Reviews

Most Recent

  • Inherent Vice

    Paul Thomas Anderson

    A self-indulgent mess of a film that slips into an irrelevant psychedelic haze and never recovers.

  • Unbroken

    Angelina Jolie

    Here's one for flag-wavering, bible-bashing patriots from the 'Land of the Free' who demand that the Oscars are little more than a patronising tribute to their homeland and its ideology.

  • Leviathan

    Andrei Zvyagintsev

    Andrei Zvyagintsev’s retelling of Job's suffering as a somber assault on post-Soviet Russia is not quite the unqualified masterpiece that some make out.

  • Citizenfour

    Laura Poitras

    The most important documentary exposé since 'Taxi to the Dark Side', it brings a sober clarity to a scandal that governments had kept under wraps, absurdly hiding behind 9/11 intelligence activities and bestowing a traitor status on a whistleblower for spilling the beans on a new kind of tyranny for the digital age.

  • Nightcrawlers

    Dan Gilroy

    An amoral quasi-journalist profits from gruesome voyeurism and a suburban paranoia in Dan Gilroy's well crafted but slippery thriller satire.

  • The Imitation Game

    Morten Tyldum

    Lively direction and superb performances paper over the cracks in Morten Tyldum's engaging account of Alan Turing cracking the Nazi's Enigma code and suffering an appalling legitimised persecution after the war.

  • Mr Turner

    Mike Leigh

    Timothy Spall picked up best actor at Cannes for his career-topping performance as JMW Turner in Mike Leigh's meticulous biopic of the great Romantic painter.

  • Gone Girl

    David Fincher

    A souped-up marriage melodrama masquerades as a mid-west gothic thriller in David Fincher's smart adaptation of Gillian Flynn's bestselling page turner, 'Gone Girl'.

  • A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

    Ben Rivers and Ben Russell

    In not finding the exception that proves the rule this beautifully lit film captures what it feels like for all of us to view the world as if in exile.

  • Night Moves

    Kelly Reichardt

    Kelly Reichardt's fifth feature unfolds at the borders of nature and culture where three eco warriors blow up a hydroelectric dam.

  • Two Days, One Night

    Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

    Laissez- faire economics has seldom looked more ugly than in the Dardenne Bros' quietly powerful and vital new feature where an ordinary worker is set to lose her job unless her colleagues forgo their bonuses.

  • Wakolda (aka ‘The German Doctor’)

    Lucía Puenzo

    Lucía Puenzo's chilling new drama has Josef Mengele living with an Argentine family, oblivious to his true identity.

  • Mood Indigo

    Michel Gondry

    Gondry's adaptation of Boris Vian's surreal/absurd 1947 novel, 'L'Ecume des Jours', loses momentum after a lively opening.

  • Joe

    David Gordon Green

    A triumphant return to form for David Gordon Green, who breathes new life into the increasingly worn-out southern-Gothic sub-genre with this compelling Texan mood piece, which finds compassion and brutality cohabiting in America's semi-lawless backwaters.

  • Begin Again

    John Carney

    A retro odd couple comedy brings a young singer-songwriter into contact with a washed-up producer where charm renders any contrivance largely irrelevant.

  • Camille Claudel 1915

    Bruno Dumont

    Bruno Dumont's profound new feature dramatises Camille Claudel's traumatic confinement in an asylum after being 'diagnosed' with paranoid schizophrenia two years earlier.

  • Fading Gigolo

    John Turturro

    A sub-Woody Allen picture/homage starring the man himself is more enjoyable than the daft plot would suggest but only fully comes alive in fits and starts.

  • Miss Violence

    Alexandros Avranas

    Alexandros Avranas' disturbing Venice hit where extreme patriarchal control and a jet black market serve a monstrous self-gratification and greed.

  • Omar

    Hany Abu-Assad

    Everybody understands what's what in the caged West Bank locale of Hany Abu-Assad's new political thriller, 'Omar', where double and triple crossing is the norm.

  • Jimmy’s Hall

    Ken Loach

    Loach's fitting companion to his Palme d'Or winner, 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley' dramatises Jimmy Gralton's deportation from Ireland for no more than having the courage of his convictions.

