Reviews

Most Recent

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Postcard From The Zoo

    Edwin

    Edwins's second feature takes us to South Jakarta's Ragunan Zoo for a charming slice of magical realism that follows a young giraffe handler, abandoned by her father as a toddler.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Queen Of Versailles, The

    Lauren Greenfield

    Originally intended as a fly-on-the-wall look at the extravagance of a billionaire family, Lauren Greenfield's latest documentary provides a superb snapshot of the changing fortunes of America's filthy rich.

  • Women Art Revolution

    Lynn Hershman-Leeson

    A well intentioned but ultimately a mess of a documentary from artist and filmmaker, Lynn Hershman Leeson, revisiting the post feminist art movement.

  • 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. 

  • Shadow Dancer

    James Marsh       

    James Marsh's knowing supergrass thriller provides an absorbing look at the very authentic and deep-rooted historical and political obstructions at ground level that complicated the Irish peace process

  • 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.

  • Searching For Sugar Man

    Malik Bendjelloul       

    A feel good rock-doc on the little known genius, Sixto Rodriguez, that is not quite what it first seems.

  • Killer Joe

    William Friedkin

    A hair-brained insurance scam brings an amoral cop, with a sideline in bumping people off, into the lives of a dysfunctional 'trailer park' family.

  • Your Sister’s Sister

    Lynn Shelton

    An engaging three-hander with smart dialogue and understated comedy transcending a contrived plot that has a thirty something man attracted to one sister before having the briefest of one night stands with another.

  • Where Do We Go Now?

    Nadine Labaki   

    Christian and Muslim women in a remote Lebanese village conspire to prevent the menfolk from renewing hostilities on religious grounds but predictable set-pieces and gender stereotypes unintentionally reinforce the  cultural norms under attack. 

  • Royal Affair, A

    Nikolaj Arcel

    A throughly absorbing dramatisation of Johann Struensee's unlikely rise to 'de facto ruler' of Denmark as a dress rehearsal for the French Revolution.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Wes Anderson   

    Two twelve-year old kindred spirits are hell bent on dismantling the tyranny of orderliness in a constructed vision of American postwar suburbia in Wes Anderson's smart Cannes opener.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Monsieur Lazhar

    Philippe Falardeau

    An affecting dramatisation of classroom grief that made the final shortlist for a best foreign language Oscar but avoids the kind of sentimentality that often appeals to Academy voters.

  • Taste the Waste

    Valentin Thurn

    Valentin Thurn’s agreeable enough look at the perfectly good food that we squander in name of sophisticated consumerism without containing anything particularly new. 

  • Monk, The

    Dominik Moll

    Dominik Moll's Freudian adaptation of Matthew Lewis’ notorious gothic novel plays down the supernaturalism in favour of an intense human tragedy.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Marley

    Kevin MacDonald

    A comprehensive bio-doc of reggae's most famous exponent, whose contradictions sometimes defy explanation but nevertheless demand answers.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • This Must Be The Place

    Paolo Sorrentino       

    A film encompassing many themes, Sorrentino’s latest may take time to establish its reputation as a perceptive reflection on the relationship between the past and present and its implications for the future.

  • Le Havre

    Aki Kaurismäki

    Aki Kaurismäki moves away from Finland to Le Havre but his diegetic world remains the same in this very human tale of hope where none seemed to exist.

  • This Is Not A Film

    Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

    Jafar Panahi's dignified act of defiance shot with an i-phone and small video recorder over a period of a single day in his apartment where he remains on house arrest for exercising a basic human right.

  • Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life

    Werner Herzog

    Nobody can find the right question at the right time quite like Herzog, a skill that he quietly exercises to the full in this engaging take on a very difficult subject.

  • Island President, The

    Jon Shenk

    Confronted with the daunting prospect of his low-lying country soon becoming the new Atlantis, the Maldives' president embarks upon a one-man campaign to secure a global warming cap that would keep sea levels at bay. 

  • Once Upon A Time In Anatolia

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan's co-winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes is arguably his most ambitious and impressive film to date.

  • Trishna

    Michael Winterbottom       

    Trishna is Michael Winterbottom's third adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel but it works far better when viewed independently of its source material. 

  • 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.

