Ex-soldier turned prospector Aatami Korpi (Jorma Tommila) tries to take his gold into the city in the last days of WWII in northern Finland. But his quest soon runs into issues when he encounters a truckload of Nazi soldiers on a scorched-earth retreat, and violent chaos ensues when they try take his gold. The Finnish word “sisu” has no direct translation but it roughly means strength of will, perseverance and determination in the face of adversity. Aatami Korpi embodies the truest meaning of “sisu”, becoming an unstoppable force for which no Nazis are going to get in his way.

Sisu is absolutely mental from start to finish, if you want to see endless Nazis being brutally murdered in every way possible then Sisu is the movie for you. Completely over the top, insanely violent and will have you squirming in your seat. Which each and every encounter Korpi has with the numerous bad guys lining up to get either knifed in the head or thrown onto a landmine his reputation is elevated to another level of “not to be messed with.” Eventually bringing him to the point of achieving superhuman status as this is a man who is not only difficult to kill but simply “refuses to die.” The crowd at the Dublin International Film Festival were certainly enjoying every minute of this absolute blood drenched carnage. A wildly entertaining movie that is best experienced with an audience.

Sisu knows exactly what kind of movie it’s trying to be and it delivers what it advertises and more. Relentlessly brutal and gritty with some unexpected humour thrown in the mix. Recommended for those who enjoy an uber-violent action movie, particularly fans of the Rambo and/or John Wick movies. If you love them then you’re guaranteed to love this.



Pilot Mills (Adam Driver) is one of only two survivors after a catastrophic crash on an unknown planet. Mills and Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) must make their way through this dangerous planet and the fight for survival begins.

The dinosaurs market for the big screen is severely lacking, so when I saw the trailer for Adam Driver vs a bunch of scary dinosaurs on earth 65 million years ago that’s all I needed, I was in. Even the very mixed reviews wasn’t enough to put me off. And although 65 isn’t quite as bad as some of the overly harsh reviews, it does still feel like a missed opportunity. And stamping “from the writers of “A Quiet Place” onto the poster isn’t fooling anyone. 65 comes nowhere near the suspense and tension of A Quiet Place.

65 avoids using dinosaurs we’re used to seeing in the Jurassic Park movies which was probably a wise decision as otherwise we couldn’t help compare them. The story itself takes a while to get going with all the setup somehow feeling both rushed and dragged out at the same time. Not quite sure how they managed that but sure here we are. There’s some strange jumps between scenes early on that feels like scenes were deleted altogether. Either way it takes a bit for the fight for survival to kick in. Once it does it’s entertaining in the moment, but it’s nothing special and honestly not as great as the trailer made it seem.

The fact that there’s such a small cast in a fight for survival across dangerous terrain storyline means there’s no surprises in store. There’s also quite a lot of flashbacks and scenes reminding Adam Driver’s character of his family etc. which is all trying desperately to get an emotional response from the audience but none of that was really achieving anything. The dinosaurs themselves are scary, no holding up your little hand in front of them to stop them trying to eat you. There’s some good scenes eventually, even if moments were already spoiled by it’s own trailer. The best thing about it was probably the last 20 minutes, it’s got a good third act but takes a while to get there.

65 should have been better and I’m not even going to mention how bad the title is. Overall there’s the feeling that something was missing here and it’s not the most jaw-droppingly memorable movie you’ll see all year. It’s fine, nothing amazing but you could do much worse. Yeah I’m looking at you Jurassic World: Dominion. Recommended for anyone looking for a short “entertaining in the moment” kind of movie, and it will probably entertain the kids for a couple of hours.


Scream VI

I’m really starting to hate this ridiculous trend of squeezing the whole bleeding cast onto the poster, it’s a Scream movie, there’s only thing you need is Ghostface and a big feckin’ knife

Yes another one. No really another one. Hardcore fans of the Scream franchise may be excited for the sixth instalment of the slasher franchise but more casual fans like myself who only dip in and out are not infatuated enough to get on board with a mediocre sequel. Ghostface needs to take a long hard look at Michael Myers and ask “do I want this to be me?” because that’s the road Scream hurtling towards.

The “sequel to the requel” no one asked for but we got anyway. Picking up from Scream V, the survivors leave Woodsboro behind and are now trying to move on with their lives in New York. But the constant media online conspiracies and the continued fascination with the slasher movies has now led to another serial killer fulfilling their fantasy on Halloween.

Absolutely all the Scream tropes are there, from the blonde doing everything wrong to people with seemingly mortal stab wounds running around whilst not dropping dead from blood loss. Also in there is the return of some legacy characters, no not Neve Campbell, the other ones. If you really care, check out the poster, I’m sure they’re stuffed onto it somewhere. And of course, there’s the resident horror movie buff that lays out the plot for you, all while the movie pokes fun at itself at every opportunity. Yep you’re watching a Scream movie alright, just not a very good one unfortunately.

