Film, Comedy

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Appropriate Behaviour

2 Mar 20154 stars

Hilarious, accomplished and idiosyncratic debut from Desiree Akhavan

Appropriate Behaviour is a beautifully observed breakup comedy told from the perspective of a Persian-American bisexual woman, living in Brooklyn, who is afraid to come out to her parents. Desiree Akhavan (recently seen in Lena Dunham’s Girls…

Life of Riley

2 Mar 20154 stars

Alain Resnais' final film is an elegant closer to a fine career

Alain Resnais died last March at the age of 91, just three weeks after his final work was among the prize winners at Berlin. It's heartening to discover that the playful, experimental instincts that marked his 70 year career remained constant until the…

Focus

25 Feb 20152 stars

Vacuous, less-than-thrilling con artist flick starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie

It's been 22 years since Will Smith starred in Six Degrees of Separation, a wonderfully subtle adaptation of John Guare's play about a young con artist who takes in a well-to-do Manhattan couple. Watching Smith's new film Focus, his first lead since the…

X+Y

24 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Moving drama with Asa Butterfield and Rafe Spall

The story of a young maths prodigy with autism, Morgan Matthews’ film could be viewed as a juvenile Rain Man. At least that would be the case if a Hollywood studio had made it. But actually, this British tale of the difficulties of adolescence and…

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

23 Feb 20153 stars

Spry sequel to the cross-cultural smash featuring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel's happy resolution didn't leave much room for a sequel; the film's extraordinary commercial success, however, made this an inevitability. Although the motivations behind its existence are certainly cynical, The Second Best…

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While We're Young

19 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star in Noah Baumbach's latest

The threat of the young is at the centre of writer-director Noah Baumbach's perceptive, funny and cringingly honest eighth film, whose satirical swipe reaches across the age spectrum. It follows a cross-generational friendship which inspires adulation…

10 Glasgow Comedy Festival comedians pick their favourite films

18 Feb 2015

Which funny films make the comics laugh the hardest? We asked some to find out

With the Glasgow International Comedy Festival just around the corner, Brian Donaldson caught up with 10 comedians and asked each of them what they favourite big screen comedies were.

The Wedding Ringer

16 Feb 20152 stars

Mirthless matrimonial comedy squandering the talented Kevin Hart and Josh Gad

At one point earmarked as a vehicle for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (the first draft of the screenplay predates their similar hit Wedding Crashers), The Wedding Ringer is a low-brow comedy pairing Kevin Hart (Ride Along) with rising star Josh Gad, who…

Cat Video Festival gets Scottish premiere at Glasgow Film Festival

13 Feb 2015

Don't know your Keyboard Cat from your Bane Cat? We've got you covered

Glasgow Film Festival and GOMA present the first offline celebration of online cat videos to take place in Scotland. The Internet Cat Video Festival has been produced and curated by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and offers viewers continuous…

Sequels announced for Paddington and Fifty Shades of Grey

10 Feb 2015

We look at some upcoming sequels and ask: really?

In keeping with the entertainment industry's fundamental principle that if it worked once then do it all over again, it's been announced that sequels are in the works for two very different films: Paddington and Fifty Shades of Grey. According to…

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Down Dog

9 Feb 20152 stars

Tedious, infantile Britcom starring Jason Durr and Nick Moran

The opening shot of writer-director Andres Dussan’s Britcom is of a woman in an armchair making good use of a sex toy; sadly, her sense of satisfaction is a world away from the experience of watching this tedious effort. Co-written by Lawrence Tallis…

Two Night Stand

9 Feb 20151 star

Sexist and uninspired rom-com starring Analeigh Tipton and Miles Teller

The morning after her first one night stand, Megan (Analeigh Tipton) is desperate to leave the Brooklyn apartment of her conquest Alec (Miles Teller), but a blizzard stands in the way of her escape. Trapped together, the mismatched pair are forced to…

Love Is Strange

9 Feb 20154 stars

A charming, truthful look at love in later life with John Lithgow and Alfred Molina

Get married and your life goes to pot. This is what happens in Ira Sachs' Love Is Strange, a confidently uncomfortable, New York-set story co-written with Mauricio Zacharias. This is real love: there is old age, there is debt, there is misunderstanding.

