Film, Action

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

21 Jan 20143 stars

The spy franchise reboot is at its best when examining the ethical complexities of the spy game

Kenneth Branagh is rapidly becoming the go-to director for setting up franchises. Having done a great job with Thor, his latest mission is to reboot the Jack Ryan character most successfully played by Harrison Ford but also inhabited by Alec Baldwin and…

Out of the Furnace

16 Jan 20143 stars

Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Willem Dafoe squandered in this B-movie revenge scenario

All dressed up with nowhere to go, Scott Cooper’s follow-up to his award-garlanded Jeff Bridges drama Crazy Heart is a languid thriller, garnished with meaty performances in service of a deeply conventional narrative. The Rust Belt setting is powerfully…

Lone Survivor

13 Jan 20144 stars

A gutsy, draining and brilliant war movie from Peter Berg, with Mark Wahlberg and Ben Foster

Two years after overloading his summer blockbuster Battleship with enough gung-ho patriotism to sink an aircraft carrier, Peter Berg returns to the military for an altogether different kind of film but, in displaying a little more restraint, duly…

47 Ronin

6 Jan 20142 stars

Keanu Reeves stars in this shambolic and derivative samurai adventure

First-time director Carl Rinsch’s mega-budget take on one of Japan’s most enduring legends feels like a folly that should never have been indulged. 47 Ronin is a messy and uninvolving tale of revenge that no amount of embellishment can save. If…

WATCH: The trailer for the Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending

10 Dec 2013

The sci-fi action movie stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis

The trailer for the Wachowskis' latest film, Jupiter Ascending, has just appeared online, with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis providing the human element in an effects-laden extravaganza. Or rather, humanaoid – Tatum plays alien warrior Caine, whose task…

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Oldboy

4 Dec 20132 stars

Spike Lee's remake of the cult Korean film lacks suspense and wit

As a filmmaker Spike Lee is inconsistent, but successes like Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X and 25th Hour mean he's a director who's always been someone to keep an eye on. However Lee really has his work cut out for him with this remake of Park…

WATCH: The new trailer for George Clooney's The Monuments Men

4 Dec 2013

The WWII drama is the true story of a small team of soldiers tasked with rescuing works of art

The trailer for George Clooney's next directorial effort, The Monuments Men, has just landed, featuring a cast that includes Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Hugh Bonneville. You can watch it…

Getaway

2 Dec 20132 stars

Low budget action flick with Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and some well-staged car stunts

An unashamed B-movie that was critically mauled and publically shunned on its US release, Getaway is a surprisingly passable little thriller for genre fans. Filmed on the cheap in Bulgaria, it makes up for what it lacks in originality with a plethora of…

The Family

21 Nov 20132 stars

Lively but predictable gangster flick starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer

Writer/director/producer Luc Besson made his name with genre thrillers like Subway and Nikita, but his touch has deserted him as he’s produced a conveyor belt of action melodramas ranging from the good (Taken) to glossy junk like Kiss of the Dragon…

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

15 Nov 20134 stars

Tight plotting and great performances make for a strong sequel

The first Hunger Games movie – with its substantial story and tenebrous thrills – had much more than tween-appeal. Yet things looked ominous for the sequel after Gary Ross, who helmed the first picture with such sensitivity and style, was replaced by…

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The Counsellor

15 Nov 20132 stars

Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy's collaboration is disappointingly distant & needlessly convoluted

On paper, this collaboration between Sir Ridley Scott, one of cinema’s great visual stylists, and Cormac McCarthy, one of the literary world’s foremost writers, should be a match made in movie heaven. Unfortunately, The Counsellor is closer to cinema…

Arrambam

6 Nov 20132 stars

Ajith Kumar stars in a derivative but splashy and colourful action-fest

The tonal shifts of a Bollywood blockbuster sit uneasily in Arrambam, a crowd-pleasing melodrama that’s two thirds a revenge story set in the world of computer espionage in the style of Swordfish, with the other third a mixture of musical sequences and…

Krrish 3

1 Nov 20133 stars

Entertaining Bollywood sci-fi superhero sequel from Rakesh Roshnan

The latest in a confusingly-titled sci-fi franchise (there is no Krrish 2, but this is a third instalment), Krrish 3 picks up with Mumbai superhero Krishna (Hrithik Roshan), who lives in domestic harmony with his TV reporter wife Priya (Priyanka Chopra…

