Film

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God Help the Girl

18 Aug 20143 stars

The directorial debut of Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch is toe-curling but charming

God Help the Girl plays to the prejudices of anyone who expects the worst from a long delayed, first film written and directed by Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. It is twee, it is whimsical, it is as delicate as a fresh bloom in a howling storm.

Obvious Child

12 Aug 20144 stars

Gillian Robespierre's Sundance 'abortion comedy' is courageous and admirable in its feminism

Billed as the Sundance ‘abortion comedy’, writer-director Gillian Robespierre’s debut has already attracted attention for its controversial subject matter and scatological dialogue. It centres on Donna (the effusive and sardonic Jenny Slate, of SNL…

The Expendables 3

11 Aug 20143 stars

Stallone, Statham and Schwarzenegger reunite for the third part of the actioner franchise

Sylvester Stallone may have assembled his biggest cast yet for this third instalment in his Expendables franchise but, while certainly enjoyable, it’s also (bullet) riddled with the same problems that beset its predecessors. The lack of a decent…

The Rover

11 Aug 20144 stars

David Michôd's follow-up to Animal Kingdom teams Guy Pearce with Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson shakes off the Twilight glitter and gets grotty in writer-director David Michôd’s stripped-back, post societal collapse drama. Though not quite as gut-wrenching as his impressive debut Animal Kingdom, Michôd's second film stands out due…

Hector and the Search for Happiness

11 Aug 20142 stars

Simon Pegg fails to turn on the charm in this story of a self-indulgent globe-trotter

As far as his British films go, whenever Simon Pegg is shorn of his Shaun of the Dead team (director and co-writer Edgar Wright, producer Nira Park and co-star Nick Frost) he flounders. Think Burke and Hare, A Fantastic Fear of Everything or Run…

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Dinosaur 13

11 Aug 20144 stars

Todd Douglas Miller's dinosaur documentary takes in the shocking fallout from a fascinating find

A crowd-pleaser at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Todd Douglas Miller's riveting documentary tells the true story of the legal battle surrounding 'Sue', the world's largest, most complete T-Rex skeleton and the thirteenth ever discovered. After the…

Blood Ties

11 Aug 20143 stars

Clive Owen and Billy Crudup lead a starry cast in a fitfully successful retro thriller

French director Guillaume Canet's English-language debut has the swagger of a Cain and Abel version of Mean Streets. The film is set in 1970s Brooklyn and Canet is clearly intent on crafting something that Scorsese or Sidney Lumet might have made back…

The Unbeatables

11 Aug 20144 stars

An enjoyably quirky football-themed animation featuring the voices of Rupert Grint and Rob Brydon

The Unbeatables (original title Metegol) is probably the last film you would expect from Argentinean director Juan José Campanella. His first feature since the moody, labyrinthine and ultimately Oscar-winning thriller The Secret In Their Eyes is a…

The Inbetweeners 2

7 Aug 20143 stars

Surprisingly decent sequel to the comedy spin-off starring Simon Bird and Joe Thomas

Putting paid once and for all to the notion that travelling can remotely change you, those four eternal teens known collectively as the Inbetweeners head down under. Given that the first film's phenomenal success was in contrast to its flagging humour…

Trainspotting, Shrek and Fargo among highlights of Edinburgh outdoor Fringe screenings

7 Aug 2014

The programme of films will screen in Edinburgh University’s Old College quadrangle from 17-23 Aug

Edinburgh University’s Old College quadrangle will turn into an outdoor cinema this month for Film in the Old College Quad, a week-long series of screenings from Sun 17– Sat 23 Aug, featuring a diverse selection of films, showing individually and as…

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Craig Coulthard: The Drummer and the Drone

5 Aug 20143 stars

An imaginative military film set in Scotland’s future, screening at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Under the darkened, vaulting ceiling of Trinity Apse, a few yards from the tartan-infested Royal Mile, the strain of bagpipes rings out. The sound echoes that of gift shop muzak and Highland dress buskers all the way up to the Esplanade, but the tone is…

Lilting

5 Aug 20143 stars

Ben Whishaw shines in this sensitive culture clash drama from debut writer-director Hong Khaou

