Film

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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Who is Dayani Cristal?

22 Jul 20142 stars

Well-intentioned documentary hampered by the presence of movie star producer Gael Garcia Bernal

'The dehumanisation of migrants is something which has allowed this to happen' comments a co-ordinator of the Missing Migrant Project as we watch the cremation of an unidentified individual in Marc Silver’s debut feature Who is Dayani…

DVD round up July 2014: New European cinema releases

16 Jul 2014

A selection of new, under-the-radar re-issues by Leos Carax, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi

In this selection of DVDs there are four Polish films and two French works. Where three of the Polish movies are wonderful examples of what, in Poland in the seventies, was called the Cinema of Moral Anxiety, the French movies are by Leos Carax. Here…

I Am Divine

16 Jul 20144 stars

Affectionate documentary offers a fresh perspective on the outrageous drag star

Divine – who died in 1988 aged just 42 – was a whole lot of woman onscreen and a whole lot of man off it. He might not have lived long but he burned with a fierce, hypnotising flame. Jeffrey Schwarz's affectionate documentary presents the man they…

Adult World

15 Jul 20143 stars

John Cusack, Emma Roberts and Evan Peters star in this appealing porn industry dramedy

Ignore the tacky cover art that suggests John Cusack is Emma Roberts' favourite customer at a pole dancing club, the film contained within is a far more appealing comedy drama set on the fringes of the porn industry. In a bid for independence aspiring…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

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…

Amy Pascale - Joss Whedon: Geek King of the Universe – A Biography

15 Jul 20144 stars

A refreshingly candid look at the man behind Buffy and Marvel's Avengers

With his genre-changing series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon shaped the face of television in the 1990s. Nearly 20 years on, having written and directed 2012’s The Avengers, which became the third highest grossing film worldwide, he now plays a…

Luke Fowler: The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott

15 Jul 20144 stars

The film artist turns his attention to Marxist historian and CND activist EP Thompson

Luke Fowler’s ongoing fascination with icons of radical thought has extended from film works on punk band The Homosexuals and composer Cornelius Cardew to his Turner-nominated dissection of anti-psychiatrist RD Laing. Each of these has cut-and-pasted…

Haunter

15 Jul 20142 stars

Grey, dreary, reptitive ghost story starring Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin

There have been so many variations on the ghost story of late. Usually that the main character is already dead is the final twist a la The Sixth Sense but we learn early doors that Lisa (Abigail Breslin aka Little Miss Sunshine herself) and her family…