Time (TV mini series, 3 episodes)

This is my favourite kind of TV drama; character-based, realistic, believable and passionate. All of Jimmy McGovern’s work is like that. There wasn’t a hint of melodrama or cliché despite prison dramas having been done to death over the years. He manages that because he writes characters that are true and so that always makes for work that feels alive. The acting was always going to be good with a cast like that. The directing was invisible which means it obviously worked. Overall, really really good.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dirty John (TV series, Season 1, 8 episodes)

Good acting, writing and directing portrays the monster/charmer John as he tries to control and exploit everyone around him. Not sure it tells us anything we didn’t already know about situations like this but it was really engaging throughout. JK06.05.2021

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Six Minutes To Midnight (film 2020)

An enjoyable wartime, spy caper. Nobody’s really good but nobody’s really bad. None of the characters are developed even slightly so it’s all quite cardboard, a bit like one of those wartime spy capers made… well, in the war. Eddie Izzard and Dame Judi Dench both use only one note of their extensive ranges due to a thin script. The photography is lovely and Wales looks beautiful. Even Llandudno pier makes an appearance. JK07.04.2021

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Freaks (film 2018)

This gets a massive 87% on Rotten Tomatoes which just shows how subjective everything is because this is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. It’s pretentious, incomprehensible, nasty, gory, story-less, mean-spirited and boring. It reminded me a bit of the Rob Zombie re-boot of Halloween; ‘we’re young and trendy and clever enough to throw all the rules out of the window… oh, no we’re not.’ One positive; the acting is good. JK07.14.2021

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Operation Finale (film 2018)

Interesting and informative but also suspenseful portrayal of attempts to capture former SS officer Adolf Eichmann in 1960. There are a couple of moments where it only just manages to hold back from becoming melodrama but overall it hits the right tone with what is a sensitive subject. Ben Kingsley is exceptionally good. JK 28.03.2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Allen vs. Farrow (4-part TV documentary)

Fascinating and moving series. I don’t have a problem with it being one-sided; why shouldn’t a subject be looked at from a particular standpoint? In the interest of fairness, though, it’s important that viewers realise this isn’t a complete picture and examine other points of view before making a judgment. JK 29.03.2021

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Your Honor (10-part TV series)

Really engaging story with loads of suspense; another one written by Peter Moaffatt (The Night Of). It’s lifted several leagues though by Bryan Cranston who is unbelievably good in every scene. Without him, this wouldn’t be anywhere near as good. JK 28.03.2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Night Of (8-part TV series)

This is based on the first season of Criminal Justice, a 2008 British series and is written by Richard Price and Steven Zaillian (based on the original plot by Peter Moffatt), and directed by Zaillian and James Marsh. It premiered in 2016 to critical acclaim. Simple, linear storytelling is used really effectively and focus is on character throughout. JK18.02.2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.