WATCH: New trailer for X-Men sequel Days of Future Past

30 Oct 2013

Bryan Singer returns to unite the original franchise cast with that of X-Men: First Class

Time travel. Superheroes. A Hans Zimmer theme. That’s what Marvel have unveiled in the first trailer for the latest film in the X-Men series. The stars of Bryan Singer’s original trilogy are combined with that of X-Men: First Class, with Wolverine…

WATCH: Featurette from Ridley Scott/Cormac McCarthy project The Counsellor

28 Oct 2013

The film features an all-star cast including Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt

A new featurette has just debuted for The Counsellor, the Michael Fassbender-starring drama directed by Ridley Scott and scripted by Cormac McCarthy. The film, which also stars Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem, follows a legal…

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WATCH: full trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier

24 Oct 2013

The latest instalment of Marvel's Avengers franchise reteams Chris Evans with Scarlett Johansson

The full trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been unveiled, with Chris Evans once again donning the stars and stripes. The new trailer also features glimpses of Scarlett Johansson as SHIELD agent Black Widow, Samuel L Jackson as Nick…

Last Passenger

17 Oct 20133 stars

Gripping low budget action flick set on a runaway train, from debut director Omid Nooshin

Set on board a late night train, Omid Nooshin’s low budget action thriller follows a group of passengers as they find themselves speeding to near-certain death at the hands of a maniacal driver. The reason for their predicament is never revealed but the…

Machete Kills

14 Oct 20132 stars

Robert Rodriguez's sequel isn't funny enough to be a comedy or weighty enough to be a thrilller

Charlie Sheen, cheerfully slumming it under the names of Carlos Estevez, snarls the phrase ‘Machete Kills’ early on in Robert Rodriguez’s action pastiche, handily denoting the one-note character trait of the taciturn Mexican hero; he kills. And kill and…

Escape Plan

14 Oct 20132 stars

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger's team-up is disposable, even expendable, hokum

Having once been fierce box office rivals, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are fast becoming the inseparables. Following hot on the heels of The Expendables, Escape Plan places the two ageing action icons front and centre. And their…

Interview: Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón on the science of filmmaking

8 Oct 2013

The scientific research and development of new filming tech behind the sci-fi drama

Seven years since Alfonso Cuarón’s last film, Children of Men, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Mexican filmmaker had dropped off the face of the Earth. Which, in a way, he did. His latest film is Gravity, a mesmerising space drama that makes…

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DVD review: Sharknado

7 Oct 20132 stars

Seriously silly aquatic disaster flick starring Ian Ziering, Jaason Simmons and Tara Reid

Let’s acknowledge one thing from the off: Sharknado is only too aware of how trashy a film it is. The tagline reads, ‘Enough Said!’ The cast includes D-list stars from Baywatch (Jaason Simmons) and Beverly Hills 90210 (Ian Ziering). There’s a reliance…

Chris Pine features in new trailer and poster for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

4 Oct 2013

The Star Trek star is joined by Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley and director Kenneth Branagh

The trailer has just landed for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, with Chris Pine the latest actor to assume the title character. Shadow Recruit picks up with Ryan when he switches from being a government analyst to an operative and, judging by the stunts on…

How I Live Now

1 Oct 20133 stars

Kevin Macdonald's treatment of Meg Rosoff's young adult story is grown-up and thought-provoking

It may be based on yet another young adult novel but How I Live Now rates among the better adaptations thanks to a director who is prepared to take some risks with the material. Kevin Macdonald opts for a gritty and realistic approach, imbuing this big…

WATCH: New trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

1 Oct 2013

New trailer offers the first glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug the Dragon

The new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has debuted, offering fans their long-awaited first glimpse of the titular dragon, as voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. The Star Trek Into Darkness and Sherlock star is joined in the trailer by…

Runner Runner

26 Sep 20132 stars

A stylish but empty thriller starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake

You'd think the odds were stacked in favour of Runner Runner. A slick thriller set in the world of online gambling, it boasts two of the hottest stars of the moment in Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck, not to mention a reliable director in Brad Furman…