Peter Bradshaw on 06/04/2020

Days of the Bagnold Summer review – sweet tale of a metalhead and his mum

Earl Cave and Monica Dolan are a delight in this charming comedy directed by The Inbetweeners’ Simon BirdHere’s a movie that tells us that the days of summer, like the boys of summer in Don Henley’s song, are going to get outlived by the love they inspire. It’s what happens in this thoroughly sweet-

Peter Bradshaw on 06/04/2020

Guest of Honour review – tangled melodrama of guilt and shame

Only David Thewlis’s committed portrayal of a father haunted by the past saves Atom Egoyan’s strained tale of poisoned livesDavid Thewlis stars here, and it is only the absolute conviction of his performance that saves this from being an utter misfire – a misfire of the sort that, sadly, the once gr

Benjamin Lee on 06/04/2020

Spelling the Dream review – slight but charming Netflix documentary

The success of Indian Americans within the US spelling bee is explored in a sweet-natured film that gently touches upon issues of assimilationIt’s virtually impossible to group the words spelling, bee and documentary together without instantly recalling 2003’s Oscar-nominated Spellbound, a warm-hear

Leslie Felperin on 06/04/2020

Trick or Treat review – gangsters, sushi and Blackpool hallucinations

Seaside shenanigans ensue after an apparent hit-and-run accident in this slapdash, mildly amusing thrillerIn this Blackpool-set thriller, semi-retired wide boy Greg (Craig Kelly) is feeling bored and stifled by the routine of fatherhood with an infant daughter and a constantly critical wife, Gemma (

Arifa Akbar on 06/03/2020

Pass Over review – Spike Lee directs Antoinette Nwandu’s masterful tragedy

Available onlineLee’s 2018 film of Nwandu’s powerful play, written as a response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, resonates after the George Floyd killingTwo homeless men in Spike Lee’s film who inhabit a shabby street corner fear for their lives, although there is no visible threat. They joke and

Cath Clarke on 06/03/2020

Hooking Up review – sex addict on the road to nowhere

A sex-obsessed writer reveals her many erotic encounters to a complete stranger in this shallow, unfunny comedyA sex addict re-enacts every one of her 169 conquests on a road trip across America with a man she’s only just met – he’s got testicular cancer – in this shallow, dismally unfunny comedy fr

Peter Bradshaw on 06/03/2020

Banana Split review – muddled high-school romcom

Two love rivals secretly become best friends in an implausible and oddly solemn comedy-dramaHere’s a film that has been dug out from near the back of the freezer cabinet – something from 2018. It’s a teen female-friendship, coming-of-ager from 27-year-old actor and co-screenwriter Hannah Marks who s

Peter Bradshaw on 06/03/2020

Dating Amber review – gay teenagers' pretend love fails to blossom

Two high-school students embark on a fake affair to combat prejudice in 90s Ireland in a well-meaning but derivative dramaDavid Freyne’s eager-to-please coming-of-age movie set in the 90s has the sort of high concept that could well have been greenlit in the 90s, though for an adult romcom, not a hi

Peter Bradshaw on 06/03/2020

MS Slavic 7 review – passionless portrait of a poetic affair

Sofia Bohdanowicz’s account of her great-grandmother’s correspondence with another Polish writer is bafflingly dullThe high-mindedness, unworldliness and pure strangeness of this inert docu-fiction essay give it some interest – but frankly not much. Director Sofia Bohdanowicz has created an odd semi

Peter Bradshaw on 06/01/2020

The Vast of Night review – a low-budget, high-concept sci-fi trip

Mile-a-minute dialogue and showy unbroken tracking shots make this enjoyable 1950s-set mystery a worthy homage to The Twilight ZoneThis witty and audacious sci-fi mystery arrives like a persistent and unexplained radar-bleep from the heavens: low-budget, high-concept. First-time director Andrew Patt

Mark Kermode Observer film critic on 05/31/2020

The Vast of Night review – mesmerising retro sci-fi

Full of knowing nods to space invasions past, debut director Andrew Patterson delivers a perfectly paced B-movie-style mysteryDirector Andrew Patterson works low-budget wonders in his audacious feature debut, a 50s-set oddity that won the audience prize at last year’s Slamdance festival and was rece

Wendy Ide on 05/31/2020

The High Note review – a pleasant diversion

A PA with dreams and her diva of a boss stray from the standard female dynamic in this sunny comedyDirector Nisha Ganatra follows the Emma Thompson-starring comedy Late Night with another film that takes as its jumping-off point the relationship between an ambitious young woman and a successful olde

Wendy Ide on 05/30/2020

Only the Animals – slippery, satisfying French-African mystery

Dominik Moll keeps the surprises coming in this twisting tale of a woman’s disappearance that unwinds between France and the Ivory CoastThis slippery tease of a movie opens with a shot of a man weaving through the traffic on a bike in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with a goat slung around his shoulders like

Peter Bradshaw on 05/29/2020

Mike Wallace Is Here review – rose-tinted chronicle of a journalistic giant

The tough-talking newsman is the subject of an absorbing doc that relives thrilling highs but overlooks the murkier momentsMike Wallace was the TV news reporter who became a household name in the US in the 60s as a correspondent with the CBS 60 Minutes programme, pioneering the tough on-camera inter

Peter Bradshaw on 05/29/2020

The High Note review – a romantic comedy without romance or comedy

Young love has never seemed more lifeless than it does as this dreary drama lurches towards its nauseating finale There are some comedies that seem to have been rubbed all over with an anti-funny, anti-romance Kryptonite. This is one. It’s the cinematic equivalent of elevator muzak – a festival of g

Peter Bradshaw on 05/28/2020

The Uncertain Kingdom review – short film anthology takes Britain's pulse

Tumbleweed blows on the Irish border and the grim reaper is out of work in these small-scale studies of the state of the UKThe Uncertain Kingdom is a short film collection commissioned in 2019 by producers John Jencks, Georgia Goggin and Isabel Freer as a satirical counterattack to the government’s