Film Reviews by CS

Welcome to CS film reviews page. CS has written 23 reviews and rated 133 films.

3.5 stars for Trumpisms

If you've seen the other Purge films you'll know what this is about, but it does provide an interesting backstory to the origins of the

event in a story that has some uncomfortable parallels with what is going on today in terms of the resurgence of extremism in the USA. This is not high brow cinema but it is entertaining enough and worth a watch for sure if you enjoyed its predecessors.

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Gripping and highly relevant

Spike Lee at his best as director in a gripping tale based on a true story that stretches credulity (as does much going on in America now as then). The idea of a black cop infiltrating the KKK sounds fantastic, but the manner in which this is done and the risks incurred form the base of a tense and exciting plot that highlights themes about racism that - as the ending of the film illustrates - remain all too pertinent. Excellently acted and told. Surely a strong Oscar contender?

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Does what it says it will do...

A home invasion in reverse film which may draw on a paint-by-numbers formula but does a good job in getting stuck into the action and drawing viewers along with the plot's action. 'Don't mess with mum' could have been a suitable subtitle . Hardly a classic but I'd give this a 4 star (just) as the momentum never let up and it maintained its entertainment value. At under 90 minutes it also had the advantage of not stretching an idea beyond its welcome. Good fun.

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Dull as beautiful ditchwater

Nice to look at - sumptuous scenes of rural Italy made me want to go back there for another holiday. As for a film though, while it beats watching an apple core go brown the dull, dull, dull story of a gay relationship between a teenager and youngish academic really didn't do enough to stir excitement or interest.

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Fascinating Biopgraphy

This film may not look entertaining on the surface but is an excellent auto/biographical portrait of Leon Vitalli, a successful and highly promising actor who became fascinated by the mechanics of film production after working with Kubrick and gave up acting in order to work with the great director as a personal assistant involved in every aspect of movie making. This sacrifice - which is what it seems in many respects - takes some explaining but that is what is so interesting. Well worth a look if you want something a little different from Hollywood action movies or art film pretentiousness.

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Not as good as the first.

I enjoyed the first of these - a revenge movie based in significant part within B&Q type store has lots of tongue in cheek possibilities for extreme pay-back - but I'm afraid Denzel couldn't keep me awake until the end of this follow-up. He's now into taxiing, righting wrongs during his time off, but friends and others are being killed off (dangerous to be a friend of this character, though he will get even...), and there's clearly a conspiracy afoot. A fair bit of action and some excellent fight sequences but you know the script and could probably write it. Denzel is class, but better vehicles for his talents needed.

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Excellent drama/thriller.

Superbly acted, atmospheric and brooding, this tale of family, community and personal strife grips from early on and builds to a dramatic climax. Very impressive and absolutely worth watching.

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Mesmeric

A small scale but ultimately profound exploration of one man's journey through a few days which is also a contemplation

on old age. Brilliantly acted by Harry Dean Stanton - with appearances from the likes of David Lynch - in what

was his last screen performance, this is an excellent film well worth catching.

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One of the best of the year

Marvellous acting by the two leads, Thomasin McKenzie and Ben Foster, who deliver a totally believable tale about a psychologically damaged veteran and his daughter trying to live a life outside of society's norms. The adjustments and challenges that they face are portrayed sympathetically and while there is a strong melancholic vein running throughout the film it also shows the good side of humans in a positive way. Highly recommended. One of the most powerful and well acted films I've seen in 2018.

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Excellent acting but gruelling

Paddy Considine is an excellent actor and director and this film about a boxer recovering from injury is further evidence of his qualities (alongside those of Jodie Whittikar amongst others). In the interview with Considine in the DVD extras he speaks of his love for boxing but this is also a fine grained analysis of its dangers and the level of realism is such that it is not an easy watch at times. The film is in many respects 'small scale' in focus - dealing with personal tragedy - but deals with big themes involving loss and reconciliation. I recommend it but would also say that you need to be in the right mood to watch it.

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Paint by numbers, pick up the cheque...

A waste of acting talent and frankly a waste of viewing time. Old plot, no new twist, stereotypes, cliches....

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If you feel in need of a slow, well acted, but not much at all happens, narrative...

I'd read some very positive reviews of this in the media and it is a very well-acted film that conveys a real sense of authenticity

in depicting cultural tensions between a group of German workers and Bulgarian locals. It is slow, though, very, very, very slow, and while that helps in building a sense of just-below-the-surface tension this tests boredom thresholds and I'm afraid broke mine into little pieces.

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Revenge movie on acid

Nicolas Cage turned up to 11 in this psychedelic revenge movie about a couple living 'off the grid' who encounter some nasties in the form of a religious cult and their 'helpers'. Things ain't gonna end well. The dreamlike quality of the film lends it character and Cage does a great line in being himself. Fun enough but not one of the better thriller/horrors around.

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Excellent hostage drama

There is something satisfyingly 'old fashioned' about this film which doesn't rely on special effects or jumpy camerawork to convey atmosphere but depends instead on dialogue and a narrative in which the tension steadily grows to its dramatic conclusion. It was much better than I expected and while not one of the greatest films of all time was very enjoyable.

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