Category Archives: drama

If your life is lacking in drama, pick one of these to sink your teeth into.

Knives Out

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I love whodunnits!

My friend and I have read multiple Agatha Christie novels, and while we always try to figure out the culprit before the end, we never seem to be able to get into Agatha Christie’s head… Continue reading

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Downton Abbey

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It followed the same upstairs/downstairs troubles and triumphs, but with the backdrop of the Royals coming to stay at Downton. All the while, tying up the loose ends of the final series.

The movie was ho-hum, and plodded on in the same fashion as series 5 and 6 had (not much scandal or suspense). I think the writers had been running out of steam for some time, and the movie didn’t seem to show much difference in their creativity… Continue reading

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Stan & Ollie

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Stan & Ollie is a film based on comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.

It doesn’t follow the typical story line of a biopic of following the protagonist’s life from childhood through to death. Rather, it focuses more on Laurel and Hardy’s (Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly) friendship.

The relationship they had was not only heartwarming, but combined with the backdrop of the thirties and fifties, you’re left longing for simpler times where human interactions were not interrupted by technology.

The movie follows the ups and downs of the ageing duo, who are struggling for money as their careers on the stage and in front of the camera are winding down… Continue reading

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Yesterday

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Yesterday is a movie exploring the world where The Beatles never existed. After a global black-out, the protagonist Jack (Himesh Patel) wakes to discover that he’s the only one who remembers The Beatles or their songs.

Thankfully, as he’s a struggling musician he’s able to bring The Beatles’s music back to life. But with the fame and fortune, guilt and doubt isn’t far behind.

Yesterday is an easy watch. It’s a great Sunday afternoon family film with a fantastic soundtrack… Continue reading

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Green Book

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I was looking forward to watching a movie full of triumphs and heart-wrenching moments. I guess I was expecting Little Miss Sunshine meets The Help.

Sadly, Green Book was a somewhat shallow story that did not reach the emotional depths that I expected it would.

It’s about Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) who works as a bouncer before being asked to drive a successful (and rather pompous) African American musician (Doctor Don Shirley) around the deep south… Continue reading

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Bohemian Rhapsody

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Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic of Freddie Mercury’s life within the iconic band, Queen.

It’s an emotional journey with an epic soundtrack, mirroring the trauma and heartbreak of Mercury’s rise and fall in fame.

What I like about this movie is that unlike Elton John’s biopic, Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody retains the original Queen soundtrack. So it feels like a more accurate representation of Freddie Mercury and his music… Continue reading

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Rocketman

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Rocketman was two hours of musical classics, sung by Taron Egerton who portrayed Elton John. It’s worth a watch if you are a fan of Elton John’s hits – which is everyone! However, it’s is the perfect example of why a biopic should not be made while the main character is still alive, let alone be made by the main character – Elton John – himself… Continue reading

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Storm Boy

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Storm Boy is a story about a boy who rescues three pelicans in an isolated coastal area of Southern Australia called 90 Mile Beach.

Once nursed back to health and released into the wild, one pelican stays behind with the boy and never left his side.

This is a largely unknown and only briefly advertised film, which is a shame. However, I think anybody who has read the novel or seen the 1976 Storm Boy film will adore it…
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A Star is Born

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Believe it or not, this is the fourth version of A Star is Born.

1937 (Janet Gaynor and Fredric March)
1954 (Judy Garland and James Mason)
1976 (Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson)
2018 (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper)

It’s about a rock star called Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) who is an alcoholic with failing hearing and a career that is winding down. He bumps into a waitress called Ally (Lady Gaga) who has some decent pipes and takes her under his wing. Before he knows it, she’s an even bigger pop star than him and fame changes her from a humble, ordinary girl into an unrecognisable star… Continue reading

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Top 12: Best Movies About Journalism

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Some of these films were a larger influence on me choosing to study journalism at university than I care to admit. Morning Glory was the main reason for me deciding to take a television journalism paper, and The Pelican Brief was responsible for introducing me to the world of investigative journalism.

Here are some of the best journalistic films… Continue reading

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Spotlight

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Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation, Spotlight follows the journey of a group of investigative journalists unearthing the child abuse within the Catholic Church.

Despite the heavy and disturbing subject matter, it is such a moving film. Just watching the trailer gives me chills; it is so well made. 

I think the writers did a remarkable job of giving a lot of detail about the case without slowing the pace of the movie down. It moves at a steady pace where you are deep enough into the emotion without it being too overbearing… Continue reading

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The Post

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The Post comes across as a film with similar emotional impact to the likes of Spotlight (a highly recommended investigative journalism movie), but it sorely missed the mark.

It follows the real-life story of the Washington Post in the 1960s, a paper passed down to  Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) who is struggling to keep the company financially afloat. Then, a big story breaks as government secrets relating to the Vietnam war are leaked – this massive story could make or break the paper.

But with the New York Times already being threatened with legal action for publishing only part of the information now available, Katherine is reluctant to allow editor-in-chief  Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) to publish the story for fear of bankrupting the paper. Meanwhile, she is fighting the emotional turmoil of being a woman in a man’s world… Continue reading

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Sing Street

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I was dubious about this film at first, I was thinking ‘any second now it’s going to take a turn for the worse’. But it didn’t! It was actually a very uplifting film from beginning to end.

