American Sniper has great performances but lacks vision

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

For an Academy Award Best Picture nominee, American Sniper is not without its problems.

Its 84-year-old director Clint Eastwood is known for being a slightly hawkish libertarian with a penchant for shouting at empty chairs (“penchant” might be overstating, but, as they say, “You f**k one sheep…”).…

Jurassic World is business as usual for the InGen Corporation

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Is there any film whose special effects conjured up such a sense of awe and wonder as Jurassic Park (apart, perhaps, from Star Wars)?

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 installment — sandwiched between Hook and Schindler’s List — effectively gave mankind their first fully-rendered look at the fearfully great lizards (or “dinosaurs”) whose existence on Planet Earth preceded ours by some 65 million years.…

Spy is a vulgar, good-natured feminist riff on the old 007 formula

3 Stars (3 / 5)

Spy reunites writer-director Paul Feig and Oscar-nominated funny-woman Melissa McCarthy.

McCarty plays meek CIA desk jockey Susan Cooper, providing support to her suave male counterpart Bradley Fine (Jude Law doing Bond, tux and all). A tragic turn of events draws Susan out of the basement, leading her to go undercover, and gives her plenty of opportunity to prove her badassery – and for McCarthy to stretch her comedy chops.

Trash sits somewhere in the middle of the heap

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

When you’re making a film about three street urchins taking on sleazy politicians and brutal cops in contemporary Brazil, there’s a particular onus to get it right, especially when you’re Stephen Daldry, whose filmography is composed exclusively of Best Picture nominees.