All of Us Strangers

Adam with his father and mother

All of Us Strangers, Andrew Haigh’s first movie since the atypical Lean On Pete, sees him back in familiar Haigh territory – with a twist. “Familiar” means an intense, almost claustrophobic, relationship-focused drama, but the twist comes from the way Haigh tells his story. It’s a spooky, old-fashioned ghost story. Not, note, a haunted house story (though there is a haunted house in it). Nor is this a horror movie, though psychological horror lurks somewhere in the background. It’s a ghost story of MR James variety, a style of storytelling that’s having a bit of a moment in UK movies right now – see Joanna Hogg’s The Eternal Daughter for something on fairly … Read more


Jamie Bell and Chris Evans

That sound? The plane taking off from LAX taking another great Asian director back home, sobbing with disappointment. It happened to John Woo, who did at least manage to crank out Face/Off, but his sad run of Hollywood films include Windtalkers, Mission: Impossible II and Hard Target. To the Pang brothers too, whose The Eye was one of the attention-grabbers of 2002. They came to Hollywood, made The Messengers for Sam Raimi, then put their tail between their legs and went home. So what about the latest Asian import, the great South Korean director Bong Joon Ho, whose uniquely flavoured movies include Memories of Murder, a killer-thriller-whodunit whose cops get their man more … Read more


James McAvoy as the deranged cop Bruce Robertson in Filth

The last film I saw that had any Irvine Welsh involvement was The Magnificent 11, a comedy so peculiarly inept that I started to think it was deliberate, a tax write-off perhaps, or a spoof of depressing British comedies of the early 1970s, in which girls with blue eye-liner would shed an ill-fitting bra to reveal dog-eared breasts. Jon S Baird’s adaptation of Welsh’s 1998 novel is far more what we expect from the writer of Trainspotting. Welsh has been out of fashion just long enough to be due a comeback, but is this what our New Puritan age is clamouring for – the sweary, druggy, skanky story of a very naughty Edinburgh copper? … Read more