Christopher Machell


Christopher Machell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Christopher Machell is a writer and editor at CineVue. He is interested in all aspects of film culture but specializes in horror and genre cinema. Christopher has also written for The Skinny, The Quietus, Little White Lies and the BFI. Find him @Dr_Machell
Publications: The Skinny, CineVue, The Quietus

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/5 67% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) A fluffy and surprisingly smart, if shallow, tumble through genre tropes. Never veering into self-parody, Landon's film knows exactly what it is, and is all the better for it. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/5 37% Glass (2019) The flaw in Glass's surface is, ironically, its opacity. Instead of interrogating the structure of superhero narratives, Shyamalan uses it as a crutch, explicitly drawing attention to it whenever his story begins to topple. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
5/5 100% One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o tomeru na!) (2017) As much a repudiation of auteur theory as a tribute to the imperfect process of creation, One Cut of the Dead is a thrilling reminder that of the beautiful, vital lie that is cinema. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
5/5 94% The Favourite (2018) Bestial cunning and instinct run riot through this deliciously Machiavellian period drama. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
5/5 73% Assassination Nation (2018) As a fable, Assassination Nation is cynical, jaded, and defiant: in other words, vintage 2018. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
3/5 84% Disobedience (2018) While nuance may be lacking, it makes up in tone and directorial precision. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
3/5 84% Creed II (2018) Creed II is neither as assured nor as rousing as its predecessor, but it has a secret weapon up its boxing gloves, and that is to embrace the daftest elements of the series while simultaneously finding the heart that drives every good Rocky film. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
4/5 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) In The Old Man & the Gun, Lowery discovers his warmest shade of nostalgia yet, tinted with just a hint of thoughtful ambivalence. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
5/5 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) Riley builds on the history of satirical cinema to tell a sharply contemporary fable that critiques the related inequities of race, class and unionised labour. - The Skinny EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Reinvigorating the genre even for those in the depths of superhero fatigue and complete with slapstick humour and a cartoon pig called Spider-Ham, Into the Spider-Verse is unabashedly a children's film, and all the better for it. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
97% The Light of the Moon (2017) An intelligent and mature examination of the post-traumatic experience of sexual assault, depicting how even the good intentions of well-meaning people perpetuate a toxic culture of blaming and controlling victims. - The Quietus EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
81% That Summer (2018) With an eye on challenging or differently interpreting a modern American legend, That Summer could have been superlative. Instead, it just feels superfluous. - The Quietus EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
66% Alien: Covenant (2017) Alien: Covenant works best as a series instalment reflecting on itself, reforming old ideas, reshaping old concepts and tropes. But as a messy, sometimes rather silly film, its reach very much exceeds its grasp... - The Quietus EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
4/5 63% Outlaw King (2018) Outlaw King's true appeal resides in the timelessness of its myth of the oppressed struggling against their oppressor. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
4/5 100% Female Human Animal (2018) A visually arresting, surrealist piece whose reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, but which is never less than intriguing. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
4/5 88% First Man (2018) Nothing on the screen, or anywhere else, could ever hope to replicate the profound, transformative experience of walking on another world. But it is difficult to imagine that it could ever be captured more closely than here. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
4/5 96% Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Possum's evocation of wrongness, that unbalancing feeling that something is off -- if only you could put your finger on it -- lingers long. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
3/5 75% Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (2018) It's truly fascinating to witness Stewart first perform as the naive, likable Knoop, and the as the affected, aloof LeRoy. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
3/5 98% Free Solo (2018) Free Solo goes some way to explaining just why someone would want to do such a thing, but is ultimately more captivated by the vicarious thrill of watching Honnold do his thing. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
5/5 87% High Life (2019) Denis has crafted an astonishing and original film, one to be pondered over, reflected upon and ingested. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
3/5 68% Kursk (2018) The claustrophobic brilliance of these scenes is undermined a little by the film's frequent journeys back to the surface, which though also effective, illustrates Kursk's main flaw - it doesn't always know what kind of film it wants to be. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
3/5 68% Maya (2018) There's a therapeutic quality to Maya's gentle, winding river of a story, moving at its own pace. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
4/5 100% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) Herzog has a knack for extracting pithy, poetic responses from his subjects, but here he outdoes himself. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/5 33% A Million Little Pieces (2018) A Million Little Pieces is its treatment of addiction as an obstacle to be overcome, instead of a condition to managed throughout life. Issues as complex as this have little need for such reductive, simplistic narratives. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
