Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, Max Minghella, Rory Scovel, Katherine Waterston, Flea, Eric Roberts, Samara Weaving, Olivia Wilde, Tobey Maguire

When you see the name “Damien Chazelle”, your first thought might be of La La Land, or Whiplash, something that is quite musically theatrical. You may not however realise that Chazelle isn’t always all about the musically inclined; he also directed First Man and has had a hand in a few other recognisable dramatic screenplays. Babylon looks to sit somewhere closer to the dramatic end of Chazelle’s genre spectrum, and yet he appears to have had free reign with much of the production that edges more toward his musical/theatrical side. Has he created something unique to his filmmaking, or is it a mishmash of misguided moviemaking?

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All Quiet on the Western Front


Director: Edward Berger
Writers: Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, Ian Stokell
Cast: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, Adrian Grünewald, Edin Hasanovic, Daniel Brühl

Whenever another wartime film is released, we might sometimes wonder how it could possibly bring anything new or stir any new feelings within us. War is hell, there’s no question about that, and representing it onscreen is not only a huge undertaking, but it’s a big responsibility, too. It simply must be done right, with the depth and range of emotions, the trauma, the consequences. This version of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, may not be the first film to cover the story, and it may not be the last, but is it true to not only the novel but the realities of WWI, particularly from the German perspective?

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Director: Gerard Johnstone
Writers: Akela Cooper, James Wan
Cast: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, Jenna Davis, Jen Van Epps, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Ronny Chieng, Lori Dungey

Creating robots as companions and/or helpers is nothing new to the world of sci-fi (or, indeed, the real world). As such, the sci-fi sub-genre of robots interacting closely with mankind can be a tough one to create a story around. Original ideas and plots are few and far between, but at least tone and story can leave some wiggle room for a more unique and entertaining experience. Does M3GAN manage to go down the route of something we’ve not quite seen before, or is this one robot movie that should be returned to the manufacturer?

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The Fabelmans



Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner
Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Gabriel LaBelle, Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, Keeley Karsten, Julia Butters, Mateo Zoryan

Part of the job for the majority of filmmakers is to see people, to really see them and see their relationships, their innermost selves, and to tell their stories to us, the audience. We then often turn what the filmmakers see onto ourselves and reflect on the meaning and maybe even relate to certain aspects. Of course, this doesn’t go for every movie we see, but certainly for the majority of dramas out there it’s par for the course. Spielberg has not only gone down the route of an introspective drama, but it’s an introspective on himself, his family, and his life/their lives while he was growing up (to his early twenties). Have his efforts been worthwhile, or are we just seeing another filmmaker become autobiographical with no real intent?

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