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  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back

    ★★★★★

    The greatest film ever made ? Depends what you are looking for in a film but for sheer entertainment value there are few films that can match it. This is the film that turns Star Wars into a saga. Not content with simply rehashing the original, here we get a greater scope as new worlds and characters are introduced but more importantly the returning characters are all developed logically. Crucially, the chief villain becomes something much more significant and the…

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    ★★★★★

    Jackson's realisation of the first of the Lord of the Rings books is one of those rare instances where everything from casting to production design, music, editing, cinematography and location come together to such stunning effect that the minor quibbles with the film feel like redundant trivialities. The fusion of location shooting around New Zealand with the production design and effects bring another world to life in a way not seen since the original Star Wars films and Jackson gives…

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  • The Little Mermaid

    The Little Mermaid

    ★★★

    It marks the start of a renaissance in Disney animation, but truth be told the film hasn’t aged particularly well. The central heroine is rather bland and her quest to marry the prince of her dreams is dull at best. It doesn’t help that the film’s villain, Ursula, although visually striking, isn’t much fun and lacks a foil to trade banter or quips with. What still makes the film work well is the secondary comedic characters, especially Sebastian, and the…

  • Yesterday

    Yesterday

    ★★★★

    Much more similar in tone and style to Richard Curtis previous films than Boyle’s, barring a few directorial flourishes, this is another great comedic tour de force from Curtis featuring an array of characters that could have been transplanted from any of his previous films, but remain great fun and entertaining. The central conceit of the film is intriguing enough and makes for some brilliant funny and clever scenes, but equally this is also a reminder of how great the Beatles songs actually were. Well worth it!

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  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★★½

    A compelling mystery that develops in surprising ways this is a film that is best seen knowing as little about the plot as possible. Suffice to say the opening and closing shots encapsulate the clever way the film plays with your perceptions of the two central characters and both Ben Affleck and especially Rosamund Pike give great performances. The film is also a vicious satire on the media, especially in the US, the constant spin, faux analysis and rush to…

  • Aliens

    Aliens

    ★★★★★

    Aliens is a textbook example of how to do a sequel right and remains Cameron’s best film. Like the first, the film takes time to gradually build tension and whilst it initially plays on the audience knowledge of the creatures, the film wisely chooses to take the story and tone in a different direction once they appear - here we essentially get a war/action film instead of horror. Cameron’s ability to create compelling action sequences is rarely in question, but…