Review Archive

A sincere appreciation of The Hunger Games

On the release of a new Hunger Games novel, we looked back and marvelled.

Review: Netflix’s Bridgerton brings us Shonda Rhimes greatness when we need it most

What do you get when you mix Downton Abbey with Gossip Girl? A bloody good time, that’s what.

Review: Cyberpunk 2077 is more glitch than game

It was all set to be the biggest game of the year, but Cyberpunk 2077's release has been overshadowed by technical hitches and multiple controversies.

Review: The Wilds is a melodramatic but addictive YA romp

Despite frustrating dialogue and outlandish drama, Amazon Prime Video's The Wilds makes for a compulsive, emotional binge watch.

Keeping the romance alive

A theatre kid reviews a memoir that's very close to home.

Review: The Prom is another act of cultural vandalism from Ryan Murphy

Netflix’s The Prom, adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name, is the latest outrage from the television auteur, and we've had enough.

Review: Ready Player Two deserves a ruthless force-quit

Sam Brooks pines for an alternate reality in which he did not read this book.

Review: The Modern Māori Quartet is a celebration of the magic of a crowd

Imagine a raucous garage party, with better talent, lighting and sound: welcome to the Modern Māori Quartet's new show.

Review: In Mank, David Fincher tells his version of the story behind Citizen Kane

David Fincher marks his feature film Netflix debut with Mank, a biopic about the man who co-wrote Citizen Kane. It’s more interesting than it sounds, and his loosest effort yet.

Review: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla fails to make colonisation fun

In the mood for some good old fashioned pillaging? Then play this. But if you want to have a good time while doing so, best to look elsewhere.

Review: Taranaki Hard is a compelling tribute to small-town brilliance

Many of Waitara's residents want to escape their small New Zealand town. Taranaki Hard proves they might not have to.

Review: Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy is an ugly, empty holler of a film

What happens if you take a personal memoir and strip it of everything that made it unique? You get Hillbilly Elegy.

Review: The Queen’s Gambit is popcorn fun wrapped up in prestige regalia

Everybody’s watching The Queen’s Gambit, but what about this limited Netflix series makes it so damn compelling?

Fiction of the little breaches: A review of Monsters in the Garden

Magic is always just around the corner in this collection of local sci-fi and fantasy.

All Creatures Great and Small will make you nostalgic for uncomplicated nostalgia

The original series about a Yorkshire vet was a late-70s television phenomenon. Could the rebooted version scratch a similar itch for recovering Anglophile Linda Burgess?

All hits, no gimmicks: The Spinoff reviews the Aotearoa Music Awards 2020

The erstwhile Vodafone Music Awards returned to Spark Arena last night with a new format – and a new Covid-inspired appreciation for the joys of live music. Here's what Spinoff's staffers thought.

Review: The Crown shines with Diana, stumbles with Thatcher

As The Crown creeps closer to the present day, its apolitical approach is becoming more of a problem.

Review: The Xbox Series X is a powerful beast, but where are the games?

It’s big, it’s powerful, it’s packed with impressive new features – but is it worth shelling out $800 for? The Spinoff takes the XBox Series X out for a test drive.

Review: The PlayStation 5 is a delightful big boy of a console

The Playstation 5 is Sony's entry into the new generation of gaming. How does the big unit fare?

Review: Golden Boy is a sparkling light of New Zealand comedy

Kiwi comedians unite in Golden Boy to bring us a fun, breezy sitcom that will brighten any bad day.

Review: The Mandalorian is proof that Star Wars’ future is in TV

The second season of The Mandalorian is more of the same, but it’s also a signal of where the world’s biggest franchise is headed.

Match Fit shows former All Blacks overweight and struggling – just like the rest of us

In their heyday they were invulnerable, but now the likes of Piri Weepu and Eroni Clarke are all too human. That’s what makes Match Fit so compelling.