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LFF 2014: Foxcatcher

20 Oct 20144 stars

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell excel in a psychological thriller based on a true story

Not everyone will know the true story on which Foxcatcher is based, although you may quickly guess the direction in which the film is heading. Bennett Miller's third narrative feature – after Capote and Moneyball – is a finely crafted subversion of the…

The Knife That Killed Me

20 Oct 20143 stars

Ambitious but flawed teen drama from Kit Monkman and Marcus Romer boasting a bold visual style

Given the title, it's no spoiler to say The Knife That Killed Me opens with a lethal stabbing. The victim, Paul Varderman (Jack McMullen), narrates his way through the events that led to his fateful encounter with the blade: moving to Leeds after his…

LFF 2014: A Little Chaos

20 Oct 20144 stars

Alan Rickman directs and stars in a costume drama featuring fine work from Kate Winslet

Alan Rickman's second film as director, following 1997's The Winter Guest, is an unashamedly crowd-pleasing period drama with a terrific central performance from his Sense and Sensibility co-star Kate Winslet. Winslet plays Sabine De Barra, a widowed…

LFF 2014: Mommy

20 Oct 20145 stars

Xavier Dolan's fifth film is a domestic drama that's raw, hilarious and crammed with character

Mommy deals with the complex issues of mental illness and domestic difficulties in a way that John Cassavetes would admire: by celebrating difference and not shrinking back or judging when things get ugly. After his taut thriller Tom at the Farm…

LFF 2014: Whiplash

20 Oct 20145 stars

Damien Chazelle's film is a story of musical mentorship that plays like a high octane thriller

Captured with a riveting and rhythmic intensity which mirrors its protagonist's ferocious focus and surging drive, Whiplash is an audaciously edited, voraciously performed story of blood, sweat and beats which makes you feel every pummel and thrash.

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Serena

20 Oct 20142 stars

Depression-era melodrama from Susanne Bier featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper

Serena Pemberton (Jennifer Lawrence) is a strong, independent woman. We know this not just because of her actions – moving to the wilds of Depression-era America with new husband George (Bradley Cooper) to become an equal partner in his logging company…

Love, Rosie

20 Oct 20142 stars

Manic, barrel-scraping rom-com from Christian Ditter starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin

Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie pitches, nay flings itself at the less discerning end of the romantic comedy crowd. German director Christian Ditter (French for Beginners) proves an unsteady hand at the helm of a…

The Way He Looks

20 Oct 20143 stars

Charming Brazilian coming-of-age drama from director Daniel Ribeiro

The familiar growing pains of adolescence are captured from a fresh perspective in The Way He Looks, an unassuming but sweetly engaging coming-of-age drama that serves as Brazil's contender for the forthcoming Best Foreign Language Film Oscar tussle.

This Is Where I Leave You

20 Oct 20142 stars

A star cast, including Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, fails to lift this dispiriting dramedy

Jane Fonda is the oversharing matriarch of a grieving family forced to sit Shiva after their father passes away in this disappointing dramedy from Shawn Levy, with a screenplay from Jonathan Tropper, adapting his own novel. A starry ensemble cast…

LFF 2014: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

17 Oct 20144 stars

Ana Lily Amirpour's beautifully crafted, self-described 'Iranian vampire western' is bewitching

Etched in kohl and doused in dark humour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is the bewitching first feature from writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour. She's a Los Angeles-based, English-born filmmaker of Iranian descent whose debut also resists easy…

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Pleasance Sessions: The List Magazine Presents ...

17 Oct 20144 stars

Two Wings, Ubre Blanca and Prehistoric Friends showed refreshing variety of musical talent

Over the past week the inaugural Pleasance Sessions mini-festival has been doing a great job of representing Scotland’s alternative music scene with a bunch of cannily-curated gigs whose reasoning has seemed to be more ‘who’s best?’ than ‘who’s…

A guide to bonfire and firework events in and around Edinburgh 2014

17 Oct 2014

Including celebrations in the city centre, Fife and East Lothian

Whether you live in Edinburgh, or close by, this year there are more events than ever to help you celebrate Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords. If you’re in the city centre then head to Meadowbank Annual Fireworks Display on Wed…

Brazilian dance group Grupo Corpo set for Edinburgh shows

17 Oct 2014

Each performance will include Parabelo and Sem Mim routines based on South American traditions

