Film

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Jimmy’s Hall

27 May 20143 stars

The film Ken Loach has hinted may be his last is a contemplative, tender drama

Ken Loach returns with what may or may not be his final feature film. Either way, Jimmy’s Hall is typical of the 77 year-old director, with its story of a real-life Irish activist, who comes to clash with the authorities. Written again by his prolific…

Cheap Thrills

27 May 20143 stars

Black comedy that brings to mind a drug-fuelled Coen Brothers flick with a hint of early Sam Raimi

Family man Craig (Pat Healy) is resoundingly down on his luck. Facing eviction after losing his job, he hits the bar with old drinking buddy Vince (Ethan Embry). It's there they encounter rich couple Colin and Violet (David Koechner and Sara Paxton)…

Interview: Stuart Gordon, director of Re-Animator, From Beyond and Castle Freak

20 May 2014

The filmmaker has also turned his hand to theatre, directing Re-Animator: The Musical and Taste

For aficionados of the undead, Re-Animator is counted as a true great alongside Dawn of the Dead and Zombie Flesh Eaters. The film is a smart, funny and gloriously gory slice of horror cinema starring Jeffrey Combs as an insanely driven medical student…

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

20 May 20142 stars

A vaguely spooky Latino twist on the found footage subgenre that just feels repetitive

Found footage has become the most over used device in horror. Paranormal Activity not only hold the dubious honour of ushering in this new age of shaky cam cinema but are also the masters of the over crowded sub-genre. We’ve already had a Japanese take…

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

20 May 20142 stars

The latest family fantasy incarnation is a cynical, charmless cash-grab

The Kingdom of Oz is a complicated one from a copyright point of view; while the rights to many of L Frank Baum's books and characters have expired, many of the details of the 1939 MGM film remain tightly controlled by studio lawyers. So without any…

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Run & Jump

20 May 20143 stars

A slightly-too-rose-tinted heartwarmer starring Maxine Peake and Will Forte

This charming, if slight Irish dramedy marks the debut of American director Steph Green, who was Oscar-nominated for her short film New Boy. Working from a script she co-wrote with Ailbhe Keogan, Green fashions a film whose positivity and romance is…

In Secret

20 May 20142 stars

An unimaginative adaptation of Emile Zola's Therese Raquin, starring Oscar Isaac and Elizabeth Olsen

Emile Zola's tale of love and betrayal in Therese Raquin has traditionally been cherished by those without imaginations of their own, making it one of the most overused plot-lines in cinema; this risible film takes inspiration from a play adaptation by…

Made in America

20 May 20143 stars

Ron Howard directs a behind-the-scenes look at Jay Z's titular music festival

In 2012 hip hop mogul Jay Z hosted the inaugural Made in America music festival in central Philadelphia. Calling on his celebrity friends Ron Howard was on hand to film the two days of rap, indie, rock and dance music. However this is more of a…

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…

Grace of Monaco

14 May 20143 stars

Nicole Kidman stars as Grace Kelly in this featherweight not-quite-a-biopic

There’s been much written already about Grace of Monaco, and director Olivier Dahan’s clashes with US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a man notorious for getting his own way in the cutting room. Quite whose version we’re seeing here is hard to say, but…

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Interview: Hossein Amini, writer of Drive and director of The Two Faces of January

13 May 2014

The Patricia Highsmith adaptation, starring Kirsten Dunst, is the writer's directorial debut

Hossein Amini bustles into a Berlin hotel, mildly flustered after a demanding day of interviews. This, after all, is largely new to him. For the past two decades, he’s been letting others do the talking, at least to journalists, as he gradually…

Profile: John Turturro, director and star of Fading Gigolo

13 May 2014

The Coen Brothers/Spike Lee regular talks sex, religion, comedy and working with Woody Allen

Name John Turturro Background An Italian American born in Brooklyn, Turturro is a veteran of scores of film roles, including multiple collaborations with the Coen brothers and Spike Lee, and an action-figure-worthy turn in the Transformers…

Aidan Moffat, Paul Fegan and more collaborate on Where You're Meant To Be film and tour project

