Our writers give their quickfire takes on the best and worst in cinemas and streaming now!DENISE JANS ON UNSPLASH

Sex Education (Netflix) 3.5 STARS

Four seasons in, I can’t help but feel that all this build-up has ultimately resulted in an anti-climax. As Otis and co. arrive at their new school they are met with a hoard of vibrant new characters, each with their own nuanced identities and challenges. They undoubtedly enhance the scope of representation which the show has pioneered since its first season, but the sheer amount of new storylines leads to a season which is seriously overstuffed and underdeveloped. Sex Education continues to unapologetically embrace the highs and lows of teenage sexuality, but something’s been lost in the execution here. – OT

“Haunted by a sense of spiritual guilt and soaked in oil and blood”

El Conde (Netflix) 3 STARS

Pablo Larraín’s horror-comedy reimagines Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a nearly three-centuries-old vampire, falling prey to the schemes of his children, as they vie for their share of his fortune. Using real political players and circumstances largely as a means of drumming up the lunacy of its own special brand of revisionist comedy, I can’t help but feel that the story of Pinochet’s mass killings and politically motivated tortures demands a little more conciliatory examination, even a Benigni-esque closing twist. That said, the film is brimming with entertaining performances throughout and features excellent work from cinematographer Ed Lachman, shooting in an immaculate monochrome. – BB

Rotting in the Sun (MUBI) 5 STARS

A ketamine-fuelled dive into the superficialities of queer, millennial life in Mexico City, this film tells the story of Sebas, a disillusioned artist who dreams of phenobarbital and habitually chews out his housekeeper for the slightest slip. He’s advised to take a vacation at a party beach for a weekend, and happens upon the clownishly enigmatic Jordan Firstman, a ‘creative’ obsessed with his online presence – things, predictably, start to go south. In a city of digital nomads and a forgotten working class, Sebastián Silva’s semi-autobiographical satire offers a cutting perspective on narcissism and nihilism, addiction and gentrification, and brazenly tackles the exploitative structures that uphold our society… and, in turn, imprison us. – GBA

“A ketamine-fuelled dive into the superficialities of queer, millennial life”

Killers of the Flower Moon (cinemas) 4.5 STARS

Martin Scorsese, perhaps our greatest living American filmmaker, returns to our screens… with yet another story all about the great original sins of America herself. Centring on a series of murders of the Native American Osage people that took place in Oklahoma during the 1920s and playing out over a meticulously paced 206 minutes, it’s a vital film of characteristically epic scale, haunted by a sense of spiritual guilt and soaked in oil and blood. It might fall just slightly short of Scorsese at his very best – but he’s certainly never made something that feels quite this (righteously) angry. – IJ

The Reckoning (BBC iPlayer) 2 STARS

Steve Coogan is uncanny here, starring as the notorious Jimmy Savile in a highly anticipated (and perhaps inevitably controversial) dramatisation of the TV personality’s life and crimes. It’s been dropped rather unceremoniously onto BBC iPlayer, with very little fanfare, and it isn’t too hard to see why. Coogan is a fine actor and an even finer impressionist, but the show as a whole can’t help but feel like a sensationalistic rehash of everything we already know, all too eager to sidestep its ethical quandaries and (very liberal) use of artistic license simply by bookending each episode with fleeting interviews with a few of Savile’s victims. Remember that it’s all financed by the BBC, the one institution perhaps most responsible for enabling Savile’s behaviour, and the whole affair starts to smell pretty bad. – IJ


Mountain View

Making sense of Stop Making Sense

Boiling Point (BBC iPlayer) 5 STARS

Seeing Philip Barantini’s culinary drama Boiling Point (2021) in the cinema was possibly the most stressful viewing experience I’d ever had, but some bizarre part of me was desperate for more. Thankfully, four tense hours of his new television spin-off have provided that perfect cocktail of anxiety and enjoyment once again. There was always a risk of throwing off that perfect balance by lengthening the format and introducing new characters, but the team doesn’t put a foot wrong here. The style of the film is expertly maintained, with an opening scene that mirrors its one-shot method, the same stellar performance from show-stealing Vinette Robinson as a newly appointed head chef, and an uneasy but beautiful score from Aaron May and David Ridley. – SA