The Best Films of 2018

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We were blessed with a lot of great films in 2018, so many that picking a top ten wasn’t easy – there was no room, for example, for the entrancing animated tale The Breadwinner, or the thrilling Mission: Impossible – Fallout, both of which may well have featured in other years. Here’s my list of the films that did make it in to my top ten. Continue reading “The Best Films of 2018”

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The Best Albums of 2018

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Another year, another year-end Best Albums list! And if 2017 proved a monumental year for hip-hop and grime, then 2018 saw the heavier genres take their turn at the top table, with a number of powerful and punchy metal and punk releases. Here’s my favourite albums of the year. Continue reading “The Best Albums of 2018”

Halloween (2018) – review

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The eleventh movie in a horror franchise that now includes seven increasingly shoddy direct sequels, a remake, a sequel to a remake, and one entry that has nothing to do with the other films at all, 2018’s Halloween takes the bold step of ignoring all the previous instalments except for John Carpenter’s  legendary 1978 original. It’s a rare bit of audaciousness that’s otherwise largely missing from director David Allen Green and co-writer Danny McBride’s workmanlike follow-up. Continue reading “Halloween (2018) – review”

Team of the 2018 World Cup

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It’s been a fantastic tournament, full of twists and surprises, and enlivened by some stunning performances, including a few from some unlikely candidates. Here’s my team of the tournament, playing in an attack-minded 4-2-1-3 set-up.

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Hereditary – review

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‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad,’ runs Philip Larkin’s famous poem. It’s a concept that runs central to Hereditary, the debut feature from writer-director Ari Aster, which has been racking up an unusual level of plaudits for a horror film over the past few weeks. Critics have been lining up to breathlessly declare it the scariest film of the year. But despite an intriguing first act and a reliably ominous atmosphere, this creepy but ultimately derivative film doesn’t quite stick the landing. Continue reading “Hereditary – review”

A Quiet Place – review

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A Quiet Place, the ingenious and effective new chiller from John Krasinski (best known for his role as Jim in the American version of The Office), lets you know from the start that it is not playing around. A title card announces that we are day 89 into some unknown crisis. A group of ragged survivors scavenge a deserted supermarket in complete silence, moving cautiously, voices not even rising to a whisper. Stress is etched into their faces, but what has them so alarmed? An ill-timed outburst of noise and, with a sudden, shocking eruption of ferocious violence, we have our answer: it’s fair to say that A Quiet Place shows its teeth early. Continue reading “A Quiet Place – review”