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Alexander Skarsgård

The Northman

Aryans assemble! Hollywood’s most Nordic get together for The Northman, Robert Eggers’ latest exploration of arcane mindsets, and the sort of film that’s probably on a loop at White Supremacist HQ. The men are tall, blond, hairy and sculpted, the women are fierce, brave and yield only to their liege-lord husband. There is dirt, there … Read more
Moïse and Alice flirt


Möbius, not Morbius. The Marvel supervillain was still in the uncertain future in 2013 when Eric Rochant wrote and directed this spy thriller set in the chi-chi world of high finance. Also in the future was Rochant’s magnum opus, the brilliant TV series The Bureau (aka Le Bureau des Legendes), for which Möbius can be … Read more
Kevin and Val point guns at each other

On the Count of Three

Like a Butch and Sundance but with no glory days in the rearview, On the Count of Three is the story of two desperadoes riding towards their moment of reckoning, and opens with Val (Jerrod Carmichael) and Kevin (Christopher Abbott) taking aim at each other’s heads, in a moment of pre-planned mutual annihilation. They don’t … Read more
Tina and Tom fall out

Cuba Libre

1996’s Cuba Libre is only Christian Petzold’s second movie, after 1995’s debut, Pilots (Pilotinnen), but already he’s got the formula and the team all in place. It’s a chilly thriller, in other words, with a man who’s losing his head over a woman, a woman who’s so otherworldly she might in fact be more metaphysical … Read more
Close up of Morbius's face


Is Morbius, Marvel’s tragic brooding vampire, a bad guy or good guy? The eponymous movie strings a line between two opposing conceptions of the same individual and hangs Jared Leto out to dry on it – here’s a character and a movie that’s indecisive in a deadly way. So, no, Twitter, it’s not the bad … Read more
Angelo with gun

The Memory of a Killer

A hitman’s final job. A cop on the case. A paedophile network run by very well connected men. Corruption at the top end of the police. What could easily have been an identikit crime thriller comes out as something a bit more in The Memory of a Killer, thanks to intelligent direction by Erik Van … Read more
Kempton and Dorothy at home

The Duke

The Duke is a great example of the sort of film that Brits make for domestic consumption and which often do pretty well internationally as well. Playing up to harmless stereotypes, they’re full of silly sausages with funny voices and odd, eccentric behaviours. Here for the most part it’s Northerners being earthy and honest and … Read more
Sophie and Karin


Pilots (Pilotinnen) was Christian Petzold’s graduation film, a short feature-length drama which he completed in 1995. At 35, Petzold was quite ancient as students go but he’d studied German and theatre already before switching into film at Berlin’s DFFB. Either way, his film got a showing on the German TV channel ZDF, which isn’t bad … Read more
Leonard slumped over his cutting table

The Outfit

Why didn’t someone think of it sooner? The Outfit – could be a criminal organisation, could be something you’d wear. How about writing a drama that conflates and confuses the two, and make it about… er… a tailor who somehow gets caught up in the work of a criminal establishment. The conceit is worn transparent in … Read more
Sonny in shrunken suit being laughed at

100 Years of… Grandma’s Boy

A prime slice of Harold Lloyd, Grandma’s Boy isn’t as famous as Safety Last! (the one where he dangles from a clock), but it is just as good as an example of his skills. Like the other two members of the Big Three of silent funnymen, Lloyd, like Chaplin and Keaton, often found himself tangling … Read more
Greg Cerva draws his gun

BAC Nord

BAC Nord (released by Netflix as The Stronghold) tells the story of a case that’s notorious in the annals of French policing, when a unit of Marseille cops was hauled in and accused of drug trafficking and dealing. Their defence? They were part of an undercover and slightly off-limits operation ordered from higher up and … Read more
Honor Swinton Byrne as Julie

The Souvenir: Part II

The Souvenir: Part II makes sense of Part I, which seems like an obvious thing to say. But some sequels genuinely are sequels (The Godfather: Part II), fleshing out and adding to the original. Others are merely retellings of a story that’s already been told (The Matrix Reloaded). Joanna Hogg’s film fits into a third … Read more

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