Reviews

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Mr Turner

27 Oct 20145 stars

Striking biopic of the British master from Mike Leigh starring Timothy Spall

Mr Turner opens on a sun-blushed windmill and on milkmaids giggling and gossiping as they carry their pails. They make way for Turner himself, silhouetted against the sky and iconic from the outset, with his top hat, sketchpad and portly frame. It's a…

Ouija

29 Oct 20142 stars

Imitative, far from terrifying horror from debut writer-director Stiles White

If you're tempted to peer through the planchette this Halloween, you will unfortunately see nothing more than a cavalcade of tired horror tropes: pretty young things in peril, an abundance of melodramatic exposition and an over-reliance on things that…

Nightcrawler

27 Oct 20144 stars

Penetrating satire with a blackly comic streak starring a sensational Jake Gyllenhaal

What do you get if you cross Tom Ripley, Rain Man's Raymond Babbitt and American Psycho? Well, apparently you get Lou Bloom, an ambitious, manically assiduous character who finds employment as a professional rubber-necker. Played by Jake Gyllenhaal…

Horns

29 Oct 20142 stars

Disappointing supernatural whodunit starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple

As part of his continued quest to break free of his Harry Potter role, Daniel Radcliffe turns to the dark side in director Alexandre Aja and screenwriter Keith Bunin's adaptation of the horror novel by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King). Geared towards the…

Ghostbusters

27 Oct 20145 stars

This 30th anniversary reissue of Ivan Reitman's 1984 classic is most welcome

For many of us, the fact that Ghostbusters is in a position to have a 30th anniversary re-release is one of those chilling little reminders of how shockingly old we seem to have inadvertently become. For others, it may be a chance to experience in…

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Love, Rosie

20 Oct 20142 stars

Manic, barrel-scraping rom-com from Christian Ditter starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin

Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie pitches, nay flings itself at the less discerning end of the romantic comedy crowd. German director Christian Ditter (French for Beginners) proves an unsteady hand at the helm of a…

The Book of Life

22 Oct 20144 stars

Exuberant animation featuring the voices of Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana

Inspired by Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead, director Jorge R Gutierrez and producer Guillermo del Toro's charming animated adventure begins with a museum guide (Christina Applegate) introducing a bunch of detention kids to Mexican folklore, telling…

LFF 2014: Mommy

20 Oct 20145 stars

Xavier Dolan's fifth film is a domestic drama that's raw, hilarious and crammed with character

Mommy deals with the complex issues of mental illness and domestic difficulties in a way that John Cassavetes would admire: by celebrating difference and not shrinking back or judging when things get ugly. After his taut thriller Tom at the Farm…

The Overnighters

27 Oct 20144 stars

Jesse Moss's oil fracking documentary exposes the myth of the American dream

In the small town of Williston, North Dakota oil fracking has brought big changes, not just to the environment (the once desolate prairies are now dotted with heavy machinery), but also to the local community. The lure of opportunity sees thousands of…

Aberdeen's sound festival 2014 gets underway

27 Oct 2014

Opening weekend included performances by Rohan de Saram, Jonathan Mayer and Erwan Keravec

If there was ever any need to prove that Aberdeen’s sound festival of contemporary music was about more than just classical – or that musical genres and boundaries have little importance anyway – then this year’s opening weekend would have done the job…

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LFF 2014: Foxcatcher

20 Oct 20144 stars

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell excel in a psychological thriller based on a true story

Not everyone will know the true story on which Foxcatcher is based, although you may quickly guess the direction in which the film is heading. Bennett Miller's third narrative feature – after Capote and Moneyball – is a finely crafted subversion of the…

Monsters: Dark Continent

24 Oct 20141 star

Derivative sci-fi sequel from debut director Tom Green starring Joe Dempsie and Johnny Harris

Four years ago, British director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) made his stunning debut with Monsters. Working with a miniscule budget, Edwards' expert balance of a high concept premise – two civilians thrown together in the aftermath of an alien invasion…

Night Train to Lisbon

21 Oct 20143 stars

Sporadically successful melodrama from Bille August starring Jeremy Irons

The once lauded director Bille August has been a sporadic presence of late; the director of Oscar-winner Pelle the Conqueror has kept a low profile since the failure of his 90s English-language literary adaptations The House of the Spirits and Smilla's…

