Review Archive

Review: Netflix’s addictive Tiger King will leave you feeling grubby for watching

The new true crime documentary sensation shares many of the flaws of its own subject.

Classics 101: a complete novice reviews Kafka, Orwell, Homer et al

At 16, apropos of nothing, Elizabeth Engledow set herself a Herculean task: read all the classics. Six years in she wondered, would we like to publish a few reviews?

Ori and the art of the Metroidvania

Lee Henaghan previews Ori and the Will of The Wisps, the latest game to dismantle 'are video games art?' question.

Review: a day at DramFest, Christchurch’s utterly perfect whisky festival

More than 70 stands giving away more than 350 whiskies sounds like a recipe for chaos. Instead, it’s a near-perfect day out. 

Book review: A gentle scalding of surprise hit Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Sam Brooks reviews Japanese novel Before the Coffee Gets Cold – which Aucklanders, inexplicably, will not stop buying.

My God, It’s Full of Stars! Two Auckland art shows on bodies colliding with space

Visiting the Audio Foundation and the Michael Lett Gallery, both just off Auckland’s K' Road, Tulia Thompson finds herself considering the galaxy and what it means to be human. 

Review: I Am Not Okay With This is much less than the sum of its borrowed parts

Sam Brooks reviews I Am Not Okay With This, the series that feels like a calculated mash-up of a bunch of other Netflix shows you really liked.

Review: The Clone Wars (almost) justifies the Star Wars prequel trilogy

The Star Wars prequels are universally regarded as the nadir of the franchise, but at least they gave us spinoff series The Clone Wars, writes Sam Brooks

Netflix’s Dragon Quest movie is a lovely journey with a stupid destination

Dragon Quest: Your Story feels like an hour-and-a-half-long highlight reel of an adventure spanning dozens of hours, but it’s damn fun, writes Felix Walton.

‘You cannot dismiss us’: A review of Booker winner Girl, Woman, Other

Himali McInnes looks past the fact that the first black woman to win the Booker had to bloody share it and focuses on the book –  in itself a treasure. 

Review: I didn’t fully understand Netflix’s Horse Girl but I loved it all the same

Horse Girl is a nightmarish time-warped look into the mind of a mental illness sufferer.

Review: High in the gods for David Suchet – Poirot and More

At the interval, Linda Burgess's legs are aching. But in the second half, magic happens.

Review: 2000ft Above Worry Level, a sublime novel about humdrum things

Eamonn Marra's debut novel makes a study of the mundane: sanding a fence, heating baked beans, three pizzas for $29.99 delivered. Alie Benge reckons it belongs somewhere between Sally Rooney and Elena Ferrante.

The Spinoff Reviews New Zealand #103: The Burger King chip butty

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, a bunch of us have a hoon on Burger King's new chip butty.

Emily Writes: The Goop Lab’s orgasm episode fails to reach a satisfying climax

Emily Writes reviews the now infamous orgasm episode of the even more infamous Netflix show The GOOP Lab.

Weird flex, but OK: Why Samsung thinks you want a flip phone in 2020

Have we reached peak smartphone? Henry Burrell reviews the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, an engineering marvel which all but highlights how few ways there are to improve phones in 2020.

Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 2 could have been designed by algorithm

To All The Boys I've Loved Before was the Netflix hit of 2018, but the sequel feels designed to replicate the success of the original without half as much heart.

Every dairy lolly in New Zealand, reviewed and ranked

Summer is the time for buying dollar bags at the dairy. It's also the time for Madeleine Chapman to rank every single one of them.

Abominations unto God: Reviewing Nestlé’s new Kiwi onion dip flavours

This summer, Nestlé released two new flavours of Kiwi Onion Dip. Hayden Donnell, our nation’s leading Kiwi onion dip researcher, delivers the company an angry rebuke.

An extraordinary, tender response to Witi Ihimaera’s memoir Native Son

Poet essa may ranapiri says this review is one of the hardest things they've written. 

How Cats made me love the movies again

The film adaptation of the hit stage musical Cats has been described as a true work of depravity. But could it become an ironic cult favourite?

New Zealand’s new-wave RTDs, reviewed and ranked

Premixed spirit-based drinks have shed their low-brow reputation and are taking over a summer barbecue near you. But are they any good?

Review: Netflix’s Miss Americana shows Taylor Swift’s best face and nothing more

Sam Brooks watches Netflix's Miss Americana, the new Taylor Swift documentary – and finds it light on revelation, heavy on image rehabilitation.

Fearless and perfectly formed: Rose Lu’s All Who Live on Islands, reviewed

Brannavan Gnanalingham reads Rose Lu's groundbreaking essay collection – overlooked by the Ockhams judges – and finds it full of elevating yarns.