Film, Reviews

3,278 articles

Sorted by popularity / date

Avengers: Age of Ultron

21 Apr 20154 stars

Joss Whedon is back at the helm for the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

'None of this makes sense,' admits Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in a way that suggests logic matters little. The 11th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sequel to Joss Whedon's Avengers Assemble once again combines the irreverent charm of its…

Child 44

13 Apr 20153 stars

Tom Hardy is at the centre of an ambitious thriller from Daniel Espinosa

'There can be no murder in paradise.' That's the intriguing backbone of both Tom Rob Smith’s 2008 bestseller and this solid adaptation from Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Easy Money), which casts Tom Hardy as Leo Demidov, a battle-hardened member of the…

Woman in Gold

6 Apr 20152 stars

Muddled art restitution drama starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds

Like his 2011 feature debut My Week with Marilyn, Simon Curtis’ new film is based on a true story. You won’t find the likes of Marilyn Monroe or Sir Laurence Olivier here, though. Woman in Gold tells the story of Maria Altmann, an Austrian who escaped…

Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance

13 Apr 20154 stars

Louise Osmond tells the inspiring story behind a champion racehorse

Animal films are usually weepies and stories of racehorses even more so, especially as their endings are typically problematic. So the cheery documentary Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance is a welcome addition to this tear-smeared…

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

20 Apr 20154 stars

Roy Andersson concludes his 'living' trilogy with considerable style and humour

Vampire teeth, Charles XII of Sweden, a sexually inappropriate flamenco class and an opportunistic bar-owner known as 'Limping Lotta' are just some of the diverse ingredients in Roy Andersson's latest collection of absurdist anguish. A Pigeon Sat on a…

back to top

Fast & Furious 7

30 Mar 20153 stars

The franchise's latest insane instalment adds Jason Statham to the mix

In Fast & Furious 6 a character was afflicted with amnesia in a bid to reboot the romance. If that suggested that the filmmakers were running out of ideas then the continued, not inconsiderable, presence of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and the casting of…

The DUFF

6 Apr 20154 stars

Superior high school comedy featuring a stand-out turn from Mae Whitman

26-year-old Mae Whitman shines as a confident teenage outsider in this hysterical high school comedy, adapted from a novel written by Kody Keplinger when she was just 17. DUFF is an odious acronym for Designated Ugly Fat Friend – a term Keplinger came…

The Emperor's New Clothes

22 Apr 20153 stars

Russell Brand takes centre stage in this passionate and timely documentary

Whatever your personal feelings towards comedian Russell Brand, this entertaining 'agit-doc' is well worth a watch in the run-up to the general election on May 7th. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, The Emperor's New Clothes takes aim at a handful of…

Au Revoir L'Ete

20 Apr 20153 stars

Éric Rohmer-inspired Japanese drama that's heavy on charm, light on answers

With a title like that disregarding comparison to the work of French New Waver Éric Rohmer seems almost criminal. Rohmer sent the young and beautiful to bask in the rays in Conte d'été (A Summer's Tale), to talk of love whilst falling in love; yet…

John Wick

6 Apr 20154 stars

Elegant, exciting actioner marking a return to form for star Keanu Reeves

A dog dies. But a sharp-suited Keanu Reeves fighting the good fight is more than enough consolation in bonny existential action fantasy John Wick. A retired hitman mourning his wife (Bridget Moynahan), Wick's striving to keep an even keel. Reclusive in…

back to top

Cobain: Montage of Heck

6 Apr 20154 stars

The late Nirvana frontman is the subject of an eye-opening documentary

This authorised but nevertheless raucous documentary builds a complex and impressively detailed picture of the Nirvana frontman's life, while stopping short of directly addressing his death. It brings together home movies, photos, the talking heads of…

The Good Lie

20 Apr 20154 stars

Moving true-life drama about Sudanese orphans, with Reese Witherspoon

A celebration of decency and humanity, this drama illuminates the ordeal of the Lost Boys of Sudan, the millions of children orphaned and displaced by brutal civil war. As a story of loss, courage and noble deeds inspired by real events it has enough of…

Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision

13 Apr 20153 stars

Edgar Reitz's Heimat prequel is a story of 19th century aspiration and struggle

The original Homeland (Heimat) was one of the landmarks of European television in the 1980s. Over 16 hours, director Edgar Reitz told the story of three related families in the fictional German village of Schabbach from 1919 to 1982. Sequels followed…

The Dark Horse

30 Mar 20154 stars

Cliff Curtis astounds in a nuanced biopic of chess champion Genesis Potini

His presence in films like The Piano, Once Were Warriors and Whale Rider has made Cliff Curtis into a mark of quality for everything that is good in New Zealand cinema. The Dark Horse is no exception to that rule; Curtis gives the performance of his…

Exit

20 Apr 20154 stars

Touching Taiwanese drama about longing and loneliness from Chienn Hsiang

A fine film surely influenced by the work of Tsai Ming-liang (Vive L’Amour, The River) but that manages to steer clear of his shadow, this quiet, internally restless movie is directed by Chienn Hsiang, its camera always at the service of its sensitive…

back to top

Gente de Bien

13 Apr 20153 stars

This overly earnest debut is lifted by spirited newcomer Brayan Santamarià

In modern day Colombia, just as in the rest of the world, the gap between rich and poor grows ever wider, swallowing entire generations in the process. This is the bleak reality at the heart of Gente de Bien, the debut feature from Colombian director…

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

13 Apr 20153 stars

Ingenious slasher sequel / remake from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

The vogue for horror remakes reached its oversaturated nadir during the 00s with precious few of the films saying anything notably new. However, The Town That Dreaded Sundown offers something more complex and intriguing than a straightforward trudge…

Rigor Mortis

20 Apr 20154 stars

Creepy Hong Kong horror from director Juno Mak paying tribute to past masters

It's an interesting coincidence that Rigor Mortis (which premiered at Venice back in 2013) hits UK cinemas just a couple of months after Kung Fu Killer. Whereas the latter paid homage to Hong Kong's martial arts movies, Rigor Mortis is a tribute to the…

The Last Five Years

13 Apr 20153 stars

Anna Kendrick is wonderful in this mostly successful and moving musical

Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan star in a musical adapted for the screen by writer-director Richard LaGravenese (the original 2001 off-Broadway show was written by Jason Robert Brown) that explores the difficult balancing act between reaching for your…

Glassland

13 Apr 20153 stars

Moving Irish drama from Gerard Barrett starring Toni Collette and Jack Reynor

Young Irish writer-director Gerard Barrett follows up his 2013 debut Pilgrim Hill with the equally gritty Glassland, a powerful study of the personal battles being fought behind myriad nondescript doors. Addressing the same themes of isolation, despair…

back to top

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

6 Apr 20152 stars

Lame sequel from Steve Pink, with Rob Corddry and Adam Scott

The moderate success of Hot Tub Time Machine owed as much to a resurgence of nostalgia about middle-aged machismo as it did to hefty servings of crass, frat-boy humour and a plethora of anarchic pop-culture references. Returning director Steve Pink’s…

Lost River

6 Apr 20152 stars

Style is no substitute for coherence in Ryan Gosling's directorial debut

Clint Eastwood, Richard Attenborough and Ida Lupino are just some of the names one could cite as proof that actors often make the best directors. On the evidence of his lurid gothic fairytale Lost River, Ryan Gosling is not about to join that list any…

Good Kill

6 Apr 20153 stars

Ethan Hawke excels in Andrew Niccol's revealing, ultimately compromised film

With its hot topic and scorching cast, Good Kill should be better than it is. The writer-director is the thoughtful Andrew Niccol, the screenwriter of The Truman Show who previously penned and directed Gattaca and Lord of War, both featuring Ethan…

Altman

30 Mar 20154 stars

Brisk yet insightful documentary celebrating the legendary American filmmaker

Robert Altman remains the very definition of a maverick filmmaker. He worked inventively with the resources of big Hollywood studios when such a thing was possible, and made the most of the greater creative freedoms that came with the smaller budgets of…

I Used to Live Here

30 Mar 20154 stars

Frank Berry's riveting drama explores the effect of suicide on a Dublin community

Previously lauded for his documentary Ballymun Lullaby, Frank Berry initially intended to make I Used to Live Here as a non-fiction film. In choosing to not do so, the writer-director has achieved a rare feat: his first narrative feature is both an…