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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…

Kick

28 Jul 20143 stars

Entertainingly madcap Bollywood remake starring Salman Kahn 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…

Review and picture gallery: Wickerman Festival - Dumfries & Galloway, Fri 25 & Sat 26 Jul 2014

28 Jul 20144 stars

Dizzee Rascal, Del Amitri and Shed 7 among highlights at the pyro-friendly pocket-sized Glastonbury

Though the number may be unlucky for some, the 13th Wickerman Festival – Dumfries and Galloway’s pocket sized answer to Glastonbury – saw the annual event’s success continue, attracting bigger names than ever before and taking its place as one of…

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…

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…

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Hide Your Smiling Faces

28 Jul 20144 stars

Daniel Patrick Carbone 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…

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…

Ross Sinclair: 20 Years of Real Life

29 Jul 20144 stars

Inspiring mixed-media exhibition on Calton Hill, part of GENERATION and Edinburgh Art Festival 2014

Twenty years ago, Ross Sinclair had the words ‘Real Life’ tattooed on his back, and ever since then his work has been an overt process of trying to figure out what these words mean. In this GENERATION show there appear to be no conclusions, but…

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…

RSA: Open Dialogues

29 Jul 20144 stars

Group show from six New Contemporaries artists, including Jonny Lyons, Stuart McAdam and Eva Ullrich

It’s six years since the annual RSA Student Exhibition morphed into New Contemporaries, a selected show for new graduates chosen from all Scotland’s art schools. As part of GENERATION, the RSA is showing new work by six of those artists, one for each…

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Isa Genzken: Botanical Garden

29 Jul 20144 stars

Eccentric sculptural and collage works as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2014

The frenetic energy that resonates in Isa Genzken’s playful assemblages and eccentric collages has been harnessed by Inverleith House in Botanical Garden, Geznken’s first UK solo show outside of London. The exhibition is both an exhilarating celebration…

American Impressionism: A New Vision

29 Jul 20144 stars

The influence of European impressionism on 19th-century American art

It lacks something of the blockbuster appeal of the GENERATION shows going on at the rest of the city’s National Gallery venues, but in looking back at the American art scene of the late 19th century’s engagement with European impressionism, festival…

Claude Speeed - My Skeleton

15 Jul 20144 stars

LuckyMe release prioritising mesmerising dreamscapes over big drops

Modern art is too often about cheap thrills and easy pickings. Pop music is preoccupied with attention-seeking and shock factors; horror movies cast aside creeping uneasiness for loud noises and jump-out-your-skin scares that come and go but leave no…

Grumbling Fur - Preternaturals

15 Jul 20144 stars

An offbeat and memorable collection of avant-pop from the underground psych duo

While Alexander Tucker declaring Preternaturals to be ‘our pop record’ could be misleading, there’s no denying that the third album from Grumbling Fur (the duo of Tucker and Daniel O'Sullivan) does wander some rarely occupied passages between wyrd folk…

Review and picture gallery: Howlin' Fling, Isle of Eigg, Fri 18-Sun 20 Jul 2014

21 Jul 20144 stars

Beth Orton, Sam Amidon and Jens Lekman impress at this special 3 day festival

‘I want to hear some howling this weekend’, shouts Johnny Lynch as he introduces the first act at Howlin' Fling. 'Ahr-Ahr-Ahrooo', cry back the audience. There’s a heady atmosphere on the first night of this three day festival on the Isle of Eigg…

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Singles and downloads - July 2014

15 Jul 2014

New releases from Jamie xx, Randolph's Leap, Esa and eagleowl & Woodpigeon reviewed

Randolph's Leap – 'I Can’t Dance to This Music Anymore' (Lost Map) ●●● A folksy companion to The Smiths’ 'Panic', this latest postcard single from Eigg’s Lost Map label establishes dancefloor refusal as a metaphor for all other kinds of reluctance…

Owl John - Owl John

15 Jul 20144 stars

Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson favours folky atmospherics over indie-rock hooks in solo outing

Forget whisky and genealogy website subscriptions. Some would argue that Scotland’s most successful transatlantic export consists of rollicking indie-folk tunes, a few beards and just enough heavily accented curse words to make the Americans blush.

Cabbages in an Orchard: The formers and forms of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Graham Fagen

15 Jul 20144 stars

Highlights of Fagen's responsive GENERATION show include tense, confrontational teeth portraits

Graham Fagen says he fell out with Mackintosh at the Glasgow School of Art. However, when invited back more than 20 years later to spend time in the Mackintosh archive, he discovered he had more in common with the man than he expected. The body of work…

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…

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…

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T in the Park 2014 - Friday review and photo gallery

15 Jul 20144 stars

Biffy Clyro, Chvrches and Manic Street Preachers among highlights at festival's final Balado edition

‘Welcome to the end of T as we know it’ was the message being spread around the T site on Friday, and it was the Scottish bands on the bill who were heading it up. Not least headliners Biffy Clyro, who informed us (it still doesn’t seem true) that…

Generation - Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One

15 Jul 20145 stars

Douglas Gordon, Kate Davis and Richard Wright among SNGoMA1's 25 year contemporary art retrospective

Where to start with a definitive, large-scale exhibition boasting of a nation's ongoing achievements in contemporary art without opening yourself up to claims of self-aggrandisement? Isn’t it for others to sing the praises while we keep our trumpets…

T in the Park 2014 - Saturday review and photo gallery

15 Jul 2014

Katy B, Pharrell, Bombay Bicycle Club and Calvin Harris with Will Smith bid farewell to Balado

It might be grey and drizzly but for anyone who survived the monsoons of 2012's T this is literally a walk in the park. Katy B ●●● impresses early doors with a mix of R&B, pop and dubstep. Backed by four dancers and some rumbling beats there's an…

T in the Park 2014 - Sunday review and photo gallery

15 Jul 20144 stars

Kaiser Chiefs, Chvrches, Sven Vath and Arctic Monkeys play the festival's Balado swansong

The weather turned for the better on the final day of T (good news for Metronomy and their white suits), as punters braced themselves for Balado’s (Very) Last Stand. Kaiser Chiefs revved up the crowd like battle-hardened festival veterans. The more…

Herbert - 'Part Six' EP

15 Jul 20143 stars

Electronic polymath Matthew Herbert makes a partially satisfying return to house music

Matthew Herbert has done a lot of things with his various musical talents, too many to go into here, so let’s just settle on calling him an electronic polymath who has recorded pig farts, made some great house music and done everything in between (and…