Reviews

Most Recent

  • Philomena

    Stephen Frears

    Stephen Frears' new feature 'Philomena', is something of a rarity, based on a true story where the protagonists are still alive and, yet, it is both compassionate and intelligent without any sense of compromise.

  • Like Father, Like Son

    Hirokazu Koreeda

    Fathers clash and mothers bond in Hirokazu Koreeda's subtle baby switch drama that transcends the sub-genre's usual conventions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Stuart Hall Project, The

    John Akomfrah

    John Akomfrah's remarkable new documentary is a portrait of the influential theorist, Stuart Hall, who has devoted his life to giving Britain's alienated black population a voice.

  • Fireworks Wednesday

    Asghar Farhadi

    Asghar Farhadi's superb third feature, 'Fireworks Wednesday', is currently enjoying wider big screen coverage following the international success of his later 'About Elly' and 'A Separation'.

  • Frances Ha

    Noah Baumbach

    Noah Baumbach's new feature, a comedy drama starring co-writer, Greta Gerwig, has gentle echoes of other filmmakers from the past but not so as to diminish its freshness.

  • Gitel

    Robert Mullan

    Robert Mullan's survivor guilt feature reduces the Holocaust and its aftermath - albeit unintentionally - to the realms of a melodrama.

  • 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.

  • Wadjda (وجدة)

    Haifaa Al-Mansour

    The attention that Haifaa Al- Mansour's feature has received since debuting at Venice is as much to do with its winning blend of childlike charm and knowing subversion as with being Saudi Arabia's first film made by a woman filmmaker.

  • Stories We Tell

    Sarah Polley

    Sarah Polley's semi-documentary investigation strives for an approximation of the truth from various storytelling techniques, where many questions will always remain unanswered, and discovers some kind of a reality between emotion and memory.

  • 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.

  • Like Someone in Love

    Abbas Kiarostami

    Abbas Kiarostami's second feature shot outside of his native Iran is set in a cynical Japanese environment that exposes two generations in crisis.

  • Shun Li And The Poet

    Andrea Segre

    Andrea Segre draws on his documentary roots in this keenly observed tale of an unlikely friendship, set in a Venetian lagoon fishing port where age-old rituals, suspicions and prejudices hold sway and there isn't a tourist in sight.

  • Something in the Air (Après Mai)

    Olivier Assayas

    Olivier Assayas' semi-autobiographical feature returns to early 70's Paris where politicised teenagers passionately confront police and the arch-conservative ruling class, but idealism has run its course and the students splinter into different factions searching for an elusive new reality.

  • 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.

  • Me And You (Io E Te)

    Bernardo Bertolucci

    Bernardo Bertolucci's first film for a decade is a reflective two-hander looking at adolescence from an unusual angle.

  • I’m So Excited

    Pedro Almodóvar

    Pedro Almodóvar returns to his earlier transgressive comedy style, which once delighted in post-Franco liberation, and sets it loose on Spain's post-meltdown society after years of living beyond its means.

  • Promised Land

    Gus Van Sant

    Gus Van Sant's fracking drama, 'Promised Land' amounts to little more than another American corruption thriller dressed in emperor's new clothes.

  • Mud

    Jeff Nichols

    Jeff Nichols' third feature, steeped in Americana and Deep South mythology, takes a 'Huckleberry Finn' style child's view of a dirt-poor Mississippi fishing community.

  • Trashed

    Candida Brady

    Candida Brady's wake-up call on global waste brings together various environment horror stories and predictions already in the public domain.

  • Paperboy, The

    Lee Daniels

    Lee Daniels follows his soul-stirring crowd pleaser, 'Precious', with a full-on 'trash noir' downer that takes us to the Sixties Deep South and depicts the seedy remains of a society's underbelly immersed in decades old bigotry and Klan-style resentment.

  • Look of Love, The

    Michael Winterbottom

    Michael Winterbottom offers an engaging and, surprisingly, affecting portrayal of Paul Raymond's rise from making up the numbers with a 'two a penny' mind-reading act to Britain's richest man.

  • In the House

    François Ozon

    A riveting psychological drama falls away under the weight of unnecessary farce when a schoolboy reinvigorates a world weary teacher with a series of playful but disturbing essays.

  • Spring Breakers

    Harmony Korine

    A surreal combo of 'gangsta rap' urban mythology and a highly produced contemporary take on Sixties sexploitation takes us to the sun drenched Florida beaches during the annual college spring break.

  • 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'.

  • Side Effects

    Steven Soderbergh

    Corruption and medical ethics collide within a white-collar drugs culture, where bourgeois pushers and users, in all but name, hide behind the air of respectability of dodgy prescriptions.

