Matt Glasby

U.K. CRITIC

Matt is a UK entertainment journalist whose credits include Total Film, Little White Lies, Digital Spy, GQ and Q.

mattglasby

Review: ‘Arrival’ Comes Close to Being Dennis Villeneuve’s Masterpiece

Matt GlasbyReviews | 09 Nov

One day Dennis Villeneuve will make a masterpiece. Incendies (2010) came close as dammit. Prisoners (2013) started strong but twisted when it should have stuck. Enemy (2013) was far too esoteric (read pretentious). And Sicario (2015) was superbly crafted but just shy of world-shaking. For its first 30 minutes this cerebral sci-fi, adapted by Eric […]

Review: ‘Golden Years’ Ends Up Feeling Patronising

Matt GlasbyReviews | 09 Oct

The so called “grey dollar” – not to be confused with the pink one – is something of a cinematic growth market, as the proliferation of Red and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel fare attests. Similarly talent-heavy but thrill-light is John Miller’s genial UK geri-com. Written by, of all people, TV DIY doyen Nick Knowles, it gives the brilliant Bernard […]

Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ Appears to Have Been Written on One

Matt GlasbyReviews | 05 Oct

Rushed to the screen to capitalise on the success of Paula Hawkins’ 2015 source novel, The Girl On The Train appears to have been written on one, juddering to its destination faster than the speed of sense. Tormented by the picture-perfect lives she glimpses during her morning commute – including her ex-husband Justin Theroux and […]

Review: ‘Green Room’ is Savage, Knuckle-White, and Great Fun

Matt GlasbyReviews | 12 Aug

Punk rock and horror should go hand-in-hand – both need to be loud, fast and resolutely NSFW – but often the results are embarrassing. Just as writer/director Jeremy Saulnier brought humanity back to the revenge flick in 2013’s Blue Ruin, here he brings proper scares and smarts to the punk-horror subgenre. Fabulously named band the […]

Review: ’45 Years’ is an Ever-So-British Response to the Likes of ‘Amour’

Matt GlasbyReviews | 15 Mar

The mechanics of a happy marriage are subtly put to the scalpel in writer/director Andrew Haigh’s measured drama, an ever-so-British response to the likes of Amour. Based on David Constantine’s short story In Another Country, it finds Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) living out a contented retirement in the countryside and preparing to […]

Review: Ralph Fiennes is a Hurricane in ‘A Bigger Splash’

Matt GlasbyReviews | 09 Mar

A loose remake of forgotten 1969 French thriller La Piscine, I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino’s eroticised drama is best thought of as a sort of Euro-centric Sexy Beast – Sexy Beasts, perhaps. Both feature Brits abroad disturbed by force-of-nature guests; and both are better as portrayals of unsettling group dynamics than as thrillers. On the Italian island […]

Review: ‘Hail, Caesar!’

Matt GlasbyReviews | 01 Mar

The Coen Brothers are, hands down, among the greatest film directors working today. Which has two effects. Firstly, nobody’s liable to knock their work when it’s not quite up to snuff. Secondly, they need to be held to higher standards than their peers. Their latest, a 1950s-set Hollywood satire, tries so hard to be all-singing […]

Review: ‘Concussion’ is Oscar Bait, But Not Oscar Standard

Matt GlasbyReviews | 17 Feb

Writer/director Peter Landesman’s medical drama is a timely reminder that just because you’re Oscar bait, doesn’t mean you’re Oscar standard. Diligently ticking all the right boxes as if genetically engineered for awards glory, it’s a true story (check), about an honourable man (check), overcoming impossible odds (check – well, the NFL), to save lives (check). […]

Review: ‘Carol’ is Measured and Mature

Matt GlasbyReviews | 10 Feb

If something is described as “classy”, so the dictum goes, neither the object, nor the person describing it, actually is. Still, you’d be hard-pushed to talk about Todd (Far From Heaven) Haynes’ latest awards hopeful, based on a 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel (published pseudonymously because of its then-shocking content), without recourse to such a word. […]