The King's Peace: Realism and War

24 Oct 20144 stars

Eclectic exhibition of photography, essays and films as part of GENERATION

The one hundred year anniversary of the First World War is the starting point of this dense compendium of war in pieces curated by artist Owen Logan and Kirsten Lloyd of Stills. Here, Logan's satirical photo-essay, ‘Masquerade: Michael Jackson Alive in…

Jesse Fink – The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC

21 Oct 20144 stars

'One of the few genuinely good books about a hard rock band'

From 1974 to 1980, AC/DC were sly, funny and feral. But when frontman and self-described author of 'toilet poetry' Bon Scott died, and was replaced by the diligent but charisma-impaired Brian Johnson, the band began the slow process of rigidification…

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Jimi: All Is By My Side

20 Oct 20142 stars

Misjudged biopic of Jimi Hendrix is heavy on the soap opera, light on the tunes

People have been trying but failing to make movies about guitar god Jimi Hendrix for decades, almost since Jimi died, at 27, in 1970. Screenwriter John Ridley, Oscared for 12 Years a Slave, finally pulls one off. Sadly, the result will not satisfy…

LFF 2014: Whiplash

20 Oct 20145 stars

Damien Chazelle's film is a story of musical mentorship that plays like a high octane thriller

Captured with a riveting and rhythmic intensity which mirrors its protagonist's ferocious focus and surging drive, Whiplash is an audaciously edited, voraciously performed story of blood, sweat and beats which makes you feel every pummel and thrash.

Serena

20 Oct 20142 stars

Depression-era melodrama from Susanne Bier featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper

Serena Pemberton (Jennifer Lawrence) is a strong, independent woman. We know this not just because of her actions – moving to the wilds of Depression-era America with new husband George (Bradley Cooper) to become an equal partner in his logging company…

The Lighthouse Late – Fri 24 Oct

27 Oct 20144 stars

Line-up included Ella The Bird, James Yorkston, art collective METASITU and Stuart Murdoch

Glasgow boasts many glorious buildings. Yet hidden down a lane off Buchanan Street sits one of its best kept architectural secrets. Now the secret is out as on Friday 24 October The Lighthouse, together with The List, presented a celebration of…

Nana Shiomi – Reverse Universe

21 Oct 20143 stars

Nature of duality explored in Japanese artist's woodcut prints

The nature of duality, says Japanese artist Nana Shiomi in her self-penned programme notes for this exhibition, is at the heart of her work. Merging the traditional style of her home country with everything she has learned since moving to the UK, these…

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Sensaround – Isotropes

21 Oct 20143 stars

Intriguing experiment of electro-acoustic improvisation from electic trio

Isotropes sees Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra saxophonist Raymond McDonald splashing around in a digital bubblebath with Australian musicians Alister Spence and Shoeb Ahmad. Come on in, the water's lovely. Sensaround's electro-acoustic improvisation…

Wadada Leo Smith – Red Hill

21 Oct 20144 stars

Great trumpeter leads younger improvisers to create tunning modern jazz sound

Red Hill finds the great trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith leading an expedition of younger improvisers across volcanic landscapes and lunar surfaces. This is a highly charged group, animated by Balasz Pandi's restless flurries across the kit. Busy, without…

Lady Gaga – The Hydro, Glasgow, Sun 19 Oct

20 Oct 20143 stars

Decadent and dynamic show fails to transcend generic format of stadium pop

Despite her impassioned pleas for tolerance and sexual freedom – and her fascination with performance art – Lady Gaga struggles to rise above the generic format of the stadium pop gig. Surrounded by dancers, and racing about an elaborate set on this…

LFF 2014: A Little Chaos

20 Oct 20144 stars

Alan Rickman directs and stars in a costume drama featuring fine work from Kate Winslet

Alan Rickman's second film as director, following 1997's The Winter Guest, is an unashamedly crowd-pleasing period drama with a terrific central performance from his Sense and Sensibility co-star Kate Winslet. Winslet plays Sabine De Barra, a widowed…

The Knife That Killed Me

20 Oct 20143 stars

Ambitious but flawed teen drama from Kit Monkman and Marcus Romer boasting a bold visual style

Given the title, it's no spoiler to say The Knife That Killed Me opens with a lethal stabbing. Paul Varderman (Jack McMullen) then narrates his way through the events that led to this fateful encounter with the blade: moving to Leeds after his mum dies…