Latest reviews of new albums:
Victoria & Abdul
  • Composed by Thomas Newman
  • Back Lot / 2017 / 46m

Exploring the relationship between the ageing Queen Victoria and her Indian manservant Abdul Karim, Victoria & Abdul is a follow-up of sorts to 1997’s Mrs Brown, which also starred Judi Dench as the Queen.  Stephen Frears’s film has not been without controversy – its rose-tinted view of the British Empire has unsurprisingly not gone down well in some quarters – but the performances by Dench and Ali Fazal have been widely praised.

The Foreigner
  • Composed by Cliff Martinez
  • Sony Classical / 2017 / 46m

Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan star in The Foreigner, an action thriller from Martin Campbell.  Chan goes out for revenge after his daughter is killed in a bombing in London and the film has proved popular with audiences and looks set to provide a huge return on its relatively modest budget (with Campbell providing a reminder of his action credentials). 

Breathe
  • Composed by Nitin Sawhney
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2017 / 42m

Breathe is a biopic of Robin Cavendish, who was given 28 days to live when he was diagnosed with polio (and paralysed from the neck down) in 1958.  He became a great advocate for the disabled and helped many around the world – and went on to live for 36 years, not 28 days. 

The Mountain Between Us
  • Composed by Ramin Djawadi
  • Lakeshore / 2017 / 49m

Idris Elba and Kate Winslet star in The Mountain Between Us, which doesn’t seem to feature a mountain between them – rather, they’re stranded on one after their plane crashes.  With a dog.  Heaven only knows if they fall in love with each other – it seems pretty implausible that they might, but I guess stranger things have happened. 

Blade Runner 2049
  • Composed by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch
  • Epic / 2017 / 94m

Long in the making, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s seminal Blade Runner has finally arrived.  When the project was first mooted, two things were taken as given: that Harrison Ford wouldn’t be involved, and that it would likely end up being terrible.  Neither of those things has come to pass: Ford has now revisited most of the roles that made him famous and in the hands of Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 has become one of the best-reviewed films of the year.  Ryan Gosling stars as a replicant sent by the LAPD to “retire” a child apparently born to a female replicant.

American Assassin

Composed by Steven Price Varèse Sarabande / 2017 / 52m Based on the late Vince Flynn’s novel, American Assassin follows Mitch Rapp, initially working as a lone vigilante-type out to get revenge on the terrorists who killed his wife before being recruited into a CIA black ops team.  Starring Dylan O’Brien as Rapp with support […]

Rebel in the Rye

Composed by Bear McCreary Sparks and Shadows / 2017 / 52m A biographical film about the life of J.D. Salinger directed by Danny Strong, Rebel in the Rye is set during the World War II years and leads up to the publication of you know what.  Starring Nicholas Hoult as Salinger and featuring Kevin Spacey […]

Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic

Composed by Elmer Bernstein Tadlow / 2017 / 63m The archetypal Hollywood movie director, Cecil B. DeMille made countless films in a career that started with his first silent movie in 1914.  Over forty years later, it ended with the film that has gone on to be his most famous, 1956’s The Ten Commandments with […]

Get Even

Composed by Olivier Derivière Ameo / 2017 / 59m A horror-themed first-person shooter video game, Get Even sees the player taking on the role of a man who wakes up in an asylum with no memory of anything other than the fact that he was trying to save a girl with a bomb strapped to […]

Tokyo Ghoul

Composed by Don Davis Shochiku / 2017 / 60m Based on the Japanese manga series, Tokyo Ghoul is about a pleasant group of individuals – ghouls – who survive by eating human flesh.  They live amongst ordinary humans such as you and I, and nobody knows who they are (except, presumably, for the people whose […]

Annabelle: Creation

Composed by Benjamin Wallfisch WaterTower / 2017 / 49m Annabelle was about the doll introduced in The Conjuring and a year after the main film got a sequel, now so too does its spinoff.  As its title suggests, it’s about the origins of said doll and, like the previous films in the series, has been […]

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Composed by Alexandre Desplat Europacorp / 2017 / 100m (score 71m) Based on the French comics Valerian and Laureline, Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the most expensive European movie ever made.  Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star as the two lead characters, with support coming from a wide range […]

Sneakers

Composed by James Horner Columbia / 1992 / 49m Phil Alden Robinson’s Sneakers is a hugely entertaining caper movie from 1992 with a wonderful cast led by Robert Redford.  He leads a team of security specialists who find themselves caught up in a plot from Ben Kingsley to destabilise the global economy using a new […]

The Dark Tower

Composed by Tom Holkenborg Sony Classical / 2017 / 67m Long in development, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower has finally made it to cinemas in 2017, directed by Nikolaj Arcel (J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard having previously been attached).  It ended up being a continuation of the series of novels, incorporating elements from various entries […]

Papillon

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith Quartet / 2017 / 72m Based on Henri Charrière’s massively successful memoir of life in a French prison camp in Guyana, Papillon can boast the star power of Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman (the former giving one of his finest performances) and Franklin J. Schaffner’s film is an entertaining yarn, albeit one […]