The Banshees of Inisherin

Colm sits while Pádraic broods outside at the window

The films of Martin McDonagh are full of lonely, isolated people and The Banshees of Inisherin is no exception. Like In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri before it, this is the story of missed or missing connections. This time, though, it’s particularly bleak. Billed as a comedy, The Banshees of Inisherin isn’t full of laughs, and they tend to come early on. Things get darker as the film goes on. It reinstates the In Bruges coupling of Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, here as longtime friends who live on an island off the coast of Ireland in 1923. While the civil war has been raging away just over there … Read more

The Batman

Catwoman and Batman

The Batman. Let’s get the plot out of the way first, since it’s the most straightforward aspect of the latest bulletin from Gotham City. A caped crusader, a trio of villains in the shape of Paul Dano’s Riddler, Colin Farrell’s Penguin and John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone, a campaign of murder being waged against city officials. The mayor dies first, in the opening moments of the film, forcing Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to call in Batman – he rates the mysterious vigilante but no one else does. Along the way Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) becomes involved, a good girl in this version, and a crimefighting sidekick, should Batman want one, which he doesn’t seem to. … Read more

After Yang

Colin Farrell in a dark room

Philosophical (ie moody) sci-fi movie After Yang picks up on Philip K Dick’s sci-fi reflections on the possibility of consciousness in bots. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and all that. Dick’s stories tends to arrive on screen dark – Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report – but director Kogonada decides to go one better than any of those with a film that is almost stygian in its gloom. No matter which way you come at this movie – soundtrack, acting, delivery of speech, clothing, cinematography, framing, screenplay – that doomy, gloomy mood is there. It makes for a meditative experience, if you’re up for something that could also be … Read more

The New World

Colin Farrell and Q'orianka Kilcher in The New World

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 20 May Christopher Columbus dies, 1506 Start typing “Christopher” into Wikipedia and , after getting to “Christo…” it will auto-suggest Christopher Columbus. This man who died over 500 years ago, on this day in 1506, still has an immense hold over the imagination, though he wasn’t the first person to discover the New World, nor even the first European, as is commonly held, nor did he even accept that he had found it, preferring instead to believe that he had arrived in the East Indies (which is why he called the natives Indians). And he was an Italian, sailing under the … Read more

Miami Vice

Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell in Miami Vice

So masculine it could reverse a vasectomy, Michael Mann’s feature length Miami Vice actually tells the same story that eventually ground down the TV series – Crockett (now Colin Farrell, then Don Johnson) and Tubbs (now Jamie Foxx, then Philip Michael Thomas) go undercover with a drugs gang, get so deep they’re not sure which way they’re facing any more, then refind themselves before screaming towards a guns-blazing finale, designer clothes looking immaculate. Built from what look like a series of high-end international aftershave adverts showcasing the very pinnacle of fast living, it is an out and out exercise in cool glamour. So was the 1980s TV series, of course, but Mann (who … Read more