13 May 2014

James Graham, Jenny Reeve and Stevie Jones will also contribute to the project, part of Culture 2014

One Monday night a few weeks back, a boat set sail down the River Clyde. Free whisky and bawdy auld songs ensued, courtesy of Aidan Moffat and his band of bards – James Graham (the Twilight Sad), Jenny Reeve (Bdy_Prts) and Stevie Jones (Alasdair…

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…

Postman Pat: The Movie

13 May 20142 stars

A serviceable kids film undermined by grating tribute to Simon Cowell & idyllic Royal Mail nostalgia

Turning classic children's TV shows into full-length features appears to be all the rage at the moment, what with a big screen outing for Paddington due in November and this adaptation of Postman Pat out in May. Created by children's author John…

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Concussion

13 May 20144 stars

A well-observed indie drama with unusual things to say about gay marriage and female sexuality

If you have a resistance to stories about privileged individuals suffering mild dissatisfaction with their too-smooth lives, this likely won’t be for you. These characters are rich. They are successful. They are, in the grand scheme of things, only very…

Fading Gigolo

13 May 20143 stars

John Turturro's latest is an old fashioned sex comedy from a decidedly male perspective

While his acting career has thrown up a number of memorable turns, notably through collaborations with the Coen Brothers (Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski), John Turturro’s own films as director (Mac, Romance and Cigarettes) have tended to over-egg the…

Venus in Fur

13 May 20144 stars

A whip-smart, outrageously entertaining battle of the sexes from Roman Polanski

There's plenty of sizzle in Roman Polanski's whip-smart, outrageously entertaining adaptation of David Ives’ play (which in turn was inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's novella). Venus in Fur is part feminist morality tale, part satire, part fevered…

The Two Faces of January

13 May 20144 stars

A nicely sustained, old-school thriller starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac

Almost 20 years after her death, Patricia Highsmith's work continues to be a rich source of inspiration for contemporary filmmakers. Todd Haynes is currently filming Carol with Cate Blanchett, and now screenwriter Hossein Amini (Drive, The Wings of the…

Heli

13 May 20143 stars

A mixed-bag Mexican drama that leavens its undeniable bleakness with moments of love and humour

Films about the hardscrabble side of life often make a point of denying their audiences hope. They invite us to care, only to hammer home that there was absolutely no point in our doing so; the authorial attitude taken is one of nihilism rather than…

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Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist

13 May 20143 stars

An artfully-constructed sport doc that fails to find its focus

The death of Italian road race champion Marco Pantani in 2004 was a key moment in the history of cycling; a folk hero to millions, Pantani was a troubled individual who styled himself as ‘the pirate’ but ended up being hounded from the sport he loved by…

Touchy Feely

13 May 20142 stars

Lynn Shelton's latest mumblecore dramedy feels sluggish and insubstantial

Lynn Shelton's blossoming career as the brightest graduate of the mumblecore school takes an odd, unsatisfactory turn with Touchy Feely. The writer / director of Humpday and Your Sister's Sister revisits familiar themes of dysfunctional families…

Andra Simons, Lake Montgomery and They They Theys lined up for Who's Your Dandy?

13 May 2014

The event coincides with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Who’s Your Dandy? promises to be a riot of LGBTQ music, poetry and short film. By coinciding with the Edinburgh Dyke March and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, Sandra Alland has curated an event designed, she says, to…

Films from Nabil Ayouch and Peyman Moaadi among the highlights of Middle East Film Festival 2014

13 May 2014

The festival features screenings of Ali Zaoua, Polluting Paradise and The Snow on the Pines

This year's Middle Eastern Film Festival, which takes place at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh and GFT in Glasgow, offers an insight into the region's current political and social situation through the lens of contemporary cinema. The programme focuses on…

The Canyons

9 May 20142 stars

Lindsay Lohan stars in this seedy noir plagued by cardboard characters and flimsy dialogue

It seemed like such a good idea at the time: the author of American Psycho meets the writer of Taxi Driver for a Kickstarter-funded Los Angeles tale of sex, murder and intrigue. But The Canyons is largely set to go down as an embarrassing footnote in…