Film

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Paddington

24 Nov 20144 stars

The beloved bear is brought to the big screen by Paul King's charming adaptation

Ever since his creation in 1958 by author Michael Bond generations of children have grown up with Paddington Bear, so writer-director Paul King (The Mighty Boosh, Bunny and the Bull) faced no small task in bringing the hirsute hero to the big screen. By…

Profile: Kevin Macdonald

27 Nov 2014

Acclaimed director discusses his new British submarine thriller Black Sea starring Jude Law

Background: Born in Glasgow, director Kevin Macdonald is the grandson of British filmmaker Emeric Pressburger and the brother of Trainspotting producer Andrew Macdonald. His filmography includes both acclaimed documentaries (One Day In September…

Kajaki. The True Story

24 Nov 20144 stars

Paul Katis turns a true-life tragedy into a moving, suspenseful drama

Taking its name from the Kajaki Dam in Afghanistan, this harrowing drama depicts a real-life incident that took place in 2006, when a group of British soldiers stumbled into an abandoned Afghani minefield by mistake, sustaining multiple casualties. It…

Horrible Bosses 2

24 Nov 20142 stars

Limp sequel teaming Bateman and co with newbies Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz

Like its title, this sequel to Seth Gordon’s 2011 comedy lacks imagination. The first 30 minutes or so are particularly uninspiring as we catch up with Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), the trio of white-collar dudes…

DVD Round-Up: Winter 2014

27 Nov 2014

Including François Truffaut classics, Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films, The Lunch Box and Frank

Most of the recent François Truffaut films released on DVD by Artificial Eye don’t need much of a recommendation: films like 400 Blows, Shoot the Pianist and Jules et Jim are masterpieces well-acknowledged. But two that might need a bit of a push are…

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

17 Nov 20144 stars

Jennifer Lawrence remains a girl on fire in the penultimate part of the dystopian saga

After Harry Potter and Twilight, carving two films from the final book in a series has become an unwelcome Hollywood trend. And so it goes with The Hunger Games, which stretches the last book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian YA trilogy into a two part…

Multisensory cinema experience Watch and Wolf comes to Edinburgh

27 Nov 2014

Eat and drink along with characters as you watch films including Gremlins, Elf and The Wizard of Oz

Experience cinema like you’ve never tasted before with Jelly & Ginʼs Watch and Wolf. As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014, the renowned food experimentalists are bringing a series of festive favourites to the big screen in a new multisensory event. A…

Hockney

24 Nov 20144 stars

Warm, insightful documentary from Randall Wright examining the celebrated artist

Britain’s most enduringly popular modern artist, David Hockney, has been the subject of many documentaries, including one made for TV by this film's director Randall Wright in 2003 (David Hockney: Secret Knowledge). None could claim to be as intimate…

The Homesman

17 Nov 20144 stars

Striking, desperately sad western directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones

Since Clint Eastwood hung up his holster those of us who love westerns thank Tommy Lee Jones for keeping the genre alive. That's not to say his second directorial effort, eight years after his fine debut The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, is any…

Get On Up

17 Nov 20144 stars

Exhilarating James Brown biopic featuring a barnstorming Chadwick Boseman

One word perfectly describes Tate Taylor’s James Brown biopic: funky. The ‘Godfather of Soul’ was such a force of nature, anything less than a toe-tapping, booty-shaking, yeow of a movie would’ve done him a disservice. Thankfully, Taylor (who made The…

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The Vatican Museums 3D

17 Nov 20143 stars

Great art becomes an immersive cinematic experience in a novel documentary

Museum movies are so hot right now and The Vatican Museums 3D is one of the big daddies. Suitable for nearly all viewers, the only people who will find it offensive will be dyed-in-the-wool types who are staunchly anti-technology. Certainly, we’d all…

Opinion: gender depiction in sci fi ahead of Teknowomen film season

11 Nov 2014

'Sex and sexual politics have often played a significant part in its mainstream manifestations'

Those of us who grew up in the 80s or 90s might reasonably have expected social friction about gender roles to be a matter for the history books by the unimaginably futuristic 21st century. Surely all that was going to be sorted out, along with world…

Concerning Violence

24 Nov 20144 stars

A smart, passionate essay film from Göran Olsson, narrated by Lauryn Hill

This sobering, important and expertly curated documentary details Africa's hard-fought liberation from colonial rule in the 60s and 70s. Narrated by the musician Lauryn Hill and directed by Göran Olsson, the viewer is taken through nine definitive…

