Film, Action

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The Purge: Anarchy

22 Jul 20143 stars

Sequel to the unexpected smash entertainingly expands on the original's premise

‘Profit-making is not the essence of democracy’ offers one of the more eloquent characters in James DeMonaco’s engagingly blunt sequel to 2013's The Purge, a low-budget sensation which turned a massive profit despite being little more than standard…

Interview: producer Jason Blum talks The Purge: Anarchy, micro-budget filmmaking and franchises vs creativity

22 Jul 2014

'If all I’m ever making is sequels, I should look for work elsewhere - that would be bad'

In the future, crime, unemployment and homelessness in America are at an all time low, thanks to one night a year where all crime is made legal. That's the concept behind The Purge, a low-budget action-horror that came out of nowhere to become a…

How to Train Your Dragon 2

10 Jul 20144 stars

The animated vikings 'n' dragons sequel arrives full of its predecessor’s invention, wit and flair

Cast your mind back to 2010, and Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders’ animated adventure How To Train Your Dragon. Inspired by the series of YA books by Cressida Cowell, this tale of a young Viking named Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his impossibly…

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

14 Jul 20144 stars

The simian sci-fi sequel proves you can marry visual spectacle with heart and intelligence

Complexity is something that’s all too rare in modern blockbusters but Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – like Rupert Wyatt’s Rise – proves you can marry visual spectacle with something to engage the heart and the head too. Thought-provoking…

Transformers: Age of Extinction

1 Jul 20142 stars

A gratuitously lengthy addition to Michael Bay's sci-fi action franchise, starring Mark Wahlberg

The fourth film in the Transformers franchise may mark a freshening up of sorts but it still suffers from the same problem as both previous sequels: the presence of Michael Bay. Never one to shy away from excess, Bay here outdoes his own ridiculous…

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Snowpiercer

18 Jun 20142 stars

Leaden and confused all-star movie of interest only to fans of expensively botched sci-fi money-pits

Much anticipated, Joon-ho Bong’s's futuristic train epic, expensively adapted from a French graphic novel called Le Transperceneige, finally arrives at UK platforms way behind schedule and in a somewhat disheveled state. The high-powered concept for…

3 Days To Kill

17 Jun 20142 stars

Kevin Costner headlines a preposterous actioner that fails to clone Liam Neeson's Taken

Directed by McG, 3 Days to Kill stars Kevin Costner as hotshot CIA operative Ethan Renner, who's diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (signified by a Cough of Death) after collapsing on his latest mission. Determined to spend his remaining days…

In Order of Disappearance

19 Jun 20144 stars

Extremely black revenge comedy starring Stellan Skarsgard as a vigilante Citizen of the Year

Directed by Hans Petter Moland, In Order of Disappearance is set in a remote Norwegian town and stars Stellan Skarsgard as snowplough driver Nils Dickman, who has recenty been voted Citizen of the Year. When his son is killed by a vicious drug gang…

22 Jump Street

3 Jun 20144 stars

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return in one of the finest sequels you're ever likely to see

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reunite to hilarious effect in 22 Jump Street, a rare sequel that actually manages to surpass the crowd-pleasing achievements of the original. Co-directed once again by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, this winning…

Brick Mansions

29 Apr 20141 star

Paul Walker's last completed film is a disappointing, badly made remake of District 13

A remake of parkour-showcasing French thriller District 13 (2004), Brick Mansions is notable for being the final film completed by star Paul Walker before his tragic death in a car crash last year. Sadly, that's the only thing that's notable about it…

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300: Rise of an Empire

7 Mar 20143 stars

The sequel to the 2007 action hit succeeds thanks to a bonkers turn from Eva Green

If you thought that the main problem with 300 was that it didn't have enough boats in it, then 300: Rise of an Empire (more accurate title: 302: 300 On Boats) is most definitely the movie for you. The long-time-coming sequel to Zack Snyder's 2007 hit…

Edge of Tomorrow

28 May 20144 stars

The Tom Cruise-starring sci-fi actioner is witty, thrilling and consistently inventive

Based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow is directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and plays like Groundhog Day crossed with Starship Troopers. Set in the near future, where the Earth is under deadly attack…

X-Men: Days of Future Past

15 May 20143 stars

Bryan Singer's directorial return is triumphant but may leave non-fanboys scratching their heads

