Reviews

Most Recent

  • Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Sean Durkin

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

  • 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.

  • 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.   

  • 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.

  • Useful Life, A

    Federico Veiroj     

    A moving tale set in an independent cinema, which is a throwback to a pre-DVD age but now faced with an endless battle against dwindling attendances, failing equipment and rising debt. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Take Shelter

    Jeff Nichols

    One of the most important US indie filmmakers of the new generation, Jeff Nichols follows the impressive Shotgun Stories with a terrifying realisation of global anxiety pared down to personal terms.

  • 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.

  • Dreams Of A Life

    Carol Morley

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

  • Whistleblower, The

    Larysa Kondracki

    A portrayal of a real life whistleblower, who exposed an appalling systemic corruption that should have received far greater global coverage but slipped under the radar of public outrage with a little help from the perpetrators' friends in high places.

  • Wuthering Heights

    Andrea Arnold

    A cinematic re-imagining of Brontë's feminist conception of Cathy and Heathcliff's doomed romance in an outpouring of Gothic darkness.

  • 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. 

  • Simple Life, A

    Ann Hui

    A touching tale of a master and maid reversing roles and the convincing portrayal of their tender friendship, which is all the more affecting for a genuine chemistry that exists between the two leads.

  • We Need To Talk About Kevin

    Lynne Ramsay

    Lynne Ramsay's first film for 9 years, an adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s best-selling novel of the same name, marks a triumphant return for the hard-hitting Scottish filmmaker with a knack for transforming literary sources into a truly cinematic experience.

  • Sound It Out

    Jeanie Finlay

    Jeanie Finlay captures much of the sadness and nostalgia of a passing era in her affectionate look at Sound It Out, the only remaining vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England.

  • 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.

  • POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

    Morgan Spurlock

    Morgan Spurlock sardonically attacks product placement with an audacious prank but it is not always clear whether the joke is on the advertisers or the audience.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Two In The Wave (Deux de la vague)

    Emmanuel Laurent

    Engaging documentary/nostalgia trip on the two filmmakers who define the Nouvelle Vague at its opposing extremes, François Truffaut & Jean Luc Godard.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Tyrannosaur

    Paddy Considine

    Two very broken souls come together as strangers searching for an elusive redemption but neither is forthcoming; hiding instead behind half-truths and fallacies, unable to face the full glare of their wretched reality.

  • 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.

  • Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times

    Andrew Rossi

    The New York Times granted filmmaker, Andrew Rossi unlimited access to its media desk for a year as its team grappled with the crisis in print journalism following the avalanche of free internet alternatives.

  • Troubadours

    Morgan Neville

    An affectionate look at the Troubadours' club, a musical home to many of the singer-songwriters that came to the fore as the youth revolution faded at the end of the Sixties.

  • 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.

  • Skin I Live In, The

    Pedro Almodovar

    Almodóvar moulds an audacious plot into another insightful exploration of gender identification and sexual politics and a full-blown transgressive assault on everything mainstream.

  • In a Better World (Hævnen)

    Susanne Bier

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

  • 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.

  • Project Nim

    James Marsh

    James Marsh's compelling documentary that started life as an in-depth exploration of a 1970's experiment into inter-species communication but became a deeply disturbing account of human frailties and the misuse of science in the name of arrogance and self promotion.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bal (Honey)

    Semih Kaplanoglu

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

  • 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.

  • Tree Of Life, The

    Terrence Malick

    Terrence Malick unashamedly returns to the great philosophical debates of the past and tackles the big issues with visionary splendour in the Cannes' Palme d'Or winner.

  • Separation, A (aka Nader and Simin, a Separation)

    Asghar Farhadi

    Families are at war in Asghar Farhadi's profound new film where a warped sense of justice and revenge hover over the real battleground of class, gender and religion.

  • Messenger, The

    Oren Moverman

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

All Reviews A-Z

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Norwegian Wood

    Tran Anh Hung

    Tran's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's acclaimed novel, Norwegian Wood, is an involving and beautiful psychodrama based on a challenging subject.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • One hundred twenty-seven (127) Hours

    Danny Boyle

    James Franco delivers a tour de force in a unforgettable portrayal of human endurance, fortitude and a sheer will to live in the face of the most appalling adversity.

  • Oranges and Sunshine

    Jim Loach

    Engaging portrayal of Margaret Humphreys' discovery of a disgraceful episode in our silent history when the British government arranged for approximately 10,000 children in care to be shipped off to Australia between the end of WW2 and 1967.

  • Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times

    Andrew Rossi

    The New York Times granted filmmaker, Andrew Rossi unlimited access to its media desk for a year as its team grappled with the crisis in print journalism following the avalanche of free internet alternatives.

  • 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.

  • Patagonia

    Marc Evans

    Cross-over parallel pilgrimages explore links between a Welsh colony in South America and its homeland.

  • 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.

  • Pina

    Wim Wenders

    Wim Wenders explores 3D beyond its technologies in a remarkable tribute to the innovative dance choreography of Pina Bausch.

  • Pipe, The

    Risteard Ó Domhnaill

    Fly-on-the-wall filmmaking from Risteard Ó Domhnaill giving a voice to his local community faced with corporate bullying of an all too familiar kind.

  • POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

    Morgan Spurlock

    Morgan Spurlock sardonically attacks product placement with an audacious prank but it is not always clear whether the joke is on the advertisers or the audience.

  • 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.

  • Project Nim

    James Marsh

    James Marsh's compelling documentary that started life as an in-depth exploration of a 1970's experiment into inter-species communication but became a deeply disturbing account of human frailties and the misuse of science in the name of arrogance and self promotion.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rabbit Hole

    John Cameron Mitchell

    Thoughtful and perceptive portrayal of parental grieving after the death of a young child.

  • 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.

  • Route Irish

    Ken Loach

    Political thriller with independent contractors profiteering from an unjust war, excepting themselves from responsibility for their actions and displaying frequent contempt for the local inhabitants.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Screaming Man, A

    Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

    A portrayal of the Chadian civil war at a very personal level where we feel the impact of the conflict and the arbitrariness of the human rights abuses all the more keenly.

  • 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.

  • Senna

    Asif Kapadia

    A very human story in documentary form, we experience the full range of emotions in this energised, exciting and ultimately desperately sad tribute to Ayrton Senna, whose life was unnecessarily cut short in its prime.

  • Separation, A (aka Nader and Simin, a Separation)

    Asghar Farhadi

    Families are at war in Asghar Farhadi's profound new film where a warped sense of justice and revenge hover over the real battleground of class, gender and religion.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Simple Life, A

    Ann Hui

    A touching tale of a master and maid reversing roles and the convincing portrayal of their tender friendship, which is all the more affecting for a genuine chemistry that exists between the two leads.

  • Skin I Live In, The

    Pedro Almodovar

    Almodóvar moulds an audacious plot into another insightful exploration of gender identification and sexual politics and a full-blown transgressive assault on everything mainstream.

  • Small Act, A

    Jennifer Arnold

    Remarkable stories emerge from a portrayal of an UK worker who benefited from educational sponsorship as a poor child in Kenya and turned sponsor when an adult.

  • 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.

  • Sound It Out

    Jeanie Finlay

    Jeanie Finlay captures much of the sadness and nostalgia of a passing era in her affectionate look at Sound It Out, the only remaining vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England.

  • 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.