Film Review: Hamilton

Hamilton: An American Musical is a musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, the show casts non-white actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures. This is the filmed version of the original Broadway production.

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Film Review: Star Wars – Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

The ninth episode in the Star Wars Skywalker saga and the third instalment in the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set a year after the events of The Last Jedi. Directed by J.J. Abrams, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) lead the Resistance’s final stand against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. Forced to confront their past, it’s time for the battle between the Jedi and the Sith to come to an end.

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Film Review: Le Mans ’66 (Ford v Ferrari)

Based on a true story and directed by James Mangold, Le Mans ’66 follows visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as they battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.

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Film Review: Knives Out

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Knives Out follows the investigation into the apparent suicide of renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), who is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday. When the inquisitive Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate, Blanc must sift through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. The knives are out amongst Harlan’s dysfunctional family – (Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langford, Riki Lindhome, K Callan, and Jaeden Martell) – and loyal staff – (Ana de Armas and Edi Patterson) – to find out the truth.

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Film Review: Parasite

Directed by Bong Joon Ho, Parasite is a South Korean black comedy that follows two families. The Park Family are the picture of aspirational wealth, while the Kim Family are rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together when the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. But when an interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, an underhanded battle for dominance breaks out.

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Film Review: 1917

Directed by Sam Mendes and based in part on an account told to Mendes’ grandfather, 1917 tells the story of two young British soldiers – Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) – during the First World War who are ordered to deliver a message calling off an attack that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap. This message is especially important as Blake’s brother is due to take part in the attack, but it is a race against time.

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Film Review: Uncut Gems

Directed by The Safdie Brothers, Uncut Gems follows a charismatic New York City jeweller (Adam Sandler) who’s always on the lookout for the next big score. As he makes yet another series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.

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Film Review: Little Women (2019)

Based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott which was originally published in 1868, this 2019 adaptation of Little Women, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, is the seventh film adaptation of the widely loved story, in which Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) reflects back and forth on her life. She tells the beloved story of the March sisters, four young women – Jo, Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) – who are each determined to live life on their own terms.

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Film Review: The Gentlemen

From director Guy Ritchie, The Gentlemen follows American ex-pat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) who, having built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London, is attempting to sell off his highly profitable business to Cannabis Kingpin Mathew (Jeremy Strong). But when word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business forever it triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him.

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Film Review: The Irishman

Directed by Martin Scorsese and based on the 2004 biographical book I Heard You Paint Houses by former homicide prosecutor, investigator and defense attorney Charles Brandt, The Irishman was released on Netflix this month. It chronicles the life of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), an alleged mafia hitman who confesses to a crime that he committed when working for the Bufalino crime family, headed by Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci). Now older, the WWII veteran once again reflects on his most prolific hits and, in particular, considers his involvement with his good friend Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino)’s disappearance in 1975.

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Film Review: Marriage Story

Directed and produced by Noah Baumbach and released on Netflix this month, Marriage Story follows a stage director (Adam Driver) and his actor wife (Scarlett Johansson) as they struggle through a grueling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.

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Film Review: Last Christmas

Directed by Paul Feig and based on the song of the same name by George Michael, Last Christmas follows Kate (Emilia Clarke), a young woman subscribed to making bad decisions. Working as an elf all year-round in Santa’s (Michelle Yeoh) Christmas store in London, Kate has somewhat given up on life and spends most nights drinking and taking home strangers. Things seem too good to be true when she meets Tom (Henry Golding), a caring night courier who re-opens her eyes to the more wonderful things in life.

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Film Review: Frozen 2

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and the sequel to the 2013 film, again loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale The Snow Queen, Frozen 2 is set three years after the events of the first film and sees Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.

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Film Review: Joker

Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker is a standalone story centring on the iconic DC character of The Joker. Set in Gotham City, Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a mentally-troubled comedian who lives with his mum (Frances Conroy). A clown-for-hire by day, Arthur is disregarded and mistreated by the fractured society of Gotham and soon embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime, bringing him face-to-face with his alter-ego, “The Joker”.

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Film Review: Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood follows a faded television actor, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. Following multiple storylines and serving as a modern fairy tale tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age, Rick also has a famous next-door neighbour, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), as their lives soon become intertwined in the least expected way.

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Film Review: The Lion King (2019)

Directed by Jon Favreau and a photorealistic live-action remake of the classic 1994 Disney film, The Lion King follows the story of a young lion, Simba (voiced by Donald Glover), who must embrace his role as the rightful king of his native African land following the murder of his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones), at the hands of his uncle, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). With the help of his friends – Nala (BeyoncĂ©), Zazu (John Oliver), Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) – Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

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Film Review: Spider-Man 2: Far From Home

Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and the twenty-third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film sees Tom Holland return as the web-slinging Peter Parker as he decides to join his best friends – Ned (Jacob Batalon), MJ (Zendaya), and Betty (Angourie Rice) – on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks that are creating havoc across the continent.

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Film Review: Toy Story 4

The fourth instalment in Pixar‘s Toy Story series and directed by Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4 sees Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) finding himself left in the closet as the gangs new owner, Bonnie (Madeleine McGrew), doesn’t seem to need him any more. So, when Bonnie’s self-crafted and beloved Forky (Tony Hale) needs some help, Woody makes it his mission to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts), whose adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior.

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Film Review: Rocketman

A true story based on the life of musician Elton John and directed by Dexter Fletcher, Rocketman is a fantasy musical that follows John (Taron Egerton)’s early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). The inspirational story, set to Elton John’s most beloved songs, shows the transformation of a shy piano prodigy with unloving parents (Bryce Dallas Howard and Steven Mackintosh) to an international superstar – including all of the drugs, drink, sex, and pressuring manager (Richard Madden).

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Film Review: Aladdin (2019)

Directed by Guy Ritchie and a live-action adaptation of the 1992 animated Disney film of the same name, which itself is based on the eponymous tale from One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin follows a street rat (Mena Massoud) who frees a genie (Will Smith) from a lamp and is granted three wishes. Transforming himself into a charming prince in order to marry the beautiful Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), his plans are disturbed when an evil sorcerer (Marwan Kenzari) becomes hell-bent on securing the lamp for his own sinister purposes.

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