Alistair Harkness

Alistair Harkness
Alistair Harkness's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Scotsman, Film4

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) What a disappointment.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/5 84% Monsters and Men (2018) Though the triptych structure makes the overall film feel a little uneven, the main characters' respective introspection feels truthful...‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
2/5 40% The Upside (2019) All its dated interracial comedy and pandering sentimentality is just as grating without subtitles.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
4/5 94% Stan & Ollie (2018) Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are perfectly cast as Laurel & Hardy in Jon S Baird's late-years biopic Stan & Ollie, a gentle, melancholic look at the beloved duo long after they've fallen out of favour in Hollywood.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
4/5 87% Colette (2018) Dominic West is a riot as Colette's louche husband, but Knightley owns the film with a brilliant performance as the free-spirited author who pushes back against patriarchal oppression.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
3/5 59% The Front Runner (2018) Much of the film comes across as a well-crafted, Altman-esque attempt to present a kaleidoscopic view of complex and thorny issues.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
4/5 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) It all adds up to a charming celebration of the value of stuff and nonsense in difficult times - and who doesn't need a reminder of that at the moment?‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet An Artist's Eyes (2018) A suitably and pleasingly abstract sketch of someone whose place in the larger art world has yet to take shape.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
2/5 26% Mortal Engines (2018) Mortal Engines manages to be even duller than The Hobbit.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Irreverent comic book in-jokes, a collage-like mix of animation styles and a vocal cameo from Nicolas Cage add to the fun.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/5 59% The House That Jack Built (2018) An oddly beautiful and richly symbolic portrait of a prankster reckoning with his own misdeeds and finding out too late that he's the punchline.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
4/5 96% Roma (2018) A generous and lovingly made film.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
4/5 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Flat-out charming, a movie stripped of the usual clichés about ageing (it's a world away from the recent Michael Caine dud King of Thieves) and shot with the retro feel of a New Hollywood classic.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
5/5 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) It's... a mark of Riley's sheer narrative chutzpah that the film never feels didactic as it crams a semester's worth of radical politics into its swift 100-minute running time.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
2/5 84% Disobedience (2018) Stacks the dramatic decks so much in favour of its protagonists that their dilemma feels a little quaint.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
4/5 96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) Wardle gradually zooms out to show the devastation wrought upon their lives is both heartbreaking and chilling.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
4/5 87% Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018) A nightmarish vision of familial disharmony...‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
2/5 76% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) The use of zombies as a coming-of-age metaphor is promising but ineffectively exploited and the gore is about as effective at disguising the film's overall dullness as a tacky bit of tinsel on a fake Christmas tree.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Another win, but only just.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 83% Creed II (2018) The fight scenes are decent, Stallone's still appealing, and when Bill Conti's original theme kicks in, it's impossible to resist. But please, no more.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
4/5 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) The brilliance of the film comes from the way Koreeda quietly and non-judgmentally observes this clan up close as they care for and look out for one another before gradually pulling back to reveal the true nature of their various relationships.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2018
3/5 73% Assassination Nation (2018) Though writer/director Sam Levinson has clearly imbibed Natural Born Killers-era Oliver Stone's approach to cultural satire, it's an approach that feels apropos for the times.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2018
1/5 40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Dumbs down everything that was great or interesting about Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series and turns it into a grim, self-serious, avenging angel-style comic book fantasy.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2018
4/5 64% Suspiria (2018) A film that seems to be grappling - albeit abstractly - with the complex ways in which guilt and denial are inextricably bound up in any attempts to break the spell of the past.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
2/5 38% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) The movie frequently grinds to a halt as she scripts multiple scenes of characters standing around explaining things, yet these scenes never really clarify anything.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/5 94% Wildlife (2018) Wildlife marks an accomplished directorial debut for actor Paul Dano who - along with writing partner Zoe Kazan - transforms Ford's 1960s-set tale of a fracturing family into a fantastic showcase for Carey Mulligan.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
