and actors.

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Babyteeth

Worthy, Innovative, Well acted

(Edit) 19/03/2022

This film received very positive critical reviews but in spite of its positivity and excellent  acting I did not enjoy it very much.  The subject matter is well documented in other reviews but the film feels wooden at times, is quite unquestioning about the luxury home and lifestyle of the dysfunctional family, and  some situations (such as the Christmas meal) seem rather artificial.  That being said it has some fantastic visual moments with lighting and music, and the spark between the actors/main characters is undeniable. Almost a family film at times but with some gritty moments that make for some uncomfortable but rewarding viewing. 

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The Rifleman

WW1 drama from the Baltic front

(Edit) 07/02/2022

The voice dubbing into English on this film lets it down which is a shame as the actors do a reasonable job and the characters are quite well defined. The action sequences in the Film range from quite powerful and realistic to rather unlikely,  and the film becomes rather directionless at times.  Still, worth a watch to see WW1 from a different geo and perspective.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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An American Pickle

Whimsical and Strange Film

(Edit) 07/02/2022

I nearly switched this off after 30 mins as I found the film wandering into a farce.  I am glad I stuck with it as in spite of some offensive and politically incorrect language the acting is very strong and there is a good vein of humour running through it.  The film is also quite moving at times in the emphasis on family but is satisfyingly unpredictable in its plot which leads to unexpected turns and an interesting and good ending.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Sideways

Great wine and buddy movie

(Edit) 18/01/2022

I have seen this film 3 times since it was released and it is one of my favourites. Paul Giamatti is excellent as the lead, but the lively and funny scenarios and the Santa Barbara scenery also play their part in making this a very entertaining film.  Highly recommended

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Misery

Top notch entertainment

(Edit) 15/01/2022

I really enjoyed this film which is very much in the Hitchcock tradition.  All the acting is strong including the support parts and James Caan is a superb lead.  The plot is not too far fetched although the film perhaps could have been shorter.  If you liked this film Then you might also like the Clint Eastwood film “Play misty for me”. 

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Trial by Fire

Excellent Film

(Edit) 11/01/2022

I was really impressed with this film which kept my attention throughout.  It’s very well acted and skilfully directed.  The relationship that builds between the death row prisoner and the prison visitor is very moving but the film also shows the tensions that build within the prison visitor’s family.  The relationship that the prisoner builds with the guards is also poignant. The finale is very powerful and thought provoking.    Highly recommended. 

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Arctic

Solid Adventure Story

(Edit) 18/10/2021

Mads Mikkelsen is very impressive as the main actor in this Arctic drama.  The landscape is captured brilliantly by the wide lens camera work and Mikkelsen brings humanity to the role, especially when confronted with ethical dilemmas.  The lack of context and relationships makes this more of a genuine survival film.  Well worth a watch.

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The Devil's Backbone

Superbly atmospheric period ghost tale

(Edit) 18/09/2021

This is the second time I have seen this film.  It excels on many different aspects - the characterisation, acting, the brooding context of the Spanish civil war, the quality of performance brought out from the children in the cast, and the emotional range of the film which covers unrequited love, greed , sexual desire and murderous intent.  The tension and quality of this film is sustained to the end and there are some great chilling moments throughout.

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Ammonite

Well acted historical drama

(Edit) 06/09/2021

The actors are very strong and the characters in this drama are well brought out.  The scenery is great and the the overall pace of the film is skilfully directed.  It will be interesting to see how this film is perceived in 20 years time, but I found the sex scenes a bit gratuitous, and felt that the sexual aspects of the relationship could have been more subtly conveyed.  It would have been interesting to have brought the husband of the young woman back into the drama and also to explored more  (by flashback perhaps) some of the principal character’s earlier life.  I found it slightly ironic that there was actually very little diversity in this film in spite of its credentials. Still, a good film and well worth a watch.

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Under the Tree

Well acted but very dark

(Edit) 27/08/2021

The cast and acting in this film is very good and it is interesting to see the Icelandic (?) context.  It starts well and establishes a good balance between a more serious theme of relationship break-up and the more comic dispute between neighbours.  Unfortunately it goes in a steadily darker and more violent direction.  The characters in the film start reaching for the hard liquor and many viewers might need some reinforcement to get through the final part of the film.  Not really a comedy in my view.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Blood and Money

Well acted slow burning drama

(Edit) 26/08/2021

I really enjoyed this film.  Don’t expect fast action but Tom Berenger’s performance is excellent and holds the whole film together.  He is a complex character and his personality shifts once he encounters the robbers, harking back to his army training.  The supporting roles are well acted and the film convincingly shows from his earlier tragedies how Berenger gets tipped over the edge.  The Maine scenery and skilful filming are interesting and add to the atmosphere.  The money becomes a side issue and at the end it is all about Berenger’s destructive behaviour.  Worth 4 stars and very much recommended.

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Kwaidan

Classy and strange

(Edit) 23/08/2021

I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories.  The background artwork is stunning and the attention to detail and the careful pacing of each story is a relief after the directness  of western films.  A few of the actors are familiar from other Japanese epics such as the Seven Samurai 

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Superbly acted with a strong message

(Edit) 23/08/2021

I really enjoyed this vintage film. A stellar cast and a very positive film in its strong anti racist message, extremely impressive for the late 1960s and very relevant now.  The way that racism is covered from many different angles in a very human way makes this a thought provoking film, but it is also a very enjoyable film for the locale and the quality of acting.

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House of Shadows

Well acted atmospheric drama

(Edit) 15/07/2021

I very much enjoyed this film in spite of the mixed reviews. The cast and acting are strong with two excellent lead characters, and I liked the Spanish setting.  It’s not a pure horror film but it is quite unnerving at times and is a lot more sophisticated that most recent examples in the genre.  It is fairly short and the tension is better for it. Recommended if you like a bit of subtlety.

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