Film

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Listen to director John Carpenter’s new album Lost Themes

26 Jan 2015

Filmmaker famed for his iconic scores as much as his cult classic films releases standalone album

It’s impossible to talk about John Carpenter’s cult classic films of the 70s and 80s without also recognising the importance, and the influence, of his work composing the scores those films. Films like Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween and Escape from…

Tales of the Grim Sleeper

26 Jan 20154 stars

Gripping and disturbing serial killer documentary from Nick Broomfield

Nick Broomfield’s latest documentary hones in on the strange and disturbing case of a serial killer nicknamed the 'Grim Sleeper' by the press, due to an apparent period of slumber from his crimes, which stretch back more than a quarter of a century.

Trash

26 Jan 20152 stars

Hopeful but sanitised slum drama from Stephen Daldry and Richard Curtis

It’s quite a gutsy move to name your film Trash but director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Richard Curtis clearly have confidence in this feel-good adventure set in the Brazilian favelas, which follows a trio of teenage boys as they team up to solve a…

Pelo Malo (Bad Hair)

26 Jan 20154 stars

Courageous Venezuelan drama from Mariana Rondón gives us a child's-eye-view

Childhood can be seen as a fight between a child and its parents for control of the child's identity, and for the right to decide their path. Taking this idea as a starting point, Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) turns a home into a battleground. From…

No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers

26 Jan 20154 stars

Elizabeth Marcus' insightful film disabuses numerous notions about the band

'We've sold millions of albums, and nobody knows who we are,' says Manic Street Preachers drummer Sean Moore in Elizabeth Marcus' excellent documentary about the Welsh band. It may sound churlish, but the film gives credence to his lament; whatever you…

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I Am Yours

26 Jan 20153 stars

Amrita Acharia excels in the feature debut of Norwegian director Iram Haq

Anchored by a splendid lead performance from Amrita Acharia, but a little directionless otherwise, this semi-autobiographical Norwegian drama from debut writer-director Iram Haq examines one young woman’s struggle to accommodate the pressures of single…

Au Revoir les Enfants

26 Jan 20154 stars

Louis Malle's minor classic returns to cinemas to haunt a new generation

After making a few films in the States in the late 70s and 80s (including My Dinner with Andre and Atlantic City), Louis Malle returned to his native France to direct this 1987 tale of two Catholic schoolboys living in a French boarding school during…

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.

Big Hero 6

26 Jan 20154 stars

Appealing animation combining cutting-edge visuals with classic Disney charm

In the bustling metropolis of San Fransokyo, 14-year-old tearaway Hiro (Ryan Potter) has just been persuaded by older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) to channel his engineering talents into robotics when tragedy throws his life into turmoil. Struggling…

Son of a Gun

26 Jan 20152 stars

Misfiring Australian crime flick starring Ewan McGregor and Brenton Thwaites

Locked up for a misdemeanour, naïve young Aussie JR (Brenton Thwaites) only survives his hellish prison experience under the wing of notorious criminal Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor). Brendan’s protection doesn’t come for free, however, and JR soon finds…

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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.

Glasgow Film Festival 2015 highlights

21 Jan 2015

An overflowing GFF programme boasts plenty to get excited about

The programme for the 2015 Glasgow Film Festival has been announced and it features an embarrassment of riches for the city's movie fans and those planning on visiting for what has fast become one of the best film fests in the whole UK.

Glasgow Film Festival 2015 programme announced

21 Jan 2015

Noah Baumbach's While We're Young opens the festival's 11th year

Ten European premieres, 11 world premieres, an internet cat video festival, a 1970s roller disco and a ballroom extravaganza at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – all these and plenty more form part of the 11th Glasgow Film Festival, whose programme…

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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La Maison de la Radio

19 Jan 20152 stars

Nicolas Philibert's Radio France documentary proves both fascinating and frustrating

French filmmaker Nicolas Philibert will be best known to international audiences for his excellent 2002 documentary Être et Avoir, a portrait of a single-room school in rural France. His latest work, La Maison de la Radio, takes the same fly-on-the-wall…

The Gambler

19 Jan 20154 stars

Modern twist on the 70s crime drama starring an impressive Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg has transcended his boy-rapper roots to become a dependable leading man but, although he's proved adept with lighter roles, he's sometimes struggled to be taken seriously. Reviving Karel Reisz’s 1974 heavyweight drama – which starred James…

Beyond Clueless

19 Jan 20153 stars

Charlie Lyne's entertaining documentary celebrates and dissects the teen movie

Ever since James Dean set light to the establishment in the 50s, teens have been central to cinema, both as audience and subject. Every generation since has films that define adolescence: from the antics of The Beatles and the students of Rydell High in…

Ex Machina

19 Jan 20154 stars

Smart, skilfully constructed sci-fi from Alex Garland featuring Alicia Vikander

Novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland’s directorial debut is an unsettling, teasing and thought-provoking sci-fi, centred around artificial intelligence. When Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a work competition to fly to his CEO’s home to take part in a…

A Most Violent Year

19 Jan 20154 stars

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac shine in JC Chandor's elegant crime flick

'I spent my whole life trying to not become a gangster,' Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) tells his wife Anna (Jessica Chastain) in a striking subversion of the famous line from Goodfellas. JC Chandor's third film as writer-director (after Margin Call and All…

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Q&A: Charlie Lyne on directing Beyond Clueless

16 Jan 2015

An homage to the glorious teen movies of the 90s

British film critic Charlie Lyne pays tribute to the teen movie, in particular its 1990s incarnation, with Beyond Clueless, an affectionate but determinedly anti-ironic appreciation. With reference to some 200 films, narration by actress and teen movie…

Profile: Alicia Vikander on Ex Machina

16 Jan 2015

She's Hollywood's next big thing with a huge 2015 ahead, so we decided to find out more

Born in Gothenberg, Sweden in 1988, Alicia Vikander trained as a ballerina for nine years before switching to acting. She's currently best known for her roles in A Royal Affair and Anna Karenina. Her latest film is British sci-fi thriller Ex Machina…

Oscar nominations 2015 announced

15 Jan 2015

You've gotta be in it to win it: find out who got nominated for the 87th Academy Awards

Besides Birdman and Boyhood, this year's Oscar race is as wide-open as any in recent memory. With the Golden Globes already dished out and BAFTA nominations announced, announced, the runners and riders were already in the gates, now they're off to the…

Interview: Derek Mears (Dead Snow 2)

13 Jan 2015

Horror icon discusses his career playing monsters in Dead Snow 2, Friday the 13th, Predator and more

It's rare but every now and then a sequel comes along that blows the original out of the water. Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead is gorier, nastier and funnier than the first film in just about every way. This time Herzog (Ørjan Gamst) is leading his Nazi…

Roll with the punches: Whiplash interview

13 Jan 2015

Flying cymbals, myths and jazz legends: Damien Chazelle explains the inspiration behind Whiplash

Since when did jazz become fashionable again? This season, you can see Alejandro González Iñárritu’s showbiz satire Birdman in cinemas, driven by a ceaseless percussive score by acclaimed jazz drummer Antonio Sánchez. John Hawkes is starring in the much…