Shaun the Sheep Movie

2 Feb 20154 stars

This big screen adaptation of the stop-motion kids' TV show boasts bags of charm

Hot on the heels of Postman Pat and Paddington, the latest British children's TV show to receive the big screen treatment is Shaun the Sheep, the wildly successful stop-motion animated series from the geniuses at Aardman Animations. Happily, the show's…

The Interview

2 Feb 20152 stars

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's controversial comedy proves hugely disappointing

At a time when satire is an increasingly rare commodity, The Interview became a cause célèbre when Sony temporarily pulled its release after threats from cyber-terrorists. A fictitious tale of a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un, Seth Rogen and Evan…

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A Brief Guide to The Room Screenings

27 Jan 2015

Want to join in the fun at the best worst film ever? Here’s our guide to enjoying The Room

Despite its inauspicious debut in 2003, actor/director Tommy Wiseau's vanity project The Room has become a huge cult phenomenon, regularly playing in cinemas around the world, to the delight of film fans ready for a raucous night at the movies. This…

Kingsman: The Secret Service

26 Jan 20154 stars

Colin Firth is the cool centre of Matthew Vaughn's riotously entertaining spy pastiche

Writer-director Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman (Stardust, Kick-Ass) reteam for their second adaptation of a Mark Millar comic with this hugely entertaining spy thriller pastiche that plays, appropriately, like James Bond meets Kick-Ass.

Inherent Vice

26 Jan 20154 stars

Paul Thomas Anderson's latest is a sun-scorched noir with the right helping of nuts

After the crisply shot mind games of The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson goes all warm and fuzzy with a film that follows a perma-stoned private detective on a fabulously befuddling quest, and apes the aesthetic of faded film stock. Like the Thomas Pynchon…

Mortdecai

22 Jan 20151 star

Johnny Depp is reunited with director David Koepp in this crude, charmless caper

Ay, caramba! Johnny Depp has given us quite a catalogue of eccentric and goofy characterisations in his time. But none of them has been as thoroughly unamusing and charmless as his Charlie Mortdecai, eponymous anti-hero of a badly misjudged action comedy.

Preview: LOCO London Comedy Film Festival 2015

20 Jan 2015

Love to laugh? We've picked out the must see films at the 2015 London Comedy Film Festival

LOCO has been cheering up London in the most miserable week of the year with films, parties, networking sessions and courses for three years now. The fourth edition not only tackles the theme of social class with UK premieres featuring the best comedies…

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Duck Soup

12 Jan 20155 stars

The Marx Brothers' masterpiece returns to cinemas in all its madcap glory

Featuring the kind of disruption to the cinematic status quo which couldn't be outdone by a feathered friend in a flap, 1933's Duck Soup was the fifth film fronted by the Marx Brothers and the last to feature straight-man Zeppo. Directed by Leo McCarey…

Paper Souls

12 Jan 20152 stars

Disappointing supernatural dramedy from Vincent Lannoo about love and loss

It’s not unreasonable to say that, in recent times, the French have set the standard for eccentric existential comedies; from Jeunet to Gondry, there is clearly something about the Gallic sense of humour that compliments wildly absurd situations. It’s…

Into the Woods musical stars serenade

5 Jan 2015

Director Rob Marshall and actors who sing Anna Kendrick and James Corden talk Disney's latest

Disney's Into the Woods is a big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's witty, satirical musical that sees a collection of familiar fairy-tale characters venturing into the titular woods to achieve their hearts' desires. Understandably, when it…

Into the Woods

5 Jan 20153 stars

Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt enliven Rob Marshall's latest musical

There's a sequence in Disney's adaptation of stage musical Into the Woods which will rank as one of the greatest movie moments of 2015. As Cinderella's Prince and Rapunzel's Prince respectively, Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen engage in an emotionally…

Birdman

29 Dec 20144 stars

Michael Keaton soars in an imaginative, enjoyably bitchy, highly meta comedy

What happens to actors who play superheroes? Birdman, the arthouse comedy from Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Biutiful, Amores Perros), answers that so fully it may never be asked again. Michael Keaton’s performance as ex-leading man…