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.

A Good Day to Die Hard could mark the death of a once great franchise

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

Bruce Willis is arguably the only star of the ’80s not to have slipped into self-parody or senescence (his recent appearance in The Expendables 2 notwithstanding).

Unlike his contemporaries Schwarzenegger and Stallone, Willis is not above taking supporting roles in smaller offbeat films like Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and Rian Johnson’s Looper.…

Hyde Park on Hudson is torn between comedy of manners and Freudian melodrama

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

The last three years have done some interesting things with the legacy of King George VI.

Colin Firth’s sensitive portrayal of the speech-impaired monarch who led Britain through the Second World War rightfully won the Oscar (though the film that showcased it, The King’s Speech, was something of a “worthy” choice for the Best Picture of 2010).…

Hitchcock has too much makeup and not enough blood

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

“My name is Alfred Hitchcock…”

Thus begins both Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the anthology TV series hosted by The Master of Suspense, which ran from 1955 to 1965, and Hitchcock, the biopic of his life, directed by Sacha Gervasi (Anvil!

Lincoln is showcase cinema at its best

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

One hundred and fifty years since the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into existence, slavery has once again become a hot-button topic in American cinema.

Arguably two of the biggest cinematic releases on show at the moment are Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.…

Django Unchained lets Tarantino loose with a bloody tale of race and revenge in antebellum America

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Is there a more outwardly exciting director at work today than Quentin Tarantino?

It’s been three years since the release of Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino’s revisionist history cum Spaghetti Western account of Nazi killers and vengeful Jews in occupied France, and a further fifteen since he arguably created a whole new type of cinema with Pulp Fiction.…

Gangster Squad assembles all the old cliches to little effect

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Post-war L.A. The glitzy and glamorous City of Angels is under the thrall of brutal mob boss Mickey Cohen, with mob slayings on every corner and half the police force on the make.

Or so Gangster Squad, the third feature of director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less), would have us believe.…

Cloud Atlas is a whole lotta movie without quite enough reason for existing

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

“Surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made.

The little world of film criticism has been alive with interpretations of it, which propose to explain something that lies outside explanation. Any explanation of a work of work must be found in it, not take to it.

Les Miserables: Faith, grace, mercy, and music (and getting a head in Revolutionary France)

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

You know that sometimes you leave the cinema struggling to articulate exactly what it is that you’ve just seen?

Those are my feelings regarding Les Miserables, the adaptation of Cameron Mackintosh’s blockbuster musical, directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech).…