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The SWITCH team have all the reviews for the best films of Sydney Film Festival 2021 - click here to read now!x

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2021

THE REVIEWS

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
31st October 2021

Sydney's cinema-loving residents couldn't be happier now that the state's lockdown has come to an end - heralding the arrival of the 68th Sydney Film Festival!

With 233 films from 69 countries - including 111 feature films, 50 documentaries and 72 shorts - how to select which to watch in the festival's 12-day run?

The SWITCH team has banded together to solve the problem for you! We've gathered reviews of SFF's biggest and best offerings - so peruse them before you hit the festival - and make sure you check back as we add more!

Dear Evan Hansen - A disappointing, misguided adaptation of the award-winning musical
DEAR EVAN HANSEN
A disappointing, misguided adaptation of the award-winning musical
This film adaptation delivers barely a whimper. It doesn't serve the material, it doesn't serve Ben Platt, doesn't serve Evan Hansen and, most of all, doesn't serve its audience.
Limbo - A witty yet humanising look at the refugee experience
LIMBO
A witty yet humanising look at the refugee experience
It holds all the right cards, setting it apart. Funny without belittling, sad without being tragic, and relatable without pitting, this is a rewarding film that will leave audiences smiling.
Gaia - Ho-hum horticultural horror
GAIA
Ho-hum horticultural horror
Visually arresting but narratively vegetative, 'Gaia' is an eco-horror flick that never takes root.
Zola - An odyssey of online outrageousness
ZOLA
An odyssey of online outrageousness
Whether or not you completely buy into Zola's story, it's impossible not to get drawn into the frenetic and seductive storytelling. This film marks an exciting new era of viral storytelling.
The Card Counter - Not quite a jackpot
THE CARD COUNTER
Not quite a jackpot
Few films can manage to make me alternate between feeling numb and awestruck. Everything is present for something dynamic, but we're only granted glimpses of that potential.
Blue Bayou - An immigration drama drowning in its own misery
BLUE BAYOU
An immigration drama drowning in its own misery
A conflicting experience, one that pulls violently at its audience's heartstrings until they are sore, but never considers or critiques the full scope of America's inconsistent immigration policies.
Censor - Art imitates life in this thrilling horror debut
CENSOR
Art imitates life in this thrilling horror debut
Prano Bailey-Bond's palpable love of horror films - particularly the grittier nasties of decades past - allows her to knock her debut film out of the park, establishing a striking and unsettling tone.
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
THE POWER OF THE DOG
Jane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
An animalistic passion runs through every fibre of this remarkable film, with its desperate longing and its unexpected eroticism. Jane Campion has delivered one of the finest films of the year.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye - Grab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE
Grab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
Tammy Faye was larger than life, and in the wrong hands, she could have been either the punching bag or a joke. However, director Michael Showalter and screenwriter Abe Sylvia understand who she was.
Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street - Just how did we get to this childhood icon?
STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET
Just how did we get to this childhood icon?
'Sesame Street' will always be culturally relevant - but because of that, a single documentary cannot cover its grandeur, but it's a good look at the very beginning of a groundbreaking TV show
The Spine of Night - A surreal, violent animated fantasy epic
THE SPINE OF NIGHT
A surreal, violent animated fantasy epic
A welcome addition to the fantasy genre, and a nifty showcase for an underused but beautiful animation style.
The Beta Test - A thrilling and sexy Hollywood satire
THE BETA TEST
A thrilling and sexy Hollywood satire
While it doesn't necessarily hit all its marks, it's still an engrossing, sexy, satirical thriller that is well worth the ticket, even if at the beginning you thought you bought the wrong one.
Long Weekend - Another romantic dramedy
LONG WEEKEND
Another romantic dramedy
It does paint itself into a little bit of a corner due to its formulaic script, but its more-than-charming cast keeps this from being a total miss.
Best Summer Ever - This win for representation hums along to a generic song
BEST SUMMER EVER
This win for representation hums along to a generic song
You can tell the cast and crew had fun, and it's a celebration for representation, but unfortunately, that party doesn't translate to the script or the film's musical elements.
The Rescue - 13 lives saved through the most extraordinary of circumstances
THE RESCUE
13 lives saved through the most extraordinary of circumstances
This story is beyond extraordinary. We see these hobbyist cave divers command the military and powerful leaders as they put their experience and expertise to the test.
Dune - Sandy sci-fi sensation soars
DUNE
Sandy sci-fi sensation soars
It's the perfect blend of visuals and story, with a jaw-dropping soundscape. See it on the biggest screen with the best sound, and get immersed in the jaw-dropping world of Arrakis.
King Richard - Biopic on Williams sisters is a crowd-pleasing volley
KING RICHARD
Biopic on Williams sisters is a crowd-pleasing volley
One of the best sports biopics so far this century. Though the focus drifts, it's an outright emotional joy to watch, making this one of 2021's most jubilant films.
Titane - Sex, cars and madness
TITANE
Sex, cars and madness
This is a powerful, nuanced movie. When you buy your ticket and take your seat, you are about to undergo an experience. That is a pretty special reputation to garner.
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn - A penetrating satire
BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN
A penetrating satire
A funny, thoughtful, incisive, overwhelming and frequently pornographic portrait of a fractured country. Difficult to describe, but not difficult to recommend.
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Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights. 
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