Tom Jennings's blog

The Killer Inside Me, directed by Michael Winterbottom

Tom Jennings is disappointed with two films which purport to illuminate and critique violence against women. Part 1: The Killer Inside Me.

Erasing David, directed by David Bond

This enterprising demonstration of biopolitical domination is too blinkered to transcend liberal agendas.

In the Land of the Free, directed by Vadim Jean

This new documentary about the Angola 3, the longest-serving US political prisoners, offers a compelling case but avoids tackling wider ramifications.

The Headless Woman, directed by Lucrecia Martel, and The Milk of Sorrow, directed by Claudia Llosa

Tom Jennings mulls over two fascinating South American films which reflect schisms of class and culture in women’s responses to personal crisis

Exit Through the Gift Shop: a Banksy film

This entertaining pseudo-documentary mocks contemporary art’s commercial premises as well as the mystique of individual genius. Tom Jennings laughs at, and with, Banksy.

Precious, directed by Lee Daniels

This tale of the transcendence of wretched suffering retains some integrity despite pushing so many bleeding-heart liberal buttons

A Prophet, directed by Jacques Audiard

A Prophet’s powerful contemporary spin on the conventions of crime films and prison dramas gives it resonance well beyond those limited horizons, argues Tom Jennings

Starsuckers, directed by Chris Atkins, and Capitalism: A Love Story, directed by Michael Moore

Tom Jennings suspects that lack of political imagination explains the patronising undertones of two purportedly ‘alternative’ cinema documentaries

Haiku, by Andrew Vachss, and The Right Mistake, by Walter Mosley

Tom Jennings finds much of interest, as well as inevitable limitations, in two American novels exploring positive worldviews among the impoverished

Common Words and the Wandering Star, by Keith Armstrong

Tom Jennings is grateful for this comprehensive documentation of its author’s efforts to keep Jack Common’s legacy alive

The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Tom Jennings is relieved that this film avoids lazy liberal moralising in exploring the mundane traumas of courage under fire.

Generation Kill, by David Simon & Ed Burns

This deadpan account of a US Marine company’s exploits encapsulates for Tom Jennings the baleful banality of the Iraq war.

The Cinema of John Sayles: Lone Star, by Mark Bould

A long overdue study of a rare exampe of a radical film director who is also unashamedly populist.

The Enemy Within, by Joseph Bullman

This pathetic tabloid rehash of anarchist-bomber shock-horror achieves zero insight into jihadist terrorism

Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold

This powerful take on troubled teenage subverts social realist conventions as well as underclass clichés, according to Tom Jennings

The Yes Men Fix the World, directed by Andy Bichlbaum & Mike Bonnano

More (or less) ‘alternative’ current affairs commentary from the anti-corporate pranksters.

Broken Embraces, directed by Pedro Almodóvar

It’s more introspective than earlier crowd-pleasing extravanganzas, but Tom Jennings finds abundant subversive intelligence, wit, and pleasure in Almodóvar’s new film.

Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee, directed by Shane Meadows

Tom Jennings chuckles along with the pointed proletarian poignancy of Meadows’ latest chamber-piece.

Film Fictions of the Iraq War

Tom Jennings examines television and cinema stories about the US/UK ‘war on terror’ in terms of the notion that ‘war is the health of the state’.

Another Life, by Andrew Vachss

Tom Jennings salutes the eyepatched crusader’s superhero child abuse revengers on their final outing.