Cambodian writer-director Hong Khaou helms this grief-infused, London-set culture clash drama, a debut feature which ambitiously takes in alienation, prejudice and the severing and strengthening power of loss. Lilting's impact is increased tenfold by a…

Planes: Fire & Rescue

5 Aug 20142 stars

Animated sequel starring Ed Harris and Teri Hatcher improves on the original but still fails to soar

A sequel to Planes, itself a spin-off from the Cars franchise, Planes: Fire & Rescue is a Disney animation aimed at very small children who might appreciate its world of cheerful, chattering vehicles. Adults, however, would do well to stay away, there’s…

Interview: horror prog legend Claudio Simonetti of Goblin

1 Aug 2014

The regular Dario Argento collaborator talks to us ahead of his live soundtrack gig at FrightFest

The Italian giallo films have a particular hold over horror fans. Their garish use of gore, overtly sexualised themes, bold use of colour and fantastic scores make them a unique cinematic experience. Dario Argento and Goblin were a perfect match, the…

Step Up 5: All In

30 Jul 20143 stars

The fifth instalment of the dance franchise brings together Ryan Guzman and Briana Evigan

Spectacular dance sequences and some serious dusting-the-dirt-off-your-shoulder moves make up this 'getting the gang back together' style instalment of the Step Up franchise, where favourite characters return and the dance crews head for the bright…

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Earth to Echo

30 Jul 20142 stars

Dave Green's directorial debut is an artless retread of the Spielberg-inspired Super 8

Debut director Dave Green’s family film rehashes JJ Abrams’ pleasingly retro Super 8 using herky-jerky footage, supposedly captured by the children involved. It’s a gimmick that results in a spew of ugly, hard-to-watch images; audiences who like to…

A Promise

29 Jul 20143 stars

Patrice Leconte's latest, inoffensive period piece brings together Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall

Considering his feature film career stretches back almost 40 years, it’s a surprise that Patrice Leconte has finally made his first English-language film. A Promise, however, qualifies as something of a Euro pudding. This French director and his…

Guardians of the Galaxy

28 Jul 20144 stars

Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana star in triumphant addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Based on little known comic-book characters, Guardians of the Galaxy represents something of a leap of faith for Marvel Studios, especially since the film's ties to the all-conquering Avengers franchise are largely superficial, consisting only of brief…

Blackwood

28 Jul 20142 stars

An unsurprising 'old dark house' horror starring Ed Stoppard, Sophia Myles and Paul Kaye

In the manner of so many supernatural tales, Blackwood begins with its protagonist, Ben Marshall (Ed Stoppard), relocating to a remote country pile looking for a fresh start. Following a nervous breakdown, Ben moves to the isolated Blackwood estate…

Hide Your Smiling Faces

28 Jul 20144 stars

Daniel Patrick Carbone's distinctive coming-of-ager boasts a powerful atmosphere

At first glance, writer-director Daniel Patrick Carbone's first feature appears to be treading similar ground to recent independent coming-of-age movies, such as Jeff Nichols' Mud or Jordan Vogt-Roberts' The Kings Of Summer, both of which featured young…

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Kick

28 Jul 20143 stars

Entertainingly madcap Bollywood remake starring Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez

Remakes are just as rife in Bollywood as its western counterpart. Kick finds director Sajid Nadiadwala making his debut behind the camera repurposing Reddy Surender’s 2009 hit as a glossy vehicle for Salman Khan to strut his stuff and air his grievances…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: CineFringe presents 'possibly the world’s first literal “pop-up” cinema’

28 Jul 2014

The short film mini-fest also features the talents of Susan Calman, Josie Long and Superfan

Now into its fifth year, small-scale short film festival CineFringe doesn’t exactly look set to fill the sizeable gap left in August by the rescheduling of the Edinburgh International Film Festival to June. Yet the fact it exists at all adds a welcome…

Hercules

23 Jul 20143 stars

Dwayne Johnson makes a charismatic 'son of Zeus' in an unashamedly entertaining take on the myth

Having already established himself as the king of trashy blockbusters, thanks to films like the Rush Hour series and Tower Heist, Brett Ratner steps things up to epic levels for his daft but watchable take on Hercules. Inspired by the graphic novel…

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…

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…