  • No

    Pablo Larrain

    Pablo Larraín's final instalment of his loose General Pinochet trilogy, superbly fuses archive and new footage but loses too much reality in its post modern smartness.

  • Django Unchained

    Quentin Tarantino

    Quentin Tarantino's provocative revenge Western dishes out extreme violence and outrageous myth making in a superb post modern attack on Deep South Fascism.

  • Sessions, The

    Ben Lewin

    John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H Macy are superb in this sensitive feature that tackles challenging subject matter with an unpretentious humour and honesty.

  • Zero Dark Thirty

    Kathryn Bigelow

    This follow up to Bigelow's Oscar winning political thriller, 'The Hurt Locker', contains the same urgency, immediacy and crucial vitality in its behind-the-scenes coverage of the biggest manhunt in history.

  • What Richard Did

    Lenny Abrahamson

    Lenny Abrahamson's third feature is a subtle but devastating portrayal of fear and guilt, the catastrophic consequences of one moment of madness and two very different kinds of parental heartbreak.

  • Sightseers

    Ben Wheatley  

    A quirky caravan escapade takes us on a tour of Northern England's heritage sites where a brutal killing spree sits side by side with trams and historical pencils in Ben Wheatley's poker-faced pitch black comedy.

  • Silver Linings Playbook

    David O Russell

    David O Russell's smart and sincere romCom where sophistication replaces sentimentality in an unusual portrayal of a dysfunctional family.

  • Amour

    Michael Haneke

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

  • Master, The

    Paul Thomas Anderson

    A resolutely independent deconstruction of a cult closely resembling Scientology depicts American society as torn between extreme fantasy and cynical realism at the onset of the Cold War.

  • Rust And Bone

    Jacques Audiard 


    Jacques Audiard takes us to the fringes of society for a contrived sounding love story that nevertheless comes alive on the screen.

  • Reality

    Matteo Garrone   

    Matteo Garrone's smart follow-up to 'Gomorrah' blends gentle satire and neorealism into a surprisingly touching sideways look at our celebrity-wanabee-culture and the transformation of TV into a quasi-religion.

  • 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.

  • Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God

    Alex Gibney

    Investigative filmmaker, Alex Gibney, hits hard when looking at the human cost of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church but an exposé of the church's internal policies occasionally feels like yesterday's news.

All Reviews A-Z

  • Coriolanus

    Ralph Fiennes

    The first cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare's final tragedy is a powerful political analogy for our times; savaging both ends of the political spectrum.

  • Cosmopolis

    David Cronenberg

    David Cronenberg's smart and stylish adaptation of Don DeLillo's salvo on Capitalism superbly captures the spirit of our age as a young City Trader encounters the Grim Reaper.

  • 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.

  • Damsels in Distress

    Whit Stillman

    Set in a mock Ivy League university that clings onto the authority of the past so as to secure the future for its privileged undergrads, four young belles are hell-bent on reforming the vulgar males contaminating the campus.

  • Dangerous Method, A

    David Cronenberg

    Cronenberg neatly turns the tables on Freud and Jung with a careful deconstruction of both egos upon their own terms.

  • Dark Shadows

    Tim Burton

    An 18th century witch proves that 'hell has no fury like a woman scorned' in an outlandish slice of Burton's brand of gothic surrealism.

  • Deep Blue Sea, The

    Terence Davies

    A poignant dramatisation of unrequited love at its most desperate is also a depiction of a condemned woman discovering a latent freedom through the courageous assertion of her right to make decisions even those that are self-destructive.

  • Delicacy

    David Foenkinos & Stephane Foenkinos

    Debut feature from David and Stéphane Foenkinos based on the former's best selling novel of the same name is a slight but charming odd couple romcom that sees Audrey Tautou combining grief and unexpected amour with consummate ease.

  • Descendants, The

    Alexander Payne

    Alexander Payne's first film in seven years is a return to familiar themes but with a lighter touch and confidence that allows for a very mature reflection on male vulnerabilities in a changing world.   

  • Django Unchained

    Quentin Tarantino

    Quentin Tarantino's provocative revenge Western dishes out extreme violence and outrageous myth making in a superb post modern attack on Deep South Fascism.

  • Dreams Of A Life

    Carol Morley

    A mysterious death triggers an investigation into an enigmatic life, which raises more questions than it answers.

  • Drive

    Nicolas Winding Refn

    Mega-slick, shiny and retro lying somewhere between post modern pastiche and parody, Nicolas Winding Refn's latest feature provides three male car fantasies for the price of one.

  • Elles

    Malgorzata Szumowska

    Malgorzata Szumowska's uneven feature on student prostitution and family life in crisis nevertheless has some perceptive insights worthy of a film of greater ambition.