The quest for perfect unison is a challenge for most dance companies, and the bigger you are, the harder it gets. For Brazil’s Grupo Corpo, synchronised movement is a way of life, and watching the 22 dancers move it feels as if they’re all sharing the…

A guide to bonfire and firework events in and around Wolverhampton 2014

17 Oct 2014

Including celebrations in the city centre, Stafford, Bilston, Shifnal and Telford

Celebrate Bonfire Night this year at one of the events taking place in and around Wolverhampton. In the city itself, head to West Park for a family-friendly Bonfire and Fireworks Night (Sat Nov 1). A kids fireworks display starts at 7pm and the bonfire…

Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter

16 Oct 20144 stars

Glossiest album to date from one of the world's most successful metal bands does not disappoint

Masked nine-piece Slipknot are one of the biggest metal bands in the world but.5: The Gray Chapter finds them in a state of flux. A few years ago even the idea of a fifth Slipknot album seemed unlikely. After bassist and founder member Paul Gray's death…

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The legacy of Spandau Ballet

16 Oct 2014

After the release of a new documentary, the 80s pop legends have announced a UK tour in 2015

From the start, Spandau Ballet made it clear exactly who they were. ‘I am beautiful and clean/ And so very very young’ sang Tony Hadley on ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’ from their debut album Journeys to Glory. These well-dressed gentlemen obsessed with…

LFF 2014: It Follows

16 Oct 20145 stars

David Robert Mitchell offers us his twist on the slasher film and it's a ripper

David Robert Mitchell continues his visually arresting exploration of teen life with a horror film that recalls John Carpenter’s Halloween but puts its own unique spin on the slasher film. The same leafy streets of suburban Michigan in which Mitchell…

Black Butler

16 Oct 20143 stars

Martial arts mayhem from Kentarô Ohtani and Kei’ichi Sato as the manga springs to life

Two directors, Kentarô Ohtani and Kei’ichi Sato, take on the task of bringing Yana Toboso's massively successful manga Kuroshitsuji to the big screen, a comic which has already inspired an anime TV series, a musical and a video game. Tsutomu Kuroiwa…

LFF 2014: The Salvation

16 Oct 20144 stars

Edgy, entertaining western from Kristian Levring, starring Mads Mikkelsen

The Good, the Bad and... the Danish? Dogme signatory Kristian Levring has crafted a gripping and stylish revenge western with a decidedly dark bent, taking standard genre staples and imbuing them with a suitably Scandinavian sensibility to enormously…

LFF 2014: Testament of Youth

16 Oct 20143 stars

Respectful adaptation of Vera Brittain's memoir starring Alicia Vikander

The gut-wrenchingly poignant WWI memoir Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain was a bestseller in 1933, although by then young men knew war wasn’t a school trip with guns. The basis for a 1979 TV series, it remains a moving tribute to the innocence of the…

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The Best of Me

16 Oct 20142 stars

Insipid romantic drama that wastes the talent of James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan

The ninth adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel is as soft focus and simple minded as its predecessors but with a whiff of fatigue which suggests even the filmmakers involved have grown weary of identikit romantic tragedies. Michael Hoffman steers a far…

Citizenfour

16 Oct 20143 stars

Laura Poitras' documentary on Edward Snowden captures history in the making

Citizenfour is a documentary that makes a loyalty card seem completely ironic. Thanks to people like whistleblower Edward Snowden, news headlines have been rife with the stories about big government tracking us. In this real life political thriller…

Album round up – October 2014

15 Oct 2014

Including new releases from Flying Lotus, Adrian Crowley, Graveyard Tapes and Deerhoof

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (Warp) ●●●●● The album you’re surely least likely to expect to find the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg guesting on this year, Flying Lotus’ fifth, You’re Dead!, is that rare monster, a record which is entirely…

Section 33: pop-up restaurant in Govanhill Baths transforms old swimming pool

15 Oct 2014

Sea of impressive food in edgy location with a resident DJ to complete underground dining experience

Pop-ups, along with street food, food festivals and the now fading supper clubs aren't just occasional food events. At their best, they offer challenges to well-established paradigms of eating out. Hospitality heads off piste, restaurant walls are…

LFF 2014: Fury

15 Oct 20144 stars

Brad Pitt impresses in David Ayer's appropriately brutal take on World War II

David Ayer’s second film this year, following Sabotage, takes all of the contemporary grit that he shovelled into his earlier work – like 2012's End of Watch – and puts it in a period context. Set in April 1945, as the Allies make their final push to…