A Late Quartet shows what happens when four lives fall in and out of harmony

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

An experienced cellist’s carefully ordered life disintegrates when he is diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s.

A monomaniacal first violinist struggles with suppressed passions when a beautiful young student lays claim to his affections. A husband, an insecure second violinist, and wife, a brittle viola player, flounder when forced to confront the reality of their failing marriage.…

The Place Beyond the Pines is a mythic triptych about family that loses itself in the woods

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

A crime drama directed by an obscure American arthouse director, Derek Cianfrance, and starring two hip young Oscar-nominated actors? Sounds like my cup of tea.

On one hand, you’ve got Ryan Gosling as tatted-up carnival motorcyclist Luke Glanton; a bleach-blonde, barely repressed psychopath who develops a penchant for bank robbery in order to provide for his baby mama, an underused Eva Mendes.…

A Christmas Carol has plenty of spirit(s) but lacks heart

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

Christmas, as the saying goes, seems to come earlier every year.

As of my writing this, it is not yet mid November and already, en route to the cinema, the Staines council is decorating for the festive season.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is one half poet, one half charlatan, and entirely nuts

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Okay, let’s get the major issues out of the way: No, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is not former Python Terry Gilliam’s best film.

That honor is reserved for Brazil, Orwell’s 1984 via German Expressionism. Nor is it the late Heath Ledger’s defining performance – whether you prefer Brokeback‘s closeted cowboy or the anarchic philosophizing of his Joker in The Dark Knight, both are, in my opinion, far more notable.…

GI Joe: Retaliation is a “Strikes Back” no one asked for

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Cinematic adaptations of beloved 1980s toy lines are not generally renowned for their artistic qualities.

Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise may have grossed more money than the GDP of most South American nations, but its eye-popping action was more migraine-inducing than Avatar-immersive.…

Is Parker worth a trip to the cinema or just settling down in front of the telly?

2 Stars (2 / 5)

A Saturday night trip to the movies with a mate, I’ve learned, doesn’t have to be to see an award worthy prestige pic (like The Master should have been at this years’ Oscars) or the newest high-profile Hollywood blockbuster (as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey proved simply to be).

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a feat of cinematic mediocrity

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Stage magic has been something of a gift to cinema in recent years.

2006 saw both Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, based on the book by Christopher Priest – which followed the exploits of rival magicians Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale – and Neil Burger’s The Illusionist, set in fin de siecle Vienna and starring Edward Norton as the eponymous conjurer who seeks to tear his love, Jessica Biel, away from a corrupt nobleman using feats of prestidigitation.

Arbitrage has a great performance in its plus column

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

ar·bi·trage  (är’b-träzh’) n. The purchase of securities on one market for immediate resale on another market in order to profit from a price discrepancy.

It’s from this practice that Nicholas Jarecki’s new film gains its title, and its protagonist, hedge-fund manager Robert Miller, played by Richard Gere, a career.

Bourne Legacy ultimately has nowhere to run

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

I’ll admit to having been been dismissive of this addition to the Bourne series when it appeared in cinemas last year.

For one thing, Paul Greengrass, director of Bourne’s Supremacy and Ultimatum, had handed over control of the franchise, and perhaps more dramatically, Matt Damon, Jason Bourne himself, would not be returning.…

Flight is a film trip well worth the making

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Robert Zemeckis’ Flight is the most character-driven film of this year’s Academy Award contenders, which is impressive given the broad and eclectic range of performances on display.

Spielberg’s Lincoln is just as much about slavery and the passing of the 13th Amendment as it is the title character, though Daniel Day Lewis brings much-needed subtlety to the role in a film that might otherwise seem overly celebratory given the issues on display.