Reviews

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Pina

    Wim Wenders

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

  • How I Ended This Summer

    Alexei Popogrebsky

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Patagonia

    Marc Evans

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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Animal Kingdom

    David Michod

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

  • 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.

  • Rabbit Hole

    John Cameron Mitchell

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • NEDS

    Peter Mullan

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

  • 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.

  • GasLand

    Josh Fox

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Amer

    Bruno Forzani and  Helene Cattet

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

All Reviews A-Z

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.