Review: ‘Anomalisa’ Gets Under Your Skin

Matt GlasbyReviews | 04 Feb

You don’t get much more niche than Anomalisa – a crowd-funded stop-motion animation from master headchuffer Charlie Kaufman, writer of Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Adaptation. Unheard from since his frustrating 2008 directorial debut Synecdoche, New York, Kaufman creates cinema of grouchy self-doubt and grotesque self-deception, but anyone not already […]

Review: ‘Spotlight’ is an Important Film, Completely Without Self-Importance

Matt GlasbyReviews | 25 Jan

There’s something old-fashioned about Tom (The Station Agent) McCarthy’s real-life child abuse drama, and it’s not just the setting: 1990s/2000s Boston. Although – it has to be said – reasonably unappealing as Friday night viewing, it’s a film with integrity, about people trying to hold on to that self-same quality. Like its protagonists, it’s modest, […]

Review: Youth

Matt GlasbyReviews | 03 Dec

What do mordant Cockney overlord Michael Caine, disgraced Argentian footballer Diego Maradona and kooky British singer Paloma Faith have in common? They’re all in Paolo Sorrentino’s latest ode to art and ageing – and, frankly, they could all do a bit better. Sorrentino crafts lush, Fellini-esque tales of Italian high society (see The Great Beauty), […]

Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Matt GlasbyReviews | 19 Nov

The USP of Susanna Collins’ YA franchise has always been – duh – the actual games. Outside the arena, the books are mostly awful, something the films, though expertly made, have to constantly overcome. Mockingjay – Part One, also directed by Francis Lawrence, took place entirely in war-torn Panem, and suffered accordingly, though its dying-fall ending […]

Review: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Matt GlasbyReviews | 04 Nov

Movies shouldn’t be made with their marketing departments in mind, but sometimes a new release comes along that makes you wonder just who the hell it’s aimed at. As the unwieldy (and weirdly apostrophe-less) title suggests, Christopher Landon’s busy horror-comedy is happy to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. But is it a sweet-natured ode […]

‘A-Z of Great Directors’ author on Kiwis’ best director picks

Matt GlasbyNews | 04 Nov

Nothing like a little film list to cause some controversy, right? Not the NZ choices, which make up a handy national primer. Peter Jackson, Jane Campion, Taika Waititi, Niki Caro & co. I know, but the others make me want to dive into a decent NZ DVD collection right now. You’ll forgive me for not […]

The greatest film directors of all time – but no Peter Jackson?

Matt GlasbyNews | 07 Oct

Firstly, an apology. We tried to get him in. We really did. But the brief was just too brutal. For new book The A-Z Of Great Film Directors Andy Tuohy, whose portraits grace each page, myself, and our editor, Hannah, had to reduce the field from EVERYONE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE WHO’S EVER DIRECTED A […]

Review: Macbeth

Matt GlasbyReviews | 01 Oct

Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown was a devastating true-crime tale of poverty, rape and murder. So it’s no surprise he’d be drawn to Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy, or that the results would be bleaker than a Glaswegian dentists. The real head-scratcher is that anyone let him. You know the story – which is handy, because, after a Star Wars-style opening crawl […]

Review: Sicario

Matt GlasbyReviews | 17 Sep

Chilly Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) may not seem the obvious choice to helm a hot-blooded action thriller. And English rose Emily Blunt couldn’t have been top of anyone’s list to play its ass-kicking all-American heroine. But the ambitiousness of the match fits the ambitiousness of the movie. Even the title (it means “hitman” in […]

Review: Tangerine

Matt GlasbyReviews | 15 Sep

The making of Sean Baker’s LA street drama must have been even more remarkable than the film itself. Shot on the fly, using iPhones with prototype anamorphic lenses, it features a cast of transgender women, most of them making their acting debuts. Like Coffee and Cigarettes or Smoke, but on substances a little stronger, it gives voice to […]

Interview: ‘Everest’ Star Jason Clarke

Matt GlasbyFeatures | 14 Sep

Jason Clarke’s career as a Hollywood hardcase is blowing hot and cold, but mostly the former. Born in Winton, Queensland (where The Proposition was shot) he hit the big time Stateside with Zero Dark Thirty (2012), in a role no A-lister would have dared touch; then held his own against an army of CG simians […]