Whereas Scream V was a surprisingly enjoyable sequel to a jaded franchise, Scream VI is stupid and annoying with an ending that may cause some viewers eyeballs to roll into the back of your head and stay there. It’s nothing close to scary, not funny and the characters are very hard to care about. For me there’s almost nothing working for it, the subway scene was decent but that’s about it. All I felt watching Scream VI was “why are they still making these damned movies and why am I still watching them?” Enough now lads, this has to stop.

Scream VI is gory and certainly has enough stabbings to classify it as a slasher movie but the plot is terrible and just when you think it can’t get worse, it does. Overall this sequel was not as ambitious enough as it should have been, not good enough considering we’re now at the sixth movie of a franchise that pretty much follows the exact same formula each time. It’s just another reminder that the franchise needs to hang up its mask and call it a day. Recommended for diehard fans of the Scream franchise.


Cocaine Bear

I think my expectations for Cocaine Bear might have been a little too high. And yes, it’s a movie called Cocaine Bear, it has cocaine and it has a bear but if you expect anything more than that then yes you will be disappointed.

When a drug drop doesn’t go according to plan, leaving bags of cocaine scattered throughout a Georgia forest, everyone is in danger when a huge black bear ingests it and goes on a murderous rampage. Between the random hikers just out enjoying nature, and a group of cops and criminals desperately searching for the millions of dollars worth of drugs, there’s enough of them trekking through the forest ready to be torn to pieces by the crazed bear.

Based on the true events (and that term is used very loosely in this context) around a drug smuggling operation that went a bit off the rails when a bear ingested cocaine. Whereas the real story behind this is nowhere near interesting enough to get a 90 minute horror/comedy movie from, Elizabeth Banks decided to make a full on mental movie that requires you to suspend belief and just expect to be entertained. This is not the real story, it’s complete fiction. But unfortunately it’s not as entertaining as it should have been either. The initial hype that Cocaine Bear generated once the trailer was released is the high point for this movie but if it’s as successful at the box office as it appears to be then don’t be surprised if there’s a whole bunch of apex predator high on drugs movies down the line.

At the same time a bear is off it’s head on drugs there’s Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) and Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) trying to find the drugs before the police. A detective trying to take down the criminal organisation run by Syd (Ray Liotta). And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the inconvenient timing of two kids getting lost in the forest while a mother desperately searches for her daughter, plus some hikers. Once all the setup is out of the way, the bear has plenty of people to maul to death. And yes the characters are annoying enough for you to be rooting for the bear in this case. The movie certainly delivers on the gore and there’s an 18 rating for a reason. There’s guts and flying limbs everywhere. But it tried far too hard to shove subplots into it with characters that honestly it’s hard for the audience to care about. We’re just here to see a bear eat some people with a few laughs thrown into it.

Cocaine Bear is clearly drawing inspiration from other “insert animal” on the rampage type movies and sure it’s not quite Deep Blue Sea levels of bad but it sure ain’t Jaws or even The Edge either. It’s also not as funny as you’d expect, it got a few chuckles at the screening I attended but definitely not the rip-roaring laugh out loud movie the trailer painted it out to be. The story isn’t the problem, it promises a coked up bear ripping people to pieces and it delivers exactly that but the script is diabolically bad. It’s a cringe inducing, toe-curling mess. Whenever the characters are interacting with each other you end up praying for the CGI bear to reappear and give them a quick death.

If there’s one good thing about Cocaine Bear it’s gotten people into the cinemas this weekend. And at a time where cinemas are struggling, a movie like this is needed every now and again. It’s a popcorn flick that will appeal to some people. It didn’t work for me but sure I still went to see it didn’t I. Recommended for those who enjoy movies like Snakes on a Plane or Piranha 3D.


Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

A feature length adaptation of the animated short film about a mollusc named Marcel. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an absolute delight from start to finish and will hit you right in the feels.

This is very out there so just roll with it and I promise you’ll love it. Dean (Dean Fleischer Camp) moves into an Airbnb which just so happens to be the home of Marcel the Shell and his grandmother Connie (who is also a shell). Fascinated by Marcel (voiced by Jenny Slate), Dean decides to make a film and uploads it online. Millions of passionate fans quickly fall in love with the adorable shell, and now his new popularity brings hope of finding his long lost family.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is charming, sweet and will no doubt capture the hearts of everyone. Marcel the Shell is so cute, you won’t be able to help but love it. The stop motion is incredible, as a fan of Aardman Animations from childhood, I’ve always adored stop motion and Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is wonderful. Marcel the mollusc is witty, sweet and finds the most innovative ways to navigate through life and as a one inch tall shell that does present many difficulties. A captivating idea with a story that will melt even the coldest of hearts. Sorry lads but if you didn’t like Marcel the Shell with Shoes On then there’s something wrong because it’s fabulous.

