Shannon Griffiths’ Movie Reviews

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with Movie Reviewer, Shannon Griffiths

Widows 5/5 Stars
The latest film from Academy Award winning filmmaker Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and the screenwriting debut of Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl), Widows stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo as a group of women attempting a heist in order to pay back a crime boss following the death of their husbands from a job gone wrong.
Co-starring Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Jackie Weaver, Jon Bernthal, Robert Duvall and Liam Neeson for one of the most outstanding casts put to screen this year, a hugely entertaining popcorn-thriller mixing intrigue with a deeper message awaits all those keen for a different type of film turning the heist genre on its head in all the best ways possible.
Four women with little in common aside from a debt left behind by dead husbands, Veronica (Davis), Linda (Rodriguez), Alice (Debicki) and Belle (Erivo) decide to take fate into their own hands by conspiring to continue the criminal activities their husbands began. Set out to forge a future based on their own terms whilst up against crime bosses, politicians and corruption in Chicago’s shady underbelly, the unlikeliest of allegiances is made to ensure four men did not die in vain.

A superb ensemble of excellent actresses leading an intelligent crime caper which keeps it real with relevant social commentary in a modern world, McQueen’s artistry and knack for employing the world’s best performers for yet another interestingly engaging experience sets the new standard for how heist films have the potential to be made, breathing new life into a semi-retired category of films to make it feel fresh again.
Instantly one of 2018’s best films featuring great action, terrific performances and an exploration of themes from police brutality to interracial marriage and sexism, substance is something every good film should provide, making Widows the perfect example of how to balance a good time at the movies with a captivating story of retribution. Left with nothing, capable of anything.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 2/5 Stars
The second of five films intended in the Fantastic Beasts series and overall tenth feature set in JK Rowling’s Wizarding World made famous by the incredibly successful Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald once again follows Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander as he attempts to help bring down dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
As welcoming a treat it always is returning to the magical world we’ve known to love for over 17 years and despite director David Yates’ sixth directorial effort (following the last film and Potter 5-through-8) featuring an in-form Jude Law as young Albus Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as the long-teased titular antagonist seen only briefly at the end of the last instalment, this second spin-off prequel attempting to make a quick buck off the brand name Harry Potter provides offers only a few glimpses of the incredible magic expected from the franchise, unfortunately forgetting to tell its own story in a disappointing and overstuffed film.

Having escaped custody and begun gathering followers in a plan to raise up young pure-blood witches and wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, the darkest wizard of the time Gellert Grindelwald is hunted by Auror’s of both the American and British Ministries of Magic. In an effort to prevent Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore – the most powerful wizard of all and current defence against the darks arts Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry enlists the help of former student Newt Scamander, who with the help of his American pals, remains unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.
Committing many crimes against Potter fans by even going so far to contradict certain events set up in the previous films, an impressive ensemble cast mixed with great costume design and slick-looking cinematography is not enough to save this from being completely forgotten among the Harry Potter legacy.