5/5 91% Widows (2018) Widows is as thrilling - and as relevant - as it gets. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
4/5 100% Gloria Bell (2019) Gloria Bell's strongest suit is the way the film alchemically creates weaves emotional textures without any obvious change in tone. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/5 62% American Dharma (2018) Perhaps the most important lesson of American Dharma is that Bannon and his ilk are spoilt children, and like lazy, indifferent parents we have let them run riot. Perhaps it's time for the adults to start acting as such and finally put the kids to bed. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
1/5 13% The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018) A baffling screenplay in which all the characters speak in the same, pretentious voice, stylistically vapid direction and non-existent drama add up to a fatal verdict. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
4/5 83% Her Smell (2019) Her Smell's ambivalence towards the allure of artistic genius and its toxifying effect on the ego eschews moral judgement or sentimental lesson-learning in favour of pragmatic, fragile redemption. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
5/5 95% In Fabric (2018) Never has a garment of clothing invoked such terror and fascination, from the explicit erotic power of its crimson red, to the way that it eerily hanging in space, like a ghostly voyeur. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
4/5 77% Mid90s (2018) Mid90s may lack real political punch, Hill has nonetheless crafted an honest and warm paean to a nostalgic past, its story relatable to anyone who remembers the daft friends that helped them navigate the baffling maze of adolescence. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/5 32% The Predator (2018) "If it bleeds, we can kill it", Arnie said of the original monster. Perhaps it's finally time to finally put this bleeding, limping series out of its misery for good. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
4/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) Hedges is, as one would expect, superb in the title role, but performances across the board are excellent. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
5/5 94% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) If Beale Street Could Talk is a rich, tender and poetic film as much about love as it is about injustice. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
4/5 No Score Yet Saf (2018) Saf's greatest strength how it explores the ways that systems of economics, community loyalty, moral relativism and prejudice interact with each other in often harmful ways. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
4/5 60% A Faithful Man (L'homme fidèle) (2018) Garrel's winking sensibility is far too fun for real darkness. Instead, he gives us a wonderful soufflé of a film - light, airy, and a rare treat. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
3/5 69% Beautiful Boy (2018) Carell walks away with the film, his tortured parent a well-spring of love, frustration and disappointment. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
3/5 81% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) Moore's signature emotive style has drawn criticism in the past, and in Fahrenheit 9/11 it's certainly clear and present. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
3/5 54% Out of Blue (2019) Out of Blue undeniably works as a stylish, psychological neo-noir, but significantly less so as metaphysical rumination. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
3/5 82% Freaks (2018) Lacking the spectacle of a superhero flick and the depth of a psychological thriller, in straddling multiple genres, Freaks is nevertheless successful at carving out its own little niche. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
3/5 86% Cities of Last Things (2018) Ho's film succeeds in using fractured time as way of puzzling together the essential drives that move a city and its inhabitants. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
4/5 75% One Last Deal (2018) One Last Deal is a redemptive, moving and stunningly shot depiction of the search for meaning in later life. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
4/5 78% Loro (2019) Luca Bigazzi's cinematography is a stunning kaleidoscope of colour, naked pleasure and voyeurism; it's at once a vision of desire and shattering, vacuous ugliness. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
3/5 82% Ever After (Endzeit) (2018) It's this ecological theme that leads to some truly inspired visuals which sustain the film until its unexpected, conciliatory conclusion. Endzeit is an unbalanced film, to be sure, but proof nonetheless of zombies' enduring relevance in horror cinema. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
4/5 63% Peterloo (2019) Performances all round are good, even if some of the cast of British heavyweights' delivery of their 18th century rhetoric occasionally slip into stagey line readings. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
4/5 100% Smithereens (1982) Wren's shallow cynicism and willingness to exploit others ultimately exposes her own vulnerability. Deeply unlikable, she remains sympathetic, both perpetrator and victim of the meat grinder that is the city. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2018
4/5 91% Death Line (Raw Meat) (1972) You'll never hear the phrase "Mind the doors" in the same way again. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet Assault (In the Devil's Garden)(Satan's Playthings)(The Creepers)(Tower of Terror) (1970) Assault is not the strongest in its class, either as an exploitative shock film or as a police procedural. Yet its visual execution elevates the film above its more formulaic qualities. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2018
3/5 93% Sicilian Ghost Story (2018) While Sicilian Ghost Story doesn't entirely fulfil its promise as a richly themed gothic romance, the visual craft on display throughout is more than enough to recommend. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2018
3/5 87% Iceman (2017) The violence on display throughout the film certainly proves compelling, though it is thematically slight. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2018