I love the idea for this film, it’s unique and emotional. A truly lovely story that touches on relationships, loss and friendship. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is the kind of film anyone can enjoy and will definitely put a smile on your face. Highly recommended for everyone and suitable for all ages.


Knock At The Cabin

Knock At The Cabin feels like Funny Games meets The Cabin in the Woods with a bit of Knowing thrown in the mix. The result being an underwhelming and frustrating movie with a good idea and a terrible ending.

Eric (Jonathan Groff), Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and their daughter Wen (Kirsten Cui) take a holiday in a remote cabin in the woods and are very quickly taken hostage by four strangers. The group led by Leonard (Dave Bautista), believe the apocalypse is imminent and the only way to stop it is for this chosen family to make an impossible choice. With no connection to the outside world, Eric and Andrew must decide what to believe before it’s too late. And this is why you don’t take a vacation in a dodgy looking cabin in the middle of nowhere. We’ve all seen enough horror movies to know that isn’t going to end well.

For an M. Night film Knock at the Cabin is surprisingly predictable and hugely underwhelming. Normally I get a lot of enjoyment from Shyamalan’s movies, even the bad ones but this was lacking any tension or horror. The set up was very well done but after that it’s quickly downhill, plodding along until the seemingly dramatic ending it’s been trying to build up to. An ending so awful it just left me annoyed. No spoilers here but there was two obvious endings that they could have gone with and unfortunately for everyone they went with the really dull one that I can’t imagine went down well with most people because honestly it was one of the most lackluster endings I’ve ever seen in a horror movie. This had potential to be a much deeper psychological thriller. A wasted opportunity and apparently didn’t do the book much justice.

Dave Bautista is easily the best thing about Knock at the Cabin, his performance as the hugely intimidating Leonard who the audience is never sure is crazy or not is the only thing that stopped me falling asleep. But what should have been a tense movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat was just unexciting, uninteresting and instantly forgettable.

At this point, there’s far more bad Shyamalan movies than good ones. Enough for me to reconsider whether I should bother anymore. There was lots of wasted potential with Knock at the Cabin so best to go into it with low expectations. Recommended for any of the M. Night Shyamalan fans who liked The Happening, there’s probably not many of you but you might enjoy Knock at the Cabin.


The Fabelmans

The Fabelmans is a semi-autobiographical story about Steven Spielberg’s childhood. A beautiful homage to his life and family. A great coming of age movie and a must see for all the Spielberg fans. Young Sammy Fabelman (Mateo Zoryan/Gabriel LaBelle) aspires to become a filmmaker, facing issues throughout his childhood and adolescence with bullying and a devastating family secret. He explores his love and talent for filmmaking and how the power of films can help him see the truth.

The Fabelmans is more of a love letter to Steven Spielberg’s family than a love letter to cinema. It’s described as the most personal film that Spielberg has ever made, and I wouldn’t doubt that for a second. It’s constantly tugging at the heartstrings and the emotion and love that went into this pours out of the film.

My main issue with The Fabelmans is it felt dragged out and at the same time left me wanting more. Part of me wanted more behind the scenes of film and the movie making process, whereas it’s more a nice coming of age story than anything else. Beautifully shot but it’s not Spielberg’s best. Perhaps the hype and discussions surrounding The Fabelmans over the last few months might have skewed my expectations. Or maybe it’s just that the bar for Spielberg movies is just too high now. Yes it captured the nostalgic feel to it alright but if you’re expecting E.T. you may be a little disappointed.

The cast are perfect and with Spielberg making this I’d expect nothing less. I’m sure he took a lot of time to carefully select the actors to play his family. Michelle Williams and Paul Dano were interesting casting choices but they work. In recent years there’s been a few movies now by established directors that are personal love letters to cinema, this year alone we have The Fabelmans, Empire of Light, and Babylon. And although The Fabelmans is a very well made movie, it’s still Martin Scorsese’s Hugo that does the love letter to cinema to perfection.

The Fabelmans is the perfect choice for all the Steven Spielberg fans and movie lovers, he really is a master storyteller. Also if you’ve managed to make it this far without the ending being spoiled on you, try to keep it that way before seeing The Fabelmans. A definite recommendation for all the Spielberg fans.



If your plane is going to crashland on an Island even the nearby governments are too afraid to go near, well then it’s a good thing your pilot is Gerard Butler.

Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) is a pilot, a father and only delighted to be on his way home to his daughter for New Years after one last flight. Well on what should have been a routine flight ends badly during a lightning strike and they are forced to “land” on a war torn Island. Better than landing on the water right? Wrong, turns out from all the places they could have landed, the Island is filled with dangerous rebels practically queuing up to get shot and battered by Gerard Butler. Turns out “the crash was just the beginning.” Gerard Butler must now find a way to get help while also protected the passengers from these dangerous criminals.

