Saving Mr. Banks is self-serving nostalgia from the House of Mouse… It’s also great, hugely feelgood fun

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Try to think of an occasion on which you’ve seen the celebrated Mr. Walt Disney portrayed in film.

Simply put, you can’t: the Disney corporation has fiercely guarded the image of their founder, almost as fiercely as their iconic mascot.…

12 Years a Slave is a stunning and necessary reminder of the insidious evils of slavery

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

12 Years a Slave is the tale of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejifor), a free black man and professional violinist in the mid 19th Century northeastern United States who, in 1841, was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

The third film of Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave feels, from the off, like a more mature approach to “the problem” of slavery than either of its two most immediate predecessors.…

Inside Llewyn Davis: an arsehole’s eclectic journey through the Greenwich Village scene

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

The Coen Brothers might have delved into spiritual music before in O Brother, Where Art Thou, their myth-inspired take on the Depression-era American Deep South, but Inside Llewyn Davis is a far more focused piece of cinema, if never quite as colorful as its predecessor.

For all its ideas, Zero Theorem is simply an entertaining zero-sum game

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

Terry Gilliam’s first film since the ill-fated, but enjoyable Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Zero Theorem showcases the former Python animator’s uniquely discordant worldview, as well as confirming Christoph Waltz as a supreme resource for any talented director.

Does Ayoade replicate the success of Submarine with The Double?

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

The Double, the second film of Richard Ayoade – whose first, Submarine, accrued a BAFTA nom for Outstanding Debut – might not receive enough mainstream exposure to completely revamp his image as “Moss from The IT Crowd“, but as far as offbeat, art-house adaptations of Dostoyevsky novellas go, it’s a cracker.

Gravity is a technically stunning work of (plausible) thematic sci-fi

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

I wrote a piece a while back on how Alfonso Cuarón showed signs of becoming one of the 21st Century’s foremost directors of science fiction – up there with Duncan Jones, Neill Blomkamp, and Shane Carruth – just on the strength of 2006’s Children of Men.

Nebraska: an emotionally resonant father-son road trip

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

A meditative, black-and-white exploration about growing up, growing old, and accepting life’s defeats.

Middle-of-the-road bachelor David Grant (Will Forte) takes his indolent, cantankerous father, Woody (Bruce Dern), on a road trip to collect on a junk-mail flyer for a million dollars.…