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fairbrother’s Film Reviews

199 Films have been rated or reviewed by fairbrother.

Saving Private RyanSaving Private Ryan (1998)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) If Spielberg can't quite shake his naive sentimentality, the pulverizing intensity and virtuosity of his combat scenes is undeniable. Morally and thematically reductive, then, but an emotional–visceral knockout all the same.
DVD $24.95
HiddenHidden (Cache) (2005)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Demands patience, and multiple viewings, but rewards them with a wealth of prickly "hidden" themes: privilege, denial, terrorism, media, the fluidity of truth... deliberately frustrating, and fascinating for it, it's stone–cold brilliant.
DVD $29.95
DetroitDetroit (2017)
3 stars (Good Enough) A woke horror film by white artists, with all the good and bad that implies. Authoritarians will write it off as liberal pandering, while the rest of us already get the message loud and clear, so who's it's really for? Potent all the same.
DVD $34.95, $39.95
WaruWaru (2017)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) The acting is variable, and one chapter is all too on–the–nose, but overall this is a remarkable achievement made with love and bravery. It hit me deeper and haunted me longer than anything else I saw in 2017. Don't miss it.
DVD $24.95
Mother!Mother! (mother!) (2017)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) Someone's been watching too much Lars von Trier! Exhausting and risibly pretentious, with a crap ending, but so admirably wild (and uncommercial) it demands to be seen and debated. Pfeiffer takes the acting prize.
DVD $34.95 | Blu-Ray $39.95, $49.95
Thin Red Line, TheThin Red Line, The (1998)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) The poetic, philosophical flip–side to Saving Private Ryan's pandering hero–myths: for all its action, the emphasis is on spiritual conflict, a bold gambit for a big studio picture. A mixed bag but truly unique and beautifully crafted.
DVD $20 $15
ComplianceCompliance (2012)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Hardly much fun but excellent acting means the queasy tension hooks us properly. The fact that the story's unbelievable is why the film deserves to exist: it's based on not one but, chillingly, several documented true cases.
DVD $29.95 $14.95
UnaUna (2016)Recommended
2 stars (Good Try) Strong material. Strong leads. Frustrating direction: the play's built–in claustrophobia is diminished by over–filming and over–editing, presumably meant to make it "more cinematic", but ironically forestalling full engagement.
DVD $29.95 $15
Seven PsychopathsSeven Psychopaths (2012)
3 stars (Good Enough) If the whole is little more than a shaggy–dog joke, pitching "quirky" self–awareness with hard–to–take violence, its tough to deny that there are some inspired bits too – laughs–wise and shocks–wise – plus several wicked performances.
OJ: Made in America (TV Series)OJ: Made in America (TV Series) (2016)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Aroview is on–the–money. This fulfills its "true crime" duties in spades and with a very even hand but, more impressive, uses that framework to dissect complex facets of American culture in a lucid, revealing manner. Unmissable.
DVD $29.95

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