  • Young Adult

    Jason Reitman

    A cynical black comedy from filmmaker, Jason Reitman, and screenwriter, Diablo Cody, that conjures up a particularly ugly view of the American moral landscape.

  • 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.

All Reviews A-Z

  • 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.

  • Inherent Vice

    Paul Thomas Anderson

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

  • 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.

  • Interrupters, The

    Steve James

    Steve James provides a compelling insight into reformed ex-gang members once destined to be another statistic in the death toll or for a life behind bars, who now intercede in dangerous Chicago street disputes usually at the point where violence is about to erupt.

  • Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life

    Werner Herzog

    Nobody can find the right question at the right time quite like Herzog, a skill that he quietly exercises to the full in this engaging take on a very difficult subject.

  • Island President, The

    Jon Shenk

    Confronted with the daunting prospect of his low-lying country soon becoming the new Atlantis, the Maldives' president embarks upon a one-man campaign to secure a global warming cap that would keep sea levels at bay. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Just Do It: A Tale of Modern-day Outlaws

    Emily James

    Emily James' partisan documentary provides an insider's view of environmental activists as they do battle with the authorities and the forces of greed in their quest to prevent climate damage at source.

  • Kid With a Bike, The (Le Gamin au Velo)

    Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne

    Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's perceptive take on child abandonment portrayed at the point where social objectivity and individual psychology collide.

  • Killer Joe

    William Friedkin

    A hair-brained insurance scam brings an amoral cop, with a sideline in bumping people off, into the lives of a dysfunctional 'trailer park' family.

  • King’s Speech, The

    Tom Hooper

    Tom Hooper's intimate Oscar winning portrayal of George V1's private but very real struggle to overcome a debilitating speech impediment so as to make a difference out of a sense of duty.

  • Kosmos

    Reha Erdem

    A bagful of ideas, various left-field philosophies and the mysterious disruption of established customs and traditions come together in Erdem's personal work of universal ambition.

  • Las Acacias

    Pablo Giorgelli

    A beautifully observed minimalist road movie that is a wholly engaging feature debut from Pablo Giorgelli, which deservedly won the Camera d’Or at this year's Cannes.

  • Le Havre

    Aki Kaurismäki

    Aki Kaurismäki moves away from Finland to Le Havre but his diegetic world remains the same in this very human tale of hope where none seemed to exist.

  • Le Quattro Volte

    Michelangelo Frammartino

    A quasi-documentary set in a sleepy Italian village with dramas that quietly unfold, barely plotted, almost found stories that grow naturally from the film footage.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Marley

    Kevin MacDonald

    A comprehensive bio-doc of reggae's most famous exponent, whose contradictions sometimes defy explanation but nevertheless demand answers.

  • Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Sean Durkin

    Sean Durkin's Sundance breakout hit provides a compelling cinematic reflection on abuse, guilt and paranoia.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Meek’s Cutoff

    Kelly Reichardt

    Kelly Reichardt's outstanding revisionist film positions itself between the cracks of the many irreconcilable contradictions falling at the heart of the Western genre and lays bare the myths that even today feed the deluded many in pursing that most fraudulent of ideologies, the American Dream.

  • Messenger, The

    Oren Moverman

    An Iraqi war film that looks beyond direct enemy confrontation with an equally important story to tell.

  • Midnight In Paris

    Woody Allen

    A welcome return to form for Woody combining playful fantasy and gentle nostalgia and serving it with a knowing charm that is a pure delight.

  • 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.

  • Monk, The

    Dominik Moll

    Dominik Moll's Freudian adaptation of Matthew Lewis’ notorious gothic novel plays down the supernaturalism in favour of an intense human tragedy.

  • Monsieur Lazhar

    Philippe Falardeau

    An affecting dramatisation of classroom grief that made the final shortlist for a best foreign language Oscar but avoids the kind of sentimentality that often appeals to Academy voters.

  • 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.

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Wes Anderson   

    Two twelve-year old kindred spirits are hell bent on dismantling the tyranny of orderliness in a constructed vision of American postwar suburbia in Wes Anderson's smart Cannes opener.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • NEDS

    Peter Mullan

    Uncompromising representation of knife culture and societal entrapment of the kind that remains depressingly relevant notwithstanding its 1970's setting.

  • 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.