’71 is a Greengrassian blast from the past

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

The sound of boxing over black – the thuds, the grunts, the heavy breathing – sounds very much like war.

When ’71 opens, however, our young squaddie, Gary Hook (Starred Up’s Jack O’Connell) has not been deployed to Northern Ireland, but is participating in an officially mandated bout.…

Two Faces of January is a multi-faceted Highsmith thriller

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

As film directors go, it’s hard to escape the shadow of Alfred Hitchcock.

The iconically portly Brit directed more than 50 films during his lifetime with an impressive batting average in terms of outright classics: Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest.…

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a confectionary treat

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

Whether you love him, hate him, or are simply indifferent, you have to admit that Wes Anderson is a unique director.

More so than any other filmmaker at work today, he has a personal style to which he is beholden.…

American Hustle might be my favorite film of 2013

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

AKA The David O. Russell Reunion; Batman, Lois Lane, Rocket Raccoon, & Mystique: The Movie; or, Golden Globes For Everyone!

I don’t make a habit of using this space to gush over how much I love one film or another.

The Butler is content to carry water

 3 Stars (3 / 5)

2013 has been a year for many things.

Hostage crises in Algeria and North Korean nuclear tests, 3D printers and a meteor explosion over Russia. Meanwhile, the NSA’s been spying on everyone and Justin Bieber has been taking up the headlines in “Teenage-Boy-With-Unlimited-Power-Behaves-Like-Dickhead Shock”.…

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.…

The Great Gatsby is a glorious encapsulation of the Roaring Twenties but has little to say for it

2 Stars (2 / 5)

Great literary adaptations can occur in the most unexpected of places.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of fiction ever written and its 1962 adaptation starring Gregory Peck comes in at #25 on the AFI’s list of greatest American movies.…

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.

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).…

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.…