I love movies about a likeable and naive underdog – like About a Boy or Driving Lessons – but coming-of-age films with a great soundtrack like this one is even better. The songs are so catchy!… Continue reading

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Jerry Maguire

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“Show me the money!”
“You had me at ‘hello’.”

They’re quotes that everyone has heard, but I’m not convinced everyone has actually seen Jerry Maguire.

It probably has a similar reputation as A Few Good Men where everyone knows the “You can’t handle the truth!” line, but not as many have seen the film it’s from. (Coincidentally they’re both Tom Cruise movies.)

This film is about a sports agent called Jerry Maguire who has an epiphany that results in him sending a late-night mission statement to everyone in the office. An inspired letter about perceived dishonesty in the industry and how they should work toward quality over quantity. However, in the morning that all too familiar, overwhelming warm wave of regret hits him… Continue reading

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Seven Pounds

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Seven Pounds is the film you watch when you’re depressed and have no intention of wanting to feel better. It’s heavy and tells a story of an absolute tragedy.

It’s about an IRS agent Ben (Will Smith) who is overwhelmed and broken with guilt after accidentally killing seven people – including his wife – when driving recklessly. He was wealthy and had everything, he felt indestructible and took what he had for granted… Continue reading

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The Truman Show

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I don’t know how I have gone this long without reviewing this remarkable movie.

The Truman Show is about Truman (Jim Carrey) who lives a humble life in a suburban town with a solid job and a perfect wife. But he can’t stop thinking about a woman he fell in love with at university. He soon begins to reflect on his life and missed opportunities, before expressing his desire to travel… Continue reading

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Everybody’s Fine

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It’s a film I’d never heard of, but bought at a second hand shop on a whim because it featured Robert DeNiro.

It’s advertised as a drama and marketed around Christmas time because of the family themes in the story. However, I think it would have brought a dark cloud over the holidays if you were to watch this film during December! The marketing is incredibly misleading.

It’s not funny. It’s not happy. It’s not carefree… Continue reading

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About Time

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From the brain behind The Boat that Rocked, Notting Hill, Love Actually and Bridget Jones comes a warm and fuzzy, all-nice, all-good, hot chocolate and cuddles on a rainy day kind of story. It’s called About Time.  (If you loved Driving Lessons, then I think you’d enjoy this film.)

I love coming of age films, there’s nothing better than seeing bog-standard, everyday man-on-the-street kind of characters on the tellie, accomplishing the extraordinary and telling you that everything will be alright in the end… Continue reading

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Dark Places

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Why do I do this to myself? I read the book, then watch the movie. Of course I’m going to be disappointed. 

As per the Gillian Flynn book of the same name, this is a story about a seven-year-old girl, Libby Day, who witnessed the massacre of her family. She testifies against her 15-year-old brother, who gets jail for life.

Basically, what was a layered and intriguing mystery in the book, becomes a simplified one-watch film. It’s really nothing special. It’s just a good-looking woman skulking about, and figuring out the mystery with very little effort… Continue reading

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Murder on the Orient Express

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‘Um. No.’ – My review in brief of both the film and book.

I read the book then immediately watched the film, but ultimately they were both disappointing. (The film, more so.)

I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and have read a fair few of her books, but despite its fame, Murder on the Orient Express is by far the biggest disappointment – mostly due to the ending… Continue reading

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Denial

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A shocking account of David Irving (Timothy Spall), a Holocaust denier, who takes Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) to court for speaking out against him. At its very core, its about free speech, and the abuse of it.

While I knew there was a theory of the Holocaust never having happened, I wasn’t actually aware there was a specific Holocaust denier, and court case about it.

As I mentioned in my reviews of The Darkest Hour and The Founder, Denial is another good film-alternative to watching a documentary on the issue… Continue reading

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Their Finest

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Well. That was a pretty enormous disappointment.

After seeing the trailer, I thought, ‘this is my kind of film’. During 1940, a female protagonist, Catrin (Emma Arterton) proves herself to be a talented screenwriter for propaganda films (created to inform, and to lift the spirits of the public). Bill Nighy – a fabulous actor – plays an egotistical has-been actor called Ambrose, and everyone looks beautiful.

‘Brilliant’, I thought, ‘a coming-of-age drama based around film and writing – both things I love – with a sprinkle of comedy and a touch of tragedy against a wartime backdrop.’

How wrong I was… Continue reading

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The Founder

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I’m sure there’s a documentary or two out there about the history of McDonald’s. But if you’d rather watch a snappy film about it, choose The Founder.

It’s an account of Ray Kroc’s (Michael Keaton) greed, and the sadness and destruction he left in his wake.

I knew Ray Kroc was a bit of a wheeling-dealing businessman, but I didn’t realise what an underhanded tyrant he was until I watched this film. He completely swindled the actual founders of McDonald’s – brothers, Mac and Dick McDonald (John Caroll Lynch and Nick Offerman) – out of the success and profit of the company… Continue reading

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The Reader

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I’ve been thinking about this movie for days.

A gripping tale in post-war Germany, about a woman name Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet) who has a summer affair with a teenage boy named Michael Berg (David Kross). A few years later, Berg is a law student and is sitting in on a Nazi war crime trial in court where he is stunned to see Schmitz again… Continue reading

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Darkest Hour

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If you thought Dunkirk and The King’s Speech were epics, wait until you see Darkest Hour. It’s another perspective of the remarkable rescue of British soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk, this time, from inside British parliament… Continue reading

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