  • Tom At The Farm (Tom A La Ferme)

    Xavier Dolan

    Dolan crafts a creepy and enthralling psychodrama with that rare quality of appearing contemporary and timeless at one and the same time.

  • Frank

    Lenny Abrahamson

    A strikingly idiosyncratic quasi-musical from Lenny Abrahamson brings together a nerdy wannabe and a talented misfit in an unlikely friendship with no common ground beyond a spectacular naivety.

  • Blue Ruin

    Jeremy Saulnier

    A shockingly realistic revenge thriller that transforms a bloodbath into a perceptive character study where the small details matter more than plot.

  • The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears

    Bruno Forzani and Helene Cattet

    Another re-imagining of Italian giallo horror from Bruno Forzani and Helene Cattet is either thought provoking art house or pretentious twaddle, dependent upon your PoV.

  • Calvary

    John Michael McDonagh

    A jet black comedy set on the rural Irish coast feels more like the apocalypse than a Calvary like sacrifice of the film's title.

  • The Past (Le Passé)

    Asghar Farhadi

    Farhadi's latest marital deconstruction remains true to its title, where the toxic baggage of the 'past' shapes and, at times, condemns the future.

  • Starred Up

    David MacKenzie

    Jack O'Connell's new kid on the cell block is like a young Michael 'Charles Bronson' Peterson - the UK's most violent prisoner - in David MacKenzie's powerful new prison drama.

  • Les Salauds (Bastards)

    Claire Denis

    An edgy neo-noir psychological drama deconstructs institutional corruption within the family and business, which is at its most acute when the two collide.

  • Under the Skin

    Jonathan Glazer

    Modernist filmmaking is alive and well in this brilliant but disturbing new feature from Jonathan Glazer - his first for nine years - which combines mainstream horror's tension and video art's ingenuity during a compelling 108 minutes that turns the male gaze on its head.

  • The Zero Theorem

    Terry Gilliam

    Whatever film Terry Gilliam conceived in his head when making this retro lo-fi Orwellian shaggy dog tale isn't the one that appears on the screen.

  • Her

    Spike Jonze

    No other film has ever tackled e-personae with such penetrating intelligence as this futuristic romCom and it should have won the Oscar.

  • Dallas Buyers Club

    Jean-Marc Vallee

    Jean-Marc Vallee trivialises Ron Woodroof's extraordinary real life story fighting AIDS and the American legal system in an unworthy film with a great central performance.

  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

    The Coens embrace a new realism in their rich portrait of a struggling singer in Greenwich Village's Sixties folk revival scene.

  • American Hustle

    David O. Russell

    David O. Russell's engaging and very funny heist caper is a joyous balance between retro madness and startling freshness.

  • 12 Years a Slave

    Steve McQueen

    Steve McQueen's powerful and uncompromising Solomon Northup biopic, '12 Years a Slave', sends the audience home with a sense of unavoidable shame.

  • Nebraska

    Alexander Payne

    A new melancholic mood prevails over Alexander Payne's latest road movie as a cantankerous drunk embarks on an impossible interstate walk, chasing a bogus junk-mail $1m prize.

  • Saving Mr. Banks

    John Lee Hancock

    John Lee Hancock's Disneyfied but very engaging account of how Walt Disney coaxed, flattered and enticed fierce battle-axe author, PL Travers, into relinquishing film rights to her precious Mary Poppins character after holding out for twenty years.

  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler

    Lee Daniels

    Lee Daniels' third feature looks at segregation and the postwar civil rights movement through the eyes of a black butler who spent his adult life serving presidents at the White House.

  • Gravity

    Alfonso Cuarón

    Mainstream pastiche is incompatible with Alfonso Cuarón's technical innovation in his sci-fi thriller, 'Gravity'.

  • Captain Phillips

    Paul Greengrass

    This is Paul Greengrass on familiar ground; an explosive true story, intelligent contextualisation and a turbo-charged tension that keeps us on the edge of our seats even though we know the ending.

