Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

Archive for the ‘Film Reviews’ Category

Film review: Tropic Thunder

Posted by Jonathan On September - 28 - 2008

tropicAs satire goes, Hollywood is a plump easy-target. Ben’s Stiller’s first film as director since Zoolander blasts at it with full firepower – but not too much accuracy. Then again, he really can’t miss. Not with Tropic Thunder, a megabucks war-movie spoof about a cast of narcissistic actors stuck in a real-life combat zone. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: Babylon AD

Posted by Jonathan On August - 22 - 2008

babylonVin Diesel is a geek. He loves Dungeons & Dragons. He’s a World Of Warcraft fanatic. And sci-fi is his favourite genre. The bald behemoth dropped out of videogame adap Hitman to star in this dystopian thriller, his first role since he sprouted hair and – even more amazingly – acting chops in 2006’s courtroom drama Find Me Guilty. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: Gone Baby Gone

Posted by Jonathan On June - 1 - 2008

gonebaby1Oh brother, where art thou? Ben Affleck blazes back triumphant with a dark, deadly crime mystery…

“Gobble, gobble.” Two magic words that saw Ben Affleck’s credibility dry up like camel’s piss in the desert. That was Gigli. That was five years ago. Now it’s time to make the critics eat it. After seemingly punching the self-destruct button on his career, Affleck has returned with a brooding, doomy directorial debut of startling courage and bristling moral complexity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: There Will Be Blood

Posted by Jonathan On February - 14 - 2008

there_will_be_bloodPudding. Love. Adam Sandler. Three things you won’t find in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film since 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love. Shuddering with biblical sound and fury, clocking in at nearly three hours and centred by a seismic performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood is something else. Something else entirely. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: We Own The Night

Posted by Jonathan On December - 11 - 2007

weownthenight

Smuggling in a fraught, mythic tale of destiny and blood ties under the old-fashioned clothing of a ’70s-style crime drama, writer/director James Gray‘s first film in seven years broods with dark, tantalising subtleties.

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Film review: Southland Tales

Posted by Jonathan On November - 18 - 2007

southlandtales1A vision gone mad for a world gone mad? More coherent and less grandiose than his infamous Cannes rough-cut, Richard Kelly‘s Southland Tales is still a mess – but what a mess. Like his genre-bending cult debut Donnie Darko, it’s an end-of-days pulp-prophesy. But this time, political steamrollers personal as terrorists, politicians, porn stars, actors, singers, soldiers and scientists collide in a paranoid fantasy of dystopian America the day after tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: American Gangster

Posted by Jonathan On October - 12 - 2007

american-gangsterAs biopic movie-meat, this extraordinary true story aches with subtext: ’70s Harlem druglord, Frank Lucas built an empire via killer market force – smuggling low-cost, high-impact heroin right through the fog of the Vietnam war. It’s worth epic treatment, all 157 minutes of it. And, right from the title, Ridley Scott guns for nothing less than the twenty-first century’s first great crime saga: the American dream re-cut as a New York dope opera. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: Pan’s Labyrinth

Posted by Jonathan On November - 17 - 2006

panslabyrinthDown, down, down… Through the war-wounds of Fascist Spain, through ovarian entrances, through womb corridors, through Freudian angst, Gothic art, insect-fear, body horror, religious iconography, wicked slashes of Bunuelian humour… through the looking glass into Guillermo del Toro‘s psyche itself. His most personal film, the one he’s wanted to make from the beginning, Pan’s Labyrinth brings the inside out with unforgettable force. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: A Bittersweet Life

Posted by Jonathan On January - 1 - 2006

bittersweetGuns, knives, torture, revenge, pain, death… and love. You can’t beat Korean cinema when it comes to belching blood right from the heart. Aiming to max-out Old Boy’s overkill brutality, writer/director Kim Ji-woon ditches the measured chills of superb horror A Tale Of Two Sisters in favour of slicked-up ultra-violence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: The Butterfly Effect

Posted by Jonathan On April - 14 - 2004

The Butterfly EffectA teen time-travel mess that thinks it’s a dark thriller, The Butterfly Effect is so head-slappingly silly you may even enjoy it. Ashton Kutcher stars as Evan, a boy who discovers he can journey back into his troubled childhood and change the future for himself and his friends. Problem is, every alternative reality changes something for the worse. So he keeps going back – again and again. Result? Lobotomised entertainment that’s dark, violent, and hilariously dumb. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jonathan is a London-based journalist, critic and editor. He currently works for data visualisation agency Beyond Words.

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