2/5 81% Overlord (2018) Overlord is a futile exercise in turd-polishing: a zombie-Nazi splatter-flick that's had more millions thrown at it than its schlocky premise either requires or benefits from.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 63% Outlaw King (2018) It may have glorious camera work, revenge-filled plot twists, lots of speechifying and an English villain with a hipster bowl cut, but Mackenzie seems very conscious of the way these kinds of stories can be turned into simplistic myths.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 90% Widows (2018) The end result is entertaining as hell: a defiantly feminist piece of art that questions why the default setting for commercial movie-making still favours male-led stories.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 97% They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) The myth-challenging, unsentimental insight it provides into what these men went through is gripping and valuable in the extreme.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 92% Mirai (2018) The core story is relatively simple, but its child's-eye depiction of a toddler's existential angst is inventively rendered with surreal flights of fancy that fall somewhere between Where the Wild Things Are, Inside Out and A Christmas Carol.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
4/5 100% Nae Pasaran (2018) The film explores this modest act of rebellion in an admirably low-key way that emphasises the fundamental decency of the men who took a stand.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
3/5 65% Peterloo (2019) The result is a rather stultifying historical epic, a textbook example of preaching to the converted (with the emphasis on textbook).‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
3/5 97% The Hate U Give (2018) The Hate U Give offers a worthy primer on racial issues in the age of Black Lives Matter.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
3/5 76% Bad Reputation (2018) Bad Reputation offers a convincing argument for Joan Jett's canonisation as a feminist rock and roll icon.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
3/5 62% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) The film benefits from some uncanny performances that help it transcend all the dodgy wigs and telegraphed dialogue; and of course it has that majestic back catalogue to draw from whenever things start sagging.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
2/5 74% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Though individual scenes are quite stylishly done, Goddard overestimates the cleverness of the twists and the film buckles under the weight of its needlessly prolonged 140-minute running time.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
3/5 92% Mandy (2018) As enjoyable as Cage is here, the studied weirdness of Panos Cosmatos's sophomore feature is often as trying as it is transcendent.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
4/5 88% First Man (2018) [Chazelle] largely avoids the sweeping sci-fi vistas we're used to seeing... choosing instead to keep his camera tightly trained on Gosling to launch us ever deeper into Armstrong's headspace.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
4/5 79% 22 July (2018) Like Greengrass's masterful United 93, it's a film that uses recent history to ask questions about the political direction the world is heading in. The conclusions it reaches are distressing to say the least.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
2/5 35% Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) It is, like its two predecessors, another laugh-light collection of pratfalls in which no visual gag is too obvious.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
5/5 90% A Star Is Born (2018) It's so alive with raw heartache and intoxicating performances it feels like a story no one's ever told before.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
4/5 89% Skate Kitchen (2018) A film that addresses teen sexuality, gender identity, drug use and more in ways that feel neither prurient nor exploitative; just raw and honest.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
3/5 77% Black '47 (2018) Daly's film isn't subtle, but as a genre film it has a certain pulpy intensity that keeps it rattling along.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
1/5 30% Redcon-1 (2018) With no particular feel for plot, performance or basic technical competence, it's the Scottish Mussel of zombie movies.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
2/5 84% The Wife (2018) Close instinctively understands the lingering power of inscrutability, so it's too bad the film doesn't.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
4/5 99% Faces Places (Visages, villages) (2017) Varda and JR prove quite the double act and the joy they bring each other and those they meet proves infectious.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
4/5 89% MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. (2018) A fascinating portrait of a fearless woman willing to stand up for what she believes in, often in defiance of an industry that's all about protecting the bottom line.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
2/5 67% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) Too much of the narrative falls back on plot twists that come out of nowhere for us to care much about the fate of its characters.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
2/5 64% The Little Stranger (2018) The film's determination to prioritise theme over story turns it into a somewhat clenched academic exercise.‐ Scotsman
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018