With standout performances by stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, expert imagery and striking production design, Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth is hardly a tale told by an idiot. But it could actually use a little more sound and fury – and a better idea of what it’s supposed to be signifying.
This intriguing political thriller uses the ideological beliefs of its characters as a jumping-off point, but is most effective when it takes its own stance, and starts to unpick the tiers of exploitation within society.
The Humans is a marvel of slight shifts in tone and rhythm, guided by a uniformly strong cast of actors who deliver naturalistic performances which show the cracks in their characters’ pleasant veneer.
Writer-director Potsy Ponciroli has crafted a taut Western that borrows heavily from familiar themes and storylines, but it has been constructed with such confidence and precision that one can’t help but be seduced by the picture’s stripped-down spell.
Whether the pen is mightier than the sword may be up for debate, but as this engaging and hopeful documentary by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh shows, words have the power to change things when wielded carefully.
Director Stephen Chbosky badly mishandles the material, resulting in an increasingly frustrating experience in which Evan’s inability to come clean leads to a string of emotional manipulations that sometimes border on cruel.
Whether it’s the sheer weight of the narrative repetition - which involves rewatching a brutal rape - or the two-men/one-woman perspective, which results in an underwritten character and a strained performance from Comer, The Last Duel is crushed by the weight of its own armour.
A claustrophobic thriller about a disgraced cop trying to undo his past mistakes over the course of one supremely stressful night, The Guilty boasts a clever close-quarters conceit that ends up feeling more like an actorly exercise than a gripping human drama.