Profile: Dietrich Brüggemann

12 Nov 2014

German writer and director discusses religion ahead of release of new film Stations of the Cross

Dietrich Brüggemann is a Munich-born writer / director who made his name on the film festival circuit with witty character dramas Run, If You Can (2010) and Move (2012). What’s he up to now? Brüggemann’s latest film Stations of the Cross is a change…

No Good Deed

17 Nov 20142 stars

Derivative thriller starring, and squandering the talented Idris Elba and Taraji P Henson

A leaden entry in the home invasion stakes, No Good Deed's box office success in the US is presumably due to a lack of comparable cinematic competition, as there's nothing to distinguish TV director Sam Miller's pedestrian effort from scores of…

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First details announced for the 2015 Glasgow Film Festival

18 Nov 2014

Festival from 18 Feb–1 Mar will celebrate Ingrid Bergman, Australian cinema and nerd culture

Nerd culture, Ingrid Bergman and Australian cinema are among the strands being celebrated in the 2015 Glasgow Film Festival, it’s been revealed. The festival will run for a day longer than previously – for 12 days, from 18 February to 1 March 2015…

Edinburgh Greek Film Festival 2014

12 Nov 2014

Films showing include The Enemy Within, Miss Violence and All Cats Are Brilliant?

Greece has had it tough lately. Thanks in part to systemic political corruption and over-reliance on foreign investment, the global financial crisis set the economy reeling. A combination of public discontent and police brutality led to urban violence…

Life Itself

10 Nov 20144 stars

Steve James takes a loving look at the life and legacy of Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert did a lot for film criticism: he promoted small films and reviewed with Midwestern honesty. Life Itself, a warm-hearted and artful documentary by filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams), is a loving look at Ebert’s life as perhaps the most…

Third Person

10 Nov 20141 star

Painfully poor effort from Paul Haggis that squanders the talents of an all-star cast

Paul Haggis' 2006 Best Picture Oscar winner Crash (still a sore point for Brokeback Mountain fans) was famously inspired by a real-life car-jacking incident that saw the writer-director work through his subsequent feelings of prejudice and guilt in…

What We Do in the Shadows

17 Nov 20144 stars

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi helm a killer comedy about a vampire flat-share

'When you get three vampires in a flat obviously there’s going to be a lot of tension,' dryly observes 862-year-old Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), who shares a house with 18th Century dandy Viago (Taika Waititi) and self-proclaimed bad boy Deacon…

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David Bowie Is

17 Nov 20143 stars

Docu-tour leading us through the V&A's acclaimed tribute to an incomparable performer

If you were one of the unlucky thousands who couldn’t get tickets for last year’s sublime David Bowie exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, this curio gives you a little taste of what you missed. In truth, it’s a bizarre idea – a docu-tour…

Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy

17 Nov 20144 stars

A Twitter inspired Thai love story from director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit

'Love stories are hard to write,' muses the central character in Thai director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit’s second film Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy. This is itself a love story of sorts, however, like Thamrongrattanarit’s highly impressive debut 36…

Exhibition of Canadian artist Stan Douglas' major works at Fruitmarket Gallery

12 Nov 2014

Featuring videos and images such as 'Video', 'Corrupt Files' and 'Der Sandmann'

When Stan Douglas' play, Helen Lawrence, played as part of this year's Edinburgh International Festival, its live depiction of a post-WW2 film noir beamed against a 3D photographic backdrop. The work looked at the class and racial divides of Vancouver's…

White Reindeer

12 Nov 20143 stars

An interesting alternative to generic Christmas movies starring Anna Margaret Hollyman

A quirky low budget indie drama, Suzanne Barrington's (Anna Margaret Hollyman) December gets off to a particularly traumatic start. This tragedy sets off a series of unusual encounters as this seemingly prim and proper real estate agent veers out of…

We Are The Giant

11 Nov 20144 stars

Frontline tales from the Arab Spring brought together by director Greg Barker

A small girl sings a song of hope and freedom in the street, just as an explosion wreaks havoc around her. A peace activist interrupts a downbeat interview about whether nonviolent protest has been unsuccessful when a shell rocks the street outside. And…