Revisiting David and Margaret’s five star films – from E.T. to Being John Malkovich

The ABC recently upset fans of David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz by deleting around 2000 of their reviews from its website. Stratton and Pomeranz hosted the popular weekly review program At the Movies, which ran from 2004 to 2014.

Before that, however, the two beloved cinephiles belonged to a different network: SBS.

SBS has responded to news of ABC’s mass deletion with a five star announcement. They declared all David and Margaret’s reviews (the ones that aired on SBS) are available to watch on SBS on Demand. Hooray!

To celebrate, we’ve sifted though the archive and found a bunch of five star reviews.

Five is the magic number, so below there are five, five star reviews from David and five from Margaret, including a highlight from their analysis. Plus links to watch the reviews in full.


Being John Malkovich

“This incredibly fresh, original comedy is the work of a pair of very talented first-timers – writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze. Between them, they’ve created an outrageously funny concept which gets more intriguing and mind blowing as it proceeds.”

Apocalypse Now Redux

“With its innovative sound, extraordinary camerawork by Vittorio Storaro, and its angry vision of an ugly war on the ground, the film became an instant classic. Now, 22 years later, Coppola has finally produced what we assume is his director’s cut – 53 minutes of additional footage.”

Idiot Box

“From the opening credits, you know this is going to be something special, with its bleak look at sex and violence. The film may not be to everyone’s taste, but for me it’s the most completely successful Australian film since the very different Shine.”

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

“The film is full of funny scenes and magical moments, the children, including a young Drew Barrymore, are beautifully directed, and the alien itself, a mechanized puppet created by Carlo Rambaldi, might not be as wondrous as some of the digitally created CG characters in today`s films, but is undeniably endearing.”

The Barbarian Invasions

“The joy of this magnificent film is that it is rooted in absolute reality. These are real, flesh-and-blood, flawed human beings, totally recognisable people…Wonderfully wise and witty, and tremendously moving.”


Master and Commander

“The real achievement of the film is that there is never any sense of self-consciousness in its creation of another era. It draws us into this world so seductively, so convincingly that for a couple of hours we are living history. And ending up in the Galapagos Islands is a real treat.”

A Clockwork Orange

“Stanley Kubrick’s film is the most dazzling, virtuoso performance of a filmmaker. He uses images, music and dialogue to present a daring argument for the free will of Alex the ultra-violent kid against the conditioned model citizen.


“Lars von Trier has daringly created a scenario that can be perceived, justifiably, as anti-American. But it can also be seen as a much more universal depiction of the follies of human nature, our proclivity for destroying everything that’s good in our society.”

In the Mood for Love

“In The Mood For Love is nostalgic in that it recreates the scene of Wong’s youth but it isn’t a sentimental nostalgia. He masterfully creates a whole picture from glimpses, beautiful glimpses.”

The Fog of War

“Errol Morris displays expert intellectual and visual skill in bringing us the 11 lessons of McNamara’s insight into history as they affect us today. The documentary is about the pragmatism, the confusion, the sheer randomness and human fallibility of any conflict.”