Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross is the chief film critic of The Spectator

Intensely powerful: Herself reviewed

Herself is an intensely powerful film about domestic violence that isn’t Nil By Mouth or The Killer Inside Me or any of the other films that have you begging: ‘Oh, sweet Jesus, please make this stop.’ Actually, it starts like that, but then becomes something else — something that never loses sight of why we’re

I laughed quite a lot when I shouldn’t have: Old reviewed

The biggest challenge in reviewing M. Night Shyamalan’s Old lies in describing its central idea without making the film sound considerably cleverer and more interesting than it is, but I’ll give it my best shot. Just remember: if I fail, and Old does sound clever or interesting at any point, it totally isn’t. This is

Quietly devastating: Nowhere Special reviewed

Off the Rails is one of those gentle ensemble comedies that we do so well (Calendar Girls, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, etc.), except when we don’t, and it all falls rather flat, and feels like the B-side of a Richard Curtis film. This comes in, alas, at the flatter, B-side end of the spectrum, even

Lame and formulaic: Black Widow reviewed

Black Widow is the latest Marvel film and although I’d sworn off these films a while ago, due to sheer boredom, I was tempted back by the fact that this one stars a lady (Scarlett Johansson) and another lady (Florence Pugh) and even a third lady (Rachel Weisz) and is directed by a lady (Cate

Blissfully colourful, fun and basic: In The Heights reviewed

In The Heights is an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit stage musical — the one he wrote before Hamilton — and it is all-singing, all-dancing, and a ‘feelgood summer movie’, as they say. True, the storytelling is quite basic — anyone frowning over a calculator is sure to have money worries — and by the

Definitely the best cow film of the year: First Cow reviewed

Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow stars John Magaro, Orion Lee, Toby Jones, and a Jersey cow listed in the credits as ‘Evie’, who has a dewy face and big soft eyes. As Reichardt has confessed: ‘She is very beautiful and was cast purely on her looks.’ Evie is, thankfully, as convincing as she is beautiful, and

Children will love it – alas: Peter Rabbit 2 reviewed

The cinemas finally reopened this week and what better way to celebrate than with Peter Rabbit 2? You’ll probably be thinking that there are plenty of better ways to celebrate than with Peter Rabbit 2, particularly if you saw the first Peter Rabbit, which was a travesty (I think. I slept through most of it).

This film deserves all the awards and praise: Nomadland reviewed

Nomadland won multiple Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress, and if there’d been an award for Best Film In Which The Woman In Her Sixties Isn’t The Least Developed Character In The Screenplay, Hallelujah, About Time, it would have scooped that too. Not much competition, regrettably, but you have to admire the

It will do your head in: Black Bear review

Black Bear is one of those indie dramas that is meta on so many levels you can either sit with it afterwards or, if you’re weak like me, you’ll immediately turn to the internet for an explanation and may even find yourself buried deep in one of those Reddit threads that will make you wish

Ian Williams, Fiona Mountford and Deborah Ross

23 min listen

On this episode, author and journalist Ian Williams starts by looks at how China is using tech to expand its reach. (00:45) Then, Fiona Mountford reflects on how to deal with grief. (12:00) Finally, Deborah Ross reviews the Oscar-nominated Promising Young Woman, ‘a wonderfully clever, darkly funny, stomach-knotting’ revenge-thriller. (18:10)

Riveting and heartbreaking: Sound of Metal reviewed

The multi-Oscar-nominated Sound of Metal stars Riz Ahmed as a heavy-metal drummer whose life is in freefall after losing his hearing. Ahmed learned to play drums for the part. And he learned American Sign Language. And he learned to perform with white noise in his ears. However, he did not have to learn how to