crime

Vice

December 20, 2018

Dick Cheney will forever be known as the man who put the “vice” into “Vice President”. While the Trump administration continues to sink into a legal quagmire we can look back at Cheney and marvel at how he ever got away with it. His continuing prosperity, indeed his very existence, suggests that his contract with … More


Shoplifters

November 30, 2018

Everyone knows George Santayana’s famous line: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. This is axiomatic, most especially in an age when attention spans are shrinking to the size of a mobile phone screen. The philosopher’s second-most-popular quotation is rather more problematic. When Santayana wrote: “The family is one of nature’s … More


Widows

November 23, 2018

When Steve McQueen won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave, it was a testament to his choice of subject matter rather than his skills as a director. With a background in video art – a medium in which boring and pointless exercises often enjoy critical acclaim – McQueen has … More


The Old Man & the Gun

November 15, 2018

There was an old man with a gun Who spent his whole life on the run His favourite prank Was to hold up a bank He said it was his kind of fun If The Old Man & the Gun is the swansong of Robert Redford’s acting career he’s not going out with a bang … More


1%

October 12, 2018

On first impressions one wouldn’t imagine Matt Nable to be the literary type. Covered in tattoos, muscle-bound, mo-hawked, and prone to a bit of ultra-violence, Nable, who plays bikie leader, Knuck, in Stephen McCallum’s 1%, is also responsible for the screenplay. Although most of the dialogue is a stream of expletives, it’s more convincing than … More


You Were Never Really Here

September 7, 2018

Last time we saw Joaquin Phoenix he was playing Jesus Christ in Garth Davis’s lacklustre Mary Magdalene. In Woody Allen’s Irrational Man of 2015, he was a verbose professor of philosophy that Emma Stone found unaccountably attractive. Finally, Phoenix has been given his ideal role – as Joe, a hired killer, in Lynne Ramsay’s You … More


Sicario: Day of the Soldado

June 29, 2018

If this were one of those reviews that run in a box at the side of the page it would read: “A relentlessly brutal and stupid film that does no-one any favours.” The chief difference between this sequel and the original Sicario of 2015, comes down to two significant absences. Canadian Director, Denis Villeneuve, has … More


Thor: Ragnarok & The Snowman

October 20, 2017

At the beginning of this week I was looking forward to The Snowman, based on a gripping crime novel by Norway’s Jo Nesbø. I had fewer expectations for another Scandinavian saga – Thor:Ragnarok, the third installment of the popular Marvel superhero franchise. By the end of the week my expectations had been trashed so effectively … More


Joe Cinque’s Consolation

October 14, 2016

Notably absent from Sotiris Dounoukos’s film, Joe Cinque’s Consolation, is the voice of Helen Garner. In the best-selling book about the death of 26-year-old Joe Cinque and the murder trial that followed, we see everything through Garner’s eyes. She makes us party to her own fears and recriminations; her battles to be fair to Joe’s … More


Goldstone

July 8, 2016

In Goldstone, Indigenous director, Ivan Sen, explores a new cinematic sub-genre. Let’s call it Outback Noir. Instead of darkened rooms and night clubs, the action takes place in the blazing Australian desert. Sen’s characters don’t sit at a bar with shadows from a Venetian blind falling over their faces, they squint in the glare of … More