All Reviews A-Z

  • 12 Years a Slave

    Steve McQueen

    Steve McQueen's powerful and uncompromising Solomon Northup biopic, '12 Years a Slave', sends the audience home with a sense of unavoidable shame.

  • A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

    Ben Rivers and Ben Russell

    In not finding the exception that proves the rule this beautifully lit film captures what it feels like for all of us to view the world as if in exile.

  • Abel

    Diego Luna

    An assured debut, moving between surreal absurdity and keenly observed social realism, has much to say about the destructive nature of conventional masculinity and the patriarchal family structure.

  • Act of Killing, The

    Joshua Oppenheimer (and Christine Cynn)

    Joshua Oppenheimer's jaw dropping experimental film/documentary, 'The Act of Killing', gives executioners cart blanche to film their own reenactments of the anti-communist purge within 1960's Indonesia.

  • Amer

    Bruno Forzani and  Helene Cattet

    A knowing piece of offbeat retro revisits Giallo horror, Laura Mulvey and the male gaze.

  • American Hustle

    David O. Russell

    David O. Russell's engaging and very funny heist caper is a joyous balance between retro madness and startling freshness.

  • Amour

    Michael Haneke

    Michael Haneke's deeply disturbing and engaging portrait of sickness in old age that deservedly won the Palme d'Or.

  • Angels’ Share, The

    Ken Loach

    Ken Loach finds a winning blend of comedy and social realism that focuses on the very serious and socially disruptive poverty trap of 21st century Glasgow.

  • Animal Kingdom

    David Michod

    Paranoia and desparation determine actions in a vicious cycle of absolute malice.

  • Archipelago

    Joanna Hogg

    Hogg returns to the same bourgeois holiday territory as her previous feature, Unrelated, but it is emotionally cooler, the film style starker and Hogg's voice even more distinctive. 

  • Artist, The

    Michel Hazanavicius

    Michel Hazanavicius' Cannes breakout film creates something new and fresh from the past in a delightful homage to the Hollywood silent age.

  • B for Boy (world premiere)

    Chika Anadu

    Tackling a serious social issue with insight and maturity, Chika Anadu's debut feature focuses on a Nigerian wife under serious pressure to bear a son before it's too late.

  • Bal (Honey)

    Semih Kaplanoglu

    Tender, mediative and discerning filmmaking that captures a moment of crisis in childhood but in the quietest possible manner.

  • Barbara

    Christian Petzold

    Christian Petzold's perceptive drama, portraying the personal impact of state power abuse during Erich Honecker's brutally oppressive East German reign.

  • Barney’s Version

    Richard J Lewis

    An oddball film that could so easily have been as shambolic as its central character, a throw back to the anti-heroes of 1970's New Hollywood, proves to be an insightful and amusing take on eventful moments that shape ordinary lives.

  • Battle Of The Sexes, The

    James Erskine and Zara Hayes

    James Erskine and Zara Hayes return forty years to the most watched tennis match ever, the extravagantly billed Battle of the Sexes, where self-styled male chauvinist, Bobby Riggs, takes on Billie Jean King for a $100,000 winner-takes-all prize and the even more important bragging rights in the fiercely contested gender war raging within the game itself and wider society.

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Benh Zeitlin

    A wholly original response to Hurricane Katrina, Benh Zeitlin's debut feature combines gritty naturalism and Southern mysticism in a child's-eye view of survival in the swamps of a Louisiana bayou.

  • Begin Again

    John Carney

    A retro odd couple comedy brings a young singer-songwriter into contact with a washed-up producer where charm renders any contrivance largely irrelevant.

  • Beginners

    Mike Mills

    True story of the filmmaker's father coming out and fully embracing a gay lifestyle at the age of 75 in an extraordinary release of half a century of identity frustration.

  • Beyond the Hills

    Cristian Mungiu

    A real exorcism serves as an analogy for the Ceaușescu years and a biting criticism of the Church and contemporary Romanian apathy in Cristian Mungiu's follow up to his Palme d'Or winning '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days'.

  • Biutiful

    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

    The dark side of globalisation in 21st century Pan Europe through the eyes of a small time gangster facing death with dignity.

  • Black Swan

    Darren Aronofsky

    A melodrama of self-destruction on the grandest scale in a return to the classic ballet terrain of Powell & Pressburger's Red Shoes but turbo charged with characteristic Aronofsky excess.

  • Bling Ring, The

    Sofia Coppola

    A classic case of the truth being stranger than fiction sees seven celebrity obsessed teens, the 'Bling Ring', taking the 'wannabe' culture to a new level, mimicking the Hollywood brat lifestyle with vulgar designer gear nicked from the stars' mansions during daring night-time raids.

  • Blue Ruin

    Jeremy Saulnier

    A shockingly realistic revenge thriller that transforms a bloodbath into a perceptive character study where the small details matter more than plot.

  • Blue Valentine

    Derek Cianfrance

    A marriage gone wrong saga with engaging improvised performances where we see the beginning and end of the relationship side by side in a distinctive piece of indie filmmaking.

  • Bombay Beach

    Alma Har'el

    An important contribution to the Fusion New Wave, Alma Har'el revisits the largely deserted Salton Sea, California, a failure of 1950's development expansion, for an intimate portrayal of its current offbeat occupants.

  • Brighton Rock

    Rowan Joffe

    Joffe moves Greene's classic to the early Sixties when Brighton hangs in a suspended state on the threshold of the youth revolution.

  • Cabin in the Woods, The

    Drew Goddard

    A superb deconstruction of the horror film turns its metaphorical magnifying glass onto every conceivable convention and trope of the genre through the wonderful conceit of reality TV playing by the same rules.

  • Caesar Must Die

    Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani     

    A major triumph for Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, who subtly use prison rehearsals as a means to stage Shakespeare’s 'Julius Caesar' in a modern setting that could not be more relevant.

  • Calvary

    John Michael McDonagh

    A jet black comedy set on the rural Irish coast feels more like the apocalypse than a Calvary like sacrifice of the film's title.

  • Camille Claudel 1915

    Bruno Dumont

    Bruno Dumont's profound new feature dramatises Camille Claudel's traumatic confinement in an asylum after being 'diagnosed' with paranoid schizophrenia two years earlier.

  • Camp 14 – Total Control Zone

    Marc Wiese

    Marc Wiese's vital documentary moulds together the appalling truth behind a prisoner who escaped from a North Korean labour camp but could not find comfort in the free world.

  • Captain Phillips

    Paul Greengrass

    This is Paul Greengrass on familiar ground; an explosive true story, intelligent contextualisation and a turbo-charged tension that keeps us on the edge of our seats even though we know the ending.

  • Carnage

    Roman Polanski

    Polanski's adaptation of Yasmina Reza's play, The Gods of Carnage, fails to transcend its theatrical origins but there are some neat touches along the way.

  • Cat in Paris, A

    Jean-Loup Felicioli & Alain Gagnol

    A hand-crafted animation from France that promises much during its disposition, but disappoints when it degenerates into a thin and fatuous cops and robbers tale.

  • Cave Of Forgotten Dreams 3D

    Werner Herzog

    3D comes alive in Herzog's spectacular documentary being the closest most of us will come to experiencing Chauvet's magnificent cave art in a meaningful way.

  • Child’s Pose

    Calin Peter Netzer

    Calin Peter Netzer's Golden Bear winner, 'Child’s Pose', portrays a deeply troubled relationship between an overbearing mother and her adult son and contains a blistering attack on the Romanian nouveau riche.

  • Citizenfour

    Laura Poitras

    The most important documentary exposé since 'Taxi to the Dark Side', it brings a sober clarity to a scandal that governments had kept under wraps, absurdly hiding behind 9/11 intelligence activities and bestowing a traitor status on a whistleblower for spilling the beans on a new kind of tyranny for the digital age.

  • City Dark, The

    Ian Cheney

    A greater risk of cancer amongst night-shift workers and an expanding concealment of killer asteroids are amongst the potential repercussions of a largely overlooked 'artificial light' pollution of our night sky according to this intriguing feature documentary from Ian Cheney.

  • Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

    Alex Gibney

    Alex Gibney's telling and engaging exposé of the the dark side of Wall Street and domestic US politics during the decade when major players lost control of the power games.