Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross is the chief film critic of The Spectator

Schlocky and silly but fun: Beast reviewed

Beast is, the blurb tells us, a ‘pulse-pounding thriller about a father and his daughters who find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the savannah has but one apex predator’. Whether this was ever intended to be a serious film, I cannot say, but it’s fun in its schlocky, gory,

Absolutely nuts: My Old School reviewed

My Old School is a documentary exploring a true story that would have to be true as it’s too preposterous – it is absolutely nuts – for any screenwriter to have made it up. You know something is up but not what and if you’re coming to it fresh your jaw will hit the floor

A goofy, non-taxing delight: Brian and Charles reviewed

Brian and Charles is a sweetly funny mockumentary about a lonely Welsh inventor who is not that good at inventing. That said, I reckon his ‘pine cone bag’ would sell pretty well if Vivienne Westwood got behind it. (His ‘trawler fishing net shoes’ would, admittedly, be a tougher proposition.) Then, more by accident than design,

The definitive Diana doc? Possibly not: The Princess reviewed

The Princess, a new documentary film, is the first re-framing of the Princess Diana story since it was last re-framed, about ten minutes ago, and before it will be re-framed again, probably by Tuesday. We’ve had The Crown recently, and Spencer, and our favourite, Diana: The Musical (‘It’s the Thrilla in Manila but with Diana

You certainly don’t watch Top Gun for the script

Top Gun is back, nearly 40 years after the original, with reprised roles for Tom Cruise (59) and Val Kilmer (62) but nothing for Meg Ryan (60) or Kelly McGillis (64) although I can’t work out why. The first film is iconic and will likely remain that way unless you are stupid enough to rewatch

Quietly devastating: Benediction reviewed

Terence Davies’s Benediction is a biopic of the first world war poet Siegfried Sassoon told with great feeling and tenderness. The result is quietly powerful, quietly devastating and, happily, is not afflicted by the usual clichés that afflict this genre. Sassoon never, for example, crumples what he’s just written and throws it across the room.

Fellowes fluffs it: Downton Abbey – A New Era reviewed

Downton Abbey: A New Era is the second film spin-off from the TV series and, like the first, it doesn’t have to try especially hard if at all. It could be two hours of Mrs Hughes darning socks or two hours of Mrs Patmore concocting something disgusting (kidney soufflé?) or two hours of Lady Grantham

A hoot: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent reviewed

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent stars Nicolas Cage playing a version of Nicolas Cage, in a parody of Nicolas Cage and the many, many films of Nicolas Cage. This couldn’t, you will have already surmised, be more Nicolas Cage, and if you are wondering how much Nicolas Cage is too much Nicolas Cage you

Didn’t deserve an Oscar: Coda reviewed

This year the Oscar for best film went to the drama Coda – ‘Child of Deaf Adults’ – but the ceremony will now probably only be remembered for Wsscrfmhw (‘Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock For Mocking His Wife’). And we thought that mix-up over envelopes was exciting! But back to the film, which beat the