Elysium is a gritty, high-in-the-sky moral fable

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

It’s probably premature on the strength of one film to call a filmmaker a genius.

Orson Welles might have earned that plaudit based on Citizen Kane or maybe Jean-Luc Goddard for A Bout De Souffle, Rob Reiner for This Is Spinal Tap, Pajit Ray for Pather Panchali, or Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs.…

Kick-Ass 2 opens a mid-sized can of meta whoop-ass

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Superhero sequels are all about the escalation. Spider-Man 2, X2, The Dark Knight: they all feature villains who come about as a result of the heroes’ actions in the first film.

As The Joker says to Batman, “You’ve changed things – forever”.

Only God Forgives is an unforgivable load of tosh

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

It’d be easy to dismiss Only God Forgives as Drive in Bangkok: as in his previous collaboration with director Nicholas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling stars as a laconic, almost too-cool protagonist amidst neon lights and bursts of shocking violence.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is a deliberately underwhelming affair

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

The thing about diminishing expectations is that after a certain point they cease to be worth meeting.

After almost two decades on and off the TV, Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan’s most popular creation, has made his way to the big screen.…

RED 2 is a perfectly good geri-actioner

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

Do you remember my review of A Good Day to Die Hard, all the way back in the mists of time?

There’s no reason for you to, but in it I aired my complaints with what has become of the series that gave Bruce Willis a career beyond Moonlighting.…

The Wolverine: a Western-Samurai-superhero mashup with claws

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

After four years in the wilderness, the X-Men’s hairiest, surliest associate is back with his own feature film. And good news: it’s not X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

There was a lot to feel hopeful as The Wolverine approached.…

The World’s End is business as usual for the Cornetto bunch

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

My, haven’t we grown?

It’s been six years since Hot Fuzz blasted onto our screen, John Woo-style, both guns blazing, and a further three since Shaun of the Dead introduced us to arguably the foremost British comedy duo in cinema today (sorry Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan).…

A Field in England is a work of esoterica to be treasured

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 “These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us.”

— William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act I, Scene ii

Wind rustles the dry grass; in the distance the shriek of cannonade, the resounding boom of cannonballs in dirt.…

Pacific Rim stands on the edge of being a halfway decent film

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

We’re roughly half way through the summer season with Man of Steel and World War Z recently past and Elysium and The Wolverine shortly approaching (among others).

As such, a little $190 blockbuster about giant robots vs.…

Renoir is a sumptuous, sun-drenched picture that harnesses the beauty and power of its subject’s work

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

With its overwhelming presence in our everyday lives, it’s easy to forget that film – in fact, media in general – is a medium still in its infancy.

It’s been less than 120 years since the first motion picture was displayed before an audience.…