War Dogs does a good job of keep it on the leash

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

How many more biographical crime comedy-dramas do we need to see about sun-tanned bros and their embodiment of the worst excesses of free-market capitalism?

Based on Rolling Stone reporter Guy Lawson’s “Arms and the Dudes”, War Dogs relates the “based on a true story” account of how two twenty-something small-time arms dealers ended up the recipient of a $300 million military contract to essentially outfit the Afghan army to fend for themselves; the shortcuts they took and the laws they broke to try fulfill the order, including more than 100 million rounds of AK ammo.…

Hail, Caesar! loses itself on the Hollywood backlot

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)


Everyone loves a good movie about the movies.

Hollywood’s fetish for self-mythologizing1 lends itself to tales of stardom2 and scathing satire3 alike, but few films imbue Tinseltown with the same glow or seeming reverence as the Coen Brothers’ latest.

True Story is a pallid case study that seems likely to fade away before too long

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

The truth is a funny thing. While facts may be unyielding — a child’s body submerged in a suitcase with a teddy bear; a flood of brackish water — our relationship to them is often more elastic.

Case in point: reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill), dismissed from his job at the New York Times for fabrication, and Christian Longo (James Franco), a man accused of murdering his wife and children.…

How To Train Your Dragon 2 soars high but carries little weight

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)


When it comes to computer-animated family fun, the only real contender is Pixar.

Their main rival, Dreamworks, has been mostly reliant on a number of franchises: Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda. So far, though, they’re yet to produce anything to rival the artistry of Toy Story.…

22 Jump Street is a chip off the new block

4 Stars (4 / 5)


Is there any genre quite as enjoyably predictable as the buddy cop movie?

Two officers –one straitlaced, the other a maverick – forced to team up, only to form, despite, or perhaps because of their differences, an abiding friendship.…

The Wolf of Wall Street: Scorsese howling into the void?

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Apart from perhaps Steven Spielberg, the career of Martin Scorsese is unparalleled in the last fifty years of Hollywood.

Not only does his contribution to cinema define an entire genre – name a modern crime film that doesn’t owe some debt to Goodfellas – he consistently seems to take on only the films that he wants to make, only the projects that interest him.…