Film

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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…

The Salvation

16 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: 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…

Testament of Youth

16 Oct 20143 stars

London Film Festival: 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…

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…

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Fury

15 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: 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…

Scotland's annual film festival Africa in Motion celebrates 20 years of freedom in South Africa

15 Oct 2014

Events include dozens of film screenings, plus talks by directors Eric Kabera and Ian Gabriel

‘I’d like audiences to come away from the festival inspired by the beauty, spirit and innovation of the continent,’ says Natalia Palombo, one of the managers of Scotland’s Africa in Motion film festival, now in its ninth year. Started in 2006 by Dr…

White Bird in a Blizzard

14 Oct 20143 stars

London Film Festival: Gregg Araki's latest is a melancholy mystery starring Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley stars as Kat Connor, a teenager coming to terms with her mother’s disappearance in Gregg Araki’s 80s-set drama, adapted from Laura Kasischke’s novel. Eva Green has been perfecting embittered rage for a few years now and slips neatly…

The Falling

14 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Maisie Williams shines in this eerie drama from British director Carol Morley

Carol Morley is best known for her documentaries Dreams of a Life and The Alcohol Years; her second narrative feature (after Edge) is a dark, twisted and thoughtful coming-of-ager set at a British girls' school in the late 60s. It's partly inspired by a…

Wild

14 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Reese Witherspoon returns to form in adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir

Having steered both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscar glory with Dallas Buyers Club, director Jean-Marc Vallée could well be on course to repeat the trick for producer-star Reese Witherspoon with his new film Wild, adapted from the…

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Interview: Biophilia filmmakers Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton

13 Oct 2014

The men responsible for filming Bjork's final concert talk about working with the superstar

In 2008, Björk embarked upon her eighth album, Biophilia, which turned into a massive multi-disciplinary multimedia project including an otherworldly live show. The final concert of her 70-date world tour took place at Alexandra Palace on 7 September…

Northern Soul

13 Oct 20143 stars

Elaine Constantine's directorial debut takes a look at the titular youth scene

For the uninitiated, northern soul was a youth movement that gripped the North of England during the 60s and 70s, fuelled by high octane funk and soul records from the States. DJs were on a permanent quest for ever more elusive tracks, unearthing gems…

Björk: Biophilia Live

13 Oct 20144 stars

A beautiful presentation of Björk's strange, beguiling vision from cinematographer Brett Turnbull

In 2008 Björk embarked upon her eighth album, Biophilia, which over the course of a few years turned into a massively ambitious multimedia project, including an otherworldly live show. The final concert took place in September 2013 after a 70-date world…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

13 Oct 20143 stars

Fun, cheesy reboot of the action franchise starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett

The director's credit may read Jonathan Liebesman, but there's no mistaking the influence of producer Michael Bay on this reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise, which began life in 1984 as a humble self-published comic book by Peter Laird…

Winter Sleep

10 Oct 20145 stars

London Film Festival: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or winning drama is epic story of family in crisis

This masterful, achingly sad story of marital decay and societal rifts is the latest from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the winner of this year's Palme d'Or. It finds a tightly wound, quietly angry family gradually unravelling in their mountain…

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Interview: Edwyn Collins discusses new documentary The Possibilities Are Endless

9 Oct 2014

Orange Juice frontman on letting filmakers into his life and how social media changed his life

In 2009, Edwyn Collins sat down opposite me in the BBC Scotland’s green room at the Glasgow leg of the Children in Need appeal. The singer and producer was slowly returning to public life after a life-threatening stroke and we spoke for ten minutes; but…

Wild Tales

9 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: A hugely entertaining anthology film from director Damián Szifrón

Announcing its disregard for subtlety, sense, lawfulness and decency from the off, this Argentinean anthology film lays out a feast of unhinged antics, introducing us to a collection of diverse characters just as they reach their tipping…

The Duke of Burgundy

8 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Peter Strickland takes a typically idiosyncratic look at tortured love affair

'You can pin and mount me like a butterfly,' sang Morrissey in The Smiths' 'Reel Around the Fountain'. It's a line that seems tailor-made for Peter Strickland's latest, a pleasingly original yet playfully retro romance set in an undisclosed European…

Lighthouse Late lineup includes James Yorkston, Ella the Bird and Jonathan Barnbrook – Fri 24 Oct

7 Oct 2014

Evening of live music and DJ sets, film screenings, talks, demonstrations and workshops

On Friday 24 October, The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture in Glasgow, will be transformed into a hub of creative activity for the first ever Lighthouse Late. The event celebrates design, music and cinema with a programme of…

The Rewrite

7 Oct 20143 stars

Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei star in Marc Lawrence's likeable if imperfect comedy

This engaging comedy marks the fourth collaboration between actor Hugh Grant and writer-director Marc Lawrence, following Two Weeks Notice, Did You Hear About The Morgans? and Music and Lyrics. The result is pretty much exactly what you're expecting…

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Effie Gray

7 Oct 20143 stars

Victorian biopic featuring Dakota Fanning alongside screenwriter Emma Thompson

Delayed by two years due to legal wranglings surrounding Emma Thompson's screenplay, director Richard Laxton's period piece focuses on the early life of Euphemia 'Effie' Gray (Dakota Fanning), a young Scottish woman who marries older art critic John…

Annabelle

6 Oct 20143 stars

Hastily produced, sporadically scary spinoff of The Conjuring focussing on the film's devil doll

James Wan's name is synonymous with modern horror. He’s the man who directed Saw, Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2 and here he acts as producer on this spinoff of his other smash, 2013's The Conjuring, passing directorial duties to his cinematographer…

The Calling

6 Oct 20142 stars

Disappointing crime thriller starring Susan Sarandon and Topher Grace

If evidence were needed that there are increasingly limited roles for older women in Hollywood, then The Calling offers itself up as a perfect example of a miserable fact. For here we see powerhouse performer Susan Sarandon reduced to a badly drawn…

Gone Too Far!

6 Oct 20144 stars

Bola Agbaje's adaptation of her own play is a fresh, funny look at race relations and youth culture

On an estate in South-East London teenager Yemi (Malachi Kirby) awaits the arrival of his prodigal older brother Iku (OC Ukeje) from their native Nigeria. When Iku turns up, however, Yemi is embarrassed by his sibling's loud, proud African personality…

The Maze Runner

6 Oct 20143 stars

James Dashner's YA novel is the basis for a dystopian adventure starring Dylan O'Brien

Ever since Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel The Hunger Games was transformed into a box-office smash starring Jennifer Lawrence, there’s been a trend for adapting teen dystopian fiction in Hollywood. Shailene Woodley appeared in the adaptation of…