Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross is the chief film critic of The Spectator

Impossible to doze through, sadly: Twisters reviewed

Twisters is an action-disaster film that follows ‘storm-chasers’ and is so relentless in its own pursuit of tornadoes that plot, character and dialogue are also thrown to the wind. It has a classy cast (Daisy Edgar-Jones, Glen Powell) and a classy director (Lee Isaac Chung) but if you believe, as I do, that once you’ve

Acceptable for a hangover day: Fly Me to the Moon reviewed

Fly Me to the Moon is a romantic comedy starring Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum set during the 1960s space race but, unlike Apollo 11, this isn’t going anywhere we haven’t been before. The extent to which the film does take flight is largely thanks to Johansson’s charisma, even though I couldn’t help shake the

Sly, sexy and smart: The Nature of Love reviewed

The Nature of Love is a French-Canadian film about an academic who considers herself happily married but then encounters a builder and sparks fly. I’ve made it sound like one of those Confessions… films, or an airport novel, but it isn’t. It’s sly, sexy and smart and, even though it’s billed as a romantic comedy

Cowboys and clichés: Horizon – An American Saga reviewed

Horizon: An American Saga is a Western directed by Kevin Costner. It also stars Kevin Costner and is co-written by Kevin Costner and has been bankrolled by Kevin Costner – so if it’s Kevin Costner you’re after, happy days. This is Chapter One, and there are three more chapters to come, so even though it’s

Stylish and potent: The Bikeriders reviewed

Jeff Nichols’s The Bikeriders is based on the book by photojournalist Danny Lyon, first published in 1968, about his years embedded with a lawless motorcycle gang in Chicago. Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud, Loving) has imposed a fictional narrative arc and while it’s bogus in some respects and the arc quite familiar to anyone acquainted with

Limp and lifeless: Freud’s Last Session reviewed

Freud’s Last Session stars Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Goode and is a work of speculative fiction asking what would have happened if Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis had met to debate the existence of God. What if two of the greatest minds of the 20th century had the chance to thrash it out? Thrash it

Minor Linklater but fun: Hit Man reviewed

Richard Linklater’s Hit Man is a minor Linklater but a minor Linklater is still an event. Also, after all those contemplative, existential films (Boyhood, the Before trilogy), who can blame him for letting his hair down with a sexy rom-com thriller that’s not concerned with deep questions. Though the film doesn’t add up to much,

Wonderfully special: La chimera reviewed

La chimera, which, as in English, means something like ‘the unrealisable dream’, is the latest film from Italian writer/director Alice Rohrwacher (The Wonders, Happy as Lazzaro). Her films are arthouse, in the sense that if you’re in the mood for someone blowing stuff up and escaping by speedboat while enjoying flirtatious repartee with a sexy

A true popcorn movie: The Fall Guy reviewed

The Fall Guy, starring Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling, is a gloriously fun, screwball action film that pokes fun at action films and this, I now know, is my favourite kind of action film. I would even venture that it’s the sort of film that’s crying out to be enjoyed with a big old bucket

You’ll want to claw your face off: Scoop reviewed

Scoop is a dramatised account of the events leading up to the BBC’s 2019 Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew. The one he imagined would allow him to put Jeffrey Epstein behind him, but instead put Pizza Express (Woking) on the map, made us want to claw our own faces off with the horror of it,

Why do movies always have to bash the ‘burbs?

Mothers’ Instinct is a psychological thriller starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain and it is one of those over-ripe, camp melodramas that, back in the day, would have almost certainly starred Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Or Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak, if we are going to be Hitchcockian about it. Either way, it’s a

Readers, I welled up! At a cartoon! Robot Dreams reviewed

Robot Dreams is an animated film from the Spanish writer-director Pablo Berger and while it doesn’t have the production values of something by Pixar or Disney or DreamWorks, it will capture your heart. Sweet, charming, deeply moving…. Readers, I welled up! At a cartoon! This is something we need never speak of again. It is

John Galliano shows the cancelled can be uncancelled

Kevin Macdonald’s documentary High & Low: John Galliano charts the highs and (spectacular) low of the British fashion designer who was fired as creative director of Dior after a number of anti-Semitic tirades came to light. I went into the cinema wanting to hear what Galliano had to say about it all. Why Jews, John?