Plane is a mindless action flick that writes itself, offers no real surprises but is entertaining in the moment and does the job. It’s fast paced, wastes absolutely no time getting going and is just an all-round fun movie. There’s also enough time allowed to set up the characters before things go south so you’re invested enough in the story to care what happens. The fight scenes are very well shot, none of this over the top shaky cam stuff. It’s actually clear to see each and every vicious punch to the head. It’s not exactly going to go down in history as one of the best action movies ever made but it’s enjoyable all the same. Pretty sure the only reason anyone is seeing Plane is for Gerard Butler. It’s definitely one of his better movies, and believe me I’ve seen some of his worst ones (yeah I’m looking at you Gods of Egypt), so when I say Plane is a decent movie you can trust me.

If there’s one thing cinemas will never be short of is an action star thrown into a perilous situation and must save the day before it’s too late. Plane is actually what it advertises, no more and no less. If you’re looking for something different to all the award contenders right now, then look no further, Plane has you covered. Highly recommended for all the diehard Gerard Butler fans.


Let The Wrong One In

Ah lads, get yourselves to the cinema for Let The Wrong One In for a bit of craic. It’s a fresh take on the vampire genre with a lot of laughs, blood and heart.

In the dark and dreary streets of Dublin, something dark is lurking. Matt (Karl Rice) lives at home with his mam in Dublin, as he’s about to head off to work his life takes a dark turn when he discovers that his older brother Deco (Eoin Duffy) has been turned into a vampire. Matt now needs to decide whether to help his brother or kill him.

Taking horror movie tropes and creating an hilarious, blood drenched laugh out loud movie worth the ticket price. Let The Wrong One In is gas. It’s completely packed full of throw backs to other horror movies, from various Dracula adaptations to The Shining. It’s ridiculous, the dialogue in particular is over the top but at the same time very authentic. The sheer amount of carnage that takes place in this is mental. The vampire genre is certainly one that has been done to death so it’s very refreshing to see a movie take things we’ve seen before and try something new. In this case it plays with vampire movie tropes in weird and hilarious ways. It’s got a surprisingly heartfelt story in the middle of all the blood and gore but overall it doesn’t take itself too seriously at all. It’s a laugh and sure maybe some of the jokes won’t work for everyone but enough of them do. I loved it all, from the horror movie references and especially the return of Anthony Head as a vampire hunter. Where’s the Buffy fans at? If you haven’t taken the time to see Let The Wrong One In Yet then what are you waiting for?

As horror/comedies go Let The Wrong One In is a great addition, it’s funny gory and very entertaining. I’m not going to complain about having a whole cinema to myself but a horror comedy would be a better experience with a crowd. Take the chance to see this in a cinema before it’s gone. Recommended for anyone who enjoyed films like Shaun of the Dead and Boys From County Hell.



The superb combination of Todd Field and Cate Blanchett results in a truly stunning piece of cinema. Tár is an enthralling tale about power, ego and cancel culture.

Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is the world renowned musician and conductor. As the first female director of a major German orchestra, she is considered to be one of the greatest living composers and conductors. Currently living in Berlin with her family, she is preparing for a live recording of Mahler’s 5th Symphony. With the performance date approaching, her personal and professional life begin to unravel as some past experiences begin to catch up with her.

The trailer thankfully doesn’t give too much away and I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect with Tár just that I had to see this movie and I absolutely loved it. Although not based on a true story it certainly has that feel to it. Director Todd Field wrote the script specifically with Blanchett in mind and it shows because I can’t think of anyone else who could have played that role so well. She gives a brilliant performance, completely immersing herself in the role and honestly deserves all the awards coming to her. Everything from the use of music to Blanchett’s captivating performance makes you forget you’re watching a movie. I never once questioned anything, it looks like Blanchett has been conducting all her life.

It’s worth mentioning that Tár may not be for everyone, the first fifteen minutes or so is very heavy on classical music references in an interview format but don’t be put off. It’s a slow paced drama that only feeds you the information as needed. As the story unfolds, the pressure and suspense builds and builds until it reaches it’s dramatic conclusion. It’s gripping and highly immersive the way a great story should be. I was completely captivated by this movie.

Considering Tár is a work of fiction there could perhaps be more unexplored stories about composers and/or conductors brought to life on the big screen. And although I can’t speak for everyone I would watch more of this and it was also comforting to attend Tár in an almost full screen, especially now when cinemas are struggling to get people into movies that aren’t part of a larger franchise. So yes there is a desire from audiences for movies with a well told story and an intriguing main character.

Tár is emotional, thought-provoking and will stay with you afterwards. Cinema buffs get yourselves in front of the big screen and enjoy Tár. It’s a masterpiece. Highly recommended and a must see for classical music fans and musicians.