Where most superhero movies strive to win ever more fans by reinventing themselves with each new sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past is content to reward the loyalists. Not only does it mark the return of co-creator Bryan Singer (for the first time since…

Godzilla

13 May 20144 stars

Gareth Edwards delivers a visually stunning, if emotionally flawed, monster-sized blockbuster

Having impressed with his low-budget debut Monsters, British filmmaker Gareth Edwards now delivers a visually stunning, if emotionally flawed, monster-sized blockbuster with Godzilla. A self-confessed Godzilla geek, Edwards has stayed true to many of…

Sabotage

9 May 20142 stars

Arnold Schwarzenegger's presence weighs down what should have been a gritty thriller

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s post-governorship acting comeback appeared to be heading in an intriguing new direction when he signed on to star in David Ayer’s gritty thriller Sabotage. But despite some decent moments the film struggles to realise its…

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Plastic

29 Apr 20142 stars

An appealing young cast can't save this idiotic heist movie

The art of a good con movie is populating it with likeable characters, articulating it with a witty script and having them pull off something ingenious. It should also make you forget that what’s unfolding on-screen is actually illegal! Unfortunately…

The Raid 2

9 Apr 20143 stars

Some astonishing set-pieces underwhelmed by this sequel's over-complicated narrative

The first film in writer / director Gareth Evans’ proposed trilogy of martial arts thrillers was a kick-in-the-pants to the genre: a simple, fluid action film that showcased the art of pencak silat via the story of Jakarta policemen fighting their way…

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

9 Apr 20144 stars

Marc Webb's superhero sequel delivers a sparky blend of thrills, laughs and heartfelt emotion

Marc Webb's sequel to 2012's franchise reboot finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) juggling his daily superhero duties as costumed crime fighter Spider-Man while agonising over whether or not he should honour the promise he made to girlfriend Gwen…

Noah

1 Apr 20143 stars

Darren Aronofsky's blockbuster bible-story is compellingly weird & occasionally wonderful to behold

2014 box-office hit Son of God was a straight-faced version of the Jesus story that Christian audiences lapped up, but letting a maverick like Darren Aronofsky loose on the story of Noah was always likely to create a controversy of biblical proportions.

Russell Crowe: the Noah story 'predates religion... it's more of a shared human experience'

31 Mar 2014

The A-list actor shares his opinion on the historical accuracy of Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic

Biblical blockbuster Noah made its UK debut at a handful of ‘fan screenings’ on Saturday, with star Russell Crowe making a personal appearance. The film, directed by Black Swan helmer Darren Aronofsky, is an adaptation of the story of the great flood…

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

24 Mar 20144 stars

The Cap's latest adventure cleverly taps into topical fears surrounding the activities of the NSA

The second Captain America movie is a terrific, stand-alone thriller that delivers exciting action sequences and engaging characters wrapped up in a satisfying and cleverly resonant plot. Co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo (best known for TV's…

Need for Speed

13 Mar 20142 stars

Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul stars in a WASPy, derisory Fast & Furious wannabe

On the surface, Need for Speed should purr. A popular video game series, the star of Breaking Bad and a former stuntman directing, this tale of race car rivalries has all it takes to eat into the Fast & The Furious audience. But a quick peak under…

Bullet

6 Mar 20141 star

Trashy, low budget Danny Trejo action vehicle

Essentially a low budget action vehicle for supporting actor-turned-star Danny Trejo, Bullet is a disposable cop thriller that's receiving a cursory theatrical release before being released three days later on DVD, where it may find a more natural…

WATCH: There's a new Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer around - does anyone still care?

5 Mar 2014

Do we really need another instalment of Michael Bay's brainless, CGI-heavy shenanigans?

A new trailer has landed for Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth film in Michael Bay's robotic smash-'em-up franchise – you can have a look at it below. Once again, it features a small, human element caught between two technologically advanced…

WATCH: 'Growth', the new motion poster for Darren Aronofsky's Noah, is a thing of beauty

5 Mar 2014

New gallery and mini-trailer for the ark-based epic, also starring Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins

A new motion poster for Darren Aronofsky's Noah has just debuted and, while 'motion poster' is usually just a euphemism for 'oddly formatted, super-short trailer with no plot details' this one is actually kind of beautiful. It's titled 'Growth', which…