  • 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.

  • Fighter, The

    David O Russell

    Blow by blow account of the shifting power positions in a dysfunctional blue collar family in this true story of Micky Ward's unlikely rise to welterweight world champion.

  • Fireworks Wednesday

    Asghar Farhadi

    Asghar Farhadi's superb third feature, 'Fireworks Wednesday', is currently enjoying wider big screen coverage following the international success of his later 'About Elly' and 'A Separation'.

  • Five Broken Cameras

    Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

    A remarkable feature documentary that takes us to the Palestinian Occupied Territories for an inside track on what it looks and feels like to have your territory appropriated on the back of a law without legitimacy and be cast as an outsider and wrongdoer in a human rights outrage.

  • Forgiveness Of Blood, The

    Joshua Marston

    An unforced slice of social realism from Joshua Marston takes us to the backwaters of rural Albania and the barbaric ancient custom of blood vengeance.

  • Four Days Inside Guantánamo

    Luc Cote & Patricio Henriquiz

    A War on Terror exposé that forces us to lift our heads from the sand and watch a vicious sadist turning a verbal knife very slowly in our name.

  • Frances Ha

    Noah Baumbach

    Noah Baumbach's new feature, a comedy drama starring co-writer, Greta Gerwig, has gentle echoes of other filmmakers from the past but not so as to diminish its freshness.

  • 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.

  • Free Men (Les Hommes Libres)

    Ismael Ferroukhi

    Humanity overrides religious differences in the face of extreme adversity as Muslims and Jews collaborate in wartime Paris to sidestep the Nazis.

  • GasLand

    Josh Fox

    Investigative filmmaking at its most effective, as Josh Fox exposes water contamination and political corruption on a frightening scale. 

  • Gitel

    Robert Mullan

    Robert Mullan's survivor guilt feature reduces the Holocaust and its aftermath - albeit unintentionally - to the realms of a melodrama.

  • 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'.

  • Granito: How To Nail A Dictator

    Pamela Yates

    Yates re-visits the terrian of her 1982 seminar documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, in her continuing quest for truth surrounding the former Guatemalan Government's genocide on the Mayan people. 

  • Gravity

    Alfonso Cuarón

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

  • Green Wave, The

    Ali Samadi Ahadi

    Ahadi's inventive use of multimedia, with appropriate rough edges, depicts the false hope and brutal reprisals following the green movement's challenge to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iranian dictatorship.

  • Guard, The

    John Michael McDonagh

    John Michael McDonagh's witty Irish crime comedy is a lesson in the art of subversion with the filmmaker being as mischievous as his lead character.

  • Guilty of Romance

    Sion Sono

    Sono's concluding part of the Hate trilogy should have been a sophisticated Godardian look at prostitution and capitalism in modern day Japan but becomes close to falling into the world that it is attacking.

  • Hell & Back Again

    Danfung Dennis

    Powerful depiction of the full horror of the Afghan frontline and the torment of a badly injured soldier struggling to cope with life back home.

  • 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.

  • House of Tolerance (L’Apollonide – Souvenirs de la maison close)

    Bertrand Bonello

    A Modernist return to the Belle Époque, made in the style of Alain Resnais but with a political edge more akin to Jean-Luc Godard, the House of Tolerance is a sombre yet resplendent evocation of life in a high-class Parisian brothel.

  • How I Ended This Summer

    Alexei Popogrebsky

    Opposing sides of the generation divide clash in a post Soviet ideological battleground.

  • Howl

    Jeffrey Friedman & Rob Epstein

    A biopic that captures the culturally defining moment when Ginsberg exposed the world to his iconic poem, Howl, and its immediate impact.

  • Hugo

    Martin Scorsese

    Martin Scorsese's magical return to the early days of cinema, in the form of a family 3D adventure, is a wonderfully conceived adaptation of Brian Selznick's graphic novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by one cinephile for all others.

  • I’m So Excited

    Pedro Almodóvar

    Pedro Almodóvar returns to his earlier transgressive comedy style, which once delighted in post-Franco liberation, and sets it loose on Spain's post-meltdown society after years of living beyond its means.

  • Ides of March, The

    George Clooney

    An intricate political web of their own making traps cynical operators in Clooney's smart revision of the political thriller sub-genre. 

  • Imposter, The

    Bart Layton

    A captivating 'edge of the seat' thriller of a documentary, Bart Layton's debut feature depicts an outrageous real life case of identify theft that would be far too absurd for any fiction. 

  • In a Better World (Hævnen)

    Susanne Bier

    Moral dilemmas arise in parallel cases